KZN Premier Willies Mchunu, second from right, and eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza, right, welcome delegates from Hubei province in China to a bilateral meeting at The Oyster Box, in Umhlanga, on Monday night. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

In a bid to further develop strong business ties with Chinese businesses, the KwaZulu-Natal government on Monday hosted a delegation from the country’s Hubei province.

“We are determined to take advantage of opportunities offered by being part of Brics," said KZN premier Willies Mchunu.

"Having hosted the Brics Summit we understand that this bloc is an organisation established to safeguard the interests of the so-called developing nations.”

 KZN premier Willies Mchunu said in a statement.Mchunu added that Jingmen Hubei, a company from Hubei Province, would be opening two more factories, in Izimbokodweni and Umgababa, south of Durban. 

This was in addition to a project in Cato Ridge where Jingmen Hubei has acquired a 60% percent  stake in Shu Powders, a cobalt powder manufacturer.

“We have been informed that the two new factories will feature a large recycling park. The factories are expected to create up to 1 000 jobs which specialises in recycling end-of-life vehicles, electronic scrap, and rechargeable batteries.” 

Mchunu said the provincial government had launched a "grassroots mobilisation campaign" of waste collection focusing on recycling materials such as plastic, bottles and scrap. 

“The scrap metal industry alone in South Africa is worth R15 billion to  billion and R20bn billion a year and has a potential to create more employment.”

Mchunu said the provincial government was committed to working with the delegation to ensure much-needed jobs arewere created for local communities.

 “We wish to work with Jingmen Hubei to identify opportunities for local SMMEs and black industrialists in particular to become major role-players in the two new factories – either as suppliers or in the entire value chain of recycling.”

He said the investment will would benefit communities in areas such as Umbumbulu, KwaMakhutha, Malukazi, Adams Mission, Folweni and UmuMlazi. – 

The Mercury