Gauteng forges ahead with special economic zones
Gauteng has embarked on an ambitious plan to develop special economic zones (SEZs) to grow the province’s economy.
SEZs are specifically designated areas that offer incentives to attract businesses to them. Incentives can potentially include VAT and customs relief, employment tax incentives, reduced corporate income rates and building allowances.
The SEZs are intended to grow Gauteng’s manufacturing capacity, exports and employment. In the longer term the plan is to convert the Gauteng city-region into a single, multi-tier SEZ. These economic zones are not exclusive to Gauteng, in total 11 SEZs have been designated and approved for establishment in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Free State.
The SEZs intended for Gauteng include the Tshwane automotive special economic zone, the Vaal River SEZ situated in the Sedibeng region, a high-tech SEZ in Bronkhorstpruit, the West Rand agri-SEZ, a hi-tech SEZ at Lanseria and a global business services hub at Nasrec. The Tshwane automotive special economic zone is Africa’s first automotive city and will be home to automotive manufacturers and vehicle component suppliers.
Once it is fully operational, the SEZ is intended to provide about 20,000 jobs. Development of the SEZ was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but is now forging ahead. The Tshwane SEZ has been made possible by investments from the government (R2.5bn), the Ford Motor Company (R16bn) and various automotive components suppliers (R4.3bn).
Ford plans to manufacture the new Ford Ranger at the SEZ. Reporting on the progress of the development at the recent state of the province address, p remier David Makhura said that more than 70% of the construction had been completed and 12 component manufacturers are already operating. To date, SMMEs from Mamelodi have received R1bn during the construction phase using what the premier said was a “national benchmark local contractor development system”.
The premier announced that local investors have already committed R54bn to the Vaal River SEZ which will accommodate the new Vaal River smart city, a green hydrogen innovation hub, a cannabis hub, agro-logistics and an aerodrome, among others. The Maximum Group has committed to a R20bn investment for an agri-processing and industrial hub in the West Rand agri-SEZ.
Courtesy of Sowaten Live – full article here