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KwaZulu-Natal Business 2019-20 edition

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A unique business and investment guide to KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa. The 2019/20 edition of KwaZulu-Natal Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2008, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the KwaZulu-Natal Province. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there is a special feature on the surge in investment in new tourism projects, from casino expansions to the building of a dedicated cruise-liner terminal. Another special feature surveys other large investments in a wide variety of sectors, showing the diversity and strength of the provincial economy. For monthly updates about the region, subscribe at or visit our portal at


SPECIAL FEATURE Convention Centre Complex which hosts the annual Tourism Indaba. The province's excellent climate lends itself to every kind of outdoor pursuit and its excellent beaches are always popular. Big sports events are regularly hosted in KwaZulu-Natal which has become something of a home to mass participation events such as the Comrades Marathon and Dusi Canoe race. The province has excellent game and nature reserves. Isimangaliso Wetland Park is a World Heritage Site and helps to fund 80 small businesses associated with its business as a tourist site. New international direct flights have been announced by King Shaka International Airport, including a direct flight to London with British Airways. Geography The mixed topography of the province allows for varied agriculture, animal husbandry and horticulture. The lowland area along the Indian Ocean coastline is made up of subtropical thickets and Afromontane Forest. High humidity is experienced, especially in the far north and this is a summer rainfall area. The centrally located Midlands is on a grassland plateau among rolling hills. Temperatures generally get colder in the far west and northern reaches of the province. The mountainous area in the west – the Drakensberg – comprises solid walls of basalt and is the source of the region’s many strongly running rivers. Regular and heavy winter snowfalls support tourist enterprises. The Lubombo mountains in the north are granite formations that run in parallel. Plans for Durban Six years ago, the eThekwini Municipality adopted a densification strategy which entails careful planning along three main urban corridors which connect to the city centre. Land-use management along these corridors will encourage diverse investments while at the same time introducing an Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN). An Inner City Local Area Plan (LAP) for Durban has been developed that aims to make the inner city of Durban “Africa’s leading, most vibrant, liveable, walkable City Centre”. Developed for the Strategic Planning unit of the eThekwini Municipality by a Joint Venture called IPPU, the LAP is based on four main principles: • The connected city: tackling the legacy of the disconnected city of apartheid, the plan promotes the integration of different modes of transport (bus, taxi, pedestrian, rail, etc). • The walkable city: the aim is for residents to be five minutes’ walk from public transport, shops, schools and healthcare facilities. A good variety of residential accommodation is key. • Land use intensity: the plan proposes that land use approvals be more flexible, allowing for more variety and greater density. The plan cites an example of art gallery at street level, with offices above and accommodation on top. If more people live in an area, then shops become more viable and it is easier to provide bulk services. • Starting with small projects and finding ways of championing the development of the inner city. KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2019/20 12

SPECIAL FEATURE The IPPU Joint Venture comprises Iliso, TPI, PMSA, UrbanEcon including Cox Architecture, Urban Solutions, Urban Earth, Jo Lees and Joe Kitching. The Point Waterfront Development is a major project that is in the process of transforming what was an under-utilised and somewhat rundown part of the city into a vibrant, multi-use precinct. Some projections put the total potential investment value of the project at R40-billion and the number of permanent jobs to be created at 6 750. It is an ambitious plan that links the city's beach promenade and the harbour. It offers a property use mix of office space, retail shops, residential dwellings and leisure options. The 55ha site has already seen significant investment. A cruise terminal in the harbour backing on to the Point has been approved. Other major projects in the inner city include: • The Warwick Junction transport interchange which has received road upgrades but could be an even greater enabler of trade. • The Centrum Government Precinct which will formalise the relationship between buildings such as the International Convention Centre and a related hotel, the library, council chambers and the redevelopment of Gugu Dlamini Park. Regions KwaZulu-Natal has 11 district municipalities, the most of any province in South Africa. In economic terms, the province offers diverse opportunities. Southern region This area is the province’s most populous. The city of Durban has experienced booms in sectors such as automotive, ICT, film and call centres. Major investments are taking place at the Port of Durban and there is a possibility that the old airport south of the city becomes another port, if the money can be found to dig it up and let the sea in. Durban's conference facilities are well utilised, but many opportunities still exist in chemicals and industrial chemicals, food and beverages, infrastructure development and tourism. Further south, plans are in place to upgrade Margate’s airport and Port Shepstone’s beachfront. Western region Also known as the Midlands, this is a fertile agricultural region, producing sugar cane, fruit, animal products, forestry and dairy products. Pietermaritzburg is the provincial capital and home to a major aluminium producer along with several manufacturing concerns, including textiles, furniture, leather goods and food. The city has good transport links along the N3 national highway, excellent schools and a lively arts scene. The Midlands Meander is a popular tourist destination. Eastern region Although most of this area is very rural, Richards Bay is one of the country’s industrial hotspots because of its coal terminal and port and aluminium smelters. The Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) is a major economic node in itself: the 62-hectare first phase is almost fully subscribed with the investment value of the two phases (some having already been secured for phase two) at R6.8-billion. Mining is an important sector in this region. The other major urban centre is Empangeni which has several educational institutions. The newly completed King Shaka International Airport is kick-starting massive new investment in the area. The ilembe District Municipality is particularly active in seeking out new investors. Northern region The economic powerhouse is Newcastle in the north-west: coal-mining, steel processing and manufacturing are major activities. Some old coal mines are being reopened by new coal companies to cater for the country's power stations’ demand for the fuel. Game farms, trout fishing and hiking are part of an attractive package for tourists, and Zululand is a popular destination for cultural experiences. The whole region is rich in Anglo-Boer War history. 13 KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2019/20

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