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Limpopo Business 2022-23

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The 2022/23 edition of Limpopo Business is the 14th 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. Both of the province’s two Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have taken several pages in this journal in order to share their goals with potential investors. The business case for the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) in the province’s far north has been accepted and the SEZ has received its official designation. Several investors have signed on and infrastructure development is underway. The Fetakgomo-Tubatse SEZ in the east is building up its infrastructure in terms of roads, railway sidings and water provision and both SEZs are taking an interest in renewable energy, and green hydrogen in particular. A special feature on green hydrogen appears in the front section of this journal. News related to mining, agriculture, tourism, construction and property, water, education and more.


INTERVIEW Domestic industrialisation will benefit from beneficiation strategy The CEO of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone, Lehlogonolo Masoga, outlines the economic impact that a new metallurgical complex will have on the region. Lehlogonolo Masoga BIOGRAPHY Lehlogonolo Masoga has more than 20 years of experience as an administrator and public servant, most recently as Deputy Speaker of the Limpopo Provincial Legislature and MEC for Roads and Transport. He served as the spokesperson for the former LEDET MEC and Minister of Public Administration, the late Mr Collins Chabane. Lehlogonolo holds three Master’s degrees: Governance and Public Leadership (Wits), Development Studies (Limpopo) and an MSc in Leadership and Change (Leeds Beckett University, UK). He has B-Tech HRM from UNISA and a professional diploma in Humanitarian Assistance from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (UK) and is currently a registered PhD candidate in Public Administration. What are the benefits that the MMSEZ will bring to Limpopo? The designation of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ SOC) and prospects of a second licence for Tubatse- Fetakgomo Special Economic Zone will trigger a variety of benefits for the people of Limpopo, especially the host municipalities. The MMSEZ has already attracted a basket of over R800-million to be invested in new infrastructure in Musina, which is expected to create over 2 000 jobs. The nature of the infrastructure, which includes water, electricity, roads and sewers, will go a long way in complementing the municipal service delivery efforts. As a consequence of the MMSEZ, we have witnessed investments in education and training facilities through the Vhembe TVET College, which is likely to multiply with the planned construction of a new fullsatellite campus inside the SEZ. The investment in ICT and broadband infrastructure will benefit not only investors in the zone but also members of the community with regard to data access and network connectivity. We expect the local SMMEs to be empowered from the commencement of the project. What are the anchor investments of the MMSEZ? The MMSEZ has been engaging with potential investors for both the South and North sites. We were worried that delays with the environmental impact assessment approvals would discourage some of the South Site investors. We are pleased and humbled by the resilience of our Chinese investors in the metallurgical complex to develop a heavy industrial park producing steel and stainless steel and beneficiating several minerals such as ferrochrome, ferromanganese and vanadium, among others. After abandoning the coal-fired power plant, our investor substituted it with green-power generation through solar. On the North Site we have secured potential investors in the manufacturing subsectors such as industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electric vehicles and metal fabrication. We are currently exploring partnerships in the field of a fresh-produce market and a regional fuel terminal. These are some of the initial projects to jump-start the MMSEZ North Site while engagements are ongoing with other strategic partners. We have also secured an ICT partner to invest in the installation of broadband infrastructure and related technological infrastructure to transform the site into a “smart zone” immediately. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2022/23 14

INTERVIEW In what sector will the MMSEZ make the biggest contribution? The metallurgical complex in the South Site will positively impact on the mining sector by supporting industrialisation which will create new jobs and harness new skills. An interruption of the current trajectory of exporting primary mineral products into global markets with a beneficiation strategy to support domestic industrialisation will become the real game-changer. What is planned for the various phases of the two MMSEZ sites? The installation of the bulk infrastructure has commenced in earnest with the first contractor taking site in June 2022. Our plan is to simultaneously roll out the installation of basic-services infrastructure with some of the top structures wherein investors are ready to immediately take occupation. What is a Smart City, and what is planned in connection with the MMSEZ? Urbanisation, rapid technological advancements, climate change, global pandemics and spatial and economic inequalities are encouraging leaders to review, rethink and reconfigure planning to find innovative ways to cope with change. Smart cities are about urban ecosystems that integrate digital technology, knowl edge and assets to become more responsive to users, improve services and make places more attractive. The MMSEZ SOC has developed a Smart City Model which promotes a new city-development model, taking urban and rural characteristics into account based on the principles of a smart and modern economy, a smart and sustainable environment with smart and responsive governance, encouraging smart living, ensuring smart mobility and attracting and developing smart people. How will supporting infrastructure contribute to economic development? MMSEZ will be solely responsible for the basic infrastructure for the North Site as the operator for the Zone. However, we anticipate a substantial capital flow for the development of the top structures in the Zone. Such infrastructure will also include the MMSEZ CEO Lehlogonolo Masoga and dtic Deputy Minister Fikile Majola. enabling last-mile rail infrastructure to connect to the existing Transnet grid. Nevertheless, there are planned mega projects outside the Zone to support the MMSEZ such as the planned Musina Dam. Through a partnership with the Musina Municipality, we plan to develop the Musina Airport and acquire an international licence to develop an airlifting strategy. Please comment on how the MMSEZ intends to leave a lasting legacy. The leadership of the MMSEZ is resolute about harvesting the capital flow into the Musina- Makhado Corridor to use it as a catalyst for growth and development, not only for the benefit of the two towns but Limpopo in general. It is our strong conviction that through the plans that we have developed we must guide development in the corridor into one direction – Smart City. We have no doubt that in the next 36 months, Musina will never look the same and the same will apply to Makhado in the next 60 months. Through the MMSEZ there will be new roads, electricity, sewer, water, rail line, houses, retail stores, hotels, airport, broadband infrastructure and above all, a new dam with abundant waterbased opportunities. The MMSEZ Smart City Framework will have a lasting impact on Limpopo with a corridor of smartness from Polokwane to Beitbridge. Within this corridor there will be nodes that impact on settlements and economic activity. In addition, this corridor will extend and form part of the Gauteng City Region footprint in a real and dynamic way and extend to Zimbabwe, thereby contributing to an integrated and prosperous Africa. ■ 15 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2022/23

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