MUSINA, SOUTH AFRICA, South Africa’s newly-launched Musina Inter-modal Terminal (MIT) in this town near the border with Zimbabwe is expected to be a huge boost to regional economic integration in the southern African sub-region and to the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Programme, which is expected to boost trade between South Africa and its neighbours.
The terminal, which was launched by Trade and Induster Rob Davies on Monday, is aimed at facilitating the growth of the containerised cargo market and the transportation of mineral ores such as coal, iron ore, chrome, copper and sulphur, as well as agricultural produce such as maize and tomatoes, as well as citrus fruits, which contribute immensely to economic integration in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) sub-region.
The MIT is also one of the key support facilities for the newly designated Musina-Makhado SEZ, especially the energy and metallurgical cluster with an investment of more than 40 billion Rand (about 3.073 billion US dollars) in at least eight large-scale industrial projects, including a power station, a coking coal plant, ferro-silicon plant, a steel plant, and a stainless steel plant.
Once fully implemented the zone is expected to create total employment of more than 20,000.
Davies said the MIT speaks to a number of policies of government and the promotion of regional economic integration. The SEZ will significantly increase industrial production in the region. This will include steel and related inputs for producing steel and stainless steel, as well as increasing mining development and production. The SEZ will thus increase trade between South Africa and its neighbours. Regional integration will also be deepened, he added.
He said the project was designed to improve trade which is key to the regional integration agenda. It also promotes the goals of moving up the value chain and industrialisation of the country.
Davies also announced that the SADC tariff agreement with the east corridor would be finalised next moth and would present new trading opportunities and open new markets for trading.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the MIT, Morley Nkosi, described the project as one which would accelerate economic growth and development in the region, driving increased foreign and domestic direct investment, increased value-added exports, creation of jobs, and the building of industrial clusters and regional industrial hubs.
He added that the inter-modal movement of cargo from road to rail and vice versa would result in reduced carbon emissions, logistics costs and road congestion, as approximately 62,000 vehicle trips per annum would be removed from the roads.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK