IDube Cold Stor­age adds value to agro-pro­cess­ing chain

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Hlengiwe Ngob­ese

a New ColD sTor­aGe fa­cil­ity in the Dube Trade Port Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone is cre­at­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

anew, mul­ti­pur­pose state-of-the-art cold stor­age fa­cil­ity, cost­ing R99.2 mil­lion, was of­fi­cially opened in the Dube Trade Port Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone (SEZ), in KwaZulu-Natal re­cently.

iDube Cold Stor­age is cater­ing to a grow­ing de­mand for chilled and frozen per­ish­ables stor­age in the re­gion. The 4 500m2 fa­cil­ity can han­dle 8 600 mo­bile pal­let po­si­tions and store up to 12 000 per­ish­able prod­ucts.

When op­er­at­ing at full ca­pac­ity, iDube Cold Stor­age will em­ploy around 80 staff, draw­ing its labour from a pool of ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als. It will also cre­ate job op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, adding to the 5 500 jobs that have al­ready been cre­ated.

The fa­cil­ity will ini­tially cater to meat im­porters, ser­vic­ing lo­cal re­tail­ers, and ex­porters of dairy, fruit con­cen­trate and citrus to mar­kets in the Euro­pean Union and the Far East. Its ser­vices also in­clude weigh­ing, sort­ing, repack­ag­ing, or­der pick­ing, con­tainer plug-in of prod­ucts and dis­tri­bu­tion and lo­gis­tics so­lu­tions.

En­hanc­ing value chains

MEC for Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment, Tourism and En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs Sihle Zikalala de­scribed the fa­cil­ity as a great ex­am­ple of gov­ern­ment’s con­tin­ued ef­forts to sup­port the devel­op­ment of in­dus­tries that en­hance the ef­fec­tive­ness of value chains through­out the econ­omy.

“From pro­duc­tion to pro­cess­ing, it is es­sen­tial that we pro­vide healthy and highly com­pet­i­tive busi­ness op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ments which will present new op­por­tu­ni­ties for es­tab­lished and emerg­ing en­ter­prises.”

He added: “To date, we have at­tracted R1.5 bil­lion in pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment through var­i­ous de­vel­op­ments within the SEZ, and R4.25 bil­lion in in­vest­ment is in the im­me­di­ate pipeline for de­vel­op­ments in the sec­ond phase of the iDube Trade Zone.”

Black In­dus­tri­al­ist Pro­gramme

iDube Cold Stor­age falls un­der the um­brella of the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try’s Black In­dus­tri­al­ist Pro­gramme, with the KwaZulu-Natal Growth Fund pro­vid­ing R63.4 mil­lion in fund­ing.

KZN Growth Fund act­ing CEO Aubrey Sha­bane said the fund­ing was mo­ti­vated, in part, by the sup­port of the Black In­dus­tri­al­ist Pro­gramme, as 50 per cent of iDube Cold Stor­age’s share­hold­ing is in the hands of pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged in­di­vid­u­als.

iDube Cold Stor­age han­dles and stores lo­cally pro­duced per­ish­ables.

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