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Limpopo Business 2021-22

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The 2021/22 edition of Limpopo Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Limpopo Province. Limpopo has been attracting significant investments in the mining sector in recent years and with commodity prices of certain minerals rising in response to demand in the renewable energy and automotive sector, mining houses are well-positioned to expand production even further. This journal carries messages of welcome to investors from the province’s Premier and the MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there is special feature on plans to catalyse investment and growth in the province through measures such as industrial parks and the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone in the province’s far north, which is attracting billions of dollars in investment. News related to mining, agriculture, tourism, construction and property, water, education and development finance is carried in overviews of the main economic sectors.

SPECIAL FEATURE A new

SPECIAL FEATURE A new bypass has been constructed at Polokwane. Credit: SANRAL Geography Limpopo covers about 10% of South Africa’s land mass and is home to about 10% of the country’s population. The 2011 census recorded 5.4-million residents. The main languages of the people of Limpopo are Sesotho, Xitsonga and Tshivenda but English is widely used in business and government. The Limpopo Province’s 125 754km² covers a remarkably diverse geographical and cultural landscape that is also rich in minerals and agricultural products. The N1 highway is a key reason for the province’s important role in the nation’s logistics sector. It passes through Limpopo from the south to the border town of Musina and on to Zimbabwe and its neighbours in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The busy N11 highway links the province to Botswana to the west and Mpumalanga Province to the east. Most of South Africa’s logistics operators have a presence in the provincial capital city of Polokwane and logistics hubs have been established in that city and in Musina. The province has a sophisticated rail network which Transnet Freight Rail aims to further expand, primarily to haul the province’s vast reserves of coal away to the coast at Richards Bay. Two of the largest engineering projects in the history of South Africa have recently been undertaken in Limpopo: the Medupi power station (at Lephalale in the far west) and the De Hoop Dam (in the south-east). Medupi finally celebrated coming on stream in August 2021 but then an unfortunate accident caused another setback in a project that has been repeatedly delayed. The province is home to two universities, the University of Venda and the University of Limpopo, and seven Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. The Turfloop Graduate School of Business is in Polokwane. The centrally situated city of Polokwane is the capital of Limpopo province. Located on the Great North Road and almost equidistant from the high-density population of greater Johannesburg and the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, Polokwane’s upgraded international airport plays an increasingly important regional role. In the course of 2021, the South African National Roads Agency SOC (SANRAL) completed the Polokwane bypass, greatly improving the safety of travellers. The City of Thohoyandou. Credit: Vendaland LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2021/22 14

SPECIAL FEATURE Tourism Brandon Stone’s victory in 2021’s Limpopo Championship highlighted how the golf tournament’s status as a co-sanctioned event (with the European Challenge Tour) is attracting an ever-improving field of top golfers. Stone is an established star on the European Tour and was attracted by the points available at the R3-million event, hosted by the Euphoria Golf and Lifestyle Estate about 130km north of Pretoria. The Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) regards the tournament as a fine way of showcasing the province’s attractions. As the LTA board chairperson, Andrew Dipela said after the successful 2020 event, “I am excited that we hosted a successful golf tournament and reached the objectives we set from the beginning. We wanted to showcase Waterberg and its ability to host international golf tournaments. Both Koro Creek and Euphoria Golf Estate were in pristine condition that won the hearts of both European Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour golfers.” More than 100 Europeans played in the tournament and boosted the accommodation sector. Several SMMEs showed off their products which ranged from clothing, shoes, food paste and books to beads and gin. That the 2021 Limpopo Championship took place was quite a feat of logistics, what with the impact of Covid-19 on the tourism sector. A Provincial Tourism Recovery Plan has been put in place, focussing on: • Protecting the provincial share of the tourism market • Protecting tourism infrastructure • Implementing a revised Provincial Marketing Plan. Nature reserves Some Limpopo nature reserves are to be commercialised using private-public partnerships. Among the first reserves to be part of the programme are Masebe, Rust de Winter and Lekgalameetse. The Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET) is responsible for 53 provincial nature reserves. Three major national parks – Kruger National Park, Mapungubwe in the north and Marakele in the Waterberg – are run by South African National Parks (SANParks) and attract large numbers of tourists every year. The province’s private game reserves and lodges enjoy a reputation for luxury and excellence of service that attracts tens of thousands of international visitors. The combined land area of Limpopo’s national, provincial and private game and nature reserves is 3.6-million hectares. The provincial government has committed to enhancing the value of Limpopo’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Makapans Valley and Mapungubwe Heritage Site, where the superbly crafted little golden rhinoceros, a relic from medieval times, was found in 1932. This is also a priority programme in the National Tourism Sector Strategy. The Waterberg Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO protected site. Tourism is a key sector in the economy of Limpopo, and as such is part of a new planning initiative called Impact Catalyst. In addition to a broad examination of the sector, specific thematic areas of focus include the gamefarming sector, an important and lucrative subsector of tourism. ■ Protea Zebula Lodge. Credit: Protea Hotels 15 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2021/22

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