The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has approved R50-million for the first phase of the revitalisation of the Dimbaza Industrial Park, in the Eastern Cape, as part of the National Revitalisation of Industrial Parks Programme.
The revitalisation work includes the construction of an electrical high mast to improve visibility as part of security improvements, as well as installing fencing, gates, turnstiles and a security guard house to enhance security in the park and ensure access control.
“The advancement of revitalization of the Dimbaza Industrial Park is most imperative, as the private sector is eager to invest in the park as soon as it is renovated,” the DTIC notes in a statement.
It adds that one of the objectives of the programme is to accelerate economic development in the lagging regions of South Africa by attracting investments from businesses to establish a presence in these areas.
“Eastern Cape business people are already lining up to invest in the Dimbaza industrial park, which is undergoing a facelift that has already started to improve its physical image and is capturing the attention of the private sector,” says the DTIC.
“All spheres of government are working together to transform the Dimbaza Industrial Park into a hive of activity as an integrated agro-industrial hub for innovation, product and process formulation in the food and related industries,” it adds.
“There are companies that are already operating in the park that have indicated their plans and interest to expand operations as a result of the sense of security and confidence in the park that have been generated by the upgrading of the security features,” comments Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) regional manager Rufus Nayo.
He says he is optimistic that the park’s occupancy rate will improve significantly as a result of the revitalisation initiative.
“Currently the occupation rate of the 102 factories located in the park stands at 24%. This is due to the condition of the park, as there is a lot of work that still needs to be done on many of the factories that have been vandalised over a period of time.
"The installation of the security features by the DTIC as the first phase of the revitalisation programme has gone a long way in changing the perception of business people towards the park.
"It will also give [the ECDC] an opportunity to focus on the upgrading of the damaged factories without any security concerns as the perimeter fence and installation of the gates have resulted in controlled access to the park where we have posted security guards on a 24-hour basis,” says Nayo.
Nayo says that the fully revitalized Dimbaza Industrial Park will create jobs for locals, attract direct domestic investment, contributing to the economic growth of the province and the country. Currently, more than 1 000 people are employed at the park.
“There are companies that are so eager to set up here that they are even prepared to identify suitable factories and renovate them themselves. We have already signed lease agreements with some of them,” said Nayo.