Upington, a large Northern Cape town on the banks of the Orange River, is ideally located to serve the solar, mining, agricultural, aviation and other industries in South Africa and internationally. Being only 130km from the closest Namibian border post and about 350km from the nearest border post in Botswana, the area is a popular tourist destination with warm weather and long sunny days.
The ZF Mgcawu District, in which Upington is situated, has a well-developed economy and active business community supported by government and parastatals. The 400ha Upington SEZ site is adjacent to collector roads, an existing industrial area and the Upington International Airport. Upington is also serviced through a comprehensive road network and good rail infrastructure.
Upington falls within the Northern Cape Solar Corridor and one of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs). The town experiences an ideal level of solar irradiation (power per unit area received from the sun in the form of electromagnetic radiation) for solar energy production.
In recent years, the province has benefited from extensive investment by the renewable energy sector, with numerous solar plants and wind farms established through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
The district is well known for producing export-quality grapes, citrus and other fruits, offering several investment opportunities in agro-processing.
Mining is one of the key economic drivers in the Northern Cape, and the province’s iron ore, manganese, zinc and copper mines open up possibilities in terms of mining equipment manufacturing and assembly.
The Upington International Airport is home to an almost 5km-long runway – the longest civilian runway in the Southern Hemisphere. The airport’s location and the dry, arid climate add to making it a particularly favourable location for the establishment of an aviation park to serve both the European and African markets.