CAPE TOWN – We take a look at the list of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in South Africa and the reason behind it, following Minister of Trade and Industry’s (the dti’s) published intention on 10 September to designate Atlantis as a SEZ.
The South African government seeks to transform the economy into a globally competitive industrial economy. The National Development Plan (NDP), a policy document drafted in 2012 which details how the country can fundamentally eliminate poverty, reduce inequality and attain economic development by 2030.
The NDP therefore forms a body of the country’s industrial development agenda, along with macro-economic policy such as the New Growth Path (NGP) and Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).
SEZs form part of the tools for accelerating the country’s industrial development agenda which was mandated by the SEZ Act, proclaimed in February, 9, 2016, Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Programme.
SEZs are a tool to help
(i) promote industrial agglomeration (which is the promotion of large industries)
(ii) build the required industrial infrastructure
(iii) promote coordinated planning among key government agencies and the private sector
(iv) guide the deployment of other necessary development tools.
List of SEZs
South Africa has 7 SEZs in different provinces, namely:
- Coega IDZ (Eastern Cape)
The largest and first Industrial Development Zone in Southern Africa, designated in 2001. It is located in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. The IDZ has attracted investment in the agro-processing, automotive, aquaculture, energy, metals logistics and business process services sectors.
- Richards Bay IDZ (Kwazulu-Natal)
A purpose-built and secure industrial estate on the north-eastern South African coast. The IDZ is linked to an international sea port of Richards Bay. It boasts tax- and duty-free incentives which is believed to encourage international competitiveness.
- East London IDZ (Eastern Cape)
Established in 2003 and known for its innovation, sustainability and efficiency. The East London IDZ (ELIDZ) is located in Buffalo City and is one of the first IDZs in South Africa to be operational.
- Saldanha Bay IDZ (Western Cape)
This IDZ is aimed to serve as the primary oil, gas and marine repair engineering and logistics services complex in Africa. This IDZ is situated two hours north of Cape Town.
- Dube Tradeport (Kwazulu-Natal)
Functions as a catalyst for global trade. This IDZ is located 30 km north of Durban, with a focus on manufacturing and value-addition primarily for automotive, electronics and fashion garments.
- Maluti-a-Phofung SEZ
Located in Free State, this IDZ offers exporters a logistics base that facilitates access to the Port of Durban, and intermodal logistics solutions for the transfer of freight between road and rail.
This SEZ also intends on attracting agro-processing industries.
- OR Tambo IDZ (Gauteng)
This IDZ will undergo phases over a 10-15 year period. It aims to develop land around OR Tambo International Airport in order to stimulate economic growth. This IDZ supports the minerals and metals sector with a key focus on light, high-margin, export-oriented manufacturing of South African precious and semi-precious metals.