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KwaZulu-Natal Business 2022-23

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The 2022/23 edition of KwaZulu-Natal Business is the 14th 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 national government’s campaign to encourage private investment in ports. The vital role of the ports of Durban and Richards Bay in the South African economy cannot be understated and putting them in a better position to deal with commodities and cargoes of every sort is clearly in the national interest. A special purpose vehicle is to be created within Transnet to make dealing with private companies less complicated. 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.

The deepwater port at

The deepwater port at Richards Bay handles a variety of cargo and hosts the Richard Bay Coal Terminal. Credit: TNPA Richards Bay is a deepwater port. Among its 13 berths are terminals that handle dry-bulk ores, minerals and break-bulk cargo. The Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT), with capacity of 91-million tons per year, is South Africa’s primary portal for the export of coal. In 2020, 65 collieries delivered coal to RBCT. The quay of the RBCT is 2.2km long with six berths and four shiploaders. The 276ha site contains a stockyard that can store 8.2-million tons while the terminal itself has a design capacity of 91-million tons per year. More than 900 ships visit RBCT every year. In 2020, 92% of South African coal went to Asia, with India and Pakistan being the biggest importers. Africa imported less than the previous year and made up a total of 5% of volumes while 3% went to Europe. Among the exporters which use RBCT are ARM Coal, Exxaro Coal, Glencore Operations South Africa, Kangra Coal, Koornfontein Mines, Mbokodo, Optimum Coal Terminal, Sasol Mining, South African Coal Mine Holdings, South Dunes Coal Terminal, Seriti, Thungela, Tumelo Coal Mines and Umcebo Mining. Several junior miners also have rights. TNPA has approved in principle the construction of a floating dock near the existing Small Craft quay. TNPA will have to create new onshore infrastructure and do some dredging before it can call for tenders from the private sector to build the dock, which would be able to handle large and ultra-large cargo vessels. The authority that runs the ports at Durban and Richards Bay, TNPA, and Transnet Freight Rail have been working with the private sector to try to improve efficiencies at both ports. Backlogs at Durban in particular have proved frustrating for exporters. Logistics company OneLogix has opened its own distribution hub in Umlaas because of crowded conditions and slow loading. The other entity involved in the loading and unloading equation, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), is investing R2-billion in new equipment to improve coordination between truckers, tax authorities, port staff and ships’ captains. Dube TradePort has facilities devoted to logistics, warehousing and export support. Proximity to the airport is vital and freight volumes are growing. ■ KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2022/23 20

Offering a wide range of services to boost small business Cedric Mnguni, Provincial Manager for Seda, reports on the opportunities for small business in KwaZulu-Natal. INTERVIEW What is the mandate of Seda KwaZulu-Natal? The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) is an agency of the Department of Small Business Development. It is mandated to implement government’s small business strategy; design and implement a standardised delivery network for small enterprise development and integrate government-funded small enterprise support agencies. Seda’s mission is to develop, support and promote small enterprises, ensuring their growth and sustainability in coordination and partnership with various role-players, including global partners, who make international best practices available to local entrepreneurs. Cedric Mnguni, Provincial Manager BIOGRAPHY Cedric Mnguni has degrees in Electrical Engineering (Wits) and Business Management (Durban University of Technology) and a postgraduate diploma in management from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He studied production management in Japan on a JICA bursary. Prior to working at Seda, Cedric was active in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) environment, where he held management positions at Sasol and National Sorghum Breweries. His passion lies in packaging small enterprise development programmes. Where are your regional branches located? eThekwini, Port Shepstone, Richards Bay, Ixopo, Pietermaritzburg, Ladysmith and Newcastle. Are there particular economic sectors in which you specialise? Seda offers non-financial assistance to all forms of small businesses and in all sectors. These include manufacturing, ICT, agriculture and agroprocessing, tourism, textiles and clothing, health and wellness, arts and crafts and various other sectors. Our main priority target groups are women- and youth-owned businesses and in particular, township- and rural-based small businesses. What are the major challenges that small businesses face in KwaZulu-Natal? Small business in KwaZulu-Natal have been adversely affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 and the restrictions that were introduced which hampered their sales revenue and ultimately their growth. The July 2021 unrest dealt small businesses a huge blow and the recent floods in April had a devastating impact on small businesses. In all these challenges, Seda has responded with interventions and assistance in trying to help the SMMEs recover and rebuild their businesses. Where are the best opportunities in KZN? Durban remains the economic powerhouse in the province and its geographical location enables many sectors to flourish. This includes manufacturing, logistics, tourism, wholesale and retail and ICT. Richards Bay continues to expand and it is developing in the mining and production sector. The province is also very rich in agriculture. What is Seda doing to encourage business competitiveness and viability? Seda offers a wide range of services including business diagnostics, information dissemination and training. ■

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