6 years ago

Mpumalanga Business 2017 edition

  • Text
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Mpumalanga Business 2017 is the seventh edition of this highly successful publication that has since its launch in 2008 established itself as the premier business and investment guide to Mpumalanga Province. Supported and utilised by the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA), Mpumalanga Business is unique as a business journal that focuses exclusively on Mpumalanga.


SPECIAL FEATURE PRASA has invited private investors to come on board to build a railway line using a wider gauge and to undertake to build railway stations. The movement of increased numbers of commuters will obviously also create opportunities for selling things, and so the project is inviting retail firms to get involved. Better access along the corridor will also improve access for companies in the manufacturing sector and there will be opportunities in the housing sector as well. The very efficient Gautrain in neighbouring Gauteng Province has shown that good rail links drive property development because commuters are attracted to the idea of getting to and from work quickly. The economic benefits of the improved rail link will be especially felt in the local municipalities of Thembisile Hani and Dr JS Moroka. The National Minister of Transport announced in June 2016 that the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) will spend R3.7-billion on upgrading the Moloto Road. The R573 is one of South Africa’s busiest roads, carrying at least 150 000 commuters every day, mostly to and from Pretoria. With a good road in place, conditions for traders and manufacturers along the corridor will be very favourable. Almost all the roads in the province are maintained by the provincial government. Coal haulage in huge trucks takes a toll on the province’s roads and many of the province’s townships (neglected during the apartheid era) lack tar roads and have poor drainage. MEGA proposes a system of concessions to be granted to private developers who would take responsibility for a section of road: the developer would provide funding for the planning, construction and maintenance of the roads for the duration of the concession. Water infrastructure Mining and agriculture – two of Mpumalanga’s biggest sectors – are thirsty industries and South Africa is a water-scarce country. Mpumalanga itself has good rainfall but there are not enough dams to take advantage of that blessing. Mining has also been going on for many years with the result that the water table has risen and acidic mine water damage is widespread. Partners are sought to address the acid mine water problem, using the latest technology. Many of the province’s water treatment plants are outdated and need either to be updated or new ones built, especially because urban areas are growing very quickly and the plants were built to cater for much smaller populations. Opportunities for investors to be involved in public-private partnerships exist for: • The construction of dams and reservoirs • Purification and desalination of acidic water • New treatment plants • Water pipelines and water reticulation • Installation of pre-paid meters Health infrastructure Providing healthcare to citizens is a core function of provincial government. Nearly R500-million will be spent in the next three years by Mpumalanga on renovating and building new primary healthcare facilities. In the 2016/17 financial year, an amount of R162-million has been allocated to upgrading two hospitals (Bethal and Middleburg) and building one new one. The province hopes to find investors to build another three new hospitals. Medical staff in such facilities would be from the Department of Health but all non-core activities would be provided by the private company, including management of the hospital. A related scheme aims for the development of a healthcare park to accommodate a range of healthrelated companies and service providers. Serviced land has been allocated for this project. Housing So strong has been the demand for housing in Thekwane in the Mbombela Municipality that planners want to develop a fully-formed town to accommodate it. MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2017 24

SPECIAL FEATURE A phased development would see a private developer work with MEGA, who would assist with all landuse issues and planning approval. The plan envisages a mix of residential, commercial and public land-use. Across the province, there is a housing backlog of 600 000. The provincial government owns many parcels of land throughout the province that are suitable for housing developments and seeks investors who are willing to build mixed-use developments that includes low-cost housing and rental stock. This may mean that higher income-generating units have to be incorporated into the broader development (office spaces, retail, etc) but affordable housing must form part of the package. Energy Mpumalanga is one of the most important provinces in South Africa in terms of power generation, but coal-fired power stations cannot be the only solution. To that end, the national government has started a programme to get private investors to build renewable energy plants to provide to the national grid. Mpumalanga aims to provide at least 2 000MW as part of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP). The Boschejskop Hydro Dam project would achieve two goals – alleviate the water shortage in the provincial capital of Mbombela and provide 300MW of power. A private investor would be asked to do the feasibility study and then finance and construct the facilities with two future revenue streams in prospect: a water off-take agreement with Mbombela and the sale of electricity to the national power utility Eskom. Other projects suitable for public-private partnership include the construction of a solar park to power the Nkomazi Special Economic Zone and a wind power plant to be built at Sabie and Lydenburg. On a smaller scale, solar street lighting is seen as the answer to providing lighting for areas that are currently don’t have street lighting. Concessions are on offer to private operators who can install, operate and maintain such a system. The provincial government will sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the concessionaire. Tourism Mpumalanga is already a much-visited area. The famous Kruger National Park, several exclusive private game reserves and many areas of great natural beauty ensure that Mpumalanga is a must-see destination for most international visitors. Further leveraging these advantages could bring greater economic development to the province. To that end, MEGA has identified several priority projects that have been packaged to appeal to international investors: Blyde River Tourism Cluster More than a million visitors every year look into this awe-inspiring canyon, but they seldom stay for long. This project aims to give the visitor something to do and a closer look at the canyon via a cable car trip to Blyde Lake. A related hotel and restaurant development (and a skywalk for another, adventurous, way of looking) are all part of the proposal, which could be parcelled out to a number of investors. International Convention Centre Land is available for developers in the province’s capital city of Mbombela to create an International Convention Centre. Conference delegates always like to be in nice places, and the selling point here would be to link the centre to the province’s greatest tourism assets like the Kruger National Park, the Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window. Space is also available for the construction of a related hotel and multi-purpose recreational facilities. Visitors to the Kruger National Park can fly into the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, which is on the outskirts of Mbombela, and the town is located near to Swaziland and Mozambique, both tourist destinations of their own. Mandela Iconic Eye Mbombela aims to build a statue to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, an icon of the struggle against apartheid and the first president of democratic South Africa. The statue is planned for a hill overlooking the town, and will be accompanied by a tourist wheel, a cable car, restaurants and a conference facility. The value of the whole project has been estimated at R2.2-billion. 25 MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2017

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