5 years ago

Northern Cape Business 2018-19 edition

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  • Africa
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  • Solar
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  • Northern
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  • Kimberley
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Officially supported and used 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 Province. In addition to comprehensive overviews of sectors of the economy, this publication has several special articles which focus on transformative projects, such as the solar and wind farms rapidly coming on line and the massive potential represented by the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, a multi-billion rand international project already taking shape in the vast open plains of the Karoo. Updated information on Northern Cape is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to online at, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces as well as our flagship South African Business title.


SPECIAL FEATURE by Sol Plaatje University in 2017, an exciting development for the education sector. The finest minds in science are gravitating to a project located in the Karoo, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope. This multi-billionrand project will run for many years and attract investment of many sorts. It is already opening vistas that young South Africans had never imagined. Four South African universities are partners in the SKA project. The other sector which is bringing technology and innovation to the Northern Cape is renewable energy. The Northern Cape is uniquely suited to exploit the latest technologies in solar energy and several international consortiums are using the latest photovoltaic and concentrated solar power (CSP) methods. CSP has the benefit of being able to store energy. 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 plans to further diversify the economy. It has identified three key clusters: mineral beneficiation; agri-processing; energy and technology. The planned Special Economic Zone (linked to the Upington International Airport) is intended as a site for solar-related manufacturing. The Industrial Development Corporation has spent R11.4-billion of its commitment to renewable energy so far in the Northern Cape. Part of the IDC’s role has been to take up a 20% stake in projects on behalf of local communities. Largest province Despite these technical innovations and new developments, the Northern Cape still does big. Big landmass, big railway lines, big volumes, big skies. The Northern Cape is South Africa’s largest province at 372 889km², covering 30% of the country’s landmass on the dry western side of the country bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Namibia and Botswana. The Sishen-Saldanha ore export railway line is one of the mechanical wonders of the world. The line extends 860km and the trains sometimes extend beyond 3 500 metres and carry a load exceeding 41 000 tons. The Northern Cape produces more than 84% of South Africa’s iron ore. Kumba Iron Ore is the The Sol Plaatje Library and Resource Centre, an award-winning example of innovation and excellence. Architects: designworkshop; construction: Murray and Dickson Construction; structural and civils design: Aurecon. NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018/19 8

SPECIAL FEATURE country’s biggest iron-ore miner with two large two mines in the province (Sishen and Kolomela). The Kalahari Basin contains 80% of the world’s manganese reserve, but only 15% of global production comes from this area so there is enormous scope for development. Several new black-owned manganese projects are underway. The world receives 7% of its diamonds from the Northern Cape, and exports of zinc and lead from the province accounts for 13% of global demand. Vedanta Zinc International started work in 2015 on its huge new Gamsberg zinc project. The new mine, pictured above, is near to Vedanta’s existing Black Mountain mine and is the biggest current new mining project underway in South Africa. The province also has copper, lead, zinc, mineral sands, gypsum, granite, asbestos, fluorspar, semi-precious stones and marble. Some decommissioned mines are being put back to work by overseas investors, with Australian company Orion Minerals investigating the possibility of starting up operations at the old copper mine at Prieska. The Northern Cape is a big contributor to the national basket of exports in minerals and in agricultural products such as table grapes and raisins. The province hosts several big companies in the agricultural sector. The town of Douglas hosts GWK. In 2016 GWK invested R400-million in a wheat mill, pasta plant and biscuit factory in Modder River. Senwes is one of the country’s biggest agri-companies and its Northern Cape area of operation is mostly around the Vaalharts irrigation area. OVK controls the large Gariep abattoir at Strydenburg, which has a daily capacity of 1 300 sheep, 100 cattle and either 250 ostriches or 750 small game animals. KLK is based in Upington and is a specialist in karakul pelts, a luxury item which is exported to Europe. The company’s interests include 19 retail outlets, 12 petrol stations, four Build-it franchises and a strong auction division. 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, and 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. Pecan nuts are a major new crop. Thoroughbred horses are bred in the south-eastern parts of the province, especially around Colesberg. 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 and the Namaqualand spring flower display draws many visitors. 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 Northern Cape has five district municipalities Frances Baard District Municipality Towns: Kimberley, Barkly West, Warrenton, Hartswater, Jan Kempdorp. This district accounts for 40.3% of the province’s economic activity. It is the smallest but with a population of approximately 325 500, it is the most densely populated. 9 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018/19

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