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12th June 2020

Durban: A Premium Destination for Investors

Invest Durban has been recognised by the Durban City Council and various businesses as the first stop for stimulating new investment in the Durban metropolis. We act as a partnership between the Metro City Council and the private business sector, offering a free investor advisory service, plus key promotion, facilitation, and aftercare services between all investment stakeholders.

Invest Durban delivers a world-class investor support service, encompassing our four-part business mandate, namely investment promotion and marketing; foreign investment identification, attraction and facilitation; FDI aftercare and expansion; plus investment advocacy.

Invest Durban works together with organisations such as the Department of Trade & Industry including Invest SA, Trade and Investment KZN (TIKZN), the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the KZN Growth Coalition, and state-owned enterprises such as Dube TradePort, the DBSA, IDC, Eskom, ACSA and others.

The offer to investors

The thrust of Durban’s proposition to attract investors can be put into three broad categories:

  • Premium Destination - a business and lifestyle environment most conducive to profitable, sustainable, with ample land available.
  • Catalytic Projects - projects which have the potential to shift the socio-economic landscape and trigger a series of investments across several sectors.
  • Priority Sectors - areas which receive the focus of planners in a variety of ways, including the creation of clusters and the development of value chains to promote new ventures and investment opportunities.

Catalytic Projects

Durban is working on a number of large-scale projects that have the potential to make a regional impact. The location of these projects is vital. They must either be on national trade routes or they should help to break down the old apartheid living/working dynamics. Projects are selected for their scale in terms of job creation, investment size and potential revenue creation. Ideally, the projects should include a combination of uses (retail, commercial and housing, for example) and they should fit in with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.

The Point Waterfront Development is a prime example of a catalytic project. Some projections put the potential investment value at R40-billion and the number of permanent jobs to be created at 6 750. It is an ambitious plan, linking the city's beach promenade and the harbour.

The Point Waterfront Development offers a property use mix of office space, retail shops, residential dwellings and leisure options. The 55-hectare site has already seen significant investment. A new cruise line terminal in the harbour, backing on to the Point will dovetail well with the new atmosphere of the precinct.

Other major projects in the pipeline include:

  • GO!Durban Transport Oriented Development, which has already received major road upgrades and will be an even greater enabler of trade.
  • The Centrum Government Precinct which would formalise the relationship between buildings such as the International Convention Centre (and extensions) and a related hotel, the library, council chambers and the redevelopment of Gugu Dlamini Park.
  • Cornubia integrated human settlement development north of Durban, on 1 300 hectares, a partnership between Tongaat Hulett Development, the human settlement departments at the national and provincial levels and the eThekwini municipality.
  • Dube TradePort, the multi-modal facility at King Shaka International Airport.

Cluster Initiatives

Durban has a very diverse economic landscape, within which there are some large-scale enterprises.

Cooperation between the public and private sectors is formalised by the large number of cluster initiatives which aim to draw to together experience and expertise from commerce and industry, labour organisations, government and academia.

Under manufacturing, the following clusters or programmes are active:

  • KZN Clothing and Textile Cluster (KZN CTC)
  • Durban Automotive Cluster (DAC)
  • Durban Chemical Cluster (DCC)
  • eThekwini Maritime Cluster (EMC)
  • KZN Furniture Incubator
  • Agro-processing development programmes

The research aims to find out how best to grow particular economic sectors, and in-depth discussions are held about how to develop and grow value chains. The wealth of KwaZulu-Natal is mostly consumed or exported in its raw state - much more could be done to add value through processing.

The priority sectors are:

  • Automotive and allied industries
  • Logistics and logistics management
  • ICT and BPS (Information & Comm's Tech, plus business process services)
  • Agri-processing
  • Life sciences (incl. Pharmaceuticals, medical device manufacturing, plus health facilities)
  • Tourism asset development

Some of these initiatives play to the existing strengths of the regional economy, some seek to exploit newer avenues as in the emphasis on the environment and a growing interest in the ocean economy. A variety of projects link tourism, renewable energy generation, recycling and job creation.

There are various other broader programmes which have their own goals, but there will be positive spin-offs for the targeted sectors. These schemes include the drive to increase local content, boosting metal fabrication across sectors, the promotion of black industrialists, promoting exports and the overarching eThekwini Industrial Development Policy Action Plan.

Any companies operating in these key sectors are invited to contact Invest Durban and benefit from these initiatives!

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the Durban City Council