South African industrial development zone (IDZ) in 2024

Register company in South African free zonesSince 2003, Healy Consultants Group assists our Clients with registration of their businesses in the South African Industrial Development Zones (IDZs) in order to benefit from the simplified customs compliance procedures when importing and exporting and to take advantage of the reduced taxes and other incentives;

The South African Government currently operates 5 IDZs in the country namely i) Coega IDZ, ii) Richards Bay IDZ, iii) East London IDZ, iv) Saldanha Bay IDZ and v) Dube TradePort;

The main South African IDZs

  1. Coega IDZ
    • Inaugurated in 2001, Coega IDZ is the first and oldest industrial development zone in South Africa. It is strategically located in the South African Eastern Cape Province on the east-west trade routes to serve both the global and African markets;
    • The IDZ’s main activity is manufacturing for export purposes and attract investments in i) the automotive industry, ii) processing of agricultural products, iii) metal logistics and energy, iv) business process services and v) aquaculture sectors.
  2. Richards Bay IDZ
    • Linked to the Richards Bay international sea port, this IDZ is designed mainly for manufacturing and storage of minerals and mineral products. The seaport connects to the neighboring Mozambique up the larger east African region;
    • The IDZ has world-class industrial infrastructure and a superb network of shipment routes suitable for global business and export oriented manufacturing investments.
  3. Dube TradePort
    • Dube TradePort is the only industrial trade zone in African that incorporates an international airport with a cargo and warehousing facilities, a retail sector and offices, an agricultural section and hotels in one facility;
    • The trade port contains two major development zones namely i) Dube AgriZone, specializing in agricultural and horticulture products and ii) Dube TradePort, focusing on manufacture of fashion garments, automotive and electronics.

Benefits of operating within an IDZ

  1. Our Clients will enjoy Government incentives including:
    • A reduced corporate income tax at the rate of 15%;
    • Relief from customs duties on goods imported into the IDZs for storage or materials for manufacture;
    • Up to 30% grants on cost of plant, machinery, equipment, commercial buildings and vehicles;
    • Exemption from VAT on water and electricity usage;
    • Tax incentives on exported goods.
  2. Other advantages of registering your company in a South African IDZ include:
    • Eligibility for exemption from employment taxes;
    • Simplified customs procedures including registration and licensing and clearance of import/exported goods;
    • Exemption from VAT on importation of machinery for manufacturing;
    • Eligibility for Government grants and allowances of up to US$2.2million for approved projects;
    • Access to world-class infrastructure and the best sea and airports in Africa suitable for international trade.
IDZ comparison Richards Bay East London Port Elizabeth Saldanha Bay Dube TradePort
IDZs used mostly by which industry? Manufacturing Manufacturing Manufacturing Manufacturing Manufacturing & Logistics
Average annual Industrial space rent per 1000 sq. m. US$35,000 US$25,000 US$30,000 US$30,000 US$60,000
How long to set the company up? 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months
How long to open company bank account? 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks
Quality of utilities Good Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Excellent
Corporate bank account First National Bank Standard Bank HSBC Citibank ABSA
Accounting and tax
Corporate tax payable in South Africa 15% 15% 15% 15% 15%
Tax registration certificate required Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Annual audited financial statements Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Company Registration
Minimum number of directors 1 1 1 1 1
Minimum number of shareholders 1 1 1 1 1
Individual shareholders allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate shareholders allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate director(s) allowed No No No No No
Public register of shareholders and directors Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
LLC company allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can be wholly foreign owned Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Business considerations
Allowed to sign sales contracts with South African Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to invoice South African Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Physical office space required Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to import raw materials? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to export goods? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in South Africa? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our industrial free zone company registration services in South Africa, please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Kunal Fabiani, directly:
client relationship officer - Kunal