KZN continues quest to remain most favoured investment destination

While unemployment figures may cause despair, KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, says the rate of investment into the province is a sign that tomorrow will be better than today.

‘As KwaZulu-Natal, we faced an uphill battle in ensuring that investor confidence is unwavering, despite challenges with load shedding, the civil unrest, ageing utilities’ infrastructure, some of which could not withstand the recent floods. Yet we remain determined to continue in our quest to ensure that investors know that KwaZulu-Natal is and remains the most favoured investment destination in Southern Africa,’ Dube-Ncube said.

The Premier made the remarks when delivering the State of the Province Address (SOPA) at the Oval Cricket Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.

Dube-Ncube said during the South African Investment Conference (SAIC) held last year, where President Ramaphosa’s target was exceeded by some R306 billion, KwaZulu-Natal’s share included 55 companies in the province, which invested over R300 billion.

be-Ncube said some of the investments are located in the province’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Richards Bay and Dube Trade Port, and around the province.

‘Targeted business expansion and retention support activities amounted to over R23 billion, resulting in 37 201 jobs being created. Added to this are investments attracted by Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) over the last two decades, amounting to over R60 billion and creating over 95 000 jobs,’ Dube-Ncube said.

The Premier said KwaZulu-Natal is committed to the establishment of new leather and textile Special Economic Zones in the Newcastle and Ladysmith corridor, which are estimated at R600 million.

She said the two new SEZs will add to the two provincial SEZs of Dube Trade Port and Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ), and will create 4 500 employment opportunities.

According to the Premier, 35 Black Industrialists have been supported by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) and for grant funding, and t
hey will create approximately 4 000 jobs. She said the target is to support 10 new Black Industrialists in the coming financial year.

‘KwaZulu-Natal has 35 small scale fisheries cooperatives comprising 1 000 small scale fishers registered by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. Government has rolled out training to capacitate these fishers in the variety of Ocean Economy and Maritime technical skills,’ the Premier said.

Dube-Ncube also highlighted some government-led projects to create jobs, including the Port of Durban’s R1.34 billion investment programme aimed at upgrading port facilities to mainly increase port capacity. This created 1 328 jobs.

The Passenger Rail Agency South Africa (PRASA) has also spent over R900 million in KwaZulu­-Natal through its capital programme on investment and infrastructure works.

‘This includes projects on rolling stock upgrades, including the Bridge City Development with a new rail network, new access gates and CCTV cameras and stations, and the Dal
bridge turnaround facility and general infrastructure station improvement. These were never there prior to this government.

‘In 2023, the R2 billion Dr Pixley ka lsaka Seme Regional Hospital was officially opened with 500 beds and a full package of regional services provided. This hospital has changed lives, especially in the Phoenix, lnanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu (PINK) area, and created 5 312 jobs during construction,’ Dube-Ncube highlighted.

The Premier acknowledged that government alone cannot address the enormous developmental challenges faced by the province.

‘In order to accelerate development, we have partnered with the private sector to stimulate our economy. The public and private projects, worth over R129 billion, have created over 339 000 jobs,’ the Premier said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Related Articles