Government is investing millions in revitalising industrial parks across the country to breathe new life into communities that have been left out of the mainstream economy.
One such park is the Seshego Industrial Park that is managed and owned by the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA).
The park houses 72 factories, which include manufacturing, agro-processing, services and storage enterprises, among others. The Head of Land and Property Development at LEDA, Mouric Molepo, said they hope to see manufacturers more than any other industrialist renting space in the park because it is this sector that creates the most jobs.
Around 1 550 jobs have been created through the Seshego Industrial Park in large industries, while small industries in the industrial park have created about 240 jobs.
Molepo said LEDA is upgrading the park.
“We have started with security features and have committed approximately R21 million. We hope to continue revitalising the facility to increase job creation and contribute to the economy of Limpopo.”
Industrialisation has become more important to South Africa’s expansion plans amid a tough global economic environment. Regional Industrial Cluster Chief Director at the Department of Trade and Industry, Stieneke Samuel, said the department is working on a programme to revitalise industrial parks across the country.
“In Limpopo, to date, we are looking at two industrial parks,” said Samuel, adding that phase one of the Seshego development is complete.
She envisages that the Seshego Industrial Park will create more jobs for the surrounding communities as more investors come on board.
Explaining the history of the industrial parks, she said they were initially established outside cities to keep “certain people in certain areas”.
“Ironically, skills were actually developed… You will find specialised skills in various areas where these parks are located,” said Samuel.
Minister Rob Davies explained that the first stage of the Seshego revitalisation programme focused on professionalising the industrial area, improving the physical security and eliminating non-business related activities that were taking place in the park.
The sum of R189 million is being spent on six prioritised parks under the department’s Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme which is aimed at promoting industrialisation and increasing the contribution of the parks to job creation and the country’s economic growth.
He said phase two will focus on refurbishing the buildings and some of the physical infrastructure beyond security.