Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Trade and industry minister Rob Davies has approved the appointment of a Chinese company to operate the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ), a specialised energy and metallurgical district.

The company is South African Energy Metallurgical Base, a subsidiary of a Chinese conglomerate Shenzhen Hoi Mor Resources Holding Company. It is now authorised to develop, operate and manage the zone within the framework of the SEZ Act.

"The Musina-Makhado SEZ is strategically located close to the main land-based trade route between SA and the … African continent. This new development will certainly improve rail and road transport links between SA and the rest of the continent," Davies said on Monday.

He also said the SEZ had a least eight projects in the pipeline worth more than R40bn, including a power plant, steel plant, stainless steel plant, coking plant, ferrochrome plant, ferromanganese plant, ferrosilicon plant, pig iron metallurgy plant, and lime facility.

Davies said the projects would be implemented over the next 10 years and were expected to create more than 21,000 jobs.

He said the Musina-Makhado SEZ was designated in July 2016 to focus on energy and metallurgical processing, agro-processing, petrochemical and logistics. It was expected to accelerate economic growth, attract foreign and domestic direct investment, and enhance minerals beneficiation, creating employment in the region.

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