As the country prepares to move to COVID-19 Level 3, we are continuing with our consultation with key stakeholders in different sectors of our economy.
We wish to announce that the directors of Nyanza Light Metal have affirmed their commitment to continue with an investment of R 4,5 billion in KwaZulu-Natal. The construction of the plant was derailed by the outbreak of COVID-19.
My office is arranging a virtual meeting with the Nyanza Directors to discuss all details and other logistics in relation to the construction. We are also planning an official launch of the company website.
Our entity, the Richards Bay Industrial Development, has allocated 65 hectares of land in Phase 1 F of the estate. This chemical plant will produce titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment from titaniferous slag and acid.
Despite challenges created by COVID-19, we are firmly focused on to creating a prosperous province characterized by economic opportunities and jobs for millions of people.
As soon as the country moves to COVID-19 Level 1, the work will begin at our RBIDZ. More than 800 jobs are to be created during construction and 300 direct permanent jobs during operation.
The construction will be in two phases being:
Phase 1: will be a Pilot and Demonstration plant which will create approximately 20 permanent jobs and about 80-100 construction jobs. The value of this phase is R2 billion.
Phase 2: will be a full-plant which will account for the remainder of the jobs and value of an investment. The permanent jobs during this phase are estimated at 280 with the total investment value of R4, 3 billion.
In terms of raw materials, the plant will use 320 000 tpa of sulphuric acid, 36 000 tpa of ammonium sulphate, 380 000 tpa of lime and 250 000 tpa of feed material.
Most of the raw material would require railway infrastructure closer to the site and sulphuric acid supplied preferable through pipeline. The plant will produce 50 000 tons per annum of which 60% will be exported to African and international markets.
Investors are interested in RBIDZ because the entity shares its borders with three (3) neighbouring African states of Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland thereby facilitating trade with these nations.
Furthermore, the strong road and rail links to the rest of Africa, through its neighbouring countries are complemented by an expansive port and airport infrastructure.
In terms of sectors of our economy – manufacturing, agro processing, oceans economy, oil and gas, transport and logistics and several other identified sectors remain a major focus of RIBDZ.
As part of the economic recovery plan, we are supporting the RBIDZ to stimulate these sectors and ultimately grow the provincial economy. The entity is working with the private sector and forming partnerships with neighbouring provinces and other countries in the SADC region.
Such partnership is crucial because the growth of this province is also dependent on the growth of economies in other provinces and various neighbouring states and trading friends of South Africa.
The sectors I have highlighted have not only proven to be relatively labour-absorbent but also have the potential to be expanded to strategically position KwaZulu-Natal as a lead investment destination and hence contribute to achieving the vision of KZN becoming a trade gateway to Africa and the world.