File image: IOL.
DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal’s two special economic zones, the Richards Bay IDZ and the Dube Trade Port have been commended for creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive which has seen investments worth billions of rands being pumped into the economy of the province.

Unveiling a multi-million rand road project which will facilitate improved access to businesses in the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ), MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala said the enabling environment created at the province's two special economic zones had resulted in massive foreign and local direct investments.

“Our special economic zones are doing exceptionally well in terms of creating an enabling environment that attracts investment. We are excited that the RBIDZ has signed investments to the value of R10 billion which represent different key sectors of the economy.

The Dube Trade Port has also done well by attracting investments worth R1.5 billion and this is expected to increase in the near future as two pharmaceutical projects worth R2.5 billion are expected to be concluded this financial year,”

Zikalala said investors had moved to the two economic zones because of their outstanding provision of reliable infrastructure such as roads and services, adding that more money was expected into the economy of the province in the next few months.

“Next year, Nyanza Light Metals and a New-Zealand based company, Avertana Ltd will start building a R4.5 billion titanium beneficiation plant in Richards Bay which will produce titanium dioxide pigment. About 550 permanent jobs will be created when the Nyanza

Light plant is operational while further 1 200 indirect and 800 direct jobs will be created during the construction phase. The Dube Trade Port is also expecting a further R4 billion in the immediate pipeline. This is an affirmation that KwaZulu-Natal is indeed the preferred destination for foreign direct investment.”