Nov 2023 1st Edition

Futurelife invests R75m in Dube TradePort SEZ facility

A South African foods manufacturer, Futurelife, has invested R75 million to boost the economy of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

The company recently took occupation in a new manufacturing facility in Dube TradePort, located near the King Shaka International Airport.

KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Siboniso Duma said the investment in a new Futurelife manufacturing facility at the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has created hope for a better future for the province.

The modern factory is set to streamline Futurelife's production processes, enhancing the organisation's efficiency through the purchase of advanced machinery and equipment that will enable the factory to operate at international standards. 

MEC Duma emphasised the important role that the factory will play in sustainable economic development in the province. He said locating the business within the Dube tradeTrade Port SEZ will ensure efficiencies in the operations while reducing the logistics costs.

Ahead of the COVID-19 lockdown, about 315 000 people were employed in manufacturing, representing just 12 percent of total formal and informal employment.

He said the plant is an integral part of the provincial industrial strategy which aims to stimulate the manufacturing industry in order to increase employment.

“If we are to realise the province’s full potential and discharge our shared commitment to create a better life for all South Africans, then increased investment in the province is of critical importance,” the MEC said. 

Additionally, he said the fact that Futurelife already sources 87 percent of its raw materials locally gives local producers an advantage of future upstream integration as the company continues to pursue growth into regional and international markets.

 Futurelife, which previously had its operations in Pinetown for 14 years, was fully acquired by food and beverage company, PepsiCo South Africa in 2023.

 Former Futurelife Managing Director and now PepsiCo South Africa’s Commercial Vice President Mark Bunn said the exceptional facility is a testament to the company’s commitment to transforming and improving South Africans' health and well-being.

“The new factory embodies our dedication to contributing positively to the local community and ultimately the broader economy. The company has its origins in KZN and has experienced significant growth and success within this region and, over time, in South Africa at large,” Bunn said.

He said the business’ dedication extends beyond business as usual, as it's a pledge to support and enrich the local community and economy through its endeavours,SEZ ensuring a lasting positive impact for years to come.

The company currently has a staff complement of 186 and anticipates creating an additional 24 direct jobs in the next five years of its operations within the new facility. It also anticipates growing 30 percent of its business into export markets in Asia, Middle East, Europe, North America and the rest of the African continent. 

  Dube TradePort SEZ Chief Executive Officer Hamish Erskine said the investment is significant for FutureLife, and serves as a notable endorsement for the SEZ, as an investment destination in South Africa.

“As the Special Economic Zone operator, we welcome this investment and look forward to working with and supporting FutureLife in their development journey, as we also continue to build a highly secure and functional industrial precinct,” Erskine said.

 Dube TradePort SEZ is home to 46 operational business enterprises, which have collectively created 10 803 jobs, as at March 2023. –


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