Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone to Stimulate Growth and Jobs
The Western Cape Government welcomes the official designation of the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), one of the single biggest interventions to promote economic growth and jobs in the province’s recent history.
This morning’s ceremony, which was attended by President Jacob Zuma and Premier Helen Zille, marks a significant milestone in the Province’s goal to become a servicing and repair hub for oil and gas vessels operating along the African coastline.
Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, said today’s designation was the culmination of years of collaboration between the National Government, the Western Cape Government, the local municipality and the community.
“We are proud that we have managed to see the designation of the Saldanha Bay IDZ to completion. Due to this project’s importance for our province, and indeed for South Africa, we have been determined to keep politics out of it. Now that it has been designated, the IDZ will become a key economic lever for growth and jobs and will play a major role in boosting foreign direct investment into our region.”
Minister Winde said the Western Cape Government had invested R25 million over a five-year period in the process of creating this IDZ.
This funding was utilised for the pre-feasibility study, the feasibility study, business planning and infrastructure.
The funds were also used to establish the Saldanha Bay IDZ licensing company.
This company, which has been set up as a subsidiary of Wesgro, the Western Cape’s tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, will manage and operate the IDZ.
Minister Winde said the feasibility study found the IDZ had the potential to create 15 000 jobs over the next 10 years and generate R10 billion for the region’s economy over the longer term.
“The IDZ presents significant medium and long-term opportunities for the West Coast. While the initial phases will be focused on setting up the IDZ structures, once the companies are entrenched jobs will be created. That is why it is vital that local residents become appropriately skilled. To ensure a match between the supply and demand for skills we have launched a R5.8 million Artisan Development Programme which, among others, aims to build skills in the oil and gas industry,” said Minister Winde.