Advisory board says misinformation being spread about proposed Atlantis SEZ
The Special Economic Zones (SEZ) advisory board says inaccurate dissemination of information regarding the application process to designate an SEZ in Atlantis, in the Western Cape, is concerning.
“Information carried in various media sources over the last few months is aimed at applying undue pressure on the board [and] forcing Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies to designate the Atlantis SEZ,” board chairperson Dr Julian Naidoo said on Sunday.
The proposed Atlantis SEZ is one of ten under consideration.
The SEZ advisory board advises the Trade and Industry Minister on whether to designate or not designate a proposed SEZ.
“This advice is based on a range of commercial, technical and legal considerations whose purpose is to ensure the long-term economic viability of the proposed SEZ and compliance with relevant legal requirements,” he noted.
Naidoo added that the technical subcommittee of the advisory board had considered the application for the designation of the Atlantis SEZ and concluded that there were technical weaknesses and legal compliance challenges that had to be addressed.
“Instead of advising the Minister not to designate based on these weaknesses, the board advised and gave the province the chance to address these weaknesses.”
He pointed out that the Department of Trade and Industry provided both technical and financial support to the province to assist it to address these weaknesses.
He stressed that the SEZ advisory board had a legal duty to discharge its responsibilities based on commercial, technical and legal requirements and “will not succumb to external influences.