Western Cape Economic Opportunities on Atlantis Special Economic Zone

Joint statement by the Western Cape Ministry of Economic Opportunities, the City of Cape Town and Green Cape

Following years of hard work and preparation by all spheres of government, cabinet has given the go ahead for the designation of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone.

The 124.5 hectare area is designated for the manufacture of green technologies and related services including wind and solar power technologies, alternative waste management, energy efficient technology, alternative building materials and many other clean technologies.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies confirmed the designation of the SEZ, and the approval of cabinet, in writing to Minister Winde this weekend.

A special economic zone clusters industries from a particular sector closely together, to reap the benefits of scale and co-location. The designation as an SEZ by the government, allows for certain incentives to be offered to attract investment.

In 2011, the City of Cape Town established a manufacturing hub for green technologies in Atlantis, which attracted large investors even before the designation was official. Five of these investors are already operational.

The Western Cape Government later submitted an application for portions of City owned land in Atlantis to be declared a GreenTech SEZ. This would allow companies to qualify for a range of DTI incentives. The most exciting being a 15% company tax rate.

A combined R1.8 billion is expected to be invested in the SEZ by 2022, with the creation of 1200 direct jobs. A total of 24 000 full time equivalent jobs are expected to be created in the SEZ's 20 lifespan.

Minister Winde said we are delighted that the SEZ has received official designation and thank Minister Davies and the DTI for recognising the potential of this project, the City for the important role they have played and GreenCape and Wesgro for identifying and facilitating investment. An SEZ is a powerful tool which helps to encourage both local and international investors to invest, which contributes towards growing the economy and creating more jobs.

South Africa is one of the world's fastest growing green economies and the Western Cape already leads the way in green technology in South Africa. This designation will help us to position ourselves as the premier green technology site in Africa.

Minister Davies has given the go-ahead for the SEZ on the condition that the Atlantis community is given priority in terms of job creation, and opportunities for SMMEs. This will allow the people of Atlantis to become involved in economic opportunities right on their doorsteps, and play an integral part in growing their economy, Minister Winde said.

The City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille said: The City of Cape Town warmly welcomes this national designation of the SEZ as we see it as completing the hugely attractive offering of Atlantis and Cape Town as a globally competitive investment destination.

The City has laid the groundwork for a Cleantech SEZ in Atlantis by already in 2013 putting in place a localised incentive scheme and designating a certain portion of the industrial area as a greentech hub. This has seen the area being rejuvenated with investment and job creation in recent years.

The national incentives that now come with an SEZ designation will provide a major boost to our efforts at regenerating what was once a declining industrial part of Cape Town and create even more much needed jobs for the residents of Atlantis and surrounding areas. I am also enormously encouraged by how all three spheres of government collaborated to make this SEZ a reality. It shows that progress is possible when we work together, Mayor de Lille said.

CEO of Green Cape, Mike Mulcahy said The team is extremely excited to move from the planning and application phase into the operational phase. There is a lot of work ahead in setting up the structures and governance for the SEZ in Atlantis, and we look forward to working with all three spheres of Government to deliver a successful GreenTech focused SEZ."

Source: Government of South Africa