President Ramaphosa Launches Atlantis SEZ
The President of the Republic officially launched the Atlantis green technology Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) on Thursday 6 December. The launch, which was attended by more than 500 business people, diplomats, community representatives and government officials from the three spheres of government, took place at the Robinvale sports grounds in Atlantis. Before the ceremonial handing over the ASEZ licence to the Minister of Economic Opportunities, President Ramaphosa visited the wind turbine tower manufacturer Gestamp Renewables International for a tour of the factory and a brief meeting with workers at the facility.
The President placed the ASEZ in the context of the national drive to attract US$ 100 billion in investments – the realization of which requires focused effective government attention and support. President Ramaphosa highlighted the size of the SEZ opportunity for the Atlantis community, noting that it should be the aspiration of the ASEZ to supply green tech goods and services to the entire African continent.
The key message from the Premier was that the green economy will be one of the key areas of growth in the province, and that the Western Cape Government would continue to support investment in the green economy through the development of a supportive eco-system.
The companies already present in the ASEZ have invested a total of R680 million, and more than 300 full-time jobs have been created in the process. Going forward, the ASEZ will aim to attract a combined R1.8billion in investment by 2022, with 1 200 direct jobs being created. A total of 24 000 full time equivalent jobs are also expected to be created in the SEZ’s 20-year lifespan. Focus industries to be attracted include the following:
- Green building materials
- Advanced packaging, including biodegradable plastic bags, wood composite plastic alternatives or packaging made from other plant-based sources
- Advanced materials from bio-based, recycled material or biodegradable sources
- Advanced chemicals including polymers, specialised enzymes and bio-actives from indigenous plants
- Water-efficient devices, including grey water systems, irrigation systems and water saving plumbing devices