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KwaZulu-Natal Business 2021-22

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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


OVERVIEW Water Waste-water works are being upgraded. A new tender was issued in 2020 for the completion of a 35-megalitre-per-day upgrade of the Darvill Waste-Water Works. The facility receives and treats both domestic and industrial waste-water from the city of Pietermaritzburg. A provincial Water Intervention Plan is being rolled out in hotspots where municipalities are struggling to provide consistent services. The water-stressed districts to benefit from this project are Ugu, uThukela, uMzinyathi, Amajuba, Zululand, uMkhanyakude and Harry Gwala. The main pipelines of Kokstad and Underberg are receiving upgrades, as are the water supply systems at Bergville, Skhemelele and Moyeni Zwelisha. The area north of the Durban central business district is one of the fastest-growing urban areas in South Africa, with a 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. 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. 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 472-million cubic metres 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, including Darvill. 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. ONLINE RESOURCES Mhlathuze Water: National Department of Water and Sanitation: Umgeni Water: Water Research Commission: SECTOR INSIGHT Water hotspots are getting urgent relief. 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. 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. ■ KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2021/22 44

Energy Toyota dealers are using less energy. OVERVIEW SECTOR INSIGHT Sugar producers want to sell electricity. Credit: Toyota SA In terms of Toyota’s Dealer Environmental Risk Audit Programme (DERAP), dealers do audits twice a year to check their compliance with various environmental and energy standards. One checkpoint relates to generating less energy. The national winner of the DERAP award installed 288 solar panels on the roof, uses LED lights in the workshop and natural light is utilised via louvres. The managing director of Illovo Sugar SA, Mamongae Mahlare, has told the Sunday Times 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, is jointly owned by a community trust, Mitsui (Japan), Legend ONLINE RESOURCES National Department of Energy: National Energy Regulator: South African National Energy Development Institute: 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-topower 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. ■ 45 KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2021/22

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