Construction on logistics hub underway

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THANDI XABA

Over 70 people have been employed in the construction on the logistics hub, also known as the Special Economic Zone in Tshiame in the Eastern Free State.

The first phase of construction on the one stop-shop is (the) fencing. However, the project is expected to be fully functioning between 2030 and 2050. Project Director of Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) Mzwakhe Shoba says a contractor is already on site fencing off the zone.

"Last year we indicated that we were going to start with the construction of the fence, so that everything is secured. That 1030hectare of land, has a constructor on site putting up the 26KM of fencing," he says.

According to Shoba the zone will be the Activity Based Centre of Gravity, where everything will come from Durban or Johannesburg to be distributed possibly for export purposes.

Imported products will come on train from Durban into Tshiame and transported to Gauteng, which has the biggest market.

Courant reported that in the early 80s, the area around Harrismith used to be the hub for textile and clothing, so he says they are now in talks with big retailers to try to revitalise the industry, which is one part of the programme, the other being car manufactures.

At the time Shoba said they are looking over period of five years to complete the project, but that estimation has come under the spotlight, with reports revealing that their entire project might only be fully functioning in 30 years time.