Zulu King­dom

Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

Dr iven by t he vi­sion of a “pros­per­ous prov­ince with a healthy, se­cure and skilled pop­u­la­tion, act­ing as a gate­way to Africa and the world”, the theme in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is eco­nomic growth and de­vel­op­ment. It is a theme mostly com­ing through loud and clear.

The prov­ince of­ten plays sec­ond fid­dle to pow­er­house Gaut­eng and the Western Cape as des­ti­na­tion of choice for in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors. Yet it is sec­ond only to Gaut­eng in terms of per­cent­age con­tri­bu­tion to the coun­try’s GDP, con­tribut­ing on av­er­age 15.7%. This amounts to about R78bn an­nu­ally.

To bol­ster the prov­ince’s econ­omy, sev­eral projects con­tained i n t heir Provin­cial Growth and De­vel­op­ment Strateg y have al­ready been put i n mo­tion. Among t hese are spe­cial eco­nomic zones to at­tract in­vestors to the re­gion and meet the coun­try’s 5% GDP growth tar­get for 2020.

Am­bi­tious the prov­ince’s vi­sion might be, but im­pos­si­ble it is not. The prov­ince is rich in nat­u­ral as­sets. It is the coun­try’s lead­ing pro­ducer of tim­ber, at­tracts mil­lions of tourists each year to its miles of scenic coast­line that also houses the busy ports of Dur­ban and Richards Bay. To­gether th­ese two ports han­dle around 80% of South Africa’s cargo ton­nage. On top of this a di­verse range of agri­cul­tural ac­tivit y takes place i n abun­dance through­out the fer­tile prov­ince.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the cat­a­lyst to tan­gi­ble mo­men­tum in growth and de­vel­op­ment for the prov­ince. In prepa­ra­tion for the event, the prov­ince con­structed the King Shaka In­ter­na­tional Air­port and the Dube Trade­Port sit­u­ated on the north coast near the popular tourist ar­eas of Bal­lito and Umh­langa.

Ear­marked by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma as a Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone (SEZ), the

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