Key Points:

  • Special Economic Zones have been widely used internationally to attract foreign direct investment, alleviate large-scale unemployment, and develop and diversify exports.
  • In November 2011, the Centre for Development and Enterprise hosted a Round Table focused on the potential of SEZs to accelerate economic growth and job creation in South Africa.
  • Special economic zones: Lessons for South Africa from international evidence and local experience summarises the Round Table proceedings.
  • South Africa began to establish Industrial Development Zones (IDZs) in 2000.
  • The stated goal of these enclaves – established at Coega, East London, Richards Bay, and OR Tambo International Airport outside Johannesburg – was to encourage export industries and attract foreign direct investment.
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