The expansion of one of two KwaZulu-Natal Special Economic Zones, the Dube Trade Port, is set to create hundreds of jobs in that province.
The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, on Wednesday said the world-class multibillion rand second phase of the Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone (DTP SEZ) development takes place at the time when KwaZulu-Natal is experiencing an unparalleled wave of investments, which are dramatically changing the economic landscape of the province.
"Just recently, we announced as the province that 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. We made the announcement when we launched the KwaZulu-Natal Investment Book before the Presidential Investment Summit in 2018.
"We are proud that since opening its doors in 2010, Dube Trade Port has created thousands of jobs and contributed vastly to the provincial fiscus," Zikalala said.
The entity's phase one has been a resounding success, as it is now fully occupied by top-notch companies, which have settled in at the fast growing and highly sought-after investment destination.
To date, the first phase has been able to create more than 12 000 job opportunities, while attracting R3.2 billion in private sector investment.
Zikalala said as part of the first phase, President Cyril Ramaphosa and national Ministers will be at Dube Trade Port in the near future to officially unveil the state-of-the-art cell phone manufacturing plant.
Zikalala said the Mara Group has signed a lease agreement with Dube Trade Port and it is proceeding with its plans to invest R1.5 billion into Africa's first fully-fledged smartphone factory.
"The second phase of the Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone is one more step towards achieving this goal. This mega development brings an additional 45 hectares of prime industrial land and is expected to generate R18 billion within the SEZ over the next five years."
Zikalala said this heralds more good news for the growth and prosperity of KwaZulu-Natal.
"Phase two offers immense opportunities in sectors such as electronics, aeronautical services such as aircraft maintenance, aircraft repair, overhaul, fixed base operations and executive aerospace, amongst the many offerings."
Phase two is another milestone in the evolution of the province's flagship multibillion rand investment, which is anchored on the King Shaka International Airport and is set to change the urban economic landscape of KwaZulu-Natal.
"Significantly, we want investors to benefit from the incentives of the special economic zone and to take advantage of the green field space to develop a globally competitive KwaZulu-Natal," Zikalala said.
The MEC said the Durban Aerotropolis is poised to enhance urban and national competitiveness through improved multimodal transport access and planned, coordinated, aviation-linked commercial development.
Hamish Erskine, the Dube Trade Port CEO, said scores of companies had shown interest in occupying sites in phase two.
"We are confident that we will be in a position to make some major announcements in this regard soon," Erskine said.