SA: Public hearings into economic zones kick-off

Pretoria – The economic zones that are proposed in the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Bill will boost the economic growth of KwaZulu-Natal, says Economic Development and Tourism MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu.

MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu

“We need to develop special economic zones in such a way that we promote integration and linkages between the first and second economy in order for everyone to benefit. We also welcome the expansion of the criteria so that those provinces that are not close to international airports or sea ports can also be supported to grow the economy,” said the MEC.

Mabuyakhulu was speaking at the first provincial public hearings hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) into the bill in Durban. The hearings are to be held nationwide.

The aim of the draft bill, which was tabled in January, is to boost job creation in outlying areas through the licensing of SEZs. These SEZs would expand the work done by the Industrial Development Zones (IDZs) and attract more foreign investment. It aims to promote the creation of a regionally diverse industrial economy through the creation of new industrial hubs in underdeveloped regions.

“The purpose of the public hearings is to give members of the public, organised labour and business an opportunity to express their views on the Special Economic Zones Bill and Policy,” said the department on Tuesday.

Kaya Ngqaka, the Chief Director responsible for the Industrial Developments Zones at the dti, said opinions expressed and submissions made at the hearings and others to be made throughout the country will be considered when the bill and policy are finalised.

 

Source: BuaNews – 15 Feb 2012