South African National Industrial Parks Summit 2023: Unleashing the Potential of Industrial Parks as Pillars of Economic Growth
Collective Drive for Industrial Parks Revitalisation
On 20 – 21 April 2023, a landmark event in the South African industrial scene was held: the National Industrial Parks Summit. A dynamic collaboration involving the Department of Trade Industry and Competition (the dtic), National Treasury, the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA), and supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH-Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (GIZ-NatuReS) led to the convening of the National Industrial Parks Summit. The two-day summit under the theme “Positioning Industrial Parks as Engines of Growth, Industrialisation and Investments: Through a Reimagined Implementation Framework” served as a vibrant platform for over 150 stakeholders to exchange ideas, expertise and knowledge towards a new approach for the accelerated development of industrial parks in South Africa.
The Impetus for Reimagined Industrial Parks
In recent years, industrial parks have been beset with challenges ranging from vandalism, lack of basic services like water and electricity, infrastructure issues, to governance problems. This has led to significant job losses and a decline in their performance. Despite these hurdles, industrial parks hold tremendous potential as key nodes for large-scale economic development, employment, and as a catalyst for the country’s reindustrialisation agenda.
At the event, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, emphasised that “it is crucial for establishing a collective path to retain, sustain and grow investments and jobs through a Reimagined Industrial Implementation Framework while addressing critical outcomes such as social development, sustainability and economic growth.”
Strategic Plans for Revitalizing Industrial Parks
The Summit concluded with the adoption of key resolutions, which emerged from six breakaway Commissions. Each Commission focused on different aspects of the industrial park ecosystem. These resolutions include the establishment of a technical task team, comprising of key stakeholders, to develop the New Implementation Framework for the National Programme on Industrial Parks.
Other key resolutions include the establishment of a rapid response team to urgently resolve bottleneck issues in parks, defining incentives for investors, catalysing partnerships and integrating eco-industrial development, resilience approaches and stewardship to provide a more attractive environment for investment.
Building the Future of Industrial Parks
Going forward, the dtic also plans to conduct district roadshows to raise awareness and build capacity on the importance of the industrial parks and their ecosystems to communities and other critical stakeholders. As they are instrumental for South Africa’s development pathway, initiatives like the National Summit offer a unique opportunity for sector stakeholders to collaboratively shape industrial parks into effective enablers for economic growth and job creation.
In essence, the National Industrial Parks Summit marked a significant step in the collective effort to unlock the vast potential of South Africa’s industrial parks. The spirit of collaboration and the shared vision of the event’s contributors have set the stage for a more vibrant, resilient, and sustainable future for South Africa’s industrial landscape.
For further information on the National Summit Resolutions visit the dtic website: click here