Dube, or not dube

President Jacob Zuma at the launch of the IDZ

With economic development taking centre stage in the National Development Plan, the establishment of industrial development zones is set to boost local government on all levels.

In his State of the Nation Address earlier this year, President Jacob Zuma announced the economy would take centre stage in our country over the next five years. In line with this promise, Zuma launched South Africa’s fifth Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) in Durban in October.

The Dube Trade Port IDZ, situated next to the King Shaka International airport, is expected to contribute approximately R5.6 billion to the gross domestic product by 2060, while at the same time creating thousands of jobs.

Speaking at the launch of the IDZ, Zuma said that, “Given the relentless unemployment [in our country], the pursuit of economic growth and job creation remains high on our agenda as government. Our presence here today, is another step forward in our work towards creating more jobs that would alleviate poverty amongst our people.

“We are happy that we have so many partners on that journey as we move the country and our people forward. We have identified industrialisation as a key economic growth strategy nationwide. We are happy to join you at this official launch of the Dube Trade Port IDZ, which takes forward our industrialisation and development goals.”

Also present at the launch was eThekwini mayor, James Nxumalo who said that the IDZ will promote and encourage industrialisation and generate public awareness about the Special Economic Zones and their potential impact to economic growth and job creation through direct foreign investment.

“With some major projects earmarked including new infrastructure investments to support development in the north, particularly around the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone and along the N3 corridor, the new dig-out port and many more, this will have a profoundly positive impact in promoting the economy and investments.

“Our aim as the City is to position and promote Durban as the gateway for trade and investment; such projects will serve as catalyst in attracting more investors and will change the economic development prospects of the City,” Nxumalo said.

Zuma announced that they have identified two parts of the tradeport for the IDZ, namely the Dube TradeZone and the DubeAgriZone – placing trade and agriculture at the heart of economic activity. He mentioned that the project has enormous potential for economic growth in the region and especially neighbouring municipalities will benefit. The R5.6 billion is estimated at 0.5% of South Africa’s GDP.

He further added that the main sectors that will benefit from the project are the following:
• Electronics manufacturing and assembly;
• Aerospace and aviation-linked manufacturing and related services;
• Agriculture and agro-processing, inclusive of horticulture, aquaculture and floriculture;
• Medical and pharmaceutical production and distribution; and
• Clothing and textiles.

By the same year, 2060 we also expect to see developmental growth around the Dube Trade Port precinct he said. This includes upgraded roads, the extension of the cargo terminal, an increase in passenger volumes and the development of small and medium businesses around the region.

Zuma further assured that the IDZ can only succeed given its strategic location. “It is within a strong economic region and logistics hub, and is in close proximity to vital road, air, rail and ports linkages. The Tradeport is located within proximity of King Shaka International Airport as well as two busy ports - Durban and Richards Bay. This IDZ is also backed by the 60 year master plan and a focused development strategy to turn it into a premier world class investment and industrial hub.

“Most importantly, the IDZ will benefit from the changing legislation that will enhance development zones. All Industrial Development Zones will automatically receive Special Economic Zone status when the new Special Economic Zones Act comes into operation. The Special Economic Zones that meet the criteria will be eligible to offer a range of new support measures,” he said.

The following support will be provided to the Special Economic Zones:
• Value Added Tax exemption and Customs Duty Free,
• Section 12i Tax Allowance,
• Fifteen per cent corporate tax rate,
• Building Tax Allowance, and
• The Employment Tax Incentive.

We have reason to be happy and optimistic about our industrial development zones the President said. Since the announcement of the new support package for IDZs, there has been a significant interest by foreign and domestic investors.

This year alone the COEGA Industrial Development Zone in Port Elizabeth has attracted over 1, 8 billion rand in investments. The East London Industrial Development Zone has attracted over 500 million rand in investments. The Saldanha Industrial Development Zone, though new and not fully developed, has already attracted interest of 19 potential investors who would like to be located there, Zuma added.

“The Dube Tradeport Industrial Development Zone has already attracted over 900 million rand in private sector investments. This is a clear indication that the province is on its way to achieve the 60 year master plan. It is also envisaged that total potential jobs to be unlocked by Dube Tradeport is about one 150 225 by 2060.

“By that same year, 2060, we also expect to see developmental growth around the Dube Tradeport Precinct. This includes upgraded roads, the extension of the cargo terminal, an increase in passenger volumes and the development of small and medium businesses around the region,” he said.

Zuma also pointed out the Dube TradePort IDZ is indeed yet another good story to tell as it reflects South Africa’s willingness to create partnerships between government, private sector and other social partners to work together towards a prosperous economy that benefits all citizens and residents.

“We are pleased that present here today, are a number of investors looking at new investments and expansions in South Africa. We extend a warm welcome to all investors and potential investors, from both South Africa and abroad. Let me assure you that South Africa is open for business.

“We are determined to create an environment that is investor-friendly. We will continue to improve support measures both through the special economic zones and other development tools. We will continue to engage the business community, labour and other sectors so that we move along together towards the much desired growth,” he said.

The President further congratulated the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal, Dube TradePort Management, Minister Rob Davies and the Department of Trade and Industry on this important milestone.

Davies addressed investors and commented on government’s commitment to economic development and the IDZ, "I think they will be able to tell other potential investors that we are determined that we will support industrial development and that we will do what is necessary to support investment that are going to add value in our economy, create employment and bring about much needed development.

“We are now in the process of setting up the institutional mechanism particularly by the end of this month. We will be closing the nominations and applications for the SEZ boards which is required to make recommendations to the minister for the proclamation of new economic zones,” he said.

Zuma concluded that, “We have made a good start. We should all work together to make this project a huge success. Our people will judge success by the manner in which the IDZ changes their lives through jobs and a better life. They will judge success through seeing the fruition of the dream of the founding President of the ANC, Dr John Langalibalele Dube, after whom the Tradeport is named who painted a picture of a successful and prosperous South Africa when he said the sunshine of a new civilization shall rise upon a land teeming with commerce, where upon every hill top shall be seen the school house and the church, when indeed will Africa be a nation among nations,” Zuma said.

Nilo Abrahams

Dube TradePort Fact sheet

The Dube Tradeport with its strategic location between the two largest seaports in the Southern hemisphere –Durban and Richards Bay is set to be Southern Africa’s premier logistics platform. This is because the Port of Durban provides connectivity to 53 International destinations and access to hinterland distribution networks.

The Dube Tradeport is also strategically located next to the Durban City Centre which is home to a multicultural cosmopolitan society with an abundance of skilled labour.

The Dube Tradeport Coroporation is a wholly owned government company and is mandated to drive the development of:

  • A Cargo Terminal: The most secure and fully automated facility, directly linked to a 30 hectare TradeZone providing airside access to manufactures, assemblers and distributors.
  • An AgriZone: The most sophisticated agricultural growing, packing and distribution facility in Africa.
  • Dube City: Twelve hectares of premium office retail, hospitality, and leisure space all located in an urban green precinct.
  • All the zones are supported by iConnect, Dube Tradeport’s dedicates IT and Telecoms provide delivering global connectivity.

The Dube Tradeport is also home to King Shaka International Airport and houses South Africa’s first four flexible cargo stands to serve the Dube Tradeport Cargo Terminal.

The Tradeport has a 60 year master plan utilising a 2040 hectares green field site and offers a high degree of certainty for regulated and sustainable expanse over that period.

The first phase of the development has been completed by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA with an investment of R8 billion.

The first phase includes the above mentioned developments which include Cargo Terminal Trade House, 29 South, Dube Square, Trade Zone, AgriZone, Dube City infrastructure and the IT and telecommunications platform. The projects have already been operational for 22 months and will now be moving into an exciting second phase of implementation and investment.

Dube Tradeport is stimulating transit-orientated development around the airport and is fast becoming the catalyst for global business and trade by providing a platform for integrating supply chains, accelerating efficiencies and offering business the ability to compete globally.

The wider context and long-term strategic objective of the Dube Tradeport Project is the establishment of an Aerotropolis in the north of Durban stretching from Umhlanga to Ballito.

This new “city within a city “will create a world-class physical and operational environment geared towards the attraction of new sectors and value chains into the KwaZulu-Natal economy. This will require investment by both government and the private sector.

This requires investment in appropriate strategic infrastructure and facilities to be initiated within the next twelve months.

A road link will be constructed from the Trade Zone to the Watson Highway to provide an additional access for the Cargo Terminal and Trade Zone to the N2 and R102 highways and also open up new property development opportunities.


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