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KwaZulu-Natal Business 2022-23

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  • Kwazulunatal
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  • Tourism
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  • Richards
  • Durban
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.

OVERVIEW Tourism Resumed

OVERVIEW Tourism Resumed flights augur well for the economy. SECTOR INSIGHT The KZN Tourism Relief Fund is helping Covid-stressed businesses. Both Qatar Airways and SAA had resumed flights to King Shaka International Airport by early March 2022, a good sign for the recovery of the regional economy. SAA is flying three times a week while the Doha-based airline is offering four flights per week. The KZN Tourism Relief Fund was put in place to provide relief to majority black-owned tourism businesses. The R20-million fund, modelled on the National Tourism Relief Fund, was capped at R50 000 per business. Rural tourism, as well as women- and youth-owned businesses, are at the centre of the provincial government’s Tourism Recovery Plan. The projects include the development of a tourism precinct at Howick Falls in uMgungundlovu District Municipality, improvements at KwaXolo Caves Adventures in Ugu District Municipality and the construction of uMtubatuba Tourism Information and SMME Centre in uMkhanyakude District Municipality. The combined contribution of retail and tourism to provincial GDP is 14%. Research by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal shows that the coastal province consistently has the best hotel occupancies in the country. The Docklands Hotel at the Durban Waterfront is a four-star Signature development that cost about R100-million to develop. Tsogo Sun has spent R1.6-billion on refurbishing its Suncoast complex on Durban’s Golden Mile. Suncoast Casino Hotels & Entertainment covers a huge area and offers a wide variety of entertainment options. Tsogo Sun has four other hotels on the Golden Mile and six hotels in Durban with a further four in nearby Umhlanga, where one of the group’s most luxurious hotels, the 89-room Beverly Hills, is located. A “mega-hotel” was created with the amalgamation of the Southern ONLINE RESOURCES Durban International Convention Centre: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife: Tourism KwaZulu-Natal: Credit: Qatar Airways Sun North Beach and Southern Sun Elangeni hotels. Premier Hotels & Resorts will spend about R420-million on two new hotels at Umhlanga. The 207- room Hilton Garden Inn has been operating at Umhlanga Arch since 2020. The new Radisson Blu Oceans Umhlanga Hotel is expected to open in 2022. The Royal Hotel in the heart of Durban is one of eight Three Cities Group hotels in the province. The Golden Horse Casino Hotel is a Three Cities property, and the Group administers the International Hotel School in Westville that also hosts the Christine Martin School of Food and Wine. IFA Hotels & Resorts runs several luxury properties including the Zimbali Coastal Resort and Zimbali Lakes Resort. Signature Life Hotels has 13 properties and Gooderson Leisure has a varied portfolio. Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom, a Sun International property, is north of Durban between Umdloti and Umhlanga. The casinos in Newcastle (Century City), Empangeni (Tusk Umfolozi Casino) and Pietermaritzburg (Golden Horse Casino) are run by Century Casinos Newcastle, Peermont Global and Akani Msunduzi Management respectively. ■ KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2022/23 40

ICT OVERVIEW Infrastructure has to be rebuilt after severe flooding. One of the results of the violent floods that affected KwaZulu-Natal in 2022 was the destruction of ICT infrastructure. Mobile operator MTN lost connections to 500 sites through a combination of towers being knocked down and interrupted electricity supply. Some fibre ducts also became water-logged. The major telecoms companies worked quickly to restore connectivity and donated blankets and other supplies to affected communities. More than 500 SMMEs are expected to participate in a rollout of more than 20 000 public hotspots across the province. Key areas will include taxi ranks, schools and public health facilities. More than 140 sites have been successfully connected in several districts through the SA Connect programme. A provincial strategy for creating smart cities is targeting three districts: Ugu (Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality as anchor); iLembe (KwaDukuza); Richards Bay (uMhlathuze). Broadband Infraco is providing layer two network services to Dube TradePort (pictured) to provide over 810 WiFi hotspots at 405 selected sites across the province. Over the next five years, the Moses Kotane Institute, another subsidiary of the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, will connect several rural communities. Hubs are expected to be functional in Community Service Centres to improve public access to digital services. South African Vanguard of Technology (Savant) is a Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) programme. It is the marketing and awareness programme for the South African ICT and electronics sector. The aim is to develop South African exports and to attract foreign investment. It houses a venture fund and an incubator. A SmartXchange SMME Incubator has been launched in Port Shepstone on the South Coast. The concept of ICT has been ONLINE RESOURCES Dube TradePort: Information Technology Association of South Africa: SmartExchange: South African Vanguard of Technology: SECTOR INSIGHT Dube TradePort is a provincial leader in digital technology. expanded to include media and electronics, so the hub is called an MICTe Incubator. The province’s SmartXchange is an example of a successful publicprivate partnership that supports businesses in the information technology and communications sector. Incubation strategies for start-ups and skills development (including links to educational institutions) are important parts of the organisation’s brief. KwaZulu-Natal has an established skills base in microprocessors and radiobased systems and a strong manufacturing base. ■ 41 KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2022/23

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