File image: The Hisense factory in Atlantis is one of the projects of the Special Economic Zone

CAPE TOWN - Training of young black industrialists by the Department of Trade and Industry jointly with the Industrial Development Corporation has been applauded by The Select Committee on Trade and International Relations.

Accompanied by the representative from Saldanah Local Municipality, the Committee visited several sites including Saldanha port. This forms part of their week-long visit to the West Coast, the committee statement revealed.

The Committee Chairperson, Mr. Eddie Makue said, “This kind of support is required to fight poverty, inequality and unemployment. We have to get many young people into the mainstream economy through these major infrastructural programmes and capital support is a necessity”.

“We need to see the impact of such projects. They need to be beneficial to the local communities. We need to see more partnerships with the private sector and the training institutions so that manufacturing is enhanced,” he said. 

The Committee said the oversight has so far given them an idea of the challenges faced in the region, the distance that has been covered with regards to the Saldanha Bay IDZ, and a sense of what still needs to happen in order to realise the objective of inclusive economic growth in the area.

“There are obviously massive growth opportunities for business and local communities in this area once the expansion projects around the port kick in. All that is needed is coordination of efforts and funding,” he concluded.

Today, 18 August, will see the oversight part-takers visiting the previously disadvantaged surbab, Atlantis, to get insight on issues of economic development in the Special Economic Zone.