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North West Business 2023-24

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  • Pgms
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  • Trade
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  • Rustenburg
  • Municipality
  • Platinum
  • Tourism
  • Economic
  • Provincial
  • Mining
  • Mmabatho
The 2023/24 edition of North West Business marks the 12th publication of this highly successful journal that, since its launch in 2009, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the North West Province. Renewable energy is a huge global trend, and the impact this burgeoning sector is having on the North West can be seen in the development of several new solar farms which are under construction. The North West’s strong suit in platinum group metals (PGMs) already puts the province at the forefront of the drive towards a greener and renewable economy because of the applicability of so many of those minerals and metals for the cleaner energy movement. North West Business includes news and analysis of the most important sectors. Best known for its platinum mines, grain and livestock farming and tourism, the province is making a concerted effort to bolster its manufacturing capacity through a dedicated new strategy which includes trying to attract solar panel manufacturing to the province. To complement the extensive local, national and international distribution of the print edition, the full content can also be viewed online at Updated information on the North West is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to at, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces, our flagship South African Business title and the new addition to our list of publications, Journal of African Business, which was launched in 2020.


A REGIONAL OVERVIEW OF NORTH WEST PROVINCE Visitor numbers are recovering post-Covid, and there is lots to see. The North West is no longer restricting its involvement in the renewable energy economy to exporting important minerals. Solar farms are springing up and solar manufacturing may soon become a new subsector. Tourist numbers are recovering, agricultural products are attracting good prices and several big infrastructure projects are being planned. By John Young Mining and agriculture have always been the economic mainstays of the economy of the North West, and this is still true. But whereas the platinum group metals (PGMs) mined on the parts of the Bushveld Igneous Complex that lie beneath the province’s soils have been attracting good prices and the future of mining these particular minerals looks good because of the relevance that they have for the growing renewable energy economy, the North West is now expanding its interest in other parts NORTH WEST BUSINESS 2023/24 4 PHOTO: Madikwe Game Reserve

of that green economy. Large solar farms are now being built at an increasing rate in the North West. This development is covered in detail elsewhere in this journal, but it is significant for the regional economy that it is not only large organisations putting solar panels on roofs (although Sun City’s project is huge), but rather the involvement of the likes of AMEA Power and the Sola Group in rolling out big projects that is shifting the landscape. Solar panel manufacturing is one of the areas which national government, through Infrastructure South Africa (ISA), is looking at as a way of growing the economy and creating jobs. The North West Provincial Government, through its agency, the North West Development Corporation (NWDC), will communicate with ISA with a view to bringing solar panel manufacturing to Stilfontein, a town in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality which is strategically placed on the N12 and near to more than one solar farm. A feasibility study is to be done. A Panel of Experts on Mega Infrastructure Projects has been appointed by the provincial government. This is part of a concerted drive to change the way infrastructure is delivered in the province. The panel has identified 185 projects, with eight being prioritised based on a number of factors, including bankability and potential impact. These projects include the Smart City development, the Bojanala Special Economic Zone (SEZ), agro-processing and agro-hubs, water and bulkwater supply, health and large urban precinct developments, renewable energy and solar component production and broadband connectivity. It is hoped that these projects will contribute to being able to process more of the raw products that are produced by the agriculture and mining sectors. Tenders for construction of Phase 2 of the heavy-industrial area within the Bojanala SEZ have gone out. The development will cover 486ha. The trade markets at Mamusa and Mahikeng have been allocated R10-million and R8-million respectively. As part of the infrastructure drive, a Routine Roads Maintenance Plan has been drafted, covering roads in all four districts of the province. ISA has set aside R13-billion rand for the maintenance and upgrading of 39 roads in the province for Executive Mayor of Bojanala Platinum District Municipality, Councillor M Nondzaba, at the launch of The Pothole Patrol work being done on the R556. implementation in the 2023/24 financial year. The bulk of the money will be spent on rural roads projects, most of which will be labour-intensive paved roads in order to create jobs. A public-private partnership has started to tackle the problem of potholes. In the first year of its existence, The Pothole Patrol fixed more than 100 000 potholes in Johannesburg. The concept has been extended to the North West Province. Discovery Insure, Dialdirect Insurance and Sun City Resort are the private companies involved in the programme to repair potholes on the R556, the road that links Sun City to the N4 highway. Leisure travellers and conference delegates play a big role in the provincial economy and so making their journeys easier and safer is a good investment. As the North West MEC for Public Works and Transport, MEC Gaoage Oageng Molapisi, said at the launch of the project: “Good roads attract business to an area. Gauteng is a very important market source for our province, but travellers want to know that they can reach their destination safely. Similarly, conference and event organisers are disinclined to plan workshops and conferences at venues with poor road infrastructure. The province is therefore extremely thankful for the work carried out. “We appreciate the collaboration between the private sector and government. The government cannot do it alone,” he concluded. Sun City is expanding its Vacation Club by building accommodation for an extra 400 guests PHOTO: Sun City 5 NORTH WEST BUSINESS 2023/24

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