Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has issued an operator permit for the energy and metallurgical zone in the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Limpopo.
“The Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister Davies, has, after considering the recommendation of the SEZ Advisory Board, approved the appointment of an operator and issued a SEZ operator permit for the South African Energy Metallurgical Zone,” said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).
The operator was appointed by the board of Musina-Makhado SEZ (SOC) Ltd. The operator permit was issued to the South African Energy Metallurgical Base, a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate, Shenzhen Hoi Mor Resources Holding Company Ltd.
The issuing of the operator permit authorises the holder to develop, operate and manage the SA Energy and Metallurgical Zone within the framework of the SEZ Act and other applicable South African laws, said the dti on Monday.
The Musina-Makhado SEZ was designated in July 2016 to focus on energy and metallurgical processing, agro-processing, petro-chemical and logistics.
Minister Davies said the latest development will go a long way in accelerating much needed economic growth, attract foreign and domestic direct investment as well as the expand the manufacturing sector.
The development also bodes well for mineral beneficiation, as well as the creation of employment in the region, which is currently faced with high levels of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment.
The development consists of at least eight catalytic projects pipeline, with a total investment of over R40 billion.
The energy and metallurgical complex will initially include the following projects: power plant, steel plant, stainless steel plant, coking plant, ferrochrome plant, ferromanganese plant, ferrosilicon plant, pig iron metallurgy plant and lime plant.
These projects will be implemented over the next 10 years and are expected to create over 21,000 jobs in the region.
The Musina-Makhado SEZ is strategically located close to the main land-based trade route between South Africa and the broader African continent.
This new development will improve rail and road transport links between South Africa and the rest of the continent.
The official handover of the permit will take place on Tuesday in Xiamen, China, during the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Exhibition, which is held parallel to the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) from 18 – 21 September 2017.