Chinese conglomerate issued with operator permit in Musina-Makhado special economic zone, SA
Shenzhen Hoi Mor Resources Holding Co. has signed a cooperation agreement with the South African Limpopo Economic Development Agency that has provided the Chinese conglomerate with an operating permit in the Musina-Makhado special economic zone (SEZ).
"The Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister Davies, has, after considering the recommendation of the SEZ Advisory Board, approved the appointment of an operator and issued a SEZ operator permit for the South African Energy Metallurgical Zone," said the Department of Trade and Industry.
The permit will authorise Shenzen to develop, operate and manage the South African (SA) energy and metallurgical zone, with the company investing $3.8bn into the region in order to achieve this.
“This cluster provides a golden opportunity for our skills upgrading and technology transfer and has demonstration effects,” said Richard Zitha, Project Executive of the Musina SEZ, speaking to ChinAfrica.
“These dynamic effects have the potential to contribute further to regional development, especially in the long term.”
It is understood that the metallurgical industrial cluster consists of 10 projects including a power plant, ferrochrome plant, coking plant and steel and stainless steel plants.
“The implementation of various projects over the next five years is expected to create more than 21,000 jobs,” said Ning Yihai, Chairman of Shenzen Moi Hor Resources.
“Capacity building and skill development are the key areas we will focus on in our cooperation, and we will also increase value-added production.”
SA Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies also praised the agreement, stating “the development of this SEZ is intended to accelerate economic growth, attract foreign and domestic direct investment, expand the manufacturing sector and mineral beneficiation, as well as create employment in the region”.
The move comes in the wake of SA being announced as the host nation of the 2018 BRICS summit, with President Jacob Zuma revealing that the country is looking to foster investment opportunities and partnerships with BRICS nations during this time.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.