The ORTIA SEZ Precinct 2 as a Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices cluster
COVID-19 has presented a strain not only to the South African health sector but to the entire global sector. Most pharmaceutical products used in South Africa are imported; only about 10% is locally manufactured (much of it with imported inputs). Medical devices have similarly large import rates – more than 90% by market value. The local market is mostly limited to supplying consumables such as bandages, dressings, and furniture.
Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices cluster
South Africa’s dependence on imports, has put the entire country’s health and economic sector in a vulnerable position, this is due to both the increase in demand for health products across the globe and the disruption of global value chains (which causes shortages of critical health products not only relevant to COOVID 19, but to other recurrent diseases too. It, therefore, becomes critical to respond to these impacts by planning for control measures to combat and/or ease the impact of this ongoing global pandemic.
To this end, there has been ongoing engagements with relevant stakeholders from both private and public sectors aimed at building market awareness on investment opportunities at ORTIA SEZ, thereby securing market interest for follow-up engagements and negotiations and also addressing industry-related challenges that may be raised.e
The following activities in the health sector have been identified for location at the precinct are;
• Manufacturing of medicaments
• Manufacturing of medical devices
• Diagnostic and Telehealth services
Taking into consideration the nature of the industry, the precinct will focus on attracting local SMMEs that desire to expand their capabilities to cater to the local and regional market. It is the intention of the ORTIA SEZ to also attract FDI in the pharmaceutical sector and medical devices sector that have expressed interest in expanding their manufacturing plants into Africa.
The ORTIA SEZ presents a competitive operating environment in terms of access skills, supporting services, inputs, and markets. It is an ideal location to access the global and African markets in support of the principles of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Furthermore, ORTIA SEZ is centrally located having access to all major land transport connecting to all provinces in South Africa and the SADC.
This clustering not only ensures that there is the security of supply of health products, but it also presents an opportunity for job creation, skills transfer, enterprise development, and revenue generation.
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