Northern Cape Business 2021-22

Page 11


way for the next wave of investment. An Investment Conference held in 2019 showcased a number of initiatives being taken by the Provincial Government of the Northern Cape to attract investors and to make the experience of investing easier. The Northern Cape Investment Booklet provides a comprehensive overview of the province’s assets and advantages, together with a list of investable projects in a wide range of sectors. Key projects are linked to broader spatial and sectoral plans that play to the province’s strengths. Among these high-impact projects are: • Kathu Industrial Park • Namakwa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) • Northern Cape Metals Industrial Cluster.

Credit: Kevin Wright/Vedanta Zinc International

The major investment by Vedanta Zinc International is expected to underpin the development of the SEZ and to spark increased industrial and economic development in the region, along with new investments. A multi-nodal corridor is envisaged for the province, running from the Atlantic coast to the commodity-rich Gamagara mining corridor in the vicinity of Kuruman. A deepsea port is proposed at Boegoebaai, which would serve as a conduit for mineral resources and other products of the Northern Cape to be exported. Invest SA, through the National Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) has established a provincial One Stop Shop for investors, lowering the cost of investing and helping to iron out any bureaucratic delays. Another angle for attracting investors to the province is to improve infrastructure. This is being done in terms of roadworks (with the South African National Roads Agency, SANRAL), waterworks and information and information and communications technology (ICT ). A range of organisations are working on bringing the province up to date with the latest in ICT. This includes the National Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) which is paying for bursaries for students in data science at Sol Plaatje University and training electrical engineers and fibre optic technicians. The DSI is a key participant in the SKA programme.

The creation of the Northern Cape Innovation Forum (NCIF) points to the way ahead for the province. The NCIF intends to bring together academics, government and business leaders, civil society and labour, to consider the impact of innovation and technology, and to work out how best they can be harnessed to the maximum advantage of all citizens. The project is led by Sol Plaatje University with support from the National Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the Technology Localisation Implementation Unit of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley has a strong suit in teacher training, but an expanding curriculum speaks both to being able to exploit the SKA link through subjects such as ICT and data science and an appreciation of the past via heritage studies and paleo-sciences. The university’s location in an arid region means that future programmes will be developed to study agriculture in water-stressed conditions. Building on the campus, which will eventually cover 190 000m², is expected to continue for another decade. Investment With mining, renewable energy and astronomy leading the way, the Northern Cape is preparing the