There is a growing commitment in government, communities and business to achieving industrial growth with minimal negative impact upon the environment, and maximum socio-economic impact

for communities, provinces and national government.

Internationally there has also been a growth in the establishment of eco-industrial parks, as one approach to building heavy and light industrial parks, while also applying ecological principles to industrial activities.The industrial operations on these parks are seen as part of an industrial ecosystem where the consumption of products, energy and materials is optimised and waste and pollution are minimised.

This is achieved by ensuring that the waste and energy produced in one process are used, optimally, in other industrial processes in a manner which also enhances economic sustainability and profitability.

Eco-Industrial Solutions (Pty) Ltd (EIS) is building the world’s first zero solid-waste Eco-Industrial Park, the Limpopo Eco-Industrial Park (LEIP). The philosophy and principles of the LEIP project are based on the application of practical concepts emanating from the field of Industrial Ecology, which aims to find strategies and methods to minimise the negative impacts of industrial systems on surrounding systems, including humans and the environment in which

we live.

The LEIP project will demonstrate that a flourishing economy and environmental health can coexist, by devising strategies that integrate and achieve environmental; economic and community development goals. By incorporating social; environmental; financial and techno-economically viable industrial projects, the LEIP project exemplifies sustainable eco-industrial development and exceeds the criteria for qualification as an Eco-Industrial Park.

LEIP presents a vehicle for government to achieve specific objectives as outlined in for example, the Sustainable Development Goals; National Development Plan 2030;

New Growth Path; National Framework on Sustainable Development; National Mineral Beneficiation Strategy; Industrial Policy Action Plans; National Waste Management Strategy; Limpopo Employment Growth and Development Plan; Limpopo’s Draft Green Economy Strategy; Musina’s Local Economic Development Strategy; Musina’s Spatial Development Framework and Musina’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP). During 2012, the Musina Municipality officially incorporated the LEIP into its

updated IDP.

As per the differentiation used by FIAS (2008), the potential economic benefits of LEIP include so-called static as well

as dynamic benefits. The LEIP socio-economic impact assessment considers both types of benefits, but places relatively more emphasis on those that are quantifiable and

are commonly considered in similar economic assessment exercises. Assessment therefore focuses on the following indicators of impact:

  • Direct private sector investment associated with the LEIP

  • Impact on national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provincial Gross Geographic Product (GGP)

  • Impacts on employment

  • Impacts on increased tax receipts

  • Impacts on household incomes

  • Increased export earnings potential

  • Impacts associated with skills enhancement and technology transfer

Musina is one of the four municipalities in the Vhembe district, and as can be seen on the tables shown here, many if not most of the people in the region are living in difficult circumstances, with very low employment opportunities and inadequate basic services.

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