May 5, 2017: The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies will launch the first phase of the revitalised Vulindlela Heights Industrial Park in Mthatha on 15 May 2017.
Minister Davies, who will be accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe, is expected to be joined by the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in the Eastern Cape, Mr Sakhumzi Somyo, Executive Mayor of OR Tambo District Municipality, Councillor Nomakhosazana Meth, Executive Mayor of King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality, Councillor Dumani Zozo, and the CEO of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, Mr Ndzondelelo Dlulane.
The first phase of the dti’s Revitalisation of Industrial Parks Programme focuses on the security infrastructure upgrade, fencing, street lighting and critical electricity requirements.
According to Minister Davies, Vulindlela’s launch marks a significant milestone in the implementation of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) Revitalisation of the Industrial Parks Programme which is part of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP). The programme promotes industrialisation in the country in order to boost the manufacturing capacity to increase the production of exportable goods.
“The multi-million programme is also in line with the dti’s economic transformation initiatives to ensure that all regions and enterprises participate meaningfully in the mainstream economy.
“the dti responded to a call by President Jacob Zuma to work towards full-scale industrialisation and inclusive growth, and developed a structured programme for the revitalisation of state-owned industrial parks across the country,” says Minister Davies.
He adds that the dti recognises that the parks are catalysts for broader economic and industrial development in their host regions. They also contribute to economic growth, diversification of economic activity, attracting investments, job creation and addressing inequality.
During his response to the debate on the State of the Nation Address in February, President Zuma said: “We will use the special economic zones and industrial parks as instruments of boosting jobs and inclusive growth, and to decentralise economic activities away from the usual urban centres, as part of economic transformation.”
Vulindlela Heights will be the second industrial park that will be launched in the Eastern Cape after the completion of the first phase of their revitalisation. In November last year, Minister Davies and MEC Somyo launched the revitalised Komani Industrial Park in Queenstown. The two are amongst the six that the dti upgraded in various provinces last year at a cost of R189 million.
In his 2017/2018 Provincial Budget Speech MEC Somyo highlighted his department’s efforts to resuscitate the province’s industrial parks.
He said once fully functional, the parks would be key centres for employment creation and industrial development for the Eastern Cape away from the perceived urban economic centres.