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The Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Bill 2013, according to the government will support a broader-based industrialisation growth part and be a significant milestone in pursuit of the aspirations of the National Development Plan (NDP).

Rob Davies, Department of Trade and Industry Minister says, “The bill aims to support a balanced regional industrial growth path, along with the development of more competitive and productive regional economies.”

SEZs are defined as geographically designated areas of a country set aside for specifically targeted economic activities, supported through special arrangements and systems that are often different from those that apply to the rest of the country.

Says Davies, “The aim of the SEZ Bill seeks to boost private investment (domestic and foreign) to labour-intensive areas to increase job creation, competitiveness, skills and technology transfer along with exports of beneficiated products.”

The Bill introduces a variation pf SEZ’s to cater for the various spheres of government at local, provincial and national level.

It also provides for the designation of the following types of SEZs:

  • Free Ports: duty free areas adjacent to a port of entry where imported goods may be unloaded for value-adding activities, repackaging, storage and subsequent re-export, subject to special customs procedures.
  • Free Trade Zones: a duty free area offering storage and distribution facilities for value adding activities within the SEZ.
  • Industrial Development Zone: a purpose built industrial estate that leverages domestic and foreign fixed direct investment in value-added and export-oriented manufacturing industries and services. (To date there are five Industrial Development Zones (IDZs) – Coega, East London, Richards Bay, OR Tambo and Saldanha Bay).
  • Sector Development / Specialised Zones: a zone focused on the development of a specific sector or industry through the facilitation of general or specific industrial infrastructure, incentives, technical and business services primarily for the export market.

(Source: SAnews.gov.za)

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