The Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has signed new investment agreements, which bring the total number of signed investors to eight and investment value to over R3 billion.

These investors include international stakeholders from the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with the rest being local companies.

All these investors are investing in a variety of fabrication workshops for steel and other metals, equipment and marine repair facilities, oil lubricant and fuel plants, as well as specialised engineering services, the Department of Trade and Industry said on Tuesday, 19 February 2019.

The investors are targeting construction to start between March 2019 and March 2020, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, said.

ˇ§The investments signal a significant start of establishing new industrial value chains in and around the Port of Saldanha.

ˇ§The Saldanha Bay IDZ is part of the dti's Special Economic Zones Programme and is developing into a world-class offshore and maritime hub,ˇ¨ the Minister said.

Having established most of the major land-based infrastructure and some of the marine infrastructure, the zoneˇ¦s partnership with Transnet National Ports Authority has already started some of the design and commercial work for expanding the infrastructure offering, with additional port facilities.

Minister Davies said the value proposition to the market also included a free port model for optimal operational ease in a sector where logistics efficiency and certainty were as valuable as quality engineering services.

ˇ§The Saldanha Bay IDZˇ¦s investment pipeline includes at least five more investments that are close to conclusion.

ˇ§If these are realised, they will add another R2,4 billion of investment to the short- and medium-term outlook of the zone. The total investor pipeline includes around 40 additional interested companies in various stages of engagement,ˇ¨ the Minister said.

The Western Cape Government and the dti have partnered with the Saldanha Bay Municipality and larger companies in the West Coast to start building the ecosystem for localised procurement and small, medium and micro-sized enterprises support as a result of the opportunities posed by the new value chains

ˇV Source: SAnews.gov.za