Various State-owned industrial parks around the country, mainly in the former homelands, will be revitalised to help boost industrialisation, manufacturing, job creation and growth, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said on Sunday.
“This was motivated by the recognition that these industrial parks have the capacity to serve as catalysts for broader economic and industrial development in their host regions, mainly townships and rural areas. We would like to see them contributing to economic growth, diversification of economic activity, attracting investments to the areas they are located in, job creation, and addressing the problem of inequality,” he said.
The trade and industry department (DTI) had already conducted a scoping exercise for the industrial parks. This resulted in ten of the State-owned parks being prioritised for revitalisation and refurbishment. These were located in Limpopo, North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Eastern Cape, and Mpumalanga.
The revitalisation of the industrial parks programme was part of the industrial policy action plan (IPAP) aimed at promoting industrialisation and boosting manufacturing capacity to increase production of exportable goods, Davies said.
“The programme will go a long way in accelerating economic development in the lagging regions of the country by attracting investments from businesses that will be inspired to locate in the parks after they have been refurbished.
“It will also support job creation, mainly in the manufacturing sector, assist in the development of the infrastructure, and facilitate market access for companies operating from the parks. In this way the regions will be able to build, strengthen, and develop their strategic industrial capabilities,” he said.
The revitalisation programme would be implemented in phases focusing on various areas. These included upgrading and providing security, electricity, roads, bulk water supply, and sewage treatment infrastructure.
The DTI had entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) for the bank to manage and implement the construction phase of the revitalisation programme, Davies said.