SPECIAL FEATURE energy and mineral beneficiation. Exxaro and De Beers have large mining operations nearby. A consortium of Chinese investors has agreed to run the SEZ’s mineral beneficiation operations. A second application for an SEZ has been made within the province’s platinum belt in the east of the province. The Tubatse SEZ, in the Sekhukhune District Municipality, will focus on the beneficiation of platinum group metals (PGM) and mining-related manufacturing. Large platinum mining operations are located on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex such as the Marula Mine and the northern limb has been seeing a lot of recent activity, with Ivanhoe Mines investing in a new mine. A smelter expansion by Northam on the western limb confirms that the mining sector is still very active in Limpopo. The following areas have been identified as priority zones for the province’s industrialisation strategy: Polokwane, Lephalale, Tubatse, Tzaneen and the Makhado-Musina corridor.
and the biggest vermiculite mine in the world. The province has 41% of South Africa’s platinum group metals (PGMs), 90% of South Africa’s red-granite resources and approximately 50% of the country’s coal reserves. Antimony, a highly strategic mineral found in large quantities in China, is another of Limpopo’s major assets. Two of the largest engineering projects in the history of South Africa have recently been undertaken in Limpopo. Both the Medupi power station (at Lephalale in the far west) and the De Hoop Dam (in the south-east) have the potential to give the region’s economy a massive boost. The combined land area of Limpopo’s national, provincial and private game and nature reserves is 3.6-million hectares. According to the Premier’s office, the tourism sector employs about 22 400 people.
Limpopo’s dry, cattle-rearing, western areas contrast with the subtropical regions of the east where forestry thrives and the central regions where vast plantations produce 60% of the country’s tomatoes. The area north of the Soutpansberg Mountains is semi-arid. The Waterberg mountains stretch over 5 000km² through the northern reaches of the province. Limpopo has five district municipalities:
When it comes to exports Limpopo punches above its weight because of the abundance of mineral wealth under the ground, and the superb fruit and vegetables that the province’s farmers cultivate. Potatoes are grown, together with 75% South Africa’s mangoes and tomatoes; papayas (65%); tea (36%); citrus, bananas and litchis (25%) and 60% of the country’s avocadoes. The best-performing subsector of South African exports over the last five years is fruit and nuts (www.worldstopexports.com). Limpopo has been a major contributor to the country’s excellent export record: avocadoes, mangoes and macadamia nuts from the province’s eastern regions are hugely popular in international markets and Limpopo’s commercial farmers are extremely efficient. The province has huge reserves of coal, platinum, chromium, uranium clay, nickel, cobalt, vanadium, limestone and tin. Demand will always fluctuate, and the commodities cycle has recently been very volatile, but the world will always need minerals. Limpopo’s assets include the largest diamond mine in South Africa, the biggest copper mine in South Africa, the biggest open-pit platinum mine in the country
Capricorn District Capricorn is the economic centre of Limpopo, with the provincial capital Polokwane contributing 13% of the provincial GDP. The cultivation of citrus, potatoes and tomatoes is done on a large scale in the district. The capital city of Polokwane is the province’s main centre for industry, commerce, education and medical services. The city is close to big concentrations of mineral deposits and to fertile agricultural lands; its industries reflect this diversity. Large industrial concerns such as Silicon Smelters (one of the biggest of its kind in the world) and a big brewery run alongside at least 600 industrial enterprises of a smaller scale. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2018/19
Limpopo Business is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the Limpopo Province.