In­dus­trial zone to woo in­vestors

Ramaphosa said At­lantis pro­ject will cre­ate jobs

Sowetan - - News - By Bobby Jor­dan

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s cav­al­cade on Thurs­day of­fi­cially rolled into the in­dus­trial area of At­lantis out­side Cape Town to launch the lat­est ef­fort to open fac­to­ries in SA.

The At­lantis spe­cial eco­nomic zone (SEZ)‚ ap­proved by the cab­i­net in June‚ briefly hosted the coun­try’s first cit­i­zen‚ who spoke to the VIPs in­side a mar­quee at a sports sta­dium af­ter vis­it­ing a fac­tory that man­u­fac­tures wind tur­bines parts.

As Ramaphosa spoke‚ a small crowd of lo­cals jos­tled a po­lice line out­side the sta­dium‚ hop­ing to reach the pres­i­dent.

The 124.5ha At­lantis zone‚ one of nine coun­try­wide‚ is a green tech­nol­ogy hub that al­ready hosts sev­eral in­vestors.

To date‚ about 30 for­eign and lo­cal com­pa­nies have in­vested more than R500m in At­lantis.

Each of the nine zones spe­cialises in a spe­cific sec­tor.

“They (the zones) are be­ing es­tab­lished close to where our peo­ple live,” Ramaphosa said. “These can con­trib­ute much to re­shap­ing the spa­tial land­scape of the apartheid econ­omy.”

He said in­cen­tives at­tached to the zones in­clude VAT and cus­toms ex­emp­tions and in­fra­struc­ture sup­port.

Ramaphosa hopes the zones would feed into op­por­tu­ni­ties cre­ated by the African Con­ti­nen­tal Free Trade Area‚ to get African nations man­u­fac­tur­ing their own goods and trad­ing with each other.

The pres­i­dent high­lighted in­vest­ment suc­cess sto­ries in At­lantis‚ which now has an in­vest­ment pipe­line of R2.4bn.

He said this would cre­ate an es­ti­mated 1 400 jobs.

“We must con­tinue to har­ness the power of ini­tia­tives such as the At­lantis zone‚ which bring to­gether busi­ness‚ or­gan­ised labour and gov­ern­ment in a sin­gle mar­ket­place.

“It is through part­ner­ships like this one that we can suc­ceed in build­ing an en­dur­ing econ­omy.”

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