PRETORIA – 8TH OCTOBER, 2015 – A South African based development consultancy firm is working to secure land in Solwezi area where it plans to put up an industrial park to service the mining sector.
Mott MacDonald PDNA is pursuing processes with authorities in Zambia to be granted title to the 60 hectares of land that it has identified for the project.
Company senior project manager, Mr. Johan Greyling says Mott MacDonald did a feasibility study two years ago and that the results indicated that such a project would be viable in Solwezi.
Mr. Greyling was speaking when a delegation from the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria toured South Africa’s Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), around which Mott MacDonald’s proposed industrial park in Solwezi would be modeled. The delegation was led by High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba.
Mr. Greyling said the industrial park would be specific to meeting the needs of the mining sector so that companies did not have to take their equipment out of Zambia for repairs or travel outside to source spare parts or other apparatus.
“We brought you to AIDC so that you can have an idea of how the park will be designed. AIDC is a world class industrial park and it happens to be in line with our design for the one we will be putting up in Solwezi,” Mr. Greyling said.
AIDC infrastructure business development officer, Ms. Monica Kissondah explained that the park was sector-specific in that construction was targeted at servicing the motor industry located in close proximity. She said the park aims to feed vehicle manufacturing companies such as BMW, Nissan, Volvo, Tata, Ford and other brands located in the area.
“Before we did anything, we first had to identify a sector. We then established what this particular sector will need and then narrowed this down to identifying specific clients in the sector and what they will need. We then tailored the construction of facilities to that particular client.”
“And placing the park in close proximity to the users helps reduce on distance, time of delivery and consequently cost of doing business. We are implementing the just-in-time – just-in-sequence concept,” Ms. Kissondah said.
His Excellency Mr. Mwamba, who was clearly impressed with what had been presented, lamented the challenges that Zambia has faced in establishing multi-facility economic zones (MFEZ) despite government spending huge sums of money on putting up infrastructure in the proposed locations.
Mr. Mwamba said he believed that the AIDC model was what Zambia had in its plans when it mooted the idea of MFEZs and that the country should strive to learn from such initiatives which were happening not too far from home.
He pointed out that it was clear that one of the reasons MFEZs have faced difficulties in Zambia was that there was no identification of a particular sector or sectors which the zones were meant to benefit.
“This idea is needed in Zambia like yesterday especially that it lowers the cost of doing business. It is a brilliant thing that you have considered Solwezi where most of the big mining companies are now situated.
“I think AIDC is a world class model and this is where we should be learning from. We can arrange to have those who have made an attempt at establishing our MFEZs to come here and see what you are doing. What is good is that in fact this model can be replicated in other sectors such as agriculture,” Mr. Mwamba said.
He encouraged Matt MacDonald to also consider putting up a similar project for the agricultural sector.
AIDC was established in 2000 and operates as a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), an entity owned by Gauteng Provincial Government’s Department of Economic Development. It was established as a government support centre to increase the local automotive industry’s competitiveness.
The industrial Park employs over 3, 500 people and has facilities such as canteens, automated teller machines, recreation and sports, delivery truck-stop areas, and central bus shuttle services to transport workers to their respective work stations, among others things.
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