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GOVERNMENT TO CREATE 70 000 JOBS

By Sifiso Dlamini | 2019-07-24

The ministry of commerce industry and trade intends to create 70 000 jobs through the construction 40 factory shells in four years.

The Minister of Commerce Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo said investigations by the ministry conducted with Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) unveiled the need to construct 40 factory shells around the kingdom.

This he revealed yesterday during the ministry of commerce industry and trade portfolio committee deliberations on the ministry’s first quarter performance report.

During the deliberation, portfolio committee member and Mkhiweni Member of Parliament Michael Masuku asked the minister if there was a need to construct more factory shells as a number of them were lying idle and not being utilised for their intended business purposes.

“When constructing the factory shells, is it taken into account the businesses which would be occupying the shells, as during a tour of the country’s industrial hub, Matsapha it was discovered that there were a number of shells that were not being used and were lying idle while there were a number of businesses that did not have any space to work in,” asked the Masuku.

In response, Khumalo said following their research, it was discovered that there was a demand for factory shells which could result in the creation of job opportunities for 70 000 people. He said the current shells were mainly owned by the private sector and not for government.

He mentioned that private companies normally charged higher rates per square metre as they are profit-driven which resulted in possible investors being deterred as their businesses would not be viable due to the high rates.

The minister said government owned factory shells rates were more affordable, thus attracting more possible investors.

Khumalo said government was looking to construct 10 factory shells per year for the next four years, resulting in a total of 40 shells in a period of four years. He mentioned out of every 10 shells, four shells would be constructed at Tinkhundla level with the other six shells constructed in the economic areas such as urban areas.

He said this would offer possible investors in the Tinkhundla centres an opportunity to access working space and in the process creating employment at a local level.

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