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Speech Delivered by Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina at the Meeting of the Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme Working Group
The DDG of the branch, Mr Sipho Zikode.
The Chief Director for Industrial Parks, Ms Stieneke Samuels.
The CEOs of all our Industrial Parks across the country.
Our DTIC Officials working as the support structure of the Parks.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is with great pleasure to join you in this ordinary Executive meeting as
?s industrial Park Chief Directorate and all the heads of our Industrial Parks. This coordination, at this level, by the Department is very important for some of us, because it demonstrates a closer oversight and strategic leadership on the side of the Department to our industrial parks.
I am encouraged by the pace with which we are proceeding in rolling out industrial parks revitalization programme. Of course, we can still do more than we are moving. But I am certain that this meeting will emerge with concrete ways for 2020 in fast tracking the revitalisation programme. I am about to embark on the industrial parks visits, in various provinces to make assessment of their operational capacity, the management quality and prospects for attracting more business. I have already visited Free State Botshabelo Industrial Park and intend going back there to hold them accountable on the commitments they made, during my visit last year. I have also visited KZN, Mandeni Industrial Park, monitoring the work around the revitalization programme.
I am exhilarated that the work around industrial parks revitalisation programme (IPRP) overtime has gone beyond just infrastructure renewals but to include aspects such as Master Planning, Investment Promotion, SMMEs Development through digital hubs, technology in line with the 4th industrial revolution, Research, Development and Innovation (RDI). All of these added interventions to our state owned industrial parks enhances the capacity of these nodal economic activities as important catalysis for regional economic growths and jobs creation. It is in this context that i welcome the formation of the industrial park revitalization programme Working Group.
I am told that the IPRP Working Group will intervene where there are bottlenecks in delivery caused by lack of community facilitations or mediations, stakeholder engagements; they will be involved in the planning of projects with emphasis on deadlines and procurements, it will conduct feasibility studies, skills development and value chains analysis. I am hopeful that this Committee, if properly supported, will play a decisive role in the industrial parks that are struggling.
Community facilitation cannot be over-emphasized. We are still handling the Mandeni industrial park problems arising out of community mobilization against the Park. The burning of warehousing buildings for firms and marches for demands to companies have been disruptive. That chaotic nature of community has posed a threat to the continued stay of various companies in the park for fear of losing their assets through burning down of infrastructure. This is one example of a lack of community facilitation mechanism between government, business and communities.
We must not lose sight of the reality that industrial parks must also be the catalysts for township and rural economy. This means that the parks must respond to how it plays a facilitation role to promote emerging township and rural enterprises. A lot need to be done to identify youth innovation and be nurtured into sound business proposition. This imperative presupposes the requirements for the parks to do constant outreach to communities that it finds itself located.
Linked to the above is our much -needed effort in the coordination of provincial departments of Economic Developments. In some provinces there is closer cooperation and Understanding about this task of revitalization programme, this includes Municipalities.
Our commitment as this political leadership of the Department is that we are supporting all of these efforts as you pursue them. The President of the country is tracking progress through us, on this work that you are doing. And so, as we are held accountable by the President, we do so to you as line managers. Unemployment in this country, decline of general commercial activities as a results of difficult economic environment both locally and globally, forces us to think creatively on various interventions that will stimulate the economy and create jobs.
I implore you, to emerge with a solid programme that will facilitate our work more easier whilst we meet the deadlines.