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The Journal of African Business Issue 7

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Welcome to The Journal of African Business, a unique guide to business and investment in Africa. Since the inaugural issue was published as an annual in 2020, the quarterly format has been adopted, giving our team more opportunities to bring to readers up-to-date information and opinions and offer our clients increased exposure at specific times of the year. We cover a broad range of topics, ranging from energy and mining to tourism and skills development. A wide-ranging interview in this issue with a visionary entrepreneur gives a welcome insight into how the private sector can be deployed to solve issues that go to the heart of social problems, in this instance, affordable housing. Related to urban development is the article that lays out the vision of one of the continent’s great cities to create a smarter city. Special Economic Zones have been in Africa since 1970 but there has been a great deal of new thinking about the role that these zones can play in bolstering economic growth and promoting exports. An article explores the chief motivations for the growth of this particular policy intervention and notes that more zones and organisations representing these zones are aiming to work together, not only on a continental level but through the United Nations as well. Executive education can boost the earnings of graduates of Master of Business Administration courses, but can those post-graduate programmes also respond to and equip students with the tools to tackle African challenges? The importance of being properly covered by insurance for extreme weather conditions is the subject of two case studies by the African Risk Capacity Limited, a financial affiliate of the African Risk Capacity Group, a specialised agency of the African Union. And much more... Global African Network is a proudly African company which has been producing region-specific business and investment guides since 2004.


PROFILE POLOKWANE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT The Gateway Airport Authority Limited has ambitious plans for Limpopo’s most important airport, writes Mokgadi Matli, Acting CEO. With the appointment of a new management team, a focus on restoration and improvements in infrastructure, the new face of Polokwane International Airport (PIA) is rapidly taking shape. PIA is situated 9km north of the City of Polokwane and like some of the more-established airports in South Africa, it was previously an airforce base. The Limpopo Provincial Government took ownership of the converted facility in 1995. The Gateway Airport Authority Limited (GAAL) manages and operates the airport, together with other selected airports entrusted to the Limpopo Provincial Government. The Limpopo government taking over the airport was the start of its journey towards a competitive civil-aviation infrastructure to be reckoned with. Although troubled with infrastructure failures and non-compliance issues in the past, the airport is now on its way to full recovery and becoming a true destination of choice for both passenger and cargo traffic. The board quickly realised it was critical to appoint new senior management and fill critical key positions to enable maintenance of infrastructure and improving compliance with SACAA and ICAO requirements. INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS Polokwane International Airport is equipped with two runways sufficient to accommodate large aircraft of the size of Boeing 747 and Airbus A346. In the medium term, GAAL is planning to refurbish both runways 05/23 and 01/19 to improve the friction and strength of the runways. Runway 01/19 will also be extended by 1km to complete and join it with the taxiway and threshold that has already been built in anticipation of this extension. This will allow the airport to handle heavy cargo operations, which is the ultimate business objective set for 2024-2029. The airport has an apron facility of 74 000 square metres of parking space and is able to accommodate nine B747-type aircraft and 13 B737/A321-type aircraft. Furthermore, the airport has 16 hangers of 540m² and one 6 450m² hangar, with the immediate potential of setting up multi-functional cargo facility. Runway 05/23 is equipped with a runway-lighting system and it will soon be converted from halogen to LED lights, thereby reducing maintenance costs and improving reliability and availability. This instrument runway is also equipped with a simple approach-lighting system to complement the RNAV procedure and to enable access to the airport in bad weather conditions. Plans are at an advanced stage to replace the current Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) system with an advanced LED PAPI system. This system enables the pilots to observe their approach path towards the runway and is critical in ensuring a safe landing. Compared to the old system, the new LED PAPI system has lower power consumption, clearer white/ red transition and an electronic angle display, thereby enhancing monitoring by ground electrical personnel without requiring sophisticated additional systems, a reduced calibration frequency and fail-safe built-in functionality to ensure out-of-tolerance automatic switch off. Availability of aviation fuel is critical for airport operations. Currently the airport has outsourced the provision of JETA1 and AVGAS fuel. Furthermore, GAAL is in the process of refurbishing the one-million-litre-JetA1 Fuel Farm, with an associated 30 000-litre-AVGAS facility at the airport. Airport Rescue and Fighting protection level is currently at category 7, meaning the airport can regularly service aircraft in the categories B737-800 and A320. GAAL has appointed a service provider to repair two of its additional major trucks, which will guarantee availability of the protection level ARFFS CAT 7 and enable the airport to meet the requirements of CAT 9, similar to airports such as Cape Town and OR Tambo. PROPELLING AVIATION ACTIVITIES Aviation activities are the core and heart of the airport and propelling and regenerating these activities talks to the existence and survival of an airport. Current aviation activity in both passenger and cargo terms is low. Short-term interventions which are in progress include: • Promoting the airport as a diversion airport for major domestic and international operators from June 2023. • Introduction of cargo operations from July 2023. • Promoting the air service between Polokwane International and OR Tambo International Airports from June 2023 to improve number of passengers using the airport. • Introducing an additional route between Polokwane and Cape Town by March 2024. Mokgadi Matli, Acting CEO, GAAL A progressive and true destination choice for passenger and cargo operations 28

Pioneering convenient air travel GAAL is mandated to manage Polokwane International and other designated airports in the Limpopo Province entrusted to the Limpopo Provincial Government in compliance with various legislative and administrative acts such as the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization’s SARPS. The entity is charged with managing and developing Limpopo airports to provide ease of access to our province for tourism and trade. Photo by Pixabay VISION To lead growth of the aviation industry in Limpopo MISSION + To operate and develop public airports within the province of Limpopo + To create and develop hub-and-spoke flight operations network in Limpopo to feed PIA + To develop PIA as the hub of SADC region and the north of South Africa + To collaborate with our key stakeholders to stimulate economic and social development for the people of Limpopo Polokwane International Airport is ideally located as + a hub for the SADC region + a transport-shipment centre + a diversion airport + a first stop for tourists visiting Limpopo Polokwane International Airport has + two runways big enough for Boeing 747 and Airbus A346 + 17 hangars + Category 7 licence + 400 parking bays + Conference facilities + Clinic and emergency centre + Shops CONTACT GAAL Polokwane International Airport Gateway Drive, Polokwane Tel: 015 288 0122 Website:

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