01 August 2019
KWAZULU-NATAL MEC FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS, MS NOMUSA DUBE-NCUBE briefed the media today, announcing the fact that provincial public entities together with her department are set to host the second annual KZN INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT CONFERENCE on September 13th 2019.
She emphasized that her administration had identified the “…need to market the province of KwaZulu-Natal.., as the persistently high unemployment rate which Stats SA has announced at 29%. This harsh reality encourages us to become more resilient in our efforts to generate new investments and encourage our existing companies to diversify, expand and reinvest in new opportunities.”
She continued “This calls for creative and innovative ways to reskill our people, bring more investments and build smart solutions. We believe our region and our province’s full investment potential has not been explored and exploited fully. KwaZulu-Natal provincial government is implementing the Aerotropolis initiative, whose vision is to develop a 21st-century city around King Shaka international airport. This will embrace the “Smart-Cities Concept”. The Aerotropolis is a new form of transit-oriented urban development where airports are the drivers of the 21st-century cities just like seaports in the 17th century, rivers & canals in the 18th century, railroads in the 19th century and highways in the 20th century.”
‘The Durban Aerotropolis is envisaged to be a city built around King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) offering businesses speedy connectivity to suppliers, customers and enterprise partners nationally and worldwide. The Aerotropolis is premised on a globally connected international airport that links travellers, suppliers and buyers to international markets. It is against this backdrop, that the provincial government is currently working with provincial and national stakeholders to position King Shaka International airport as an alternative air and cargo hub for South Africa. “
‘The Durban Aerotropolis is, therefore, envisaged to be a catalyst for rapid urbanisation, employment creation and to spur economic growth in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. We are clear and resolute in the creation of an airport “smart” city. It is without a doubt that we have in the recent past, seen a remarkable increase in the number of investments taking place in KwaZulu-Natal. These have been augmented by a plethora of other events including, but not limited to major conferences, all of which has injected billions of rands into our economy. KwaZulu-Natal continues with its insatiable appetite for hosting mega global events, which place the province at the apex of highly sought-after destinations. The province is recognised by global corporations, organizations and event organizers the world over.”
The second annual KZN INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT CONFERENCE, the theme will be around the Durban Aerotropolis, unpacking the investment potential and opportunities it will present to the local communities around Durban as well as the rest of the KwaZulu-Natal province. Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone will play a critical role in driving the development of this strategic initiative, which will have a major impact by being a catalyst for economic development for the country.
Dr Bridgett Gasa, Dube TradePort chairperson expressed her enthusiasm as the project has reached this point in its development “ We have been working for the last 18 months with various stakeholders to translate this vision into a master plan. Essentially the aerotropolis will reshape the notion of the places where the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal, work, live and play. It remodels industrial, commercial and residential real estate, as well as recreational spaces . It will cover an expansive area stretching from King Shaka International Airport and Dube TradePort, moving north and south.”
Dube TradePort is set to attract more than R18 billion in private sector investments, within its second phase of the 43 hectares Dube TradeZone which will be home to a cluster of electronics, medical and pharmaceutical and general manufacturing enterprises. This development together with the rest of the phases of Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone planned over the next 50 years with King Shaka International Airport at its heart will form the core of the Durban Aerotropolis.