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The upgrading of infrastructure at industrial parks will go a long way in transforming the economy and creating jobs, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe.

“The Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme, through which the Nkowankowa Industrial Park is launched, will go a long way in creating a conducive environment for the companies to create job opportunities and grow the economy of the area,” says the Deputy Minister.

Magwanishe was speaking at the launch of the Nkowankowa Industrial Park in Tzaneen, Limpopo.

“The development of economic infrastructure promotes economic transformation and the establishment of Black Industrialists in productive sectors of our economy by way of shared value and wealth creation,” says Magwanishe.

The launch of the park marked the end of the first phase of the upgrading of the park by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) at a cost of R40 million.

The renovation was part of the department’s Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme, which started in 2016 and is aimed at upgrading the infrastructure of all of the country’s State-owned industrial parks.

Upgrades of the first phase of Nkowankowa included the renovation of some warehouses; installation of a CCTV system, fence, pedestrian and vehicular gates, as well high mast lights.

“Situated along the Phalaborwa Corridor, the Nkowankowa Industrial Park remains a strategic location for regional and inter-continental trade, as it is connected to Nelspruit, Tzaneen and the deep water port of Maputo in Mozambique.

"This permits access to a variety of transportation routes, making the park an attractive investment destination for export production, packaging and beneficiation of minerals,” says Magwanishe.

In pursuit of industrialisation, government will ensure the completion of all related phases to the park, which has attained an 88% occupancy, for the sake of increased job creation and the empowerment of small business in the region.

The Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Cassel Mathale, said he was excited about the programme because it would benefit mainly small businesses.

“Industrial parks like the one we are launching today will go a long way in addressing the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment in township and rural communities like this one of Nkowankowa and the surrounding areas.

"As a department, we support the work that is being done here by the dti,” says Mathale.

The main objective of the dti programme is to promote industrialisation, accelerate economic growth, attract investment, promote transformation and encourage the establishment of black industrialists in the industrial parks.