President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, J.G Zuma is set to officially open the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone (MAP-SEZ) in Tshiame, Harrismith, in the Eastern Free State, on 25 April 2017.
According to Minister Davies, the launch of the 1038-hectare MAP-SEZ is another significant milestone in the implementation of the department’s Special Economic Zone Programme, which is aimed at accelerating economic growth and development in designated regions of the country.
“The Industrial Policy Action Plan identifies SEZ’s as key contributors to economic development. They are growth engines towards government’s strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development and employment creation. The SEZ programme has entered a full implementation phase. This is one of the critical instruments that the dti is using to accelerate industrialisation in the country,” says Minister Davies.
He adds that more importantly, the SEZ programme is a critical tool for the attraction of the foreign direct investments (FDIs), creation of decent jobs, establishment of new industrial centres, as well as development and improvement of the existing infrastructure.
“The MAP-SEZ will create opportunities for manufacturing as well as a regional and international trade environment with added value chain within the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality. The social and economic benefits, as well as regional development, will be key and will be enhanced by creating a prosperous trade city and functional trade ecosystem (SIP2), which will enable the beneficiation of mineral and natural resources and attract foreign direct investment. The priority sectors for the MAP-SEZ are automotive, agro-processing, logistics, ICT, pharmaceuticals and general processing”, says Premier Magashule.
The President will be joined by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Dr Rob Davies and his Deputy Minister Gratitude Magwanishe, the Premier of the Free State, Hon. E. S. Magashule, MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in the Free State, Hon. Dr Benny Malakoane and the MEC for Police, Roads and Transport in the Free State and Head of Provincial Economic Cluster, Hon. Sam Mashinini.
Other dignitaries include Executive Mayor of Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality, Cllr. Malefu Vilakazi, and the Executive Mayor of Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality, Cllr. Vusimusi Tshabalala.