The Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environment Affairs and Tourism (Dedeat) last month introduced green manufacturer and innovation company Ikusasa Green as the latest tenant to the Dimbaza Industrial Park, in the Eastern Cape.
Ikusasa Green, which manufactures high-end cooler boxes for brands such as Massmart’s Camp Master, has attracted R21-million in private and public investment, with the Dedeat having invested R9-million into the company since its inception in 2013. Massmart has invested a further R12-million.
Ikusasa Green’s move to the 12 000 m2 facility in Dimbaza, about 84 km from East London, is part of government’s broader strategy of revitalising industrial parks, which were once hubs of economic activity across the Eastern Cape. Government has already reopened the Vulindlela Industrial Park in Mthatha and the iKomani Industrial Park in Queenstown.
The Dimbaza Industrial Park revitalisation master plan – drawn up by development financier the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) – is in its final stages of approval by the provincial Cabinet.
“We are delighted that we have been able to attract an innovative and purely Eastern Cape company, Ikusasa Green, to drive our plan of attracting high-quality investments and companies into the Dimbaza Industrial Park to drive economic activity and employment. Ikusasa has developed a product with a unique value proposition in South Africa and we, as a province, are proud it has attracted interest and investments running into millions of rands from retailers such as Massmart,” Economic Development, Environment Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo noted.
Ikusasa Green MD Thami Gxowa noted that the company’s flagship product includes its high-end, rotational moulded Romer cooler boxes, which are robust for African conditions.
These cooler boxes can preserve ice for up to seven days. The latest range includes the 45 ℓ and 60 ℓ cooler boxes, as well as the 25 ℓ and 40 ℓ economic range.
Massmart has also commissioned Ikusasa Green to produce these high-end cooler boxes under its private Safari Camp Master label in 45 ℓ and 60 ℓ sizes and has invested R12-million into the company. Ikusasa Green is manufacturing the more affordable 50 ℓ injection moulded Camp Master cooler box, 30 ℓ and 12 ℓ family packs with better ice retention, as well as the ammocrate storage box used for camping, for Massmart, in Dimbaza.
The Dedeat has been involved in the company’s growth and development, providing an initial capital injection of R3-million to help source equipment for its rotational moulding plant in Stutterheim, followed by an investment of another R3-million to boost Ikusasa Green’s plant capacity. The Dedeat also invested a further R3-million to rehabilitate the Dimbaza facility.
“This allowed Ikusasa to attract quality clients, such as Massmart, who saw the quality of our high-end cooler boxes and asked us to develop them for their flagship Camp Master label. The relationship grew because of the quality of our products, which gave us the opportunity to expand our product line to injection moulded cooler boxes for Massmart. Massmart also invested into tooling the Dimbaza plant as part of its supplier development programme,” said Gxowa.
The ECDC, the province’s economic development agency, owns the Dimbaza Industrial Park and currently has 107 stands on behalf of government. The ECDC will be the main driver of the revitalisation process of industrial parks across the Eastern Cape. Dimbaza currently has 24 tenants in sectors such as textiles and manufacturing.
ECDC CEO Ndzondelelo Dlulane said the corporation’s support of tenants such as Ikusasa Green is part of a broader industrial park revitalisation strategy in areas such as Butterworth; Vulindlela, in Mthatha; and iKomani and Fort Jackson, in Mdantsane, outside East London.
“Dimbaza was once an industrial hub for King William’s Town, generating significant employment opportunities. Supported by partners such as the Department of Trade and Industry, the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency and the Buffalo City Metro, among others, government has made it a priority to revitalise economic activity in Dimbaza,” Dlulane said.
The ECDC is mobilising potential anchor tenants who will occupy the park and negotiations with local entrepreneurs are ongoing. We are specifically targeting business in the agroprocessing, renewable energy and general manufacturing sectors,” he says.