R4.5 Billion Foreign Investment Despite Junk Status

Foreign investors ignore junk status, invests R4.5 billion in KZN

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has described the announcement of a R4.5 billion investment at the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) as an affirmation that KwaZulu-Natal is indeed a preferred destination for foreign direct investment.

Today, the Leader of Government Business and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala presided over the strategic partners signing ceremony which was attended by captains of industry and members of the diplomatic corps representing New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Germany.

The partnership involving RBIDZ, Nyanza Light Metals and a New-Zealand based company, Avertana Ltd heralds a new era and paves the way for the construction of titanium beneficiation plant.”

Mchunu remarked: “The Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies has provided solid leadership working with the Leader of government Business Sihle Zikalala. We thank all partners for working together under challenging circumstances to make this project possible. These positive news will boost business confidence and help attract more investment into the province. Critically, such developments are important given the fact that there are fears of a recession resulting from the downgrading of South Africa to a junk status.”

“We acknowledge that we are not the only nation in the world that has had to adjust to the harshness of the impact of recession and other global economic challenges such as downgrading by rating agencies.”

“Over the past years, we have therefore been working hard to help our people to survive through the rough storm that all mankind in different parts of the globe has to navigate. This investment will help create more jobs for our people.”

Speaking at the signing ceremony and representing the Premier, Zikalala pointed out: “We are excited that that RBIDZ will now host this strategic plant which will assist in ensuring that this province remains a national leader in the production of chemicals. The plant will produce titanium dioxide pigment, a product used in paint, toothpaste and colourants for food products.”

“The construction of the plant will commence next year, while production is expected to begin in late 2019. The Department of Trade and Industry extended a grant of R17,1 million to the company for feasibility studies and has also approved an investment allowance of R900m.”
“We appreciate the news that about 550 permanent jobs will be created when the Nyanza plant is operational and that 1 200 indirect and 800 direct jobs will be created during construction.”

“To date, we have signed investments of more than R11.9 billion representing different key sectors of the economy. Critically, we have created more than 1 232 permanent jobs and 3 136 jobs during construction.”

“Over the next few months we will be working towards finalizing investments of more than R4.1 billion emanating from different sectors of our key focus. From these we expect 868 permanent jobs and 1260 jobs during the construction.”

“Civil and electrical works have commenced at Phase 1F of the Richards Bay IDZ, which is the 110 hectares industrial estate within which the Nyanza project will be located. The estate will be fully fenced and have a customs compliant entrance gate complex, which will enable the site to obtain its Customs Controlled Area license from SARS, thus enabling locators to benefit from the tax and customs incentives available to entities located within special economic zones.”

“The RBIDZ, with the financial assistance of the SEZ Fund of the dti, is also funding and managing the projects involving the widening of Alumina Allee Road and the upgrading of the municipal industries substation located within Phase 1F. Plans are afoot to construct a rail line to link Phase 1F to the municipal rail network in Alton.”

“In excess of R300 million will be spent on the development of the Phase 1F estate. Over 20% of the construction works will be sub-contracted to local SMMEs in line with the RBIDZ’s CPG requirements that have been agreed to by the main contractors.”

“We support the call by the President of the Republic His Excellency J.G Zuma and the Premier of the Province Willies Mchunu that government should ensure that all sections of society benefit from the nation’s wealth in order to guarantee a stable democratic dispensation and reasonable wealth distribution.”

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