Cape Town - Designating Atlantis as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for green technology has received the backing of the community and stakeholders in the area, the Department of Trade and Industry announced.

The department met the community and stakeholders this week as part of a 30-day public consultation process after a notice to designate the Atlantis SEZ was published in the Government Gazette by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, last month. The meeting was for the department to provide the public and interested parties a final opportunity to comment on the proposed SEZ.

SEZs had been developed to generate thriving, sustainable industrial business environments, said Sipho Zikode, the department’s deputy director-general of Special Economic Zones and Economic Transformation.

“The Atlantis Green Technology SEZ holds great economic and development potential, not only for investors but also for the local community, the Western Cape Province and the nation as a whole,” said Zikode.

The meeting included Atlantis residents, community and business leaders, local development groups and Atlantis green technology investors.

Atlantis community leader Annie Petersen said: “The SEZ is very much needed in Atlantis, we have much to benefit. A programme like this can go a long way to uplifting the community. My hope is that our younger generations can benefit from the green economy as well.”

Mayor Patricia de Lille said: “ Our vision is for the City of Cape Town to be a green economy hub in Africa. We have a long-held vision of having green technology at the centre of Atlantis’s growth and development. If designated, the investments and jobs created will help contribute to what is already a thriving greentech sector in the City and the province.”

Five existing green technology investors have already created 312 jobs, with total investments of R680 million. The goal is to attract R1.8billion in investments by 2022, creating about 1200 direct jobs, according to the department.


PHOTO: JOB-MAKER: The Hisense factory in Atlantis's Special Economic Zone for green technology. Picture: Jason Boud