Saldanha Bay was the focus of some welcome attention recently. First was a visit from Mr Fikile Majola, Deputy Minister of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), and his colleague Mr Maoto Molefane, Chief Director, Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The second was the visit from Ms Patricia de Lille, Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure and her deputy, Ms Noxolo Kiviet. A third was Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Head of Infrastructure Investment in the Presidency and his team. Closer to home, our Shareholder Representative, Minister Mr David Maynier, from the Western Cape Government, tabled a “budget for hope” for the incoming financial year, highlighting the Province’s commitment to economic recovery as well as fighting the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Mr Majola shared with other stakeholders that the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (SBIDZ) has, to date, attracted more than R21 billion worth of private investments into the zone. These investments are at different development stages. With a private investment value of R380 million, two of them have already started constructing their manufacturing facilities.

During the visit from the Deputy Minister, we took the opportunity to share our success stories and key strategic focus areas. We showcased our zone, the only sector-specific SEZ in South Africa catering specifically to the oil and gas, energy, maritime fabrication and repair industries, and related support services. With its Customs Control Area, which operates as a Freeport, and the provision of streamlined investor procedures supported by its Ease of Doing Business division, the SBIDZ is a desirable destination for investors. Significantly, SBIDZ has also negotiated and signed a Zone Labour Charter with Cosatu and Numsa to foster equitable and sound labour relations in the zone as it develops.

 

We reported that we had conducted an Oil and Gas Readiness Assessment on 35 local companies and, at the last count, had spent more than R200 million (35% of our total spend) with local contractors. We also familiarised him with our support of the local small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) sector through the SME Co-Lab facility established in March 2020. It is the only facility in the area that offers free Wi-Fi, hot desks, printing facilities, meeting rooms, and a business networking platform. The Co-Lab has attracted more than 1 500 SMME visits and engagements since it opened.

 

Ms De Lille was visiting to provide an update on the Saldanha Bay Harbour upgrade, which is part of the Infrastructure Investment Plan being led by the National Department of Public Works. More than R96 million has been allocated to the upgrades at Saldanha Bay and Pepper Bay.

Dr Ramokgopa, the former Gauteng Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) for Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment, also held the position of Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane between 2010 and 2016. He was appointed to head the Infrastructure Investment Office in 2020. He and his team are fast-tracking more than 50 infrastructure projects worth more than R340 billion, of which the development of the port at Saldanha Bay is one.

 

The SBIDZ, in conjunction with Transnet National Ports Authority, has earmarked four projects for the South Western Precinct in the SBIDZ. The total capital cost for these port-related projects is approximately R3.5 billion. The SBIDZ has begun the formal process of submitting this project to the Investment and Infrastructure Office in the Office of the Presidency, supported by the National Treasury, for inclusion in the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium (SIDS). We are grateful for his visit to the site. 

 

Lastly, we welcomed the statement by Mr David Maynier, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Western Cape Government, in his Budget 2021.

He said that roughly R368 million would be allocated over the medium-term to the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone and Atlantis Special Economic Zone. This funding is aimed at “boosting investment and promoting exports, which will focus on attracting investment… and promoting exports to existing and new markets.”

 

Our stakeholder, the Saldanha Bay Municipality, has been selected as one of the six candidate municipalities participating in the R48.8 million Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) Project in this financial year. The Municipality is a core partner to us, and their candidacy in the MER Project supports our joint priorities of energy resilience in the region.

Despite the trials of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have created more than 2 900 jobs in the five years since we launched, and in the previous four years, more than 1 800 beneficiaries had received skills training.

We have a steady pipeline of investors, with eight operational tenants so far and 18% of the gross area leased. We project that investment will grow to R23.2 billion by 2030.

The economic incentives and business offerings associated with the SEZ, the Freeport designation, evolving commercial partnership with Transnet, and the DTIC’s various incentive programmes, will continue to attract investors.

The seamless zone and port customer experience strengthens our competitive position, attract investments, and increases business confidence in joint planning and execution of initiatives and programmes. With this, we believe we can create sustainable growth for all partners and stakeholders while ensuring a better future for the community of Saldanha Bay.

Kaashifa Beukes

Links: Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone attracts investments​

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Quarterly newsletter | Issue 4, May 2021

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Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone · 24 Main Road · Saldanha Bay, Cape Town 7395 · South Africa
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