IDZ has the green light for Saldanha Bay, the West Coast will become a oil & gas hub for Africa
The Saldanha Bay industrial development zone (IDZ), which will be launched by President Jacob Zuma at the end of October, will be crucial in plans to establish the Western Cape as the oil and gas hub for Africa, the Western Cape provincial government said on Thursday.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said earlier this week that a feasibility study had shown Saldanha Bay was strategically located to service Africa’s substantial oil and gas sector, owing to an increasing number of oil rigs requiring maintenance and the high volume of marine traffic along the West Coast.
Mr Davies said the study had also revealed the IDZ’s project’s potential to make a contribution of 86% to the region’s gross geographic product and create nearly 12,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.
“Additionally, the Saldanha Bay IDZ is likely to attract foreign direct investment worth about R9.3bn over 25 years,” the minister said, adding that Mr Zuma would hand over the zone’s operator permit at the launch.
Western Cape finance, economic development and tourism MEC Alan Winde said on Thursday that the IDZ presented significant opportunities for the Western Cape.
“While the initial phases will be focused on setting up the IDZ structures, in the longer term, once companies are entrenched in the IDZ, jobs will be created. That is why it is vital that local residents become appropriately skilled, ” Mr Winde said.
“We are aware of several programmes, including our own Artisan Development Programme, that aim to build skills in the oil and gas industry. Our vision is to establish the Western Cape as the oil and gas hub for Africa and the Saldanha Bay IDZ is crucial in achieving this objective,” the MEC said.
He said South Africa was a significant industrial economy in the sub-Saharan region and was logistically well connected.
“It is therefore a natural location for repair and maintenance services, warehousing and logistics and professional-technical services where proximity to end location is an advantage. This is why the Port of Saldanha has a natural competitive advantage,” Mr Winde said.
new source bdlive.co.za
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