Government is pulling out all the stops to establish an association of industrial parks that will deliver world class regional centres, says the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).
Speaking at the opening of the two-day symposium on state-owned industrial parks on Wednesday, the department's Director General Lionel October said government is working hard to deploy resources to ensure that world-class industrial parks that will become beehives of economic activity and centres of excellence are established.
"By gathering all valuable thought-leaders for this symposium we aim to ensure that we secure a collective guideline and endorsement from all stakeholders on how we can best take the development of state-owned industrial parks forward.
"We are also looking at moving to a stage where we can institutionalise these national assets to attain best results economically and for the development of communities in which they are located," said Director General October.
He told those attending the two-day symposium in Midrand that there is a need to consolidate resources for the management of state-owned industrial parks (SOIPs).
"Once consolidation has been achieved, we would then need to make operational budgets available and market these parks both locally and internationally to potential investors so as to attract good investments in the parks. By finalising the institutionalisation process and putting the right governance in place, the SOIPs will enable us to implement the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP)."
The first day was concluded with a resolution to establish a steering committee that will guide the planning process for the establishment of the association.
It is envisaged that the role of the association will be to support the strategic planning of the SOIPs whilst also enhancing the business experience for firms in the SOIPs.
The association will also provide effective communication networks for the parks and its stakeholders and assist in the internationalisation of local products and services.
The symposium is in its second year running and it is intended to serve as a platform where key stakeholders linked to the administration and management of state-owned industrial parks can deliberate meaningfully about the manner in which development should proceed.
Since the inaugural symposium in 2016, provincial consultations have been held and there is now a concept to establish an Association of Industrial Parks as well as a framework for standard operating procedures.