Saldanha Bay IDZ to boost economic development

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pretoria – The newly launched Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) is expected to boost economic development and facilitate job creation.

“The Saldanha Bay IDZ must boost economic development and facilitate job creation by way of industrial investment in the Saldanha Bay and the surrounding areas within the West Coast region,” President Jacob Zuma said.

He was unveiling the Saldanha Bay IDZ in the Western Cape, on Thursday.

Zuma said government began developing Industrial Development Zones in 2000 and 2002, adding that the dawn of democracy and opening up of the economy to the world meant that the country had to come up with strategies to reposition itself globally. 

He said four Industrial Development Zones were designated in the ports of Coega in Port Elizabeth, East London, Richards Bay and OR Tambo International Airport between 2000 and 2002.

The main objective of IDZs is to attract Foreign Direct Investment, export value added products and create jobs.

“Our objective is to develop the Saldanha-Northern Cape linked region in an integrated manner through rail and port expansion as well as back-of-port industrial capacity.

“Our strategy is also aimed at strengthening the maritime support capacity to create economic opportunities from the gas and oil mining activities along the African West Coast, as well as the expansion of iron ore mining production and beneficiation in the Northern Cape,” he said.

South Africa has a 3 000 kilometre long coastline and seven well-equipped commercial ports which are able to function as a hub for commercial traffic emanating from and destined for Europe, Asia, America as well as the east and west coasts of Africa.

The ports will be utilised more than before to generate economic activities in coastal regions.

Job Creation

Zuma said there was no doubt that if effectively implemented through a well-coordinated stakeholder mobilisation, the Saldanha Bay IDZ project will have major macroeconomic benefits for both the region and the Western Cape Province.

“It will generate income, create jobs, grow the tax base and be a net generator of foreign exchange earnings.

“It is estimated that overall direct and indirect employment creation will be around 25 000 over a period of 20 years. It is expected to generate around 62 billion rand in foreign exchange.  We are determined to turn these forecasts into reality,” he said.

Special Economic Zones and IDZ

The President said Special Economic Zones and the Industrial Development Zones do not function as isolated enclaves as their success was dependent on the backward and forward linkages that they create and foster with companies operating outside of these zones.

The IDZ is coordinated centrally through the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission.  

The Commission is chaired by the President and includes Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, Metro mayors and South African Local Government Association representatives.  

One of the instruments government decided to pursue has been the IDZs.

Education and skills development

Zuma also emphasised that education and skills development will be central to the success of this IDZ. 

He announced that the Departments of Trade and Industry, Economic Development as well as Higher Education and Training will collaborate to promote skills development in Saldanha Bay and the surrounding areas.

“These departments will respond to the skills requirements of the industries being targeted to invest in this IDZ,” he said. - SAnews.gov.za

 

 

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