• Deen Gabriel

Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone has attracted more than R21-billion investment

These investments are at different stages of development; two of them, with private investment valued at R380-million, have already started building their manufacturing facilities.

The SBIDZ is the first special economic zone (SEZ) to be located within a port and is the only sector-specific SEZ in South Africa, catering specifically to the energy and maritime industries.

The zone operates as a free port with streamlined investor procedures that are supported by its ease-of-doing-business model. It is committed to creating a competitive and profitable zone for investors and local small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs), while ensuring a better future for the community of the West Coast region.

Addressing stakeholders at the zone earlier this week, Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola said he was happy with the progress made within the zone and also the implementation of its strategy since 2017.

He added that the forecast investment put him at ease as he had witnessed progress made so far.

“The SBIDZ has signed eight new investment agreements with operational companies in the maritime, oil and gas sectors. These investments will lead to permanent and sustainable jobs that the country needs to create for its citizens.

“The development of the zone will also have to align and integrate with the entire area of Saldanha and West Coast region to achieve real projects that benefit all,” said Majola.

He also emphasised the urgency of involving all spheres of government and State-owned agencies with the aim of driving the development of the zone through the District Development Model approach.

SBIDZ CEO Kaashifah Beukes says the SBIDZ has already conducted oil and gas readiness assessment on 35 local companies and at the last count had spent more than R200-million, which translates to 35% of the zone’s total spend, with local contractors.

Beukes adds that the SBIDZ provided support to the local SMME sector through its co-lab facility, which was established in March 2020. She says this is the only facility in the area that offers free WiFi, 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.

“We are proud to have emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic and are on track to usher in projects worth more than R300-million in capital investment towards investor infrastructure, bringing a much-needed boost to our construction sector and jobs to the West Coast, and ultimately, the country,” she notes.

Beukes further points out that the zone had created more than 2 900 jobs in the five years, while more than 1 800 beneficiaries had received skills training in the last four years.

“We calculate the eventual economic contribution to be more than R12-billion and this will result in the creation of more than 21 000 jobs. We have a pipeline of 52 investors, 11 of which have signed lease agreements and already 18% of the gross area has been leased. We anticipate that investment will grow to R21-billion by 2030,” adds Beukes.


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