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Northern Cape Business 2022-23

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Since 2009, Northern Cape Business has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the region. It is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the province. Specific investment opportunities are treated in detail in this journal, with a focus on geographic hotspots that are due to become the focus of sector focused infrastructure development.

Kathu Industrial Park A

Kathu Industrial Park A catalyst for multi-sectoral growth. The Sishen Iron Ore Company (Pty) Ltd (SIOC) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) have funded various studies to assess the feasibility of developing an industrial park to stimulate sustainable long-term economic development for the Northern Cape region. The envisaged development will attract a variety of tenants delivering industrial goods and services within a synergistic environment supported by centralised services and complemented by a business incubation and training complex. With the mining industry being the largest real economic sector in the Northern Cape economy, the town of Kathu, located in the Gamagara Local Municipality, is the preferred location due to its central proximity to the Postmasburg-Hotazel iron-ore/manganese belt and various established and pending REIPPPP projects. It is envisaged that the Kathu Industrial Park (KIP) will serve as a catalyst for accelerated growth of other economic sectors. The bankability study has not only confirmed extensive interest from businesses (potential tenants) but has also confirmed the support of various key stakeholders and the commitment of investors and financiers. This development, located on the R380, is easily accessible from the N14 and the Kathu airport. The project is considered a key enabler for localised manufacturing initiatives anticipated via the Northern Cape Shared Value Initiative and Impact Catalyst. In addition to the ongoing development of business opportunities within the tenant supply chains, it will be the role of the KIP Business Incubator to expand the coverage of the KIP into other sectors. Study-phase tenant engagement and commitment to the project has covered all possible prospective tenants, regardless of size or level of development. The KIP development caters for every kind of tenant facilities, from large, customised facilities through to smaller economically efficient mini-factories. Project financing Phase 1: Debt and equity commitment provisionally secured from private sector (mining stakeholders) and public sector (IDC). Engagement is ongoing with the Northern Cape Provincial Government and Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic). Phase 2-3: Current indication is that tenant uptake surplus to Phase 1 will support a further phase of at least R500-million. Project status Bankability Study, Project Development Plan, Environmental Permitting, Land Re-zoning and various scope realignment and market studies completed. Investor Engagement Phase substantively completed with provisional commitment secured from IDC, Kumba, SIOC-CDT, Assmang and South32. The project has been submitted to Infrastructure South Africa to register as a catalytic project. ■ Target sectors The KIP targets all economic sectors requiring serviced industrial space in the region, but with the major portion of the initial tenant makeup (study phase uptake) primarily serving the established mining sector, by virtue of the KIP’s central proximity to the Postmasburg-Hotazel iron-ore/ manganese belt. The KIP is also well positioned to serve the emerging REIPPPP sector in the region.

De Aar Logistics Hub Optimising freight and logistics through infrastructure. The project entails the construction of an inland intermodal system comprising: • container terminal • vehicle parking terminal • warehouse • cold room terminal The province has focused its priorities in alignment with the National Development Plan Vision 2030 and identified priorities to enhance the quality of life of the community. There are inefficiencies in the transport sector that restrict economic growth and job creation because over 80% of freight in South Africa is moved via road. The result of this is poor road conditions, which have an impact on product quality, product losses and substantial expenditure on vehicle maintenance and related costs. The result is increased operational expenditure for miners and farmers. The Northern Cape is a major exporter of table grapes, fruit and meat and is responsible for much of the cattle, sheep and goat farming in the country. Long distances and poor access to markets and storage facilities are limiting profitability for farmers. Small-scale and emerging farmers are excluded from exporting due to the lack of critical mass and other dynamics such as access to markets and financial resources. The mining sector has expressed similar concerns. Approximately 60% of the commodities from large producers is already moved from Hotazel by rail through the province via De Aar or Bloemfontein to Port Elizabeth. Various other commodities are moved via rail through the town of De Aar, of which the most notable are cement from the domestic market, coal and lime, and containers holding general cargo and automotive components. Train drivers and locomotives are changed in De Aar which supports the concept of De Aar becoming a consolidation point for freight to ensure migration from road to rail due to its location and connectivity. The De Aar Logistics Hub serves as the first step for the long-term solution sought by the Northern Cape Provincial Government to optimise the freight strategy and logistic functions of the province. Economic impact Various new kinds of infrastructure would create a positive economic impact: container terminal (consolidation of freight); agricultural warehouse; storage facilities; vehicle storage yard. Potential commodity mix The Northern Cape has many commodities that can be traded and transported via the De Aar Logistics Hub which could serve as a catalyst for local and regional economic development. ■

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