Saldanha Bay holds great potential to become a bigger industrial hub, says the minister of trade and industry Rob Davies.
His comment came to mark the conclusion of a public consultation process around the push to turn Saldanha Bay into a designated industrial development zone. The process launched in November last year came to a conclusion at the end of January.
Saldhana Bay’s hope to become an industrial development zone is anchored by its world class port which has seen the area attract mega industrial activity and mainly steel, gas and agriculture. The town hosts well known industrial names like the ArcelorMittal’s steel manufacturing plant, Sea Harvest, Southern Seas Fishing, Namakwa Sands (Exxaro) and Durfeco. The aim is to use this base to jump start the area into an even bigger industrial zone joining four other such zones in the country. The most successful IDZ is Port Elizabeth IDZ which is anchored by the auto manufacturing industry.
Davies said all public feedback which has been received will now be considered by the the ministry of trade and industry which will also consult with the Cabinet before making a final decision on the designation.
The application for this designation was proposed by the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone Licensing Company (SBIDZ LiCo), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Western Cape Investment Promotion Agency (WESGRO).
Davies said “Saldanha Bay has been recognised as an area with great economic potential: both for the quality of its port facilities, and for the entrepreneurial quality of its residents. As such it is strategically placed in the Presidential development node and thus the national, provincial and municipal authorities have explored ways of unlocking this potential. It is equally important that local industry participate and be involved in the economic upliftment of the area as there is great opportunity to enterprise,” said Minister Davies.
He added that even though the Saldanha Bay area was regarded as having huge economic potential, the DTI was of the view that the public comments would greatly assist him in his consideration of the IDZ designation.