Pretoria – The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) will allocate more funds for the revitalisation of the Vulindlela Heights Industrial Park.
Addressing businesspeople at an Industrial Business Stakeholders workshop hosted by the dti at Mthatha Stadium, the department’s Director General Lionel October said funds have already been allocated for the park.
“We have already allocated R22 million for the first phase of the revitalisation of this park. This is intended to take care of the basic infrastructure in the park such as roads, electricity, security and water.
“In the new financial year, the department will make more money available for the next phase of the upgrading of this park. Our objective is to make Vulindlela a world class, modern industrial park,” said the Director General.
The purpose of Wednesday’s workshop was to brief businesspeople operating in the industrial park on the progress that the department has made in its efforts to revitalise the park.
He said the dti’s objective is to revitalise South Africa’s old industrial parks so that they can boost broader economic and industrial development in townships and rural areas where they are located.
This, he said, would enable them to contribute to economic growth, diversification of economic activity, attracting investments to those areas, job creation and addressing inequality and eradicating poverty.
Businesspeople who attended the workshop also learnt that the implementation of the first phase of the upgrading of the park will begin on 29 March 2016.
The Development Bank of Southern Africa, which has been appointed by the dti to roll out the infrastructure upgrading part of the project, has already appointed a contractor who will be on site to commence work on the day.
“Government has prioritised the revitalisation of industrial parks because of their importance in promoting industrialisation and manufacturing.
“We are in process of stimulating agriculture, agro-processing, beneficiation and manufacturing throughout the country as a way of growing our economy and industrial parks like Vulindlela have a critical role to play in ensuring that we achieve our economic objectives,” said Director General October.
Speaking on behalf of the Mthatha Business Chamber of Commerce, Andile Mvinjelwa said business in the area welcomed the revitalisation initiative undertaken by the dti.
He also appealed to Director General October to ensure that the contractor appointed to upgrade the Vulindlela Industrial Park infrastructure procure material and skills locally.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT NEWS AGENCY