On Friday 10th June, the Saldanha Bay IDZ Licencing Company (SBIDZ-LC) held their second annual Suppliers Awareness Day at the Protea Hotel in Saldanha Bay. The purpose of the event was to provide general feedback around enterprise development, the progress of the IDZ’s infrastructure and opportunities, as well as the policy changes from National Treasury’s Supply Chain Management landscape affecting local businesses. The day saw wide representation from stakeholders from the business development community and was attended by over 100 delegates.

The SBIDZ-LC is the official public entity operator of the SBIDZ, and is mandated to develop the Zone in line with the strategic framework of the South African Government, driven by the National Development Plan (NDP), the Department of Trade and Industry’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) and Operation Phakisa and Project Khulisa – results-driven approach programmes to fast-track the implementation of solutions on critical development issues. The Oceans Economy is one area of both Operation Phakisa and Khulisa.

The SBIDZ-LC has plans to develop a world-class Marine and Oilfield Services Hub in response to the global demand for dedicated repair and maintenance ports strategically positioned to service rigs and vessels working off the East and West African coasts.

Supply chain reforms

The National Treasury has issued nine instruction notes for the 2016/17 financial year effective from the 1st April 2016. Of these changes, only three are applicable to businesses and it was these changes that were communicated to attendees last Friday:

  • All suppliers who wish to conduct business with the SBIDZ-LC need now to be actively registered on National Treasury’s Central Suppliers Database
  • Tenders above R500,000 can only be accessed via the e-Tender Portal and the Government Tender Bulletin
  • Commissioner of Oath signed B-BBEE Affidavits are acceptable in the absence of a certified BBBEE Certificate

Abigail Murray, Associate for Enterprise Development says business owners need to take the necessary steps in ensuring that their companies are complaint. She said businesses must remember that in addition two to these new changes, businesses must still be registered on the Western Cape Supplier’s Database (WCSD) as that requirement from Provincial Treasury is still in place.

Dedicated and enabling infrastructure

A World Class Oil and Gas and Marine Repair Service Hub requires enabling and dedicated quay-side infrastructure.

The SBIDZ-LC and the Transnet National Ports Authority is developing the land and quay side infrastructure required to unlock the potential of the Zone. Together the state-owned agencies are implementing innovative ways to defy constraints and develop South Africa’s Oil and Gas Repair and Maintenance Service industries in line with the South African Government’s fast-track initiatives of Operation Phakisa, linked to the National Development Plan.

Civil works on the landside area located towards the back of the IDZ designated area has commenced, and the civil, mechanical and electrical works on the upgraded Saldanha Bay Wastewater Treatment Works is nearing completion. The landside civil works will provide the necessary internal services required before an investor can build and start activity in the Zone, and the WWTW’s increased capacity will absorb the demand from the new businesses in the zone. The new link road and bridge, connecting the back area of the IDZ to the ports side area, over the existing MR559 has been awarded and construction has commenced. In the months to come the SBIDZ-LC will also be requesting bidders for its other infrastructure projects, such as the fencing projects and the access control facility. These will be the focus of more local economic development, where as much as possible will be localized through either targeted procurement or contractor development approaches.

The Transnet National Ports Authority has issued expressions of interest (EOI) for the construction and operation for a 380m and 21m draft Rig Repair Berth 205 and a 1000m long and 8m draft Ship Repair Mossgass Jetty, as well as issued an RFP for the newly built 294m long and 6.9m draft Offshore Supply Base currently under construction. The deadlines for these concessions vary and interested parties should go to the Ports Authority’s website for further information. The TNPA has also given public notice of the availability of Berth 204 for the oil and gas industry, a good sign of Saldanha Bay being open for business and geared towards becoming a regional hub for the industry.

Ease of doing business

The Ease of Doing Business Unit has embarked on a project called the 5×5 Voice of the Customer International Global Best Practice Benchmarking to identify, from typical customers of the Oil and Gas and Marine Services Hubs, how to make trading at the SBIDZ easy for them based on their varied and global inputs. The aim is to design a model that is globally competitive.

We recognise that needs vary from government to private sector stakeholders, and across the different roles each plays in the SBIDZ, and so to assist the process we have categorised stakeholders into four main categories, namely:

  • Investors and anchor tenants of the zone
  • Clients and passing by customers of the zone
  • Value-Adding Service Providers
  • The Workforce and Business Community

These definitions would complement the Freeport regime, currently being formulated by SARS and the dti, which allows access to a suite of SEZ Tax Incentives, including VAT and Customs Relief, Building Allowances, Employment Tax Incentives and Reduced Corporate Income Tax.