Western Cape supports plans for Saldanha IDZ
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Western Cape supports plans for Saldanha IDZ

The Western Cape Cabinet has issued its support to the operational team of the Saldanha Bay industrial development zone (IDZ) steering committee to apply to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for official IDZ designation and an operator permit, Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde said this week.

The proposed IDZ, which would create about 12 000 jobs and generate R11.2-billion a year for the economy, would be a hub for national and foreign direct investment, boosting export-oriented manufacturing industries in the region.

The Saldanha Bay IDZ steering committee is a partnership between all three spheres of government and is represented by the DTI, the provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the provincial Treasury, the provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, the Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency (Wesgro) and the Saldanha Bay municipality.

The operational team, chaired by Wesgro, received a mandate from the agency’s board of directors to proceed with the registration of a wholly owned subsidiary company called the Saldanha Bay IDZ licensing company, which would be the legal vehicle through which the application for IDZ status is sought.

Winde said in a statement that to complete the application process, the operational team incorporated public comment and was now finalising the business case.

A feasibility study concentrated on potential industrial clusters identified in a 2009 prefeasibility study. These included a renewable energy production and manufacturing cluster, an oil supply/base hub servicing the oil and gas industry and a maritime ship-building and repair cluster, as well as steel and minerals production and manufacturing cluster.

The study suggested that after 25 years, an IDZ in Saldanha Bay would generate a minimum yearly return of R11.2-billion for the economy and would create 12 000 sustainable jobs. However, under the best scenario, it was expected to generate a yearly economic return of R31.6-billion and sustain 29 000 jobs. It was also found that there was sufficient non environmentally sensitive land on which the development could be undertaken, the statement read.

The Western Cape government initiated the process of creating an IDZ in Saldanha Bay in 2008 to catalyse economic development in the province.

“In light of the benefits that an IDZ will bring, we are moving with a sense of urgency to conclude the processes required to set it up….we are engaging serious players in the economy who have expressed an interest in what the IDZ will offer…. and are pleased with this latest step in the process, as it brings us closer to getting national Cabinet ratification by the end of the year,” Winde said.

Source http://www.engineeringnews.co.za

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