At­lantis SEZ the dawn of a new, green era

124.5ha ear­marked for tech­nolo­gies hub

Cape Times - - METRO - STAFF WRITER

PRES­I­DENT Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the At­lantis Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone (SEZ) as the dawn of a new era for the com­mu­nity.

He ad­dressed the com­mu­nity and dig­ni­taries at the launch of the 124.5 hectare SEZ ear­marked for the es­tab­lish­ment of a green tech­nolo­gies hub in the Western Cape.

The devel­op­ment is des­ig­nated for the man­u­fac­ture of green tech­nolo­gies, al­ter­na­tive waste man­age­ment, en­ergy-ef­fi­cient tech­nol­ogy, al­ter­na­tive build­ing ma­te­rial and many other clean tech­nolo­gies.

Ramaphosa said the SEZ was an in­te­gral part of the gov­ern­ment’s ef­fort to reignite eco­nomic growth by at­tract­ing in­vest­ment and creat­ing jobs.

“We know that with­out sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic growth, we will not be able to cre­ate work for the peo­ple of the prov­ince and the coun­try, and with­out sub­stan­tially higher rates of in­vest­ment, we will not achieve growth,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the SEZ pro­gramme had been iden­ti­fied as one of the crit­i­cal eco­nomic pol­icy in­stru­ments for pro­mot­ing in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion.

“At­lantis used to be an area des­ig­nated for spe­cial tax in­cen­tives and it was suc­cess­ful in creat­ing in­dus­tries and jobs. We are cer­tain that these suc­cesses can be re­peated and sur­passed,” he told the gath­er­ing.

“The launch of the At­lantis SEZ is the cul­mi­na­tion of an ex­ten­sive process of con­sul­ta­tion and tech­ni­cal eval­u­a­tion. It is the prod­uct of close co-op­er­a­tion be­tween dif­fer­ent spheres of gov­ern­ment work­ing to­gether to­wards the re­al­i­sa­tion of a com­mon goal. The pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process in­volved stake­hold­ers such as or­gan­ised labour, busi­ness and the broader com­mu­nity.

The devel­op­ment fol­lows the con­firmed des­ig­na­tion of the At­lantis SEZ sta­tus, which was ap­proved by the cab­i­net on June 8.

The cab­i­net set out two main

The launch is the cul­mi­na­tion of an ex­ten­sive process of con­sul­ta­tion

Cyril Ramaphosa

Pres­i­dent

con­di­tions in giv­ing ap­proval for the des­ig­na­tion of this SEZ.

“First, the zone must have com­mu­nity and or­gan­ised labour rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the en­tity’s board. Sec­ond, the lo­cal com­mu­nity and SMMEs must be pri­ori­tised in the SEZ’s job cre­ation and em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme.

“This is part of our com­mit­ment to put peo­ple first as key driv­ers of the econ­omy,” he said.

An es­ti­mated R1.8 bil­lion was ex­pected to be in­vested in the At­lantis SEZ by 2022, creat­ing at least 1 200 di­rect jobs, with a to­tal of 24 000 full­time equiv­a­lent jobs also ex­pected to be cre­ated in the SEZ’s 20-year lifes­pan.

Ramaphosa said Ges­tamp Re­new­able In­dus­tries had in­vested R300 mil­lion and cre­ated about 220 jobs in At­lantis.

The other in­vestors were Res­olux in­vest­ment (R25m); Kaytech (R130m); and Sky­ward Win­dows (R50m), with an ad­di­tion to se­cured in­vest­ments.

The At­lantis Zone has an in­vest­ment pipe­line val­ued at R2.4bn.

The zone is pro­jected to cre­ate more than 1 400 jobs in At­lantis in the short to medium term.

Ramaphosa said that through man­u­fac­tur­ing, job mul­ti­pli­ers were es­ti­mated to rise to about 4 500 for the West Coast re­gion.

He said the coun­try had to con­tinue to har­ness the power of ini­tia­tives such as the At­lantis Zone, which brought to­gether busi­ness, or­gan­ised labour and gov­ern­ment in a sin­gle mar­ket­place.

SIYAB­ULELA DUDA | GCIS

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa was joined by Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Rob Davies on a guided tour of the GRI Tow­ers fac­tory dur­ing the of­fi­cial launch of the Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone in At­lantis yes­ter­day.

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