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Fikile Majola, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, emphasised his department’s
commitment to increasing assistance for Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which are vital tools for
Speaking at the Special Economic Zones Chief Executive Officers’ Forum in Kempton Park on
Thursday, he stressed the importance of provincial governments’ commitment to ensuring that the
SEZs achieve the economic goals that the national government has set for them.
Where SEZs face problems but have the full support of provincial governments, they are making
significant progress. Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) is one example, with a
total investment that has exceeded the initial planned value of R4.33 billion by more over R200
The Deputy Minister stated that this was solely due to the Gauteng government’s support for the
Importantly, Majola stated that the overall number of permanent jobs produced by the zone’s
suppliers is currently at 3 098 jobs, a 20% increase from the previous quarter.
“There are currently around 15 projects that are at different stages of development across the
different SEZs. Significantly, these are mostly expected to be operationalised before the close of the
2023/24 financial year, thus adding to the 190 that are already operational in the 10 designated
“The SEZs are important instruments to the economy. One cannot imagine the economy without
these SEZs. Imagine Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality without the East London Industrial
Development Zone or the Nelson Mandela Metro without the Coega SEZ.
“These SEZs are pillars of our economy and those that are not optimally operating are a disservice to
our people,” Majola said.
He called the recently declared Namakwa Special Economic Zone in the Northern Cape a game
Nomalungelo Gina, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, also spoke at the gathering
and urged SEZ CEOs to be cautious of investments coming into their zones.
Gina believes that they must not irritate investors with regulatory delays and a poor pace of
execution. “SEZs must provide the best business environment.”
She added that the SEZ Programme continues to attract significant numbers and value of
investments in various regions. Since the introduction of the SEZs Programme, there has been an
increase in the number of operational investors in these zones.
“There is a growing investment pipeline. The increase is largely attributed to the incentive package
that has been introduced to attract investors,” Gina said.
She said the full impact of the failure or successes of the SEZs will reflect on the economy as a whole,
because this is where the country should be seeing well-run concentrated manufacturing activities
and job creation.
The Atlantis SEZ is ready for construction of a 22-hectare Zone 1, funded by the DTI. The SEZ is
expected to become a strategic focus for green technology industries. The cumulative rand value of
SEZs-based operational investments increased from R26 billion to R28 billion between Q3 and Q4.