Saldanha Bay ‘Freeport’ lines up 58 prospective investors

The Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (SBIDZ) is working with 58 prospective tenants for the special economic zone (SEZ), which is the first SEZ to be located within a domestic port and the only sector-specific SEZ in South Africa catering specifically to the oil and gas, maritime fabrication and repair industries and related support services.

Situated in the commercial deep-water Port of Saldanha Bay, on South Africa’s West Coast, the 356 ha zone was designated as an SEZ in 2013.

Since then, land previously owned by the Industrial Development Corporation has been purchased by the Western Cape provincial government for ownership by the SBIDZ and a lease arrangement has been struck with the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to open up port-side land to prospective investors.

The SEZ designation and its location in a port enabled a ‘Freeport’ regime for the SBIDZ, effectively enabling engineering service providers to conduct value-adding fabrication and repair activities on vessels without attracting certain duties and value-added tax (VAT).

Additionally, in line with South Africa’s generic SEZ rules, investors in the zone secure a preferential corporate tax rate of 15% and are also allowed to apply for several other incentives as administered by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

SBIDZ acting CEO Kaashifah Beukes tells Engineering News Online that, in July, the zone secured the needed accreditation from SARS as a customs-controlled area across nearly 70% of its footprint, which entitles investors in the SEZ to apply for VAT relief and other duty rebates.

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