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The Western Cape Government has unlocked R1.8 billion in provincial and private sector infrastructure funding for the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) since 2014/15.

Presenting her final State of the Province (SOPA) address in Cape Town on Friday, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said there are currently eight confirmed major investors in the IDZ, with a total investment value of R3 billion.

“We were also instrumental in establishing the Atlantis Special Economic Zone for Greentech. It is projected to attract R3.7 billion in investment, create nearly 3 000 direct jobs by 2030… At local level, we’ve helped municipalities create 15-year infrastructure investment plans through our local government department.

“Wesgro, our world-class trade, tourism and investment promotion agency, has secured 299 investments since 2009, attracting R100 billion worth of foreign direct investment and creating over 19 000 jobs in our region,” Zille said.

Tourism

In just three years, Zille said the provincial government has added over 750 000 international inbound seats to Cape Town and 13 new routes, generating jobs, tourism and investment.

“These expansions have injected an estimated R6 billion in tourist spend into our local economy. Tourism means jobs. Estimates based on the new Hong Kong route have shown that 1 000 jobs can be created for each new route added.

“We continue to add new tourism offerings such as cycle routes, a Mandela Legacy Route, and a new Archaeology and Paleontology route to show the world that humanity did indeed begin in southern Africa,” said Zille.

Energy and water

On electricity consumption, Zille noted that the provincial government is playing its part to reduce electricity consumption in its metered buildings by 24% since 2015.

Zille said the public buildings are now so energy efficient that monthly electricity usage is roughly half that of the private sector, with water consumption also down 20% over the same period.

She said during the worst of Eskom’s load-shedding five years ago, they recognised the essential need for greater energy security and a diversified energy mix.

While the generation and distribution of energy is not a mandate of provincial government, Zille said their Energy Security Game Changer projecty has focused on driving small scale embedded generation and rooftop solar PV in particular.

In addition, the provincial government undertook much of the groundwork needed for the importation of liquid natural gas at Saldanha Bay, and enabled an increase in rooftop PV installations from 18 MW to more than 110 MW, mostly by businesses.

“We have assisted 22 municipalities to put in place the necessary systems to accept rooftop PV power into their grids and 18 of these municipalities have approved tariffs in place so consumers can be compensated for electricity they feed back into the grid.

“We have also led by example, having committed R43 million for 14 solar PV installations on provincial government buildings, which will have a projected annual saving of just over R4 million once completed,” Zille said.