The government’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) programme continues apace and is anticipated to generate significant employment opportunities, according to Nomalungelo Gina, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition.
The SEZ programme aims to attract foreign and domestic investments, increase the number and value of exported products, accelerate the development of industrial infrastructure, enhance the beneficiation of the country’s resource endowments, and generate employment.
One of these developments is the Tshwane Automotive SEZ (TASEZ). Here engineering consultancy Zutari is supporting the fast-tracked rollout of the TASEZ to accommodate a major investment by the Ford Motor Company in a facility to produce a new line of vehicles to be exported globally.
“Given the current economic climate, this project is not only a shining example of the revival of the local automotive industry, but also a much-needed injection of foreign direct investment during the Covid-19 pandemic,” comments Dr. Stephan Jooste, Head of Advisory at Zutari. In March 2020, Zutari was appointed by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) to provide civil and structural engineering services associated with providing bulk and internal infrastructure for the TASEZ.
With a total construction value of about R2.8 billion, it is the biggest development currently underway in Tshwane, with automotive suppliers receiving tax incentives and opportunities to invest in a SEZ that will ultimately provide Ford with all of the components it needs. Funders of the TASEZ include the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED), the City of Tshwane (CoT) and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic).
The TASEZ is located on the eastern and southern side of the existing Ford facility in Silverton. Zutari’s role is to provide design and supervision of the enabling infrastructure for Phases 1 and 1A, including all internal civil engineering services and associated bulk infrastructure upgrades.
The latter include a water supply pipeline and upgrades to Sefatanaga, Alwyn and Propshaft Roads and associated intersections. Zutari, also provided civil and structural conceptual design input at Stage 1 and 2 into each of the identified supplier sites.
As part of job creation and business development, it is aimed to award 45% to 50% of the contracts to small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs).
The goal of this approach is to ensure that the jobs and revenue generated are retained within the local community.
For many years Ford in particular has been exporting vehicles and components for the motor industry. Leveraging off the favourable tax incentives and exchange rates for overseas companies, South Africa is uniquely positioned to deliver quality products at affordable prices to the rest of the world.
“Not only will the TASEZ create crucially needed jobs in the industrial areas of Tshwane, including Mamelodi, it will ensure continued investment in South Africa,” concludes Chester Kan, Built Environment Location Lead, Gauteng at Zutari.