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HomeAgriculture, Forestry, FishingZones of development in the Northern Cape Industrial Corridor

Zones of development in the Northern Cape Industrial Corridor

Specific areas within the Northern Cape Industrial Corridor make an attractive proposition for investors.

Namakwa Special Economic Zone (NSEZ)

The value proposition of the Namakwa SEZ is based on the existence of the Gamsberg Zinc Mine and the proposed building of a smelter by Vedanta Zinc International. These would be the anchor tenants of the SEZ. It is proposed that a smelter be built to treat zinc concentrate produced at Gamsberg. The zinc concentrate produced at the existing concentrator plant will be treated in the smelter using the conventional roast-leach-electrowinning (R-L-E) process.

The full process would involve the treatment of 680 000/tpa of zinc concentrate to produce 300 000/tpa of high-grade zinc ingots for export.

As a by-product 450 000/tpa of 98.5% pure sulphuric acid will be produced for both export and consumption within South Africa. Non-ferrous metals such as zinc have characteristics that make them immensely useful in a wide range of downstream applications. Resistance to corrosion and their non-magnetic qualities are among the reasons for the wide range of uses to which they can be put.

Various wastes and by-products will be generated by the smelter that could be useful to investors. Waste includes iron cake stabilised (dry), Jarofix; effluent treatment plant cake (dry); evaporation pond salts (dry); and cellhouse sludge (dry).

The SEZ designation application is in its final stages where it is envisaged that the final and complete designation application will be delivered to the dtic following certain critical milestones that are progressing well.

The Namakwa SEZ development is “the game changer” for minerals beneficiation in South Africa and the Northern Cape province providing a “turn key solution” to industrialisation.

Learn more about opportunities for investors in the Namakwa SEZ

The anchor investor of the SEZ will be Vedanta Zinc International which is already running the Gamsberg Zinc Mine and intends to build a smelter. (Photo: Kevin Wright/Vedanta Zinc International)

Upington Industrial Park

Upington is the second-biggest town in the Northern Cape, 130 km from the Namibian border post and about 350 km from the border post of Botswana, with good access roads such as the N10 and the N14. It is 500 km from Boegoe Bay’s Port Nolloth, earmarked for the integrated planning of South Africa’s Oceans Economy under the Operation Phakisa programme.

Upington Industrial Park is situated next to Upington International Airport and therefore offers the potential investor the luxury and efficiency of various modes of transport. Through the industrial park programme investors can enjoy a number of benefits, ranging from a controlled access point to the incentivised provision of infrastructure and relaxed municipal tariffs. Upington Industrial Park forms part of the Northern Cape Industrial Corridor.

The project is a key enabler for the Northern Cape Shared Value Initiative and has various points of integration with the regional (our corridor) and national strategic planning. UIP is positioned as a High Impact Project for the Northern Cape and forms part of the national government’s Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIP-5 programme).

Opportunities exist for investors in Upington Industrial Park in the following sectors:

Renewable energy: 

Components manufacturing. The majority of solar investors in South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) are located in the Northern Cape. There is an increasing demand for photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Keen investors are invited to take up space in the UIP for generation, components manufacturing and any other energy-related activity.


Maintenance, repair and overhaul facility (MRO) and storage for aircraft. Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is looking for investors to locate to prime land, to be involved in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft. Storage of these aircraft is another option given the unique climatic conditions offered by Upington.


Vehicle testing and long-term evaluation. Vehicle manufacturers are attracted to high temperatures, rough tracks and good roads. Upington International Airport specialises in providing a service to charter flights for the automotive industry.

Automotive testing is a common phenomenon in Upington with patrons extensively utilizing Upington International Airport to charter cargo to Upington for car-testing and for spare parts. OEMs test their cars extensively.


The ZF Mgcawu District in which Upington is situated is well known for producing export-quality grapes, citrus, dried fruit such as raisins and other fruits.

Given some of the most extreme weather conditions to be found anywhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, this sector is ready for investors who wants to take advantage of the best grapes and dates in the world. An established market in Europe and other parts around the globe has already been established and interested investors are assured of the best produce that will realise a speedy return on their investments.

The project offers the following benefits to the keen investor:

  • Business incubator: Harnessing the necessary skills required by the investor industry’s specific needs and training of SMMEs for future expansion.
  • Supplier effectiveness and efficiency: Ensuring improved local capacity, capability, footprint and service levels.
  • Logistics: Upington’s relationship to the SADC countries and with several modes of transport meeting in the town make it an ideal logistics hub.
  • Security of investment: An investment in Upington will ensure a foothold into SADC and the rest of Africa – enabled with infrastructure, support services and several modes of transport.
Learn more about opportunities for investors in the Upington Industrial Park.
Layout of the Upington Industrial Park

Contact the investment facilitation team

Potential investors are encouraged to contact the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism here to discuss available opportunities:


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