Mr Sihle Zikalala, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, has welcomed Richards Bay Minerals' (RBM) R6.5 billion planned investments which are expected to have a substantial positive impact on the economy of the province.
Rio Tinto, the international holding company for RBM, has approved the next stage in the development of RBM in South Africa. This mine expansion will involve the construction of the Zulti South project that will sustain current capacity and also extend mine life.
Mr Zikalala said it was encouraging that more and more business organisations such as RBM continue to express their commitment to the growth of the provincial economy.
"The investment by RBM is major vote of confidence on the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ), one of our two special economic zones that have attracted R11. 9 billion worth of investments since its inception a few years ago," added Mr Zikalala.
The Dube Trade Port, another special economic zone, was also attracting investments in droves, he said. "The entity's first phase has been a huge success as it is now fully occupied by companies. It has been able to create more than 12 000 job opportunities. The second phase expansion is expected to pump R18 billion into the provincial coffers."
Mr Zikalala said companies were investing in KwaZulu-Natal because government had created a conducive environment for businesses to flourish. "We call on the people of KwaZulu-Natal to continue working with us in ensuring that we make investors feel that this is a province that they can come and settle."
It also comes at a time when there is a new wave of investments which are radically changing the economic landscape of the province, added Mr Zikalala.
The MEC added that KwaZulu-Natal is initially targeting business prospects worth more than R200 billion, which was announced when the province launched its investment booklet recently.
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs