About the Atlantis SEZ for Green Technologies
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are key tools used by the South African government for driving industrial and economic development. Within SEZs, cluster industries from a particular sector locate in geographically designated areas to get the benefits of scale and co-location. SEZs are governed by the SEZ Act (No. 16 of 2014) and are supported by a range of incentives aimed at attracting foreign and local investment.
The City of Cape Town established a greentech manufacturing hub in Atlantis in 2011, in response to the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
The hub has already attracted large greentech investors that are fully operational:
- Gestamp Renewable Industries (GRI), wind towers
- Kaytech Engineered Fabrics, geotextiles
- Swartland Insulation
Designation as a Greentech SEZ
In 2015, the Western Cape Provisional Government submitted an application for the designation of the Atlantis Special Economics Zone (ASEZ) for Green Technologies. After thorough engagement and assessment, the South African Cabinet in June 2018 approved the decision by Minister Rob Davies to designate the Atlantis SEZ as South Africa’s first Greentech SEZ.
Situated on the West Coast of South Africa, 40 km from Cape Town, the ASEZ capitalises on the province’s already booming renewable energy and green technology sector.
Greentech refers to green technologies and is a term used to describe the use of technology to create products that are more environmentally friendly. The objective of establishing the Atlantis SEZ was to unlock the underlying economic value of existing and underutilised infrastructure through the creation of a greentech manufacturing hub. Wind turbines, solar panels, insulation, biofuels, electric vehicles, materials recycling and green building materials are all examples of initiatives that could find a place here in the future.
Six reasons for the renewable energy and green technology sector to locate in the Atlantis SEZ
1. Strong and growing markets for greentech in South Africa and the rest of Africa
- Independent market research shows strong demand for renewable energy and green technologies from South Africa and the rest of the African continent.
- Support for the renewable energy market was reinforced when the South African Department of Energy in 2015 announced an additional 6.3 GW of renewable energy procurement through the REIPPPP.
2. Well-located and development-ready area
- Large tracts of industrially-zoned land with appropriate bulk infrastructure in place (greenfield and brownfield).
- New public transport links and fibre connectivity.
- Well located:
- Close proximity to Port of Saldanha Bay (105 km), Cape Town (40 km) and Cape Town International Airport.
- Good access to major national road networks (N1, N2 and N7 routes).
- Proximity to key renewable energy markets.
3. A strong support base and existing relationships for investors to tap into
- Partnerships and relationships that will help facilitate investment and doing business are already in place with Business, Government and Labour.
- A large range of institutions will provide investor support (see below).
4. A one-stop-shop for wide-ranging investor support
- The Atlantis SEZ team can assist with information and facilitate access to permits, licences, planning and development approvals, incentives and finances.
5. Incentives for investors and tenants
- The Atlantis SEZ, the City of Cape Town and national government offer a range of attractive incentives for investors and tenants (see below).
6. Attractive, wide-ranging skills base to recruit from
- The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Province offer a large range of unskilled, semi-skilled, technical and professional candidates.
- A skills development drive is underway in Atlantis through partnerships with youth organisations, local TVET colleges and high schools.
Institutions that will support the Atlantis SEZ & investors
- Invest SA One Stop Shop
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
- Atlantis Industrial Initiative (AII)
- Business Western Cape
- Black Management Forum
- Cape Chamber of Commerce
- City of Cape Town Atlantis Investment Facilitation Office (AIFO)
- South African Renewable Energy Business Incubator (SAREBI)
- University of Cape Town
- Energy Research Centre (University of Cape Town)
- Stellenbosch University
- Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) (Stellenbosch University)
- Cape Peninsula University of Technology
- South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC)
There are a number of incentives available to those organisations that set up operations within the Atlantis SEZ. These include:
City of Cape Town Incentives
- A quick, clear, transparent application process for building plans facilitated by the ASEZ.
- Fast-tracked development approvals for land use and building plan application. Fee exemptions for land use and building plan application fees and development contribution deferrals.
- A municipal electricity tariff subsidy.
- All South African national incentives are applicable. For more information, see:
SEZ Tax Incentives
The SEZ offers a number of tax incentives for qualifying companies. These include: Preferential corporate income tax; building allowance; the employment tax incentive; and, if located within a Customs-Controlled Area (CCA), VAT and customs relief.
- Preferential Corporate Income Tax and Tax Relief
Certain companies will qualify for a reduced corporate income tax rate of 15% for the period 2014-2024, instead of the current 28% headline rate.
- Building Allowance and Tax Relief
Qualifying businesses operating within an approved SEZ will be eligible for an accelerated depreciation allowance on capital structures (buildings). This rate will equal 10% per annum over 10 years.
- Employment Tax Incentive (ETI)
All employers employing low-salaried employees (below R60 000 per annum) in any SEZ will be entitled to the Employment Tax Incentive. This is an incentive aimed at encouraging employers to hire young and less experienced work seekers. The employer can claim the ETI and reduce the amount of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) tax payable by the amount of the total ETI calculated in respect of all qualifying employees.