Newly launched Dube TradeZone attracts R1.8 billion in early investment

The Dube TradePort Corporation (DTPC) has officially launched the second phase of the highly successful industrial precinct and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) adjacent to the King Shaka International Airport, the Dube TradeZone 2.

The business entity of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government recently hosted a ribbon-cutting event where they also previewed two factories worth over R180 million which are currently under construction within the precinct.

DTPC Board Chair, Mpumelelo Zikalala, said despite the constrained economic environment over the past two years, the corporation has secured seven private sector investors for Dube TradeZone 2.

Four of these investors have begun constructing their facilities.

The total private sector investment value secured in Dube TradeZone 2 amounts to R1.8 billion and is expected to create 600 jobs within the next five years.

Dube TradeZone 2 will target investors in the manufacturing, logistics and automotive sectors while facilitating the planned expansion of several ph
ase one-based enterprises.

The launch of the second phase of the TradeZone follows the successful implementation of Dube TradeZone 1, which has 50 investors and full tenants. These include international companies such as Samsung, Mahindra, DHL, Chem Energy and PepsiCo-Futurelife.

Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC, Siboniso Duma, welcomed the investment as he reflected on the 30 years of freedom and democracy.

He noted the establishment of SEZ as one of the achievements of a democratic government.

He cited this investment as an indication that SEZs are instruments for job creation and economic development.

‘As government, we are focusing on SEZ for a good reason. They are designed for specific developmental purposes, to develop export-orientated industries, attract foreign direct investment and technology transfer and achieve the generation of employment opportunities.’

The MEC said SEZs are an effective instrument to resolve ‘disturbing’ levels of inequality, poverty and unempl
oyment, which are strongly marked by spatial, racial, class and gender factors.

In addition to job creation, Duma said SEZs are broadening the municipal revenue collection base to improve the quality of life in the municipal areas, as well as the quality of municipal services.

‘This makes SEZs one of the key instruments for municipal economic growth and development,’ the MEC explained.

To date, the 26-hectare TradeZone 1 has attracted more than R2.8 billion in private sector investment from enterprises focused on air-related logistics, distribution and light manufacturing.

It includes the Dube TradeHouse, a dedicated facility for freight forwarders and shippers with airside access via an overhead conveyor air bridge to the adjacent, state-of-the-art Dube Cargo Terminal.

Dube TradeZone 1 is home to notable exporters that service the sub-Saharan African market as well as markets in Asia, Europe, and the United States.

In 2023/24, Dube TradePort tenants exported goods worth R610 million.

Dube TradeZone 2,
will open an additional 45 hectares of industrial land for development and brings to market another 23 fully serviced sites, which range in size from 3 000m² to 57 000m².

It will also include three Dube TradePort-owned warehouses, one of which will accommodate medium-sized businesses enabling the expansion of small businesses located in the mini factories.

The two factories include the R166-million Yangtze Optical Africa Cable plant and R17.5 million development by HRMP, a 100% Black South African-owned logistics company that specialises in the warehousing and distribution of graphite electrodes. This new facility was funded by Ithala Development Finance.

Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) CEO, Sihle Ngcamu, welcomed further foreign investment by Yangtze Optical Africa Cable, which is already producing optical fibre cables and home solution cables for the local, Zambian, Namibian and Botswanan telecommunications markets at its facility in TradeZone 1.

This latest investment is expected to deliver a
further 250 jobs over the next five years.

To date, Dube TradeZone has attracted a total of R4.6 billion in private sector investment and created more than 5 000 permanent jobs.

Source: South African Government News Agency