Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe has welcomed the R502 million investment into the East London IDZ. File Photo: IOL

CAPE TOWN – Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe has welcomed the R502 million investment into the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ).

The investment, which was also welcomed by MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) in the Eastern Cape, Oscar Mabuyane, was made by two local investors on Thursday.

The investment by Meek Mines South Africa and Nulatex Condoms South Africa is expected to create 450 jobs for locals.

Magwanishe said a success story emanating from this initiative is the empowerment of people, through employment, access to opportunities and skills development.

“The Department of Trade and Industry (dti), through the Special Economic Zone Fund, has funded the IDZ with R568 million for the development of Phase 1. This will go towards the expansion of the Automotive Supplier Park,” said Magwanishe, who visited the IDZ.

Meek Mines cuts and polishes diamonds mined in Africa for supply to both the domestic and foreign markets, will be investing R423 million.

The company has taken over an existing facility within the ELIDZ section, which includes diamond cutting and beneficiation. Meek plans to create 150 jobs over a five-year period beginning in 2019.  

Meanwhile, Nulatex, a pharmaceutical company, will be manufacturing male and female condoms and other latex products from a facility in the IDZ. The company is investing R79 million and plans to create 300 direct jobs beginning 2019. This first investor in the ELIDZ’s pharmaceutical cluster has already signed an off-take agreement with the provincial Department of Health for the supply of their latex products. 

The MEC said the investments will contribute greatly to the growth of the provincial economy.

“We are excited about this investment, which contributes to the job creation priorities of the province indicated in the provincial economic development plan and investment promotion strategy.

“We are pleased as the province that 450 people from our province will no longer be counted amongst the unemployed. They will be able to participate fully in the economy and realise their dreams,” said Mabuyane.

Chief Executive Officer of the ELIDZ Simphiwe Kondlo investors have responded to government’s call to promote regional integration, promote beneficiation and meaningful job creation.

“Beyond the number of jobs to be created, there will be value-chain opportunities for local small businesses that will also bring money into the provincial economy,” said Kondlo.  

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