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DTIC Shines Light on Special Economic Zone Policy

February 4, 2021

Department of Trade, Industry and Competition

The revamping of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy in 2019 played a key role in the R16 billion investment announced by Ford in its Silverton plant.

In a statement, the trade, industry and competition department listed five key government policies that contributed to the investment.

The department indicated that the R16 billion investment will cover expansion of the Ford assembly plant in phases to reach a capacity to assemble 200 000 vehicles locally, principally centred on the new Ford Ranger.

According to the trade, industry and competition minister, Ebrahim Patel, the revamping of the SEZ policy led to the designation of Tshwane as an Automobile SEZ.

Other policies highlighted by the minister include the mobilisation of investment, the master plans based on sector partnerships with particular emphasis on the Automotive Masterplan, the opening of new markets for locally-produced products (African Continental Free Trade Area) and the District Development Model.

Speaking at the Tshwane SEZ, president Ramaphosa declared that SEZs have proven to be an effective tool both in enhancing productive capacity and crowding in private sector investment including foreign direct investment and technology transfer.

The president announced that government is working on a logistics plan to develop a high capacity rail infrastructure corridor between Gauteng and the Eastern Cape to assist with transporting finished vehicles for export through Port Elizabeth.