File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies has published the intention to designate Atlantis a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on 10 September 2017. 

Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is a government policy which provides a clear framework for the development of SEZ which include strengthening government arrangements, infrastructure and development. 

The SEZ policy began in 2007, following the Industrial Development Zones (IDZ) program which was aimed at attracting direct foreign investment and exporting value-added commodities. 

SEZs are geographical areas of a country that are earmarked specifically for economic activities. 

Similarly, Atlantis, a town located in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality in the Western Cape has been targeted to become an SEZ. 

This comes after Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies published the intention to designate the Atlantis SEZ. 

The intention has been welcomed "with great excitement" by the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape government, and GreenCape. 

The SEZ is to be developed as a GreenTech hub with particular focus on clean technologies, electronics, solar and wind energy technologies, energy efficient technologies, alternative waste management, alternative building materials, and technologies. 

Davies notifies the public that they have 30 days from 8 September 2017 to support or object to the Atlantis SEZ designation by written comments.  

Notably, the designation reserves the support of the Western Cape Provincial Department for Economic Opportunities and the City of Cape Town whom have jointly submitted the application. 

The development of the Atlantis GreenTech SEZ will eradicate poverty, unemployment and drug abuse, the challenges which are present within Atlantis neighbouring areas. 

Davies further declared that the proposed SEZ has revealed its economic potential by successfully securing investors prior to the designation of the SEZ. 

Five investors in Atlantis are already operational, totalling approximately R680m. 

Additional investment commitments worth R1, 8 billion are already secured for the short to medium term, said Minister Davies encouragingly. 

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