2 years ago

KwaZulu-Natal Business 2020-21 edition

  • Text
  • Invest
  • Africa
  • Tourism
  • Development
  • Property
  • Infrastructure
  • Africa
  • Logistics
  • Transportation
  • Business
  • Investment
  • Port
  • Nedbank
  • Economic
  • Province
  • African
  • Durban
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.


OVERVIEW Energy The sugar industry is ready to sell excess power. Sugar plant. Image: Illovo Sugar South Africa’s shortage of reliable electricity supply came into sharp focus in 2019. The country’s sugar industry, which is particularly strong in KwaZulu-Natal, says it generates far more power than it needs but national government is hesitating in allowing companies to sell to the grid. Encouraging signs were given that government was moving in this direction in the President’s State of the Nation Address and in remarks made by the Minister of Minerals Resources and Energy at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in February 2020, but no licences or concrete proposals were immediately forthcoming. The managing director of Illovo Sugar SA, Mamongae Mahlare, told the Sunday Times in March that the sugar industry is in real need of some other source of income to offset tough times. Selling energy to the grid (and investigating biofuel and bio-energy) are “key” to the sector’s future, she told the newspaper. At the company’s Eswatini mill, Ubombo, it has a commercial supply agreement with the Eswatini Electricity Company. The province’s other sugar giant, Tongaat Hulett, produces between 12MW and 14MW of power at its mills and believes that the national sugar industry could generate between 700MW and 900MW. A 17MW biomass project represents the province’s only approved project in terms of the national Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). An open cycle gas turbine plant at Shakaskraal in the iLembe District Municipality can be converted to gas-fired technology, a method which energy planners are encouraging. The 670MW plant came on stream in 2017. Its project company, Avon Peaking Power, Online Resources National Department of Energy: National Energy Regulator: South African National Energy Development Institute: Sector Insight Richards Bay hopes to attract LNG investors. is jointly owned by a community trust, Mitsui (Japan), Legend Power Solutions (South Africa) and ENGIE of France. As part of the provincial government’s strategy to boost regional development, the iLembe District has been named as an Industrial Economic Hub (IEH) for the renewable energy sector. Khanyisa Projects has set up 26 biodigesters which produce gas for cooking at Ndwedwe in the iLembe District. The project forms part of the Working for Energy programme of the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) which promotes the use of sustainable clean energy in rural areas. The Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) has been named as the site for 2 000MW liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in terms of national government’s gas-to-power plan. RBIDZ is also the site of a new biomass plant. Biomass technology is at the centre of the conversion scheme of South African Breweries at its Prospecton plant south of Durban. Methane-gas emissions from a nearby effluent plant are piped to the plant where they are converted to electricity. ■ KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2020/21 42

Water Two new dams are under construction. Two new dams will add 800-million litres of water per day to the available supply in KwaZulu-Natal. As part of the lower uMkhomazi bulk water scheme, utility Umgeni Water will spend about R26-billion on the Smithfield Dam and R2.4-billion on the Ngwadini Dam. Umgeni Water currently supplies more than 400m³ of potable water to its six large municipal customers: eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, iLembe District Municipality, Sisonke District Municipality, Umgungundlovu District Municipality, Ugu District Municipality and Msunduzi Local Municipality. The company has five dams, 10 waterworks, five water-treatment plants and two waste-water works. Large parts of the northern part of the province are served by Mhlathuze Water. The utility has assets valued at more than R3-billion and its area of supply covers 37 000m². Clearing pit toilets in remote rural areas and on steep inclines presents an engineering challenge. In response to a Water Research Commission project on the subject, Partners in Development, a Pietermaritzburg-based engineering and project management company, has developed the eVac pit-emptying machine. It’s lightweight, mobile and has strong sucking power. New technology has been installed at the Verulam Wastewater Treatment Works of the eThekwini Municipality. Murray & Roberts Water and its European technology partner, Organica Water, has installed an environmentally-friendly system that uses 30% less energy and produces 30% less sludge. Richards Bay has installed a 10-container desalination plant next to the municipal water-treatment plant at Alkanstrand. The first mobile sea-water purification unit in South Africa, it comprises 10 containers and is located adjacent to the water-treatment plant at Alkantstrand. It can deliver 10 megalitres of drinking water. However, the high cost of electricity means that the unit is used sparingly. Solar energy is being investigated as a possible alternative. In 2018 JG Afrika delivered a R72-million desalination plant to South32’s Hillside aluminium smelter in the same town. The area north of the Durban central business district is one of the fastest-growing urban areas in South Africa, with a Online Resources Mhlathuze Water: National Department of Water and Sanitation: Partners in Development: Umgeni Water: Water Research Commission: OVERVIEW Sector Insight Pietermaritzburg engineers are tackling pit toilet clearance. number of large office and accommodation projects going ahead simultaneously. This is a welcome development for the economy, but the new buildings also create pressure on infrastructure. Image: Umgeni Water The multi-year, R250- million Northern Aqueduct Augmentation project was initiated in 2014 and the fifth phase of the project is underway. This will provide water for Durban North, Umhlanga, Newlands, KwaMashu, Phoenix and Cornubia. Nedbank sponsors the clearing of alien vegetation in the country’s water-catchment areas, including in KwaZulu- Natal. The Nedbank sponsorship of the WWF’s Water Balance Programme has seen water flowing more freely in the Umgeni catchment area. ■ 43 KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2020/21

Other recent publications by Global Africa Network: