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Free State opens its doors to Special Economic Zone

President Jacob Zuma attended the official launch of the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone(MAPSEZ), in Harrismith Free State today.

The zone will provide road and rail logistics and handling facilities for the Gauteng–Durban port corridor and links to the Bloemfontein–Cape Town corridor.

The launch of the 1038 hectare special economic zone (SEZ)is part of governments SEZ programme aimed at accelerating socio-economic growth and development in the region, and part of the government’s programme of radical socio-economic change.

MAPSEZ CEO, Mpho Mgemane said, “The Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone’s ultimate value proposition is to create a prosperous trade city with functional trade ecosystem.”

The SEZ located in Tshiame, Harrismith is one of eleven SEZs, which the government intends to licence, aimed at serving the logistics industry as logistic service providers, warehousing facilities, distribution centres and cross docking facilities, which include container terminal and car terminal facilities

“The Industrial Policy Action Plan driven by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has identified strategic special economic zones across the country to enhance industrialisation, attract foreign direct investment as well as create employment,” said the Presidency.

Accompanying Zuma was DTI Minister Dr Rob Davies, who noted that the companies operating within SEZ are incentivised in line with the SEZ Act of 2014 and are eligible for 15% corporate tax for ten years, building allowance tax relief, employment tax relief for low level earning employees and the 12i tax allowance for development of greenfield operations

The MAPSEZ functions as a back-of-port operation to ease congestion at the Durban port. It also provides South African customs functions and facilities for imported goods and export goods, including goods moving north into Southern African countries.

MAPSEZ is only one of the two projects that is about to receive an interim license as an Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) to expedite the establishment process that is already gaining critical mass. This licence will be converted into a SEZ licence as soon as that legislation is enacted.

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