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R20m to boost Eastern Cape jobs

Entrepreneurs
Cape Town - An Eastern Cape firm has attracted investment of more than R20 million from the public and private sector and is set to boost job creation in the region.

Ikusasa Green, a green and innovation company, has become the latest tenant at the Dimbaza Industrial Park, near East London, through the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environment Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT).

Ikusasa Green makes high-end cooler boxes that retain ice for up to seven days for household brands such as Massmart’s Camp Master label.

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The firm has attracted R21 million in public and private sector investment since inception in 2013. DEDEAT invested R9 million in the company, while Massmart invested a further R12 million.

Ikusasa’s move to the 12 000-square-metre facility in Dimbaza is part of government’s broader strategy of revitalising industrial parks, which were once hubs of economic activity across the Eastern Cape.

The government has recently re-opened the Vulindlela Industrial Park in Mthatha and iKomani Industrial Park in Queenstown.

The Dimbaza Industrial Park revitalisation plan, drawn up by development financier, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), is in its final stages of approval by provincial cabinet.

Sakhumzi Soyo, MEC for Economic Development, Environment Affairs and Tourism, said: “Ikusasa develops a product with a unique value proposition in South Africa. We are proud as a province, it has attracted interest and investments running into millions of rands from retailers such as Massmart. In particular, our focus for Dimbaza Industrial is in attracting companies and investments in the agro-processing space and innovative concerns in manufacturing.”

Soyo said the ECDC, the owner of the Dimbaza Industrial Park, will be the main driver of the revitalisation process of industrial parks across the Eastern Cape.

Coolers for Africa

Thami Gxowa, managing director of Ikusasa Green, said the company’s star attraction was its Romer cooler boxes, made for African conditions. The company employs 35 people at Stutterheim and plans to employ a further 40 in Dimbaza.

Gxowa said DEDEAT hasbeen involved in the company’s growth and development since its inception, when it provided R3 million to help source equipment for its rotational moulding plant in Stutterheim. It invested another R3 million to boost plant capacity and R3 million to rehabilitate the Dimbaza facility.

ECDC chief executive Ndzondelelo Dlulane said its support of tenants such as Ikusasa Green is part of a broader industrial park revitalisation strategy in areas such as Butterworth, Vulindlela in Mthatha, iKomani and Fort Jackson in Mdantsane outside East London.

BUSINESS REPORT

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