Nine Chinese companies have committed to invest more than $10 billion in the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone located in the Limpopo Province of South Africa which borders Zimbabwe. The Special Economic Zone is set to focus on energy
and metallurgical processing, agroprocessing, petrochemicals and logistics.
The commitment is captured in Memorandums of Understandings (MOUs) signd between the companies and the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA). The signing ceremonies took place in Beijing, China over the weekend.
Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LEDA, Ben Mphahlele said the value of investment commitments in the Musina-Makhado SEZ continues to grow at an impressive rate. “There are four projects in the SEZ, namely the power plant, coking plant, alloy factory and steel manufacturing. Today we managed to confirm investment commitments in all of them”.
He added that the Musina-Makhado SEZ was advancing very fast and generating a significant amount of interest among potential investors.
“The signing will be followed by due diligence as technical representatives of the companies visit the SEZ to do various assessments on the ground before implementing their plans. As we speak, there is a Chinese company that is conducting a feasibility study. We are looking forward to seeing the SEZ getting off the ground and beginning to change the economic landscape of Musina and Makhado by creating business and employment opportunities for the people of the Vhembe District,” said Mphahlele.
He described the development of the SEZ as a “game changer” and expressed confidence that the positive impact of the SEZ will extend to other parts of Limpopo and other African countries such as Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The head of the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism in Limpopo, Solly Kgopong said described the signing of the MOUs as a major milestone in the development of the Musina-Makhado SEZ. “We are happy that we will be returning home with concrete commitments in the form of MOUs but one of the reasons for coming here was to confirm the readiness of the Chinese companies to invest in the project.
“We have been impressed by what we saw and heard during our interaction with the companies. They are ready and eager to come to South Africa and start working. The entire province, including the communities and businesses, are behind this project.”
The South African delegation that attended the ceremonies included the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LEDA, Mr Ben Mphahlele. the Deputy Director-General of the Special Economic Zones at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Mr Sipho Zikode and the Head of Department at the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism in Limpopo, Mr Solly Kgopong.