RBIDZ announces a new partnership which will see a tractor assembly plant built on its premises

MEL Clark (RBIDZ board chairperson), MEC Ravi Pillay (KZN Edtea), Alexander Sidoruk (Belarus ambassador to SA), Thabane Zulu (RBIDZ chief executive) and Noah Nyawo (chairperson, Nqanawe Holdings). | Supplied

MEL Clark (RBIDZ board chairperson), MEC Ravi Pillay (KZN Edtea), Alexander Sidoruk (Belarus ambassador to SA), Thabane Zulu (RBIDZ chief executive) and Noah Nyawo (chairperson, Nqanawe Holdings). | Supplied

Published Sep 6, 2021


THE Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) has announced that a tractor assembly plant will be built on its premises at an estimated cost of R800 million.

This comes after the RBIDZ recently hosted Alexander Sidoruk, the Belarus Ambassador to South Africa, and he was joined by a delegation of investors.

According to the RBIDZ, the investors formed a joint venture with local investor Nqanawe Holdings, and together the partners will build the tractor assembly plant.

“This will be the realisation of the dream of having the first tractor brand built in South Africa and its location being at the RBIDZ,” the RBIDZ said in a statement.

The RBIDZ said the investment is in line with the government’s mandate of facilitating economic growth through the attraction of sustainable investments and job creation.

“The RBIDZ is well-paced and strongly making strides with investment attraction,” it said.

Nqanawe Holdings chairperson Noah Nyawo said: “This will undoubtedly create much-needed jobs, stimulate the economy, increase the green footprint and deal with food security.”

KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs Ravi Pillay said the partnership feeds into at least three of the key 14 economic areas that the province would like to see grow.

“The areas are namely agriculture, manufacturing, and investment attraction. Nqanawe Holdings will be able to manufacture tractors locally, and projections are that this could increase local content. This will work perfectly for our agriculture mechanisation efforts and also for our efforts of localisation across sectors. That is why we want to see this partnership being successful,” said Pillay.

Some of the economic areas that the province identified for growth were:

Clothing and textiles

Creative industries

Finance and services

Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), ICT and innovation

Health innovation and manufacturing

Industrial development

Informal sector

Infrastructure development

Mining and mineral beneficiation

Oceans economy


The RBIDZ said its close proximity to the industrial ports of Durban and Richards Bay would enable the investor to export to countries around the world.

“The partnership, therefore, reaffirms that KZN remains a wise choice for both local and international investors,” it said.

The MEC said the joint venture will help with looking beyond the Covid-19 challenges and rather focusing on being part of the journey to create a better future.

He assured the delegation of the government’s support of the partnership between the investment companies.

“As the government, we are fully committed to this partnership as we believe it works well for our recovery plans, especially with manufacturing, which is one of our key sectors. Before the outbreak of Covid-19, the manufacturing sector accounted for more than 20 percent of the provincial employment and contributed 25 percent to the province’s GDP. This can be attributed largely to the investment incentives that this government offers to investors and companies that locate their manufacturing base in our province,” said Pillay.

“The province is determined to recover this sector as well as others and grow them beyond the pre-pandemic levels. We can only do this with help from you,” he said.