Pro­vin­cial per­spec­tive

Public Sector Manager - - Contents -

Re­vi­talised in­dus­trial parks in the East­ern Cape pro­vide a much­needed boost to the econ­omy and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties

In­dus­trial parks were once hubs of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity across the East­ern Cape prov­ince and it is hoped that their re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion will

lead to broader eco­nomic and in­dus­trial devel­op­ment.

The gov­ern­ment's Re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of In­dus­trial Parks Pro­gramme spear­headed by the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (the dti) brings hope of gen­er­at­ing thou­sands of jobs around the coun­try while cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for small and medium en­ter­prises.

Min­is­ter of Trade and In­dus­try, Dr Rob Davies, along with East­ern Cape Premier Phu­mulo Ma­su­alle and

East­ern Cape MEC for Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Sakhumzi Somyo, launched the Ko­mani In­dus­trial Park re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion pro­gramme in Ko­mani in Novem­ber.The Ko­mani site is one of 10 in­dus­trial parks around the coun­try that the dti has pri­ori­tised for re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion as part of the pro­gramme.

Davies said the first phase of the Ko­mani project – which cov­ered se­cu­rity up­grades – was done in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Chris Hani Devel­op­ment Agency.The dti's in­vest­ment to­talled R22.5 mil­lion.

In May this year, the East­ern Cape gov­ern­ment and the dti launched the Vulindlela Heights In­dus­trial Park re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion pro­gramme in Mthatha. Gov­ern­ment spent a fur­ther R20 mil­lion on the re­vival of in­fra­struc­ture to en­able the in­dus­trial park to ac­com­mo­date more ten­ants.

Although it is yet to be launched, the Dim­baza In­dus­trial Park is al­ready at­tract­ing ten­ants who man­u­fac­ture well­known brands.The re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion pro­gramme has also laid

the foun­da­tion for a trail­blaz­ing black-owned com­pany to ex­pand its op­er­a­tions, boost its pro­duc­tion and cre­ate more jobs.The ma­jor­ity black-owned Ikusasa Green man­u­fac­tures high-end cooler boxes for the Mass­mart Group and is ex­pand­ing its op­er­a­tions to a fa­cil­ity in Dim­baza ahead of the of­fi­cial launch of the in­dus­trial park.

In­ter­na­tional clients

Ikusasa Green's ex­pan­sion fol­lows a R9 mil­lion in­jec­tion from the East­ern Cape's Depart­ment of Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment, En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) and a fur­ther R12 mil­lion from the Mass­mart Group, which is the home of Game, Macro and Dion, among others.

This means Ikusasa Green, which has a 70 per cent black share­hold­ing, has at­tracted a to­tal of R21 mil­lion in in­vest­ment from the pri­vate and the pub­lic sec­tor since its in­cep­tion in 2013.

The com­pany's ex­pan­sion to the 12 000-square-me­tre fa­cil­ity in Dim­baza is well aligned with gov­ern­ment's in­dus­trial parks re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion pro­gramme. East­ern Cape MEC for eco­nomic devel­op­ment Sakhumzi Somyo ex­plains that in­dus­trial parks were once hubs of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity across the prov­ince.

Ikusasa Green manag­ing direc­tor Thami Gx­owa said DEDEAT has been in­volved in the com­pany's growth and devel­op­ment since its in­cep­tion.The depart­ment pro­vided an ini­tial cap­i­tal in­jec­tion of R3 mil­lion to help source equip­ment for the com­pany's ro­ta­tional mould­ing plant in Stut­ter­heim.

DEDEAT later in­jected an­other R3 mil­lion to boost plant ca­pac­ity and a fur­ther R3 mil­lion to re­ha­bil­i­tate the Dim­baza fa­cil­ity.

The com­pany prides it­self on its high-end prod­ucts. Its cooler boxes can re­tain ice for up to seven days and are so suc­cess­ful that a deal has since been struck to di­ver­sify Ikusasa Green's range of cooler boxes for the Mass­mart Group's flag­ship Camp Master brand.

“This (in­vest­ment from DEDEAT) al­lowed Ikusasa to at­tract qual­ity clients such as Mass­mart,” said Gx­owa

“The re­la­tion­ship grew be­cause of the qual­ity of our prod­ucts which gave us the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand our Dim­baza prod­uct line into in­jec­tion moulded cooler boxes for Mass­mart. Mass­mart in­vested in tool­ing the Dim­baza plant as part of its sup­plier devel­op­ment pro­gramme.”

The ex­pan­sion to the Dim­baza In­dus­trial Park has seen the com­pany's em­ploy­ment in­crease from 35 to 75 peo­ple, all of whom were pre­vi­ously un­em­ployed.

The in­vest­ment from the East­ern

Cape gov­ern­ment and the Mass­mart Group will also en­able Ikusasa Green to in­crease out­put and di­ver­sify is pro­duc­tion meth­ods, Gx­owa said.

“We are now go­ing to be able to use in­jec­tion mould­ing in Dim­baza, which re­quires a heavy cap­i­tal base but it will as­sist us to pump up vol­umes. In Stut­ter­heim, we use ro­ta­tional mould­ing (roto-mould­ing), which is a slower process and a bit ex­pen­sive for high-end prod­ucts,” Gx­owa ex­plained.

Gx­owa said the com­pany's star at­trac­tion is its in-house high-end ro­ta­tional mould­ing Römer cooler boxes, which are ro­bust enough for African con­di­tions.

“The Römer cooler boxes can pre­serve ice for up to seven days. Our only com­pe­ti­tion is cooler boxes from Aus­tralia and the United States which are not cost com­pet­i­tive,” said Gx­owa.

The com­pany's lat­est range in­cludes 45- and 60-litre cooler boxes as well as the econo-range of 25-litre and 40-litre cool­ers with prices rang­ing be­tween R900 and R1 500.

“We are par­tic­u­larly pleased that Mass­mart also com­mis­sioned us to pro­duce these high-end cooler boxes un­der their pri­vate Sa­fari Camp Master la­bel in

“All this work is con­cerned with the re­vival of in­dus­trial and eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in ar­eas such as But­ter­worth, Vulindlela in Mthatha, Ko­mani and Fort Jack­son in Mdantsane out­side

East Lon­don”

45 and 60 litres. Mass­mart has in­vested R12 mil­lion into Ikusasa and in Dim­baza. We are man­u­fac­tur­ing the more af­ford­able 50-litre in­jec­tion-moulded Camp Master cooler box for them, as well as a 30- and 12-litre fam­ily pack with bet­ter ice retention. In Dim­baza, we are also mak­ing the ammo-crate stor­age box for camp­ing for Mass­mart,” Gx­owa said.

Mil­lions in in­vest­ment

DEDEAT said a master plan drawn up by devel­op­ment fi­nancier the East­ern Cape Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (ECDC) for the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of the Dim­baza In­dus­trial Park was in its fi­nal stages of ap­proval by the pro­vin­cial cab­i­net.

This will make Dim­baza the third re­vamped in­dus­trial park in the East­ern Cape af­ter Ko­mani and Vulindlela parks in Ko­mani and Mthatha re­spec­tively.

“We are de­lighted to have been able to at­tract an in­no­va­tive and purely East­ern Cape com­pany like Ikusasa Green to drive our plan of at­tract­ing high­qual­ity in­vest­ments and com­pa­nies to the Dim­baza In­dus­trial Park to drive eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity and em­ploy­ment. Ikusasa de­vel­ops a prod­uct with a unique value propo­si­tion in South Africa and as a prov­ince we are proud that it has at­tracted in­ter­est and in­vest­ments run­ning into mil­lions of rands from re­tail­ers such as Mass­mart,” said Somyo.

He added that gov­ern­ment's aim for the Dim­baza In­dus­trial Park is to at­tract in­no­va­tive in­vestors in gen­eral man­u­fac­tur­ing as well as the agro-pro­cess­ing sec­tors.

“ECDC, as the prov­ince's eco­nomic devel­op­ment agency which owns the Dim­baza In­dus­trial Park and which cur­rently has 107 stands on be­half of gov­ern­ment, will be the main driver of the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion process of in­dus­trial parks across the East­ern Cape. Dim­baza cur­rently has 24 ten­ants in sec­tors such as tex­tiles and man­u­fac­tur­ing,” MEC Somyo said.

ECDC chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Nd­zon­delelo Dlu­lane says its sup­port of ten­ants such as Ikusasa Green at its Dim­baza In­dus­trial Park is part of a broader in­dus­trial park re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion strat­egy in ar­eas such as But­ter­worth, Vulindlela in Mthatha, Ko­mani and Fort Jack­son in Mdantsane out­side East Lon­don.

“All this work is con­cerned with the re­vival of in­dus­trial and eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in these ar­eas. Dim­baza was once an in­dus­trial hub for King William's Town, gen­er­at­ing sig­nif­i­cant em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties. Sup­ported by part­ners such as the dti, the East­ern Cape Ru­ral Devel­op­ment Agency and the Buf­falo City Metro, among others, gov­ern­ment has made it a pri­or­ity to re­vi­talise eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in Dim­baza.

“We are mo­bil­is­ing po­ten­tial an­chor ten­ants who will oc­cupy the park and ne­go­ti­a­tions with lo­cal en­trepreneurs are on­go­ing. We are specif­i­cally tar­get­ing busi­ness in the agro-pro­cess­ing, re­new­able en­ergy and gen­eral man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors,” said Dlu­lane.

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