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Construction starts on Atlantis SEZ for green technologies

23rd June 2023

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Construction on Zone 1 of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for green technologies in the Western Cape has started.

The first tenant in the 22 ha Zone 1 will be industrial and specialist gas supplier Iconic Gases, with work on the company’s factory set to start in November, says Atlantis SEZ CEO Matt Cullinan.

Construction of Zone 1 is financed by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC).

Zones 2 and 3 will be about 30 ha each in size.

The SEZ is located in the well-established industrial area of Atlantis, towards the west of Cape Town.

Infrastructure and services at the SEZ will include land and factories (to be leased to tenants); 24-hour security; a gatehouse with solar power; ablution facilities using harvested rainwater; perimeter fencing; CCTV cameras; solar-powered street lamps; and indigenous landscaped gardens.

Cullinan says the Atlantis SEZ cannot offer any tax benefits as national government only assigned these benefits to the initial SEZs that were announced.

He adds that the focus of the Atlantis SEZ will be on becoming “the place where Africa’s green technologies can grow”.

The majority shareholder in the SEZ is the Western Cape provincial government.

Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities provincial Minister Mireille Wenger says the SEZ will play an important part in the province’s new Growth for Jobs plan, and that it will do so as a “green tech export manufacturing hub”.

The Growth for Jobs plan aims to grow the Western Cape economy by between 4% and 6% by 2035, and to stimulate growth to achieve a R1-trillion provincial gross domestic product target over the next 12 years.

The strategy names limited energy supply as the number one constraint to economic growth and job creation in the province.

Wenger says the Western Cape has a strong focus on green energy as it rolls out plans to become independent of Eskom “as quickly as possible”.

“We have allocated R1.1-billion over the next three years to reduce the effects of loadshedding, to boost our economy and to set up a strong pipeline of green energy projects, to scale up support to municipalities to help them get more power on to the grid, and to identify critical transmission infrastructure upgrades.

“Our Growth for Jobs strategy aims to reduce our reliance on Eskom by between 1 800 MW and 5 700 MW by 2035.”

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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