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RBIDZ A SITE FOR ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE SAYS KZN PREMIER MR TW MCHUNU WHILST ADDRESSING THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND TEAM

15 MAY 2017

 

RICHARDS BAY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ZONE A SITE FOR ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE SAYS KZN PREMIER MR TW MCHUNU WHILST ADDRESSING THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND TEAM – 11 MAY 2017

Apart from the politics and the economy, the maritime industry and the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone featured very strongly in the discussions between the International Monetary Fund Team and the Premier of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal Willies Mchunu.

The IMF team, led by Mission Chief Paolo Mauro, is in KwaZulu-Natal to research provincial programmes that are aimed at driving socio-economic development. Lessons learned from this visit will form part of the Article 1V Report to be published by IMF in the next few months.

Yesterday, Mauro described as eye-opening and interesting, bilateral meeting between IMF team and KZN Technical team. The meeting was mainly focused on the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy, Operation Sukuma Sakhe and visits to some of the major catalytic projects including Dube Trade Port.

Mchunu pointed out to the IMF team: “We are excited that you are in this province and we acknowledge the interests you have shown. As you might have seen in the presentation that was handed to you yesterday, in our planning, we are guided by the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy. The strategy directs us to move with speed to intervene in sectors of the economy as part of efforts aimed at job creation especially in local municipalities where we can make an impact."

"We are directing potential investors to all corners of the province including the Dube Trade Port and the RBIDZ, located  strategically in the Richards Bay Port where there are maritime activities. "It is our belief that the maritime sector requires radical transformation as there are too many people that have been left outside of this sector. The maritime offers the opportunity for the majority of our people especially our youth to enter the global markets and play a leading role in the economic growth not only of our province, but the whole of the Republic of South Africa and indeed the SADC region.”

“South Africa has more than 3000 km of coastline which also is one of the major global sea routes – from the East, West, North and South. It is the world’s 28th largest global economy with rich mineral resources, and exports over 125 million tons of cargo, agricultural produce and a very strong maritime trade tradition.”

“Our oceans offer rich opportunities in the drilling of oil and gas in Richards Bay, including fishing and aquaculture. We are also determined to explore opportunities such as marine tourism and encourage ventures such as sea cruising in order to attract the docking of even more huge liners which cruise the world oceans. This has the potential of boosting our tourism industry as KZN is one of the best tourism destinations in the world.”

Mchunu stressed: “Government is committed to ensure that RBIDZ becomes a motor-force of change and takes a central role in the radical transformation of the economy of this province. We are aggressively marketing RBIDZ as a site for investment especially in energy infrastructure. Since 1994 the democratic government has sought to ensure that energy becomes a tool for the eradication of poverty, inequality and unemployment.  The importance of the energy sector lies both in improving the quality of life for the previously disadvantaged majority as well as supporting large-scale industrial development.”

Few years ago as the Province hosted the President of the Republic of South Africa His Excellency Jacob Zuma during the launch of Operation Phakisa – Operation Fast-Track. The provincial government has taken advantage of Operation Phakisa and is focusing on the ocean economy. The main aim is to ensure that the KZN coastline, which is stretching over 1000 kilometres, is utilized to benefit the majority of people.

He further added: “We are on course to complete a feasibility study which will pave the way for the RBIDZ to be an Oil and Gas Hub. Critically, we are moving towards Gas to Power Programme and the development of the East Coast Gas Corridor.”

He concluded: “We can confirm today that a comprehensive Renewable Energy Zones tool has been developed. It contains all relevant information pertinent to renewable energy development including resource maps for wind, solar, biomass and hydro. The three key areas of focus for renewable energy would be the renewable energy generation, renewable energy manufacturing and energy efficiency.”

Few weeks ago KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu announced that as part of driving radical economic transformation, the provincial government will roll out a comprehensive list of more than 18 major catalytic projects.  This will help realise a vision of ensuring that KZN becomes a prosperous province with a healthy, secure and skilled population, living in dignity and harmony, acting as a gateway to Africa and the World.

The province has budgeted to spend R12.041 billion in 2017/18, R12.250 billion in 2018/19 and R13.264 billion in 2019/20 on various infrastructure projects.

“We want to use the infrastructure budget to ensure that we create jobs and fast-track the entry of people from previously disadvantaged communities into the mainstream economy,” Mchunu remarked.

 

Issued by the KNZ Office of the Premier