Pretoria – The revitalisation of state-owned industrial parks will promote industrialisation and increase their contribution to job creation and South Africa’s economic growth, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.
The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has recognised the need to revitalise industrial parks located in various parts of the country, mainly the former homelands, as part of efforts to promote industrialisation, manufacturing and job creation.
“This was motivated by the recognition that these industrial parks have the capacity to serve as catalysts for broader economic and industrial development in their host regions, mainly townships and rural areas.
“We would like to see them contributing to economic growth, job creation, diversification of economic activity, attracting investments to the areas in which they are located, and addressing the problem of inequality,” said Minister Davies in a statement on Sunday.
The dti has already conducted a scoping exercise for the industrial parks. This resulted in 10 of the state-owned parks being prioritised for revitalisation and refurbishment.
The industrial parks are located in Limpopo, North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.
Minister Davies said the revitalisation of the Industrial Parks Programme is part of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) that is aimed at promoting industrialisation and boosting the country’s manufacturing capacity to increase the production of exportable goods.
The programme is also in line with the department’s economic transformation initiatives aimed at ensuring that all regions of the country and enterprises participate meaningfully in the mainstream economy.
“The programme will go a long way in accelerating economic development in the lagging regions of the country. It will also support job creation mainly in the manufacturing sector, assist in the development of infrastructure and facilitate market access for companies operating from the parks. In this way, the regions will be able to build, strengthen and develop their strategic industrial capabilities,” said Minister Davies.
He said the revitalisation programme will be implemented in phases focusing on various areas. These include the upgrading and provision of the security, electricity, road, bulk water supply and sewage treatment infrastructure.
The dti has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) for the bank to manage and implement the construction phase of the revitalisation programme.