Sappi's Saiccor plant in KwaZulu-Natal, where upgrading of the woodyard has started.Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - Sappi has announced major planned upgrades at its Saiccor Mill in Umkomaas, Durban which will be worth R7 billion.

KwaZulu-Natal Acting Premier, Sihle Zikalala has welcomed Sappi Limited’s enormous R7 billion planned investments that are expected to have a massive positive impact on the economy on the province.

 The investments include a R2,7 billion capacity expansion project and a planned R5 billion over five years in various continuous improvement initiatives and upgrade projects.

The massive investments currently being poured into different parts of KwaZulu-Natal by big conglomerates are a major vote of confidence in our province’s resolve to grow its economy for the benefit of all its citizens, Zikalala added.

“We will continue to sell our province as a destination for quality investments. Working with the central government, we will also continue to create an environment which is conducive for businesses to thrive.” 

The provincial government also commended Sappi for its recently launched Skills Centre near Saiccor Mill, which has created training and opportunities for the workforce and for the local youth.

 KwaZulu-Natal would engage other conglomerates to invest more on skills development to assist in reducing unemployment, Zikalala said.

Zikalala said KwaZulu-Natal was supportive of President Ramaphosa’s efforts to spur the country towards the growth trajectory under the banner of Operation Thuma Mina which encourages corporate South Africa to begin to invest in the economy.