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Limpopo’s Strategic Location
Limpopo boarders on South African commercial and industrial heartland in Gauteng Province and key Southern African Development Community (SADC) nations, thus providing easy access to South African and African Markets. These markets are linked by the N1 highway and adjacent main rail lines that bisect Limpopo. Covering 124 000 km² – about 10% of South Africa’s surface area and with a population of 4.9 million, Limpopo is bounded to the south by Gauteng province, and to the west, north and east by Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. Limpopo’s capital, Polokwane, lies 300 km north of South Africa’s main markets in the Johannesburg-Pretoria industrial complex, 200 km south of the province’s border with Zimbabwe.
Strategic Location, an emerging African hub
Limpopo is upgrading Polokwane International Airport, enabling it to handle the biggest, fully laden aircraft and to develop into a major cargo hub serving sub-Saharan markets and Europe. In addition, Limpopo is planning to develop an Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) around the airport, creating opportunities for exporters who add value to the province’s raw materials.
Access to World Markets
The upgrading of Maputo port in Neighbouring Mozambique means that Limpopo-based exporters and importers can use the facility with growing confidence. Maputo is much closer to Limpopo than more distant South African ports where congestion often hampers trade. Limpopo exporters estimate they will save about one third of their transportation costs by using the facility. Linked to Limpopo by road and rail, Maputo port is situated 300 and 400 km from the main mining and agricultural centres of Limpopo. The traditional port of Durban, for example, is 1 000 km from these areas.
Limpopo Province was created for growth, and to create growth for investors too. Thanks to a near miraculous climate, with rainfalls in excess of 1 000mm per annum in some areas, there are two harvesting seasons in Limpopo. Agriculturally speaking, Limpopo is the food basket of South Africa – 75% of the country’s mangoes, 65% of its papayas, 36% of its tea, 25% of its citrus, bananas and litchis, 60% of its avocadoes, 67% of tomatoes and a whopping 285 000 tonnes of potatoes are grown here. Other crops include coffee, nuts, guavas, a burgeoning sisal industry, cotton, tobacco and timber in addition to staples such as sunflowers, maize, wheat and table grapes. Cattle and game farming are thriving. Agriculture has also stimulated the ancillary development of a growing range of processed products, such as fruit juice and concentrates. Considerable opportunity exists in the areas of processing and packaging, as well as the export of beef, pork, chicken and eggs, as well as fruit and vegetables. The Limpopo Provincial Government is also facilitating development of new types of farming and further value-added processing of products as diverse as sugar, soya, essential oils, catfish and goats.
With it’s wealth of mineral and agricultural resources, its sophisticated infrastructure and its proximity to growing consumer markets in the rest of the sub-continent, the Limpopo Province offers many investment opportunities in the manufacturing sector. These opportunities range from tanning, the cultivation of fruit and vegetables, the processing of meat, the manufacturing of jewellery, furniture and industrial chemicals and the rendering of light to medium sized engineering services. Complimentary to the mining efforts, opportunities are available for private sector investment in the manufacturing and utilization of magnesium oxide, cement, lime-based products, and granite. Seven economic development clusters have been identified for immediate expansion and abundant factory space and sound support infrastructure already in place. These development clusters are Waterberg, Vhembe, Mopani, Capricorn and Sekhukhune.
Mining and Minerals
80% of the earth’s geological history is represented within Limpopo’s borders. Resources include three types of precious metals and stones, 12 types of ferrous and base metals, and 23 types of industrial minerals, according to the Council for Geoscience. Diamonds, gold and platinum group metals make up Limpopo’s wealth of precious metals and stones. Ferrous and base metals include antimony, chromium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, nickel, silicon, tin, vanadium and zinc. Industrial minerals include amosite, andalusite, coal, gemstones, granite, graphite, gypsum, limestone, mica, magnesite, phosphate and vermiculite. The vast wealth bodes well, not only for mining itself, but for related opportunities as well. There are unlimited opportunities for the manufacturing and supply of amongst other, tools, uniforms, machinery and plant equipment.
Limpopo will bring out the explorer in you! The combination of authentic African experiences, diverse indigenous cultural heritage and sophisticated first world infrastructures and service levels, makes Limpopo a paradise for tourism and related hospitality investments.The biggest draw card in South Africa’s provinces, is the proliferation of game reserves and Limpopo is home of the world’s greatest concentration of national parks. Apart from the Kruger National Park, of which 80% sits within our borders, there are 53 state owned nature conservancies which are to be commercialised, all located within the famed Golden Horseshoe, with potential for local and foreign investment in terms of ownership, management and concessionary activity. Well established as an eco-tourism destination, Limpopo offers numerous opportunities for the development of nature based tourism with strong appeal to international tourists. There remains plenty of opportunity for the independent hospitality provider interested in opening a smaller game lodge, bed and breakfast, restaurant, etc.