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KwaZulu-Natal Business 2021-22

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  • Harbours
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  • Africa
  • Southafrica
  • Kwazulunatal
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  • Investment
  • Infrastructure
  • Export
  • Ilembe
  • Industrial
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  • African
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  • Durban
The 2021/22 edition of KwaZulu-Natal Business is the 13th issue of this unique guide to business and investment in KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa. Launched in 2008, this annual journal has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the province. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there is a special report on the prospect of increasing exports on the back of the signing of a continental free trade agreement. The province’s export infrastructure is examined and the diversity and export successes of several companies in a wide range of sectors are noted. The increasing importance of the Oceans Economy to the future of the provincial and national economy is relevant to any examination of the economy of KwaZulu-Natal. This applies as much to trade and ship-repair as it does to the exciting gas discoveries which have been made off the coast of Mozambique and South Africa. To complement the extensive local, national and international distribution of the print edition, the full content can also be viewed online at Updated information on KwaZulu-Natal is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to online at

Durban Container

Durban Container Terminal. Credit: TPT 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. Mondi is the province’s other global giant in forestry, paper and packaging. Oceans Economy KwaZulu-Natal province has a long coastline that stretches from the Mtamvuna River 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 for imports of all sorts. The Richards Bay Coal Terminal exports massive quantities of coal while the Port of Durban is the busiest port in Africa. However, planners want to expand the economic benefits that the ocean can bring. An Oceans Economy Review Workshop has come up with a range of sub-sectors that can help grow the provincial economy and invite foreign direct investment: • Marine transport and manufacturing. • Offshore oil and gas exploration. • Aquaculture. • Marine protection and ocean governance. • Small harbours. • Coastal and marine tourism. Strategies to grow the Oceans Economy dovetail with ongoing projects to boost the capacity of the province’s ports and to explore for gas and oil in the Indian Ocean. If oil rigs were to start visiting the KZN coastline on a regular basis, the ship-repair industry would grow exponentially. The Oceans Economy is one of the focus areas that has been chosen by national government to be part of Operation Phakisa, a focused, goal-driven attempt to jump-start a specific economic sector. Overall, Phakisa intends creating a million jobs by 2033 and injecting R177-billion into national GDP. The decision to build a cruise-ship terminal at the Port of Durban is a good example of the kind of decision that is in line with an “Oceans Economy” approach. KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2021/22 12

SPECIAL FEATURE 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. Regions KwaZulu-Natal has 10 district municipalities and a metropolitan municipality, 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. The promenade now reaches all the way to the harbour and the Point development will benefit. Major investments are taking place at the Port of Durban with the current centrepiece being the Durban Cruise Terminal. The Container Terminal is also undergoing an extensive overhaul. 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, Margate’s airport and Port Shepstone’s beachfront are assets. Western region Also known as the Midlands, this is a fertile agricultural region which hosts the popular annual Royal Show. It produces sugarcane, 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 rural, Richards Bay is one of the country’s industrial hot spots because of its coal terminal, port and aluminium smelters. The Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) is a major economic node and with the possibility of a power plant being built, the RBIDZ could become an energy hub. Mining is an important sector in this region. The other major urban centre is Empangeni which has several educational institutions. The King Shaka International Airport is adjacent to the Dube TradePort, a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) which is attracting 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 region is rich in Anglo-Boer War history which includes battle sites such as Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. ■ Credit: Isandlwana Battlefields Route 13 KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2021/22

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