Northern Cape launches Namaqualand SEZ to attract investments

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The Northern Cape has its first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) this week, as the Department of Trade and Industry gazetted the Namaqualand SEZ as a process that will bring billions of rands worth of investment to the poor, rural area.

The first economic zone was originally planned for the Northern Cape’s second largest city, Upington, but was rejected by the Department of Trade and Industry for a number of reasons.

Namaqualand SEZ | Northern Cape launches first Special Economic Zone in Namaqualand

Pofadder will host the Northern Cape’s first Special Economic Zone. The area is home to Vedanta’s Iron ore mine, while nearby the copper boom has seen two mines start production in the last few years.

The Northern Cape has long been the renewable capital of the country, and the Namaqualand offers solar and wind options.

The SEZ is expected to bring investment to the area. Northern Cape’s MEC for Economic Development, Abraham Vosloo says, “The Namaqua SEZ is more than just a designated area. It’s a symbol of opportunity. It imagines a hub of industrial and economic activity harnessing the rich resources of our province and transforming them into a powerful engine for economic growth. This Namaqua SEZ will be the cornerstone of the Northern Cape industrial corridor attracting investment creating job opportunities and fostering a thriving business environment.”

Two big infrastructure projects are also underway in the area – the multi-billion dollar Boegoe Bay Harbour and Green Hydrogen projects.

Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul says, “The outcome of the pre-feasibility studies is quite positive. it highlights that this is a bankable project. It’s quite a competitive investment and basically in the country the Northern Cape and particularly Boegoe Bay is the best destination to put up such a project. And that’s those are the outcomes of the pre-feasibility study we were briefed on by Sasol. The outcomes look good and Sasol is out to look for strategic partners for technical partners and also for funding partners in order for us to put up that mega project in Namaqua.”

The area will see an immediate investment of at least R2. by the national and provincial government to upgrade basic services such as water, sewerage, and internet networks.