The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has set aside R80-million for the refurbishment and resuscitation of the country’s industrial parks.

DTI director-general Lionel October says industrial parks represent an opportunity for stimulating local economic development, offering an opportunity for the influx of foreign investment and employment creation.

“Industrial parks are one of the most important factors supporting positive economic development. There is a need to stimulate industrial growth within the regions including the current operating areas of the industrial parks some of which operate close to townships, distressed mining towns and labour-sending areas,” says October.

The parks are based on the philosophy of integration of relatively different functions into an industrial area with majority of industrial production and services with high economic turnover and high employment.

He adds that the notion of communities accessing jobs in the industrial parks and small budding enterprises being developed bodes well for the country’s industrialisation efforts aimed at boosting manufacturing and creating jobs.

“It is clear that industrial development in distressed towns and regions will result in more employment opportunities for immediate communities. This will strengthen their economic well-being and attract both domestic and foreign investments,” October says.

A collaborative approach to funding will be followed with provincial economic development departments and various development financial institutions also participating.