Special economic zone to guide DTI’s reindustrialisation efforts

21 May 2015

Weeks after launching the seventh iteration of government’s Industrial Policy Action Plan, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies told the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Wednesday that his department would continue to progressively scale up interventions to support reindustrialisation and industrial development, chiefly through the “stepping-up” of the special economic zone (SEZ) programme.

Updating the NCOP on the progress of the country’s various industrial development zones (IDZs) – a form of SEZ – Davies noted that the key Coega, East London and Richards Bay IDZs had, between 2002 and 2014, attracted 54 investors with an estimated investment value of R4.8-billion.

These investments were estimated to have created ±73,000 jobs. The Saldanha Bay IDZ, in the Western Cape and the Dube TradePort, in KwaZulu-Natal, had, meanwhile, received “positive responses” from investors.

He further announced that the SEZ advisory board had been appointed and would shortly begin work on finalising the SEZ regulations before considering proposals for the designation of new SEZs.

“New SEZs could include IDZs, free ports, free trade zones or sector development zones and will be supported by an incentive package that will include a 15% corporate tax, building allowance, employment incentive and customs-controlled territory. We will also offer a stepped-up support service to investors,” he commented.

As the SEZ legislation was being drafted, Davies said the Department of Trade and Industry had provided seed funding to each of the nine provinces to undertake feasibility studies and planning work for potential SEZs.


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