Minister Welcomes Designation Plans for Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone
Statement by Minister Alan Winde on the announcement by the Presidency regarding the official designation of the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone
We welcome the news that President Jacob Zuma will officially hand over the operator permit for the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone in the next two weeks.
The Port of Saldanha Bay has long been acknowledged as an important resource for the sustainable growth and development of the West Coast region and, indeed, the whole of the Western Cape, South Africa and Africa.
Minister Rob Davies, the National Department of Trade and Industry, the Western Cape Government and the local municipality have worked closely on this project.
We are pleased that this co-operation has culminated in the official launch on October 31, where President Zuma will officially hand over the IDZ operator permit to Premier Helen Zille.
It is then issued to the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone Licensing Company, the vehicle created by government to establish, manage and operate the IDZ.
The IDZ presents significant opportunities for the Western Cape.
While the initial phases will be focused on setting up the IDZ structures, in the longer term, once companies are entrenched in the IDZ, jobs will be created. That is why it is vital that local residents become appropriately skilled.
We are aware of several programmes, including our own Artisan Development Programme, which aims to build skills in the Oil and Gas industry.
Our vision is to establish the Western Cape as the oil and gas hub for Africa and the Saldanha Bay IDZ is crucial in achieving this objective.
According to a feasibility study, the IDZ could create 15 000 jobs over the next 10 years. It has the potential to generate R10 billion for the region’s economy.
South Africa is a significant industrial economy in the sub-Saharan region and is logistically well connected.
It is therefore a natural location for repair and maintenance services, warehousing and logistics and professional/technical services where proximity to end location is an advantage. This is why the Port of Saldanha has a natural competitive advantage.