By: Tebogo Mokwena
The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) has created almost R971 million in opportunities involving SMMEs, including job creation, training and developing businesses. The Coega Development Corporation (CDC), which is developing and operating the TASEZ, said this week that since work on the SEZ began in August 2020, a total of 236 SMMEs had benefited from the project.
The current expenditure on the project was at 82% of the revised R4.3 billion budget. In 2021 alone, approximately 91 hectares of development had taken place. A total of 11 factories have been built, and 4848 direct jobs and 1225 indirect jobs have been created. The CDC also revealed that 85 internships within these SMMEs were created, and 307 SMMEs were provided with accredited training.
According to the CDC, the SEZ was expected to have a far-reaching economic impact, especially in creating new momentum for the development of the Gauteng-Eastern Cape freight rail corridor. The corridor project is being spearheaded by Ford in partnership with Transnet, and was announced by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition last year.
“With over 162.6 hectares, TASEZ offers direct and ready linkages to regional and international markets, making exports to the Southern African Development Community easy,” the CDC noted. “TASEZ is a key driver of economic growth in the City of Tshwane and the rest of the Gauteng province, to promote economic development for SMMEs and to create decent employment in the region.” The CDC also said that the TASEZ was leading the way in advancing the continent’s industrial revolution and creating meaningful opportunities for people and businesses.
South Africa has 11 SEZs across the country and five of them are operational. They are geographically designated areas set aside for specifically targeted economic activities. Recently MPs went to Limpopo for an update on that province’s SEZs. Limpopo Economic Development Agency CEO Thakani Makhuvha said that an R49.9 million budget has been pegged for the development of a digital hub for SMMEs at the Seshego Industrial Park. And Lehlogonolo Masoga, who is the CEO of the Musina-Makhado SEZ which is currently under construction, revealed that it would invest R240 million in local businesses.