Picture: 123RF/nirut123rf
Picture: 123RF/nirut123rf

SA has its tenth special economic zone (SEZ) as of Friday, after the department of trade & industry gazetted the creation of the 155ha Nkomazi zone in Mpumalanga.

The zone will focus on primary agriculture, agroprocessing and fertilizer production. It is estimated that it will provide an additional R5.3bn in additional economic production in the area, and more than 81,000 sustainable jobs through various agricultural value chains.

The zone’s boundaries includes the N4 and the Komatipoort-Swaziland railway, and it will offer a range of incentives, including infrastructure and reduced corporate tax rates.

The department has indicated it wants to double the value of investments into SEZs to R23bn by the end of 2019.

It said in January that the SEZ programme has attracted 115 private companies with operational investments of R11.6bn from private investments leveraging off the R4.6bn in public investments. According to the DTI, the SEZ programme has created more than 14,020 direct jobs.

According to application for the Nkomazi zone, it aims to almost triple economic activity in the region by 2026, and raise provincial economic output by a third.

Overall national GDP could receive a 2.5% boost, while SA’s primary agricultural output could rise by almost a tenth, according to the feasibility study within the report.