An important agreement by four partners has been signed that will give life to a plan to build a vital piece of economic infrastructure in the eastern part of Limpopo, the Fetakgomo-Tubatse Special Economic Zone (FTSEZ).
Representing four different levels of government, the agreement covers two municipalities, the provincial government and a national department.
The FTSEZ is to be implemented to achieve the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) and Provincial Industrialisation Strategy and Special Economic Zones Policy.
A special purpose vehicle (SPV) is to be formed to run the Special Economic Zone. The dtic will also be responsible for the costs of the building of top structures on the site and the costs of the project management unit.
Other responsibilities of the dtic, the national promoter of Special Economic Zones, will be to provide direction in terms of policy and regulation, promote SMME participation and training within the zone and, through its Industrial Zones Development Programme, strengthen the technical capacity of the FTSEZ.
The strategic objectives of the dtic fit in well with the establishment of the FTSEZ.
Among the department’s objectives are to promote industrial development, investment, competitiveness and employment creation, to facilitate broad-based economic participation through targeted interventions to achieve more inclusive growth, and to create a fair regulatory environment that enables investment, trade and enterprise development in an equitable and socially responsible manner.
The Provincial Government of Limpopo, through its Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET) will see to some of the bulk infrastructure budget, working capital and establishment costs, together with costs related to the project management unit and its operations.
Implementation by LEDA
Implementation of the project will be carried out by the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA), on behalf of LEDET.
LEDET’s mandate is economic development and industrialisation as envisioned through the Limpopo Industrial Master Plan (LIMP) and Limpopo Development Plan. This mandate is implemented through undertaking mega economic and industrialisation projects such as the Fetakgomo-Tubatse Special Economic Zone.
The other contributors to bulk infrastructure costs are the Sekhukhune District Municipality and the Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality. Each of these four entities is a 25% shareholder in the SPV.
The Executive Mayor of the Sekhukhune District Municipality, Ms Julia Mathebe, is pleased that the District is a “key partner” in the development of the FTSEZ. She notes that, “Our support of the SEZ comes in the form of infrastructure projects such as the R21-million Ga-Malekana Water Treatment Works upgrade and the Regional External Master Plan which the municipality is funding to the tune of R1.6-million.”
Another major project taking place within the District is the construction of a larger Steelport Wastewater Treatment Works, with funding being made available by the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
Mayor Mathebe has further pledged to “do whatever it takes to remove any bottlenecks to ensure the success of businesses in the FTSEZ”. Sekhukhune is located in the south-eastern part of the province, bordering the province of Mpumalanga and two other Limpopo districts.
The largest of the four municipalities that make up the district is the Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality. It includes the towns of Burgersfort, Ohrigstad, Steelpoort and many rural villages. The economy of the municipality is quite diverse but mining and quarrying and agriculture predominate.
The Mayor of Fetakgomo-Tubatse Local Municipality, Mr Eddie Maila, says, “As the host of the FTSEZ, we welcome all developments and investors who will set up their operations in the SEZ. The FTLM gives unwavering support and will assure investors and all developments a quick turnaround for approvals required from our Municipality.”