Thursday, 19 February 2015 12:15

Special Economic zones offer growth opportunities

Out of South Africa's ten prospective special economic zones (SEZs), three are on the verge of implementation and, before the end of this year, one of them will be completed and implemented, says the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which envisions 2015 to be the year for multidimensional SEZ implementation.

In the Western Cape, the Atlantis SEZ has been identified as a green-technology SEZ, while the SEZ in Upington, in the Northern Cape, will focus on renewable energy. The Wild Coast, in the Eastern Cape, and the Dube TradePort, in KwaZulu-Natal, will focus on agro processing.

Nasrec, in Gauteng, will focus on information technology, electronics and film, and Harrismith, in the Free State, will focus on agro processing and logistics, while the SEZ in Bojanala, in the North West, will focus on serving the region's platinum hub.

  • In 2012, the DTI released its draft Bill, which required the country's nine provinces to provide feedback and submit proposals
  • All provinces, ten zones were identified across the country as potential SEZ designations.
  • SEZ aims to bring mainstream economic activity to poor and isolated parts of South Africa by leveraging the commercial potential
  • The aim is to offer a more investor-friendly business environment to attract foreign and domestic investment, create employment opportunities and introduce advanced technology
  • SEZs can be established within an IDZ,
  • SEZs can also be established in free-trade zones
  • SEZs are identified in the 2014/15 to 2016/17 Industrial Policy Action Plan as key contributors to economic development.