FOCUS The bulk of these resources are extracted and exported to foreign markets as primary resources which deprives the province of an important opportunity to industrialise and develop. This is indeed a lost opportunity to build local industrial capacity, create much-needed employment opportunities and grow the SMME sector. Another lost opportunity has been within the agricultural sector. Limpopo is well endowed with agricultural resources, making it one of the key regions to produce fruits, nuts, vegetables, cereals and tea. Statistics from the Agricultural Business Chamber South Africa indicate that Limpopo accounts for approximately 19% of South Africa’s potatoes, 75% of mangoes, 65% of papayas, 36% of tea, 25% of citrus, 60% of litchis, 60% of avocados and 60% of its tomato production per annum. This abundance of agricultural products provides a great opportunity for agro-processing and production of value-added products for export markets. The designation of the Musina Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) in 2016 heralded a window of opportunity to turn the province’s fortunes around. The SADC Industrialisation Strategy (20152063) emphasises the pursuit of targeted and selected industrial policies to create conditions for higher rates of investment, especially in valueadding manufacturing. The Strategy and Roadmap for implementation focuses on three potential growth paths for SADC economies namely, agroprocessing, minerals beneficiation and downstream processing; and enhanced and upgraded participation in regional and global value chains. The recently signed Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), promises to redefine trade relations among African states and beyond. It is envisioned that it will create a single market for goods and services across 55 countries. The Musina-Makhado SEZ is well-positioned to play a regional integration role in SADC and to take up opportunities that are presented by the AfCFTA.
attract targeted foreign and domestic investments, research and development and technology transfer. With an anchor of investment pledges of about R150-billion, the MusinaMakhado SEZ will result in the establishment of an energy and metallurgical complex, a logistics hub, agroprocessing centre, light-to-medium manufacturing industries, SMME Incubation Centre, retail centres, hotels, residential and community facilities. All these investment opportunities will lay a solid foundation for the envisioned futuristic Smart City utilising the Internet of Things (IoT) anchored on a comprehensive ICT infrastructure for the realisation of a smart economy, smart governance, smart environment, smart mobility, smart living and smart people principles. The location of this flagship programme has been carefully chosen to meet the basic requirements of a successful SEZ initiative. Conclusion The envisaged job-creation opportunities, skills development, technology transfer, SMME empowerment and the socio- economic infrastructure development triggered by the MMSEZ will make a significant impact on the improvement of the quality of lives of many people and contribute to the provincial and national GDP. In the midst of this unprecedented global lockdown, we must afford ourselves an opportunity to reimagine the future and wake up from the dream. In the fullness of time, the morning after the night before shall be upon us and we dare not be found wanting. The time to concurrently reinterpret the world and change it has come and such a task cannot be left to philosophers alone. Article by Lehlogonolo Masoga, Chief Executive O f f i ce r o f M u s i n a Makhado Special Economic Zone.
A vision for a futuristic Smart City The MMSEZ as an economic development tool aims to promote national economic growth and exports by using support measures to
LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21