5 years ago

Northern Cape Business 2017-18 edition

  • Text
  • Infrastructure
  • Tourism
  • Province
  • Network
  • Science
  • Development
  • Sez
  • Business
  • Investment
  • Business
  • Northern
  • Cape
  • Pretoria
  • Province
  • Kimberley
  • Municipality
  • Economic
  • Mining
  • Solar
  • Upington
Northern Cape Business 2017/18 is the seventh edition of this highly successful publication that has, since its launch in 2009, established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the Northern Cape Province. Officially supported and utilised by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Northern Cape Business is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the Northern Cape.


SPECIAL FEATURE The planned Special Economic Zone at Upington (linked to the Upington International Airport) is seen as a possible site for solarrelated manufacturing. One the biggest funders of the renewable energy programme, the Industrial Development Corporation, has spent R11.4- billion of its commitment so far in the Northern Cape, out of a total of R14.2-billion. Part of the IDC’s role has been to take up a 20% stake in the projects on behalf of local communities. A major new investment in zinc extraction by Indian firm Vedanta and an uptick in ironore prices going into 2017 has revived the mining outlook after some tough times. The IDC also has a stake in this mine. Diamond mine Petra Diamonds reports good progress on its mines in and around Kimberley. On the scientific front, the Northern Cape is hosting one of the great projects of the age, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, a multi-national effort that will delve into the secrets of the universe from a base in Carnarvon in the Karoo. The province’s new university in Kimberley, the Sol Plaatje University, gives Northern Cape students a chance to study at tertiary level without having to incur the expense and inconvenience of travelling outside the province. The rise of the renewable energy sector has given the Northern Cape a chance to break its dependence on the mining sector, subject as it is to global price fluctuations. The provincial government of the Northern Cape has a number of schemes to further diversify the economy and to find ways to further sustain the mining industry in the province. To that end, the government held three summits in 2016. These dealt with small, medium and micro enterprises and procurement, renewable energy and mining. In the longer term, the provincial government has identified three key clusters that it wants to concentrate on. These are: • Mineral beneficiation • Agri-processing • Energy and technology. Geography The Northern Cape is South Africa’s largest province, covering 30% of the country’s landmass on the dry western side of the country bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Namibia and Botswana. The provincial population of just over a million represents 2.2% of the country’s population and the principal languages are Afrikaans (54%) and Setswana (33%). The San people live in the arid regions of the north. The province is well served in transport and communications, despite its vast size (361 830 square kilometres). Airports at Kimberley and Upington are quite substantial and many smaller towns, mines and game reserves have landing strips. Although the province has many roads, maintaining them is a very difficult and expensive task. The Northern Cape does not have a major port although Port Nolloth serves as an adequate fishing harbour. Investigations into the creation of a deep-water port are well advanced. Another project could see the province’s small harbours and bays developed as well. A unit within the national Department of Public Works aims to spark economic development in coastal areas. The Orange River is the most important geographical feature of the province, providing irrigation to support a thriving grape, sultana and wine industry. One small hydro-electric power scheme has been approved, but the potential for more such schemes is massive. NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017/18 8

SPECIAL FEATURE Other crops such as lucerne, cotton, wheat, peanuts and maize are grown in the Orange River Valley and in other irrigation scheme areas such as the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme in the eastern part of the province. Sheep and goats are the most popular livestock, and horse-breeding is a lucrative activity. The Northern Cape is home to six national parks and five provincial parks and nature reserves. The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape is a World Heritage Site, while the natural spring flower show that appears in Namaqualand is one of the wonders of the world. In 2016 the well-respected international tourist book, Rough Guide, elected the stark beauty of the Richtersveld onto its Top 10 list of places to visit. Most of the province falls into the category of semi-arid (apart from the coastal strip) and it receives relatively little rainfall. Summers are hot and winters are cold. The western parts of the province are famous for spectacular displays of flowers in spring. Economy Mining has long been a mainstay of the provincial economy, contributing 27.6% of provincial GDP (StatsSA). However, only 7% of the population gains employment from the sector: fully 31% are employed in “community services”. Iron ore and manganese are the two main minerals, with the Sishen-Saldanha rail line being one of the longest and most technically advanced logistics links in the world. Both the iron ore and manganese sectors experienced terrific growth in the years to 2014, but reduced global demand (mainly from China) has put a dampener on exports. The Northern Cape is a big contributor to the national basket of exports, not only in minerals but in agricultural products such as table grapes and raisins. The world receives 7%t of its diamonds from the Northern Cape, and exports of zinc and lead from the province account for 13% of global demand. The figure in manganese is even more impressive – 25% (DEDAT, Northern Cape). This reliance on an export economy has its risks, as has recently been seen with the laying off of workers at iron-ore mines. There has been a big change in diamond-mine ownership in the Northern Cape in recent years, with Petra Diamonds buying many of De Beers’ assets. In the Namaqualand area, Trans Hex has acquired former De Beers properties. The province also has copper, lead, zinc, mineral sands, gypsum, granite, asbestos, fluorspar, semiprecious stones and marble. About 45 000 people are employed in agriculture, which represents approximately 16% of employment. The province supports livestock farming (mainly goats and sheep with cattle in the north), table grapes, dates, cotton, cereal crops and vineyards along the banks of the Orange River and large varieties of crops including cotton, groundnuts, wheat and maize on irrigated lands (including the large Vaalharts scheme). Thoroughbred horses are bred in the south-western parts of the province, especially around Colesberg. The Northern Cape is divided into five district municipalities. Each of these districts is suitable for investments in renewable 9 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017/18

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