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Namakwa Special Economic Zone in the Pipeline

July 30, 2020

Department of Trade, Industry and Competition

The trade, industry and competition department is in the process of establishing the Namakwa Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

In a statement, the department confirmed that the proposed SEZ in the Northern Cape has already attracted commitments worth R26 billion from interested investors even though it has not yet been designated.

“The proposed Namakwa SEZ will focus on mineral processing, with added attention to zinc beneficiation, agro processing, logistics and renewable energy production and engineering inputs services.”

The department is working in partnership with the Northern Cape province to finalise feasibility studies and a business plan on the establishment of the SEZ.

The deputy minister of trade, industry and competition, Nomalungelo Gina, declared that she is committed to working with the leadership of the Namakwa District Municipality to better the lives of the district’s residents.

Gina recently met with the district’s leadership after being deployed by President Ramaphosa to champion and coordinate the implementation of the District Development Model (DDM).

Gina said the DDM was aimed at “entrenching a new way of intergovernmental planning, as well as fast-tracking of infrastructure development and related big projects using the existing capacities at district municipality level, provincial and national government, in a coordinated way”.

44 districts and eight metros around the country have been identified that will be used to speed up service delivery and economic development, including job creation.

Meanwhile, in another statement following the recent African Union meeting of Ministers of Agriculture, Trade and Finance, the trade, industry and competition minister, Ebrahim Patel, declared that there is a “critical need to build Africa’s agricultural and industrial capabilities, and trade and supply-chains between African countries, thereby building economic resilience for the continent”.

Minister Patel pointed out that, given the serious damage caused by Covid-19 and the increasing numbers of young people entering labour markets, more focused interventions to support smallholder production and protect food security and food supply-chains on the continent was required.

In a third statement, the department announced the release of the B-BBEE Commission Report on the National Status and Trends on broad-based economic empowerment (B-BBEE) for 2019.

The report shows a 1% (43%: 2018 – 42%: 2019) decrease in the number of submitted compliance reports by JSE listed entities and 5% (10%: 2018 – 15%: 2019) increase by organs of state, with the majority of measured entities still failing to comply with section 13G of the B-BBEE Act.

“The report is based on compliance reports from 150 JSE listed entities, 43 organs of state (including SETAs and public entities) and 5 818 entities whose B-BBEE certificates were uploaded to the B-BBEE Commission Certificate Portal for the year under review.”

The department confirmed that preparation is underway to refer measured entities that failed to submit reports “as their conduct is not only a violation of the B-BBEE Act, but enables the harbouring of fronting arrangements”.