The R18-billion expansion of one of two of KwaZulu-Natal’s special economic zones (SEZs), the Dube TradePort, is set to create hundreds of jobs as the province gears for yet another round of development for its Durban Aerotropolis precinct, KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala has said.
At a media briefing earlier this week, he said the multibillion-rand second phase of the Dube TradePort would benefit from an “unparalleled wave” of investments.
" . . . we have amassed business prospects worth more than R200-billion which will see cranes forming the outline against the province’s sky and unleash considerable job opportunities,” Zikalala noted.
He added that, since 2010, the Dube TradePort has created thousands of jobs and contributed significantly to the provincial fiscus.
Zikalala described Phase 1 as a “resounding success”, noting that, to date, it has created more than 12 000 job opportunities and attracted R3.2-billion in private sector investment.
The first phase included a signed a lease agreement from the the Mara Group, which is proceeding with its plans to invest R1.5-billion into Africa’s first fully-fledged smartphone factory. Zikalala said President Cyril Ramaphosa and national ministers would officially unveil the cellphone manufacturing plant in the near future.
"Phase 2 offers immense opportunities in sectors such as electronics; aeronautical services, such as aircraft maintenance, aircraft repair, overhaul and fixed-base operations; and executive aerospace, among the many offerings," he added.
Zikalala said the Durban Aerotropolis was poised to enhance urban and national competitiveness through improved multimodal transport access and planned, coordinated, aviation-linked commercial development.
"The second phase . . . is, therefore, one more step forward toward achieving this goal. This megadevelopment brings an additional 45 ha of prime industrial land and is expected to generate R18-billion within the SEZ over the next five years," he said.
Dube TradePort CEO Hamish Erskine said scores of companies had shown an interest in occupying sites in the Phase 2 development.
“We are confident that we will be in a position to make some major announcements in this regard soon."