Two new companies coming to town with R500m
Fine jewellery and flavoured condoms are coming to East London, with hundreds of jobs.
On Thursday, the EL IDZ announced that Meek Mines, a jewellery manufacturing company specialising in diamonds, and Nulatex SA, a condom manufacturing company, are coming to town, bringing with them more than R500m in investments and creating close to 500 jobs betweem them. Both companies are black-owned.
Meek Mines, set to open in January, has invested R423m and expects to create 150 jobs.
Meek’s Neil Isaacs said some jewellery will be exported to the Middle East. Job opportunities will include general managers, diamond cutters and polishers. Isaacs said they could produce 20,000 carats of diamonds a month.
Isaacs said black people had been reduced to “zama-zamas”, illegal miners. “We are the custodians of the minerals of this country. We are born here, so the government has made a provision that will see 10% of the diamonds produced in SA benefiting local people.
Isaacs said: “There is a lot of negativity going on in the nation, but now is not the time to be negative. This is a platform where the light can shine and pierce the darkness and restore hope. And the right place to invest is the IDZ to boost our own economy.”
Kingsley Tloubatla from Nulatex said SA had a high consumption of condoms but manufactured only 13% of them, with 87% imported.
Nulatex has invested R79m and expects to create 300 jobs.
The facility will have a production capacity of 10 million grape-, banana- and strawberryflavoured condoms a month.
“Our objective is to improve life expectancy by preventing the spread of HIV,” he said.
It will be the first condom manufacturing company in Africa that qualified to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.
The plant is expected to open in the first quarter of 2019.