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Opportunity Issue 103

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

VAAL SEZ Reigniting the

VAAL SEZ Reigniting the birthplace of industrialisation in South Africa Strategic location and available land gives Sedibeng a head start. Government and business are coming together to preserve and improve the manufacturing capability of the Vaal region. A key step along that path will be the creation and promotion of the Vaal Special Economic Zone, Vaal SEZ. An innovation will be to declare the whole of the Sedibeng District Municipality an SEZ, with a core hub and several satellite locations throughout the three local municipalities that comprise the district, Lesedi LM, Midvaal LM and Emfuleni LM. The Sedibeng District Municipality is strategically located on the border of the population- and resource-rich central Gauteng region which encompasses three of South Africa’s economically most potent metropolitan areas, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane. Investors in a wide range of sectors will find this access to large markets and the availability of affordable land and good infrastructure an attractive combination. In addition, Sedibeng is particularly well-served by railways and roads, making it the ideal destination for logistics and warehousing investors, not to mention agricultural and agro- processing companies. The Vaal SEZ is paying particular attention to the low-carbon economy and will be pulling out all the stops to attract investors in the green economy, the circular economy and the renewable energy economy. To complete the colour palette, the Vaal Dam and the Vaal River give the region unique access to aspects of the blue economy through varied forms of water tourism and water investments. The application to be formally constituted as an SEZ is well advanced, with the Sedibeng Investment Conference of October 2021 having provided a boost to the process. The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Fikile Majola, said at the conference that, “As the dtic, we are fully committed and are behind Gauteng government’s plan to introduce SEZs where feasible and necessary, to add momentum towards turning the Gauteng City Region into a single, multi-tier and integrated SEZ.” The dtic is the national department driving the process for the setting up of SEZs throughout the country. Since the Sedibeng conference, a Master Plan has been drawn up, a striking logo agreed upon and various plots of land have been identified and allocated by the three local municipalities. 28 |

VAAL SEZ Integration of regional strategies The map to the right shows how the proposed Vaal SEZ aligns with the various initiatives which have been rolled out or are planned in other parts of Gauteng. All are designed to concentrate activities within targeted sectors, provide for economies of scale and support growth and job creation. These include: Nigel Locomotive Hub: home of the Gibela train manufacturing facility at Dunnottar Park Tambo Springs Logistics Gateway: intermodal logistics hub OR Tambo SEZ: high-value export manufacturing Tshwane Innovation Hub: innovation agency of the province and responsible for The Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park; it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) Tshwane Automotive SEZ: close to automotive manufacturers and Rosslyn Automotive Supplier Park, supports SMMEs and training West Rand agro-processing and mineral beneficiation hub: part of the plan for the Western Corridor to support small producers Strategic intent of the Vaal SEZ • Regenerate the Vaal area and support economic activity. • Build on the competitive strengths, technology, capacity and skills base in the area. • Develop infrastructure required to support targeted industrial activities. • Facilitating the creation of an industrial complex that has strategic national economic advantages for targeted investments in various industries. • Creating decent work and other economic and social benefits in the region. • Regional development aimed at creating linkages and integration of Gauteng’s growth strategies with the local economic development strategies of the host municipalities to national economic initiatives. MISSION To reignite the birthplace of industrialisation in South Africa. OBJECTIVES Development of a multi-sector multi-site Special Economic Zone in the Vaal region. Regenerate the area and build on its competitive advantages. Building a socially-cohesive society, with sustained economic growth that results in the creation and retention of quality jobs. | 29

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