Special Economic Zones are boosting growth on the West Coast Dedicated development hubs on the West Coast are tapping into the potential of two of the fastest-growing economic sectors in Southern Africa – oil and gas and manufacturing for the renewable energy sector.
he Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is the lead agent in the creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which are part of the national Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP). SEZs are designed to attract investment, create jobs and boost exports. Industrial Development Zones (IDZs) are a type of SEZ. Several incentives are available to investors in SEZs. These include tax breaks from the South African Revenue Service (SARS), subsidised interest rates from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), subsidies for employees earning below a certain level and subsidies for the training of the workforce, incentives and grants from the dti, and incentives from national electricity utility Eskom. Other benefits might include a building allowance, employment incentives and the fact that an SEZ is a customs-controlled area. Skills transfer is another stated aim behind the SEZ programme. Specific incentives relating to energy savings and reductions in environmental impact are available, both from Eskom and the dti. Within the dti’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017
Programme there is a Green Energy Efficiency Fund, all of which are designed to make investment – of the right kind – more attractive.
Atlantis The suburb of Atlantis was one of apartheid’s bad experiments that left residents stranded far north of the metropolis with no industry or employment to speak of. The planned creation of an SEZ with a focus on green technology is already changing that reality. The SEZ is a collaboration between the Western Cape Provincial Government (whose unit GreenCape is taking the lead), the City of Cape Town and the dti. Although the SEZ has not officially been established, several important investments have been made into the area and the idea is gaining traction. Spanish wind-tower manufacturer Gestamp Renewable Industries (GRI) has added to its initial investment of R300-million, which created 200 jobs. Others include Resolux (R25-million), which