The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Fikile Majola, conducted an oversight visit to the proposed Fetakgomo-Tubatse Special Economic Zone in Steelpoort, Limpopo on Thursday, 28 October 2021.
Deputy Minister Majola was joined by the MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism in Limpopo, Mr Thabo Mokone, MEC for Finance in Limpopo, Mr Seaparo Sekwati, the Executive Mayor of Sekhukhune District Municipality, Councillor Stanley Ramaila, and the Acting Mayor of Fetakgomo-Tubatse Local Municipality, Councillor Hlatsoayo.
The purpose of the oversight visit was to assess progress registered in the implementation of the proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project and to meet with potential private sector partners. According to Mr Majola, the visit was part of a consultative process on the SEZ Programme. Information on the new approach in the implementation of the Programme was also shared.
“This new approach encourages collaborative engagements through which the implementation of the SEZ Programme is aligned with national, provincial and local objectives, as well as planning strategies to maximise synergies and promote cooperation. This will result in provinces and municipalities benefiting from strong National Government support in areas of limited capacity,” said Mr Majola.
He added that the South African Government was seeking to transform the economy into a globally competitive economy, built on the full potential of all citizens and regions.
“To achieve this, the government is driving a robust industrialisation agenda supported by Spatial Industrial Development Programmes such as the SEZ Programme. Our department is driving the SEZ Programme as one of the strategic interventions to catalyse economic and industrial development in the country,” he added.
According to Mr Majola, the proposed Fetakgomo-Tubatse SEZ has the potential to stimulate development in the downstream and upstream value chains within this mineral rich region. Fetakgomo-Tubatse is one of the regions with large reserves and production of platinum and chrome.
The aim of the proposed SEZ is to establish a centre of excellence on green energy technology and mineral beneficiation as well as manufacturing of inputs used by the mining industry.
“The SEZ development, in partnership with all spheres of government and private sector, will help us create a new city in the region,” said Mr Majola.
The Deputy Minister, political leadership and Executives paid homage to Chief Magolego in the morning of the 28th October before the main event proceedings. The 1 220 ha SEZ land that is owned by the Dithamaga Trust, falls under Chief Magolego.
MEC Mokone reiterated that the industrialisation agenda aims to deal with immediate actions towards economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Successful execution of the SEZ Programme in the province will inject much-needed economic growth into the provincial economy, ensuring sustainability, resilience and inclusion,” said Mr Mokone.
He believes that the SEZs will explicitly act as a forceful counter to the negative effects on employment and poverty following COVID-19, as government is now working towards re-directing efforts to areas of opportunity in line with the National Development Plan.
Deputy Minister Majola also had high-level engagements with his political counterparts and private sector partners to garner support for the implementation of the SEZ Programme, in Limpopo in line with the New Integrated District Development Model. Through this model, government aims to accelerate service delivery by providing support and resources to District Municipalities.
The proposed Fetakgomo-Tubatse SEZ is one of the SEZ proposals that was tested through a long-term feasibility study undertaken by the Province in partnership with the dtic, Sekhukhune District Municipality, and Tubatse-Fetakgomo Local Municipality.
Learn more about Fetakgomo-Tubatse SEZ