INTERVIEW exploring various innovative engineering options, including cross-border water-transfer schemes. Will construction of the SEZ infrastructure be done by local companies? Local empowerment is at the centre of the MMSEZ business model. We are already at an advanced stage of completing a comprehensive Enterprise Development Strategy and the development of an SMME Incubation Centre. Local enterprises will undoubtedly enjoy preference in a variety of opportunities throughout the project development phases, including infrastructure roll-out. With whom is the Limpopo Provincial Government partnering in the creation of the SEZ? Each SEZ project is regarded as a national asset located in a particular province. Such national assets are expected to attract foreign direct investment and technology transfer. This model warrants public and private partnerships at all levels. The Limpopo Provincial Government has partnered with the national government through the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), an international operator from China, Vhembe District and local municipalities, particularly Musina and Makhado municipalities, and the business fraternity to implement the MMSEZ.
Furnace. Credit: Anglo Platinum to creating a minimum of 50 000 job opportunities in the next 10 years through this initiative and to turn around the economic fortunes of the Limpopo Province. All these investment opportunities will lay a solid foundation for the envisioned futuristic Smart City and smart economy. When the High-Speed Train between Johannesburg and Musina comes to fruition, that will add impetus to the MMSEZ. How is pollution being mitigated? The MMSEZ SOC is committed to environmental and biodiversity protection. We fully appreciate and respect the Paris Agreement and our country’s commitment to ecological sustainable development and are already taking all reasonable measures to mitigate environmental concerns such as global warming, pollution, biodiversity loss, water scarcity and possible threats to food security. Substantial research is being conducted to mitigate such risks which will include the deployment of the best carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions. Specialist studies on climate change and pollution have been conducted to mitigate potential negative impacts. With regard to water scarcity, efforts are being made to avoid tapping into the already stressed water resources by
Where does the SEZ fit in regional strategies? The location of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone makes it an ideal regional integration initiative. The SADC Industrialisation Strategy (2015-2063) emphasises the pursuit of targeted and selected industrial policies to create conditions for higher rates of investment by the public and private sectors to enable crucial sectors to prosper, especially value-adding manufacturing. The recently signed Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), promises to redefine trade relations among African states and beyond. 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.
LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21