Development of the OR Tambo International Airport Industrial Development Zone (ORTIA IDZ), worth an estimated R400-million, is gaining traction, with the zone’s first phase targeted for completion before the end of 2018.
The company mandated with the responsibility of developing and operating ORTIA IDZ, Gauteng Industrial Development Zone (GIDZ) chief investment facilitator Maidei Matika describes the ORTIA IDZ as the “go-to multi-sector IDZ” for companies that seek to manufacture and export high-value, low-volume products from South Africa.
Competitively located at Africa’s largest and busiest airport, Matika says ORTIA IDZ is ideal for companies that manufacture for export and use air freight for the movement of their manufactured products.
Currently, there are eight IDZs in the country – Coega and East London in the Eastern Cape; Richards Bay and Dube Tradeport in KwaZulu-Natal; OR Tambo in Gauteng; Saldanha Bay in Western Cape; Maluti A Phofung, in the Free State, and Musina-Makhado in Limpopo.
“ORTIA IDZ is conveniently located for companies looking to enhance the manufacturing and export of high-value and low-volume products such as perishables, jewellery, diamonds, electronics or pharmaceuticals through OR Tambo International Airport,” she explains.
She says the ORTIA IDZ will also offer access to clustered, purpose-built infrastruc- ture in close proximity to the airport, making it suitable for export-orientated manufacturing.
“Development of ORTIA IDZ has evolved from being one of a Jewellery Manufacturing Precinct focused purely on jewellery, diamonds and other forms of mineral beneficia- tion, such as metal refining, to a multisector high-value light manufacturing precinct that includes industries such as food processing” Matika adds.
Specific to mineral beneficiation, Matika points out that, as part of the value chain approach, the GIDZ envisages that some of the companies that will be located at ORTIA IDZ will support other companies that require access to raw materials such as diamonds for further value addition.
She says GIDZ aims to attract investors by leveraging off access to the national special economic zones incentive suite, including dedicated customs support services, duty-free importation of production- related raw materials and inputs, reduced corporate income tax and the value-added tax exemption of certain beneficiation activities from local manufacturers.
Further, Matika indicates that the ORTIA IDZ will support potential investors by providing access to relevant government agencies that will facilitate the establishment of businesses as well as funding applications for the development of the necessary manufacturing facilities.
She says this will be done in collaboration with the one-stop-shop initiative that is part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Invest South Africa division where government agencies, such as the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission and the South African Revenue Service, will be on hand to support in the registration of foreign-based companies.
Local companies such as a premium food company, In2Food group, have already signed up to be located at ORTIA IDZ. Negotiations with diamond and jewellery companies as well as a metal refining company are also in the process of being concluded.
The ORTIA IDZ is expected to have a posi- tive economic impact that includes increased job creation as well as enhanced manufacturing and export of beneficiated mineral products through OR Tambo International Airport.
Matika elaborates that during the construction of Phase 1, about 110 temporary jobs have so far been created, with over 1 000 jobs envisaged out of the operations of the ORTIA IDZ operations. She says at this stage, the programme is a government funded initiative but it also provides opportunities for public–private partnerships, especially in the roll out of Phase 2, which is still in the process of being packaged.