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KwaZulu-Natal Business 2020-21 edition

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The 2020/21 edition of KwaZulu-Natal Business is the 12th issue of this unique 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 vital role played by ports in the province, from the coal exported from Richards Bay to the new cruise liner terminal addition to the Port of Durban. The 10th anniversary of the 2010 FIFA World Cup coincides with the birthday of the Moses Mabhida Stadium, an iconic design that has become a standard feature on the KwaZulu-Natal sporting and events calendar. Likewise the Durban ICC which continues to burnish the province’s reputation as meetings and convention centre.


SPECIAL FEATURE A regional overview of KwaZulu-Natal By John Young Manufacturers are investing in the province and export volumes are on the rise as the province’s two main ports upgrade and expand. Almost a third of South Africa’s manufactured exports are produced in KwaZulu-Natal. A number of domestic and international manufacturers are either buying into the province or building new facilities in order to export finished goods. The Mara Group’s R1-billion investment in a smartphone factory at the Dube TradePort is the latest in a string of inward investments that KwaZulu-Natal has received. This includes expenditure of more than R1.2-billion by Arçelik, the Turkish owner of Defy, at the company’s three South African plants (two of which are in the province) and R4.5-billion by Nyanza Light Metal in a titanium dioxide pigment plant at Richards Bay. The Special Economic Zones (SEZs) at Richards Bay and King Shaka International Airport (the Dube TradePort) are key components of the strategy of attracting investors to the province. Dube TradePort attracted R7-billion between 2012 and 2019 and the same amount is expected to accompany the development of Phase 1A and Phase 1F of the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ). Two investors in 2019 were edible oils manufacturer Wilmar Processing SA, which is investing more than R1-billion in a plant, and Elegant Afro Line, which will spend about R900- million on its chemicals plant. There are plans to establish a clothing and textiles SEZ in the province to build on the province’s established strength in the sector and an automotive supplier park will be in operation by 2021. Toyota and Bell Equipment play a big KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2020/21 12

SPECIAL FEATURE role in the automotive sector while the Engen Oil Refinery is a strategic asset. The province’s existing infrastructure, good soils and fine weather provide a solid base for future growth. KwaZulu-Natal already has significant capacity in heavy and light manufacturing, agriprocessing and mineral beneficiation, all of which is supported by South Africa’s two busiest ports (Richards Bay and Durban), the country’s busiest highway (the N3), a modern international airport and pipelines that carry liquids of all types to and from the economic powerhouse of the country around Johannesburg in the interior. Sappi’s dissolving pulp mill at Umkomaas south of Durban (below) is one of the province’s most significant industrial sites as it produces huge quantities of a material that is used in viscose staple fibre, which in turn is used in clothing and textiles. Together with production volumes from Sappi’s mill in neighbouring Mpumalanga province, the company is the world’s largest manufacturer of dissolving pulp. Sugar, tourism and forestry and paper are other important sectors driving growth and employment in KwaZulu-Natal. In his 2020 State of the Province address, Premier Sihle Zikalala listed the sectors which are to be targeted for investment in the future. These are: • Aloe processing • Bio-ethanol • Renewable energy • Fish processing • Innovation hubs • Oceans Economy. KwaZulu-Natal has a long coastline that stretches from Port Edward in the south to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in the north. The province’s contact with the sea has brought obvious benefits: fishing, fine beaches enjoyed by millions of tourists and two great ports. These ports export vast quantities of minerals (mostly through Richards Bay) and manufactured goods (Durban) and serve as an important conduit 13 KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2020/21

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