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A new business gateway for KZN

Written by Chris Bathembu
The Dube TradePort in Durban is now officially an Industrial Development Zone (IDZ).

It joins three other similar economic zones spread out across the country.

President Jacob Zuma handed over an IDZ operator licence to the Dube Trade- Port Corporation signalling a new beginning for the precinct, which has already attracted investments worth nearly R1billion since it was opened in 2012.

“This is another step forward in our work towards creating more jobs that would alleviate poverty amongst our people,” President Zuma said at the ceremony at King Shaka International Airport.

The Dube TradePort IDZ is the latest in the nationwide rollout of special economic zones aimed at growing the country’s economy to meet the target of five per cent growth by 2019.

As the first IDZ for Durban, the Dube Trade- Port IDZ joins a list of other similar projects, which have attracted a combined investment of over R5 billion in Port Elizabeth, East London and Richards Bay.

According to Department of Trade and Industry Director-General Lionel October, more special economic zones will be rolled out across the country as government intensifies its approach to industrialise South Africa’s economy as demanded by the National Development Plan (NDP).

The Dube TradePort IDZ is set to transform Kwazulu-Natal into both a key business gateway and a noteworthy player in the global supply chain of goods. Two investment areas - the Dube TradeZone and Dube AgriZone - will be crucial to the success of the IDZ.

The main sectors that have been identified include electronics manufacturing and assembly, aerospace and aviation-linked manufacturing, agriculture and agro processing, medical and pharmaceutical production as well as clothing and textiles.

President Zuma said the Dube TradePort would create more than 150 000 jobs by 2060, the same year the development is envisaged to contribute R5,6 billion to the country’s GDP.

“The Dube TradePort is yet another good story to tell. We are determined to create an environment that is investor friendly. We will continue to improve support measures both through the special economic zones and other development tool,” he added.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the concept of special economic zones had, in South Africa and in many other parts of the world, proved to be useful tools to promote industrial development and diversification of the economy.

“These are the industries that are largely supporting our export markets and are located in ports and around airports. In the life of the last administration we looked critically in what we can achieve from the special economic zones programme. The three active IDZs (Port Elizabeth, East London and Richards Bay) have now attracted investment worth R5 billion in total so the strategy is working,” Minister Davies said.

He said government was in the process of setting up a Special Economic Zones Board, which would advise the Minister on the implementation and proclamation of special economic zones.

President Zuma said the people of Kwa-Zulu-Natal would judge the success of the new development by the manner in which it changes their lives through job creation.