A South African delegation comprising of government officials from the trade and industry department (dti) and representatives of the special economic zones (SEZs) has arrived in China for the SEZs investment roadshow from May 28 to 30, the dti said on Sunday.
The roadshow, which is aimed at attracting investors to South Africa’s SEZs, is led by the Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Bulelani Magwanishe, the dti said in a statement.
The roadshow would take the form of a seminar in which the South African SEZ delegation would make presentations on South Africa’s SEZ value-propositions, opportunities, and incentives for companies investing in the zones. The targeted audience included investors, finance institutions, and government representatives. The delegation would also visit a successful SEZ in Shanghai "for the purpose of benchmarking and knowledge-sharing", the dti said.
Free State Development Corporation CEO Ikhraam Osman said the roadshow would provide him with an opportunity to attract new investors from China to the Maluti-A-Phofung SEZ in the Eastern Free State town of Harrismith.
“The dti and the Free State Development Corporation have spent a significant amount of money on upgrading the infrastructure of the Maluti-A-Phofung SEZ to make it more attractive to the investors. Now is the time for us to focus our attention on bringing more investors to the SEZ in order for it to effectively serve its purpose of contributing in growing the economy and creating jobs in the province,” Osman said.
Tubatse SEZ project manager Bunjiwe Gwebu said the trip would provide an opportunity to meet relevant companies in China and present to them various investment opportunities available in the proposed Tubatse SEZ.
“This is part of our mission to market the SEZ internationally with the aim of attracting foreign investors to invest in various sectors of our focus, which include platinum beneficiation, manufacturing, and assembling of mining inputs,” Gwebu said.
Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency properties and infrastructure general manager Themba Camane said he would use the opportunity to talk to potential investors interested in the agro-processing sector in particular, and agriculture generally.
“We will also be looking at investors who are interested in investing in our green energy production infrastructure. Our ultimate goal is to make sure that the proposed SEZ effectively serves its purpose of creating jobs for the people of Nkomazi as well as contributes significantly in the economic growth of the province. We have identified about eight Chinese companies that we will be targeting during this trip with the aim of attracting them to invest in Nkomazi,” Camane said.
North West Development Corporation SEZ project executive Davis Sadike also expressed confidence that he would be able to attract investors to the Platinum Valley SEZ, also known as the Bojanala SEZ. The zone focused on mineral beneficiation with special emphasis on platinum and chrome, mining capital equipment manufacturing, agro-processing, and renewable energy storage sectors.
“The trip provides us with an opportunity to sell the SEZ to potential Chinese investors in their backyard. We are optimistic that we will be able to create sufficient interest among the investors and return with concrete commitments,” Sadike said.
Upington SEZ sector specialist Babalwa Mbobo said she was looking forward to attracting investors from China to invest, primarily in the solar energy sector, because there were many such companies in China. “We are aware that some of the companies are interested in investing in South Africa and the trip will give us an opportunity to provide them with relevant information regarding the opportunities that are available in our SEZ,” Mbobo said.