President Zuma to launch Special Economic Zone

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma is expected to launch the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone (MAP-SEZ) in Tshiame, Harrismith, in the Eastern Free State, next week.

The President will on 25 April be joined by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and his Deputy Minister Gratitude Magwanishe, as well as Free State Premier Ace Magashule.

Minister Davies said the launch of the 1038-hectare MAP-SEZ is another significant milestone in the implementation of the department’s Special Economic Zone Programme, which is aimed at accelerating economic growth and development in designated regions of the country.

“The Industrial Policy Action Plan identifies SEZ’s as key contributors to economic development. They are growth engines towards government’s strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development and employment creation. The SEZ programme has entered a full implementation phase. This is one of the critical instruments that the Department of Trade and Industry is using to accelerate industrialisation in the country,” Minister Davies said.

Furthermore the SEZ programme is a critical tool for the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI), creation of decent jobs, establishment of new industrial centres, as well as development and improvement of the existing infrastructure.

“The MAP-SEZ will create opportunities for manufacturing as well as a regional and international trade environment with added value chain within the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality.

“The social and economic benefits, as well as regional development, will be key and will be enhanced by creating a prosperous trade city and functional trade ecosystem (SIP2), which will enable the beneficiation of mineral and natural resources and attract foreign direct investment. The priority sectors for the MAP-SEZ are automotive, agro-processing, logistics, ICT, pharmaceuticals and general processing,” Premier Magashule said.

According to the department, a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is defined as a geographically designated area of a country set aside for specifically targeted economic activities, which are then supported through special arrangements and support systems to promote industrial development. 

A number of incentives and benefits are available to ensure SEZ’s growth, revenue generation, creation of jobs, attraction of FDIs and international competitiveness. These include a preferential 15% corporate tax, building allowance, 12I Tax Allowance and customs controlled area. –

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