KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala has welcomed the R6.5 billion planned investment into Richards Bay Minerals (RBM).
Rio Tinto, an international holding company for RBM, has approved the next stage in the development of RBM in South Africa, which will involve the construction of the Zulti South project that will sustain current capacity and also extend mine life.
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 a major vote of confidence in 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," Zikalala said.
Zikalala added that the Dube Trade Port, another special economic zone, is also attracting investments in droves.
"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," the MEC said.
According to Zikalala, companies are investing in KwaZulu-Natal because the government has created a conducive environment for businesses to flourish.
He called on the people of KwaZulu-Natal to continue working with the provincial government in ensuring that "we make investors feel that this is a province that they can come and settle".
"KwaZulu-Natal is initially targeting business prospects worth more than R200 billion, which was announced when the province launched its investment booklet recently."