Cablegate: South Africa Launches Science Park, "the Innovation

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12948: N/A

1. Gauteng Province Premier Mbhazima Shilowa on April 5
opened Africa's first internationally accredited Science
Park in Pretoria. The new park is known as the "Innovation
Hub" and is one of eleven projects in the province's "Blue
IQ" initiative for developing economic infrastructure to
attract investment to the province. The Hub is one of two
Blue IQ projects focused on promoting technology-oriented,
knowledge-intensive industrial development, or "smart
industry," the other being "Gautrain," a project that will
build rapid rail links between Pretoria and Johannesburg,
and between the Sandton business district in northern
Johannesburg and Johannesburg International Airport. The
provincial government has spent 318 million Rands
(approximately USD 52 million) to date on Blue IQ
infrastructure development.

2. The Innovation Hub is a member of the International
Association of Science Parks and the National Business
Incubation Association. It offers state of the art, fully
integrated information and communications technology support
and places entry requirements on businesses seeking to
become tenants, in keeping with its focus on high technology
and innovation. The Hub welcomes both start-up and
established companies. Local press coverage of the launch
noted comments by the Hub's Chief Executive Officer, Dr.
Neville Comins: "Part of the aim here is to establish a
community. So far, the tenant uptake of eight companies has
exceeded expectations, and we expect the multi-tenant
enterprise building to be fully leased by June." One of the
anchor tenants of the science park is SAPPI, a South-African
based international forest and paper products company that
has growing interaction with local universities and

3. Comment. Gauteng Province already accounts for about 40
percent of the country's gross domestic product, and the
Blue IQ initiative further strengthens its dominant economic


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