6 years ago

Mpumalanga Business 2017 edition

  • Text
  • Development
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  • Network
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  • Africa
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  • Investment
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  • Mpumalanga
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  • Mbombela
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  • Mining
Mpumalanga Business 2017 is the seventh edition of this highly successful publication that has since its launch in 2008 established itself as the premier business and investment guide to Mpumalanga Province. Supported and utilised by the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA), Mpumalanga Business is unique as a business journal that focuses exclusively on Mpumalanga.


SPECIAL FEATURE Investment opportunities packaged for success Mpumalanga has put together a number of priority projects to attract investors across a range of sectors from agri-processing to hydro-electric, solar and wind power. The provincial government of Mpumalanga, through its economic development agency MEGA, has developed a set of investment opportunities that will expand the scope of existing public-private partnerships and drive economic growth in the province. Projects range from a fresh produce market to take advantage of Mpumalanga’s superb fruits, nuts and vegetables, and road and rail projects, to the rolling out of information and communications technology (ICT) to schools, and the building of a new dam and a hydro-electric plant. The provincial government (which owns several mines) and private citizens who have mining licences are looking for partners to help them develop their coal or gold mining assets. The mining industry in Mpumalanga is well developed and good infrastructure exists to support the mining industry (engineers, transport, etc). The ICT project aims to extend connectivity across the province, much of which is very rural. The School-Online programme will roll out computers and iPads to schools and teachers within the province and the investor would be expected to install broadband and provide training. The Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) promotes foreign investment into the province, facilitates trade and supports local businesses. MEGA is an agency of the Mpumalanga Department of Economic Development and Tourism. All of the projects aim to leave a legacy of good infrastructure, but they would be structured in such MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2017 22

SPECIAL FEATURE a way that investors can make a good return on their investment as well. and a Forestry Technology Park in the town of Sabie. Strategic Economic Zone (SEZ) and Hubs One project that cuts across sectors is the plan to develop a Strategic Economic Zone at Nkomazi. The Nkomazi Local Municipality has already earmarked land for the SEZ, which will be established in terms of the Special Economic Zones Act of 2014 (Act 16 of 2014). The act defines an SEZ as “geographically designated areas of the country that are set aside for specifically targeted economic activities, and supported through special arrangements and systems that are often different from those that apply to the rest of the country”. Infrastructure at an SEZ should support the specific industry and attract foreign investors with a strong focus on beneficiation of local produce or materials. Skills transfer is another stated aim behind the SEZ programme. The location of the SEZ near the Mozambique border and along the Mozambique Corridor gives investors in the SEZ logistical advantages and opportunities. There are tax advantages for investors in the SEZ and proximity to the Mozambican port of Matola would be a large benefit to anyone wanting to create a dry port or logistics base. The provincial government has a broader plan to create what Premier David Mabuza has called “industrial centres of competence”. The idea is to cluster in a particular geographical area, centres that will provide economies of scale for manufacturers and traders but also training and research facilities that will benefit the relevant sector. These might be described as sector hubs. Plans are in place for the creation of several such hubs, including: • Mining and Metals Technology Park, Steve Tshwete Local Municipality • Petro Chemical Industrial Technology Park, Secunda • Agriculture and Forestry Industrial Centre of Competence, Mbombela area The planned SEZ falls within this quite large geographical area and the two other focus points are an International Fresh Produce Market (Mbombela) Agriculture and produce Land in Mbombela has been bought and registered for the required use as the Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market. Investors in fresh produce are invited to be take advantage of Mpumalanga’s superior fruit, vegetables and nuts. The 248ha site is near rail and road links and private investors are sought to be partners in building the top structure; services are being laid on by the province. The aim is to make the Fresh Produce Market excellent in every way, including cold chain protection and in terms of ripening facilities. Access to such facilities will improve market access for every type of Mpumalanga farmer, but in particular it will open up new opportunities for small-scale farmers who had previously not had access to such facilities. Helping these farmers and co-operatives gain access to new domestic and international markets is among the aims of the Fresh Produce Market. A large proportion of South Africa’s grain, citrus, sugar and soft fruits come from Mpumalanga. The province is one of the key exporters of macadamia nuts, a subsector that is growing at a remarkably fast pace. But there is relatively little agri-processing that takes place in the province, with most of the products being exported in their raw state. The Fresh Produce Market can accommodate investors who want to start factories to manufacture products such as juice, or packaging firms. Transport infrastructure The Moloto Development Corridor refers to rail and road links running west-to-east from Gauteng Province into Mpumalanga. The project to upgrade this corridor has been approved by national government and has been handed over by the national Department of Transport to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). 23 MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2017

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