Dube Trade Port expands operations with preview of two R180 million factories

Dube Trade Port.Photo Supplied

Dube Trade Port.Photo Supplied

Published May 11, 2024


The economy of KwaZulu Natal received a much-needed cash injection following a public-private partnership between the Dube TradePort Corporation (DTPC) and private sector investment after raising R1.8 billion to expand the Dube Trade Zone precinct.

It is expected that this partnership will yield 600 jobs as part of the establishment of the Dube TradeZone 2, following the launch of the second phase of the highly successful industrial precinct and Special Economic Zone (SEZ), stationed just adjacent to the King Shaka International Airport.

This comes after the DTPC recently previewed two factories at the cost of R180 million through through a ribbon-cutting exercise as part of the second phase of the leading industrial precinct and Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

The latest developments come in spite of constrained economic climate of the past two years with DTPC Board Chair, Mpumelelo Zikalala, revealing that in spite of these challenges, the corporation was able to secure seven private sector investors for Dube TradeZone 2.

Reflecting on the recent economic climate, Zikalala indicated that at least four of these investors have already started constructing their facilities.

According to Zikalala, the Dube TradeZone 2 will target investors in the manufacturing, logistics and automotive sectors while facilitating the planned expansion of several phase 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,” said Zikalala.

Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC, Siboniso Duma, welcomed the investment as he reflected on the 30 years of freedom and democracy adding that the establishment of SEZ is one of the key milestones of the country’s democratic government.

“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,” he said.

Duma says there is a great need for similar investments in order to put to an end, the “disturbing” levels of inequality, poverty and unemployment, which are strongly marked by spatial, racial, class and gender factors.

Furthermore, the MEC said in addition to job creation, SEZs also help broaden municipal revenue collection base which in turn ensures the quality of life and service delivery is achieved 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.

The DTPC has indicated that 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.

Dube TradeZone 1 has become a home to big exporters that service the sub-Saharan African market as well as markets in Asia, Europe, and the United States who for the financial 2023/24, exported goods worth R610 million.

Zikalala also revealed that the soon-to-be-launched Dube TradeZone 2 will open an additional 45 hectares of industrial land for development and will bring to market another 23 fully serviced sites, ranging 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. To date, Dube TradeZone has attracted a total of R4.6 billion in private sector investment and created more than 5 000 permanent jobs,”said Zikalala.

The Star