11 months ago

South African Business 2023

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A unique guide to business and investment in South Africa. Welcome to the 11th edition of the South African Business journal. First published in 2011, the publication has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to South Africa, supported by a website at www. A special feature in this journal focusses on the importance of partnerships as the way forward for the country’s growing number of Special Economic Zones. There are now SEZs in eight provinces and collaboration between the private sector and government and its agencies is proving a crucial element in pursuing the goal of industrializing the South African economy. These zones intended as catalysts for economic growth in established sectors and in stimulating new industries. Regular pages cover all the main economic sectors of the South African economy and give a snapshot of each of the country’s provinces. The fact that South Africa’s law-enforcement agencies are arresting people alleged to have been involved in state capture and the Reserve Bank has started freezing assets in other matters leads the national overview because business can’t function properly without the rule of law. South African Business is complemented by nine regional publications covering the business and investment environment in each of South Africa’s provinces. The e-book editions can be viewed online at These unique titles are supported by a monthly business e-newsletter with a circulation of over 35 000. Journal of African Business joined the Global African Network stable of publications as an annual in 2020 and is now published quarterly.

INTERVIEW Promoting the

INTERVIEW Promoting the industrialisation of South Africa The Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone is ideally placed to bolster national plans, says CEO Lehlogonolo Masoga, while carrying out an inspiring vision for the region’s economy and people. 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. Please explain the rationale behind Special Economic Zones. Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are growth engines towards government’s strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development, employment creation, the improvement of existing infrastructure, skills development and technology transfer by attracting foreign direct investment and strengthening the export of value-added commodities. SEZs are geographically-designated areas set aside for targeted economic and sector-focused activities, supported through special arrangements (that may include laws) and systems that are often different from those that apply in the rest of the country. This is a strategic phenomenon which has transformed economies across the globe by developing major industrial development zones with ripple effects such as the development of new towns and smart cities. How do SEZs fit into national plans such as the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP)? IPAP recognises the role of industrial parks and Special Economic Zones as strategic vehicles for industrial activities which promote beneficiation and manufacturing. The support which is provided to SEZs in terms of infrastructure, regulatory framework and incentive schemes provides a conducive environment to bolster industrialisation. The IPAP classifies Special Economic Zones into key categories which include Industrial Development Zones, Free Ports, Free Trade Zones and Sector Development Zones. How does the MMSEZ fit into regional and provincial planning initiatives? The priorities of the Limpopo Development Plan 2020-2025 and the Medium-Term Strategic Framework include the following: • Transformation and modernisation of the provincial economy • Integrated and sustainable socio-economic infrastructure development • Spatial transformation for integrated socio-economic development • Economic transformation and job creation through regional integration These policy priorities reinforce the business case of the Musina- Makhado Special Economic Zone in line with the vision of the provincial SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2023 22

INTERVIEW administration. A successful MMSEZ will result in South Africa’s active participation and leadership in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the industrialisation strategy of SADC. The Limpopo Development Plan articulates an inspirational vision about the future as follows: The Limpopo Province of the future will create an environment that is mutually beneficial, where rural living and smart cities coexist in harmony, adopting the future without losing touch with our heritage. The new Limpopo Province will: • Develop new smart green cities with integrated transport systems. • Embrace renewable energy to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels. • Develop and implement new 4IR education systems that can inspire and prepare the youth and adults for the future. • Evolve businesses to embrace the 4IR and be globally competitive. • Evolve the provincial economy from being mostly dependent on the primary sectors, to a diverse and inclusive economy, with growth potential to reduce unemployment significantly. • Have happy, prosperous and connected communities. • Have new economic infrastructure that can enable Limpopo to leap into the future, such as drone airports to assist in delivering packages to rural areas. What underpins the geographic spread of SEZs? During the early 2000s, government adopted the Industrial Development Zones, which were mainly concentrated in the historical economic hubs and coastal regions. The SEZ model recognised a need to harness the country’s economic competitive advantages across the value chains. Our economy boasts various competitive advantages which span across various provinces. This new approach has created an unprecedented opportunity for rural provinces such as Limpopo to participate in this magnificent programme. What measures are undertaken to encourage investments in SEZs? The success of a Special Economic Zone is dependent on its capacity to attract and retain both domestic and foreign direct investment. The secret to unlocking investment lies in the readiness of the infrastructure, packaging of a solid business case, project preparation, marketing and investment promotion strategies. What collaborations is the MMSEZ engaged in? When the MMSEZ was officially designated in 2017, among the things that the provincial government had to start preparing for was skills development among the youth who will require new and advanced skills to work in the project. An idea to establish the Vhembe TVET College Musina Satellite Campus was mooted and with the support of Venetia Mine, a start was made. When the college management were looking for a new piece of land to build a proper campus around Musina, an opportunity was identified to relocate the campus into the North Site of the MMSEZ. The beauty of the MMSEZ-VTVET partnership lies in the fusing of skills development and industrial platforms within the same zone. We are pleased with the support provided to this pioneering initiative by both the provincial and national government. This initiative will also form part of the foundation and a seed for the development of a new smart city in Musina. What is the MMSEZ strategy on SMMEs? Small, micro and medium-sized enterprises are the lifeblood of any economy to facilitate economic empowerment and job creation. Economic transformation through the empowerment of SMMEs and historicallydisadvantaged individuals has undergone several policy setbacks that threatened the country’s path for economic transformation. Among the first steps undertaken by the MMSEZ SOC to level the playing field for the empowerment of local enterprise and entrepreneurs was the development of an Enterprise Development Strategy, through which local enterprises and entrepreneurs will be prioritised in terms of opportunities presented by the SEZ. They will also receive the necessary support for them to reach their full potential and become the integral part of the MMSEZ ecosystem. ■ 23 SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2023

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