Industrial development remains an apex priority of economic development in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the entire country at large. As such, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) has over the years endeavoured to develop industry oriented interventions to stimulate the local economy. These include, inter-alia, various sector development programmes, Richards Bay industrial zones and other industrial stimuli. In that regard, DEDT seeks to develop Industrial Economic Hubs (IEH) as a means to drive industrial development thereby creating a globally sustainable and resilient regional economy in South Africa. If properly implemented, this initiative has the potential to spearhead the government job creation drive.
The policy environment in South Africa is rapidly evolving with new economic strategies and plans geared to obliterate the frontiers of poverty, inequality and joblessness coming to the fore. Recently the government unveiled the National Development Plan (NDP), a 2030 long-term vision for the country, demonstrating commitment from the authorities to bring together all South African citizens towards a common goal. The New Growth Path and Industrial Policy Action Plans (IPAP) remains the anchor strategy to support the National Development Plan (NDP) in ensuring the government achieves the aforementioned development imperatives. The emphasis of these policies is on expanding the manufacturing capabilities in order to be globally competitive and create sustainable jobs.
In KZN, the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS) has been formulated as a plan to enable the province to embark on a sustainable growth and development trajectory. The KZN Industrial Development Strategy and Provincial Spatial Economic Development Strategy (PSEDS) are the economic anchor strategies to bolster the implementation of the PGDS. Furthermore, the province established partnership vehicles to mobilize and marshal all social partners towards the implementation of the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy. These institutions include the Growth Coalition, BBEEE Council and KZN Economic Council and they comprise of the representatives of business, civil society, labour and government.
The release of the Special Economic Zones Bill by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) should be viewed as part of the broader government strategy of expanding the manufacturing base of the country. The SEZ Bill signals a renewed recognition of the key role of the zones within industrial policy. The Bill seeks to reposition the SEZs as a key ingredient of national industrial development policy, by integrating them into the regional and national economies, as well as introducing a competitive suite of customised investment promotion incentives. The Bill has injected a new momentum into provincial economies, with a number of Industrial Economic Hubs being planned or revived.
More about Industrial Economic Hubs
What is an Industrial Economic Hub?
Why the Industrial Economic Hubs?
What are the Key Objectives of the IEHs?
Where are they going to be established?
How are the Industrial Economic Hubs going to be established and operated?