‘Input needed on special economic zone’

2012-01-16 13:04

The draft Special Economic Zones Bill, which aims to improve the concept of industrial development zones, is open for public comment.

“The Special Economic Zones (SEZ) programme is one of the most critical instruments that can be used to advance government’s strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development, and job creation,” Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies told reporters in Pretoria today.

The bill aimed to improve on the Industrial Development Zones (IDZ) Programme introduced in 2000.

The IDZ programme led to the establishment of four zones – Coega outside Port Elizabeth, East London, Richard’s Bay, and OR Tambo International Airport, which was not yet operational.

A review in 2007 found a number of problems with the IDZs.

Davies said these included a design structure that favoured only a few regions, ad hoc planning, inadequate co-ordination between government agencies, and inadequate financing arrangements which made long-term planning tricky.

“The Special Economic Zones policy and bill were motivated by the need to urgently address [these] challenges within the broader framework of accelerating industrial development, economic growth, and job creation,” Davies said.

The SEZ policy would allow for the designation of different types of economic zones.

At the moment, the IDZs were export-oriented and therefore found near ports and airports.

However, SEZs would not necessarily have to be export oriented and could be based anywhere.

Davies said SEZs allowed for a broader range of activities, such as science and technology parks.

To resolve the problem of ad hoc funding, the bill proposed setting up an SEZ fund which would finance feasibility studies as well as offer incentives.

The bill sought to set out more clearly an approach to governance and planning for economic development zones, Davies said.
It also aimed to cut red tape.

The existing IDZs would be catered for under the new legislation.

Davies said his department intended tabling the bill this year and to have it passed by Parliament by the end of the year.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.