The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has launched the new upgraded Vulindlela Heights Industrial Park in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.
Speaking at the launch, Deputy Director-General (DDG) of Special Economic Zones and Economic Transformation at the dti, Sipho Zikode, said radical economic transformation has received a boost with the revitalisation of the industrial park.
The DDG said radical economic transformation starts when government provides infrastructure that will enable business to thrive and the more than R20 million revitalisation of the park speaks exactly to that.
“While government is providing the infrastructure, businesspeople must stand up, roll up their sleeves and work hard,” said Zikode.
He added that the revitalisation of the Vulindlela Industrial Park was part of efforts to decentralise the country’s industrialisation in order to deepen and strengthen the industrial base of the South African economy.
According to Zikode, the revitalisation programme is rolled-out in phases with the first phase focussing on the upgrading of the infrastructure and the purpose of the programme.
“The upgrading is part of the dti’s Revitalisation of the Industrial Parks Programme. The purpose of the programme is to upgrade the country’s state-owned industrial parks in order for them to contribute in growing the country’s economy and creating jobs,” said Zikode.
The park is an industrial area that comprises of a mixed tenants of manufacturers, services and suppliers of various products for the local market. The park currently employs 866 people on a full time basis.
It is envisaged that the revitalisation of the park will enhance its contribution towards transformation and will effectively contribute to the greater developmental goals of the district.
Vulindlela is the second industrial park to be launched in the Eastern Cape. In November last year, Minister Davies launched the revitalised Komani Industrial Park in Queenstown.
The two industrial parks are amongst the six that the dti upgraded in various provinces last year at a cost of R189 million.
Chief Executive Office of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) Buhle Dlulane said the launch of the park brings hope to the community as it will attract investors in the region.
“The park currently has 87% occupancy and the more occupants it will attract the more jobs it will create and the tax base will increase. It is important to broaden the scope to attract investors, diversify the economy that will be able to carry us even when times are tough. This create jobs and addresses the high level of poverty and inequality in the region,” added Dlulane.