SEZs are crucial in reviving manufacturing in South Africa: Dube TradePort CEO

IMG 3203 1Joint Oversight Committee on Trade, International Relations, Economic and Business Development during their visit to the Toyota plant in Durban. (Image source: the DTi)Dube Tradeport CEO Hamish Erskine said Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are key in reviving the manufacturing sector and creating sustainable jobs

He was addressing the Select Joint Oversight Committee on Trade, International Relations, Economic and Business Development during their visit to the Durban-based Dube Tradeport SEZ.

The purpose of the visit to the Dube Tradeport by Members of Parliament was to oversee the work done by the economic cluster departments in employment creation as well as transformation that has been achieved as a result of the incentives that the SEZ received from the government.

“SEZs are at the heart of bringing new manufacturing, new technology, new capacity into the South African environment. In terms of our SEZ, we have a very specific focus on electronics, communications, health-care, pharmaceuticals. We are in the process of creating opportunities in aviation and aerospace,” said Erskine.

With the total investment of US$21.1mn and 3,281 direct jobs created since 2010, Erskine said they want to be at the forefront of creating a space where Foreign Direct Investments can be accommodated into the country, but also create localisation opportunities for small companies.

The chairperson of the Select Joint Oversight Committee, Eddie Makue said the idea that government had for the SEZs was to see people previously excluded from economic activities benefit from the zones that should create opportunities for black-owned small businesses.

He added that inclusive growth would not be achieved until localisation and empowerment are achieved.

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