The first National Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Investment Conference kicked off earlier this week at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.
There the Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies revealed that these zones have attracted over R16.8 million in investments.
According to SA News, Davies stated that the total number of operational investors in designated SEZs has now reached 115, with a private investment value of over R16.8 million, adding that the companies have created 15 716 direct jobs.
“Since the introduction of the new SEZ legislation in 2014, the number of designated zones has increased, the investor confidence has improved, the number of operational investments has increased and continue to increase,” said Davies.
The Minister further noted that the Coega SEZ, located in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, has become a best practice model for all SEZs in South Africa and across the continent, and it remains the biggest SEZ in terms of number and value of investments in Africa.
Furthermore the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone has managed to attract 35 operational investors with an investment value of R1.5 billion, creating a total of 3 246 direct jobs.
“Support from various sectors of the society, in particular all spheres of government, state-owned entities (SOEs), the business community and labour has also improved considerably,” noted Davies.
The Minister concluded that in order to improve and upscale the impact of SEZ programme, it is critical to look at new and innovative ways of supporting SEZs to achieve more than double the investments in line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s mission to attract more investment into the country.