Outreach initiative to support manufacturing, foreign direct investment to local communities and growth of economic opportunities
In the first of a series of road shows that seeks to unlock investment opportunities and create jobs across the province of KwaZulu-Natal, Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) hosted a business breakfast and public sector workshop in Ladysmith today. The interaction between Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal and Uthukela District Municipality at the networking breakfast is to ensure that the shared goals of government to attract investment, develop strategic partnerships and create jobs through KwaZulu-Natal are achieved.
Speaking at the launch of the Municipal Road Show in Ladysmith, Mr Zamo Gwala, CEO of TIKZN said, "TIKZN recognises that by improving the quality of awareness of TIKZN services and strengthening relationships and flow of communication between TIKZN and the local and district municipalities, investment opportunities in KwaZulu-Natal will be better developed and showcased". The Uthukela District Municipality is the first in the roll out of this campaign that is anticipated to visit every District once every two years. "By partnering with the municipality, local businesses and local economy has an opportunity towards growth", added Gwala. Senior officials of the district and local municipality engaged with local businesses. The Department of Economic Development and Tourism also provided support in areas of specialist knowledge such as Industrial Hubs and Special Economic Zones. Uthukela District Municipality Mayor, Cllr Duduzile Mazibuko strongly supported the efforts of the TIKZN municipal road show saying that, "This is especially crucial as breakfast affords us the opportunity to showcase what this District has on offer, and the chance of filling in the gaps that hinders taking our treasures to greater heights". The municipal road shows are a platform that will strengthen relations and communications between TIKZN and district and local municipalities. These can be achieved by working together with joint marketing, international outreach, inward missions and information sharing programmes. TIKZN will provide commercial information to anyone in the province. For the KZN investment economy to improve, a conducive investment climate, improved intra-regional connectivity, increase value-addition and trade in high-tech tradable goods and skills development are needed. KZN needs to collate all plausible investment opportunities for coordinated international marketing. UThukela District needs to capitalise on emerging opportunities around:
Durban-Free State- Gauteng- Freight, Logistics and Industrial development corridor (SIP2).
Development of Electronics Hub as a primary focus; without ignoring Clothing and Textiles as a secondary hub to drive its regional economy;
Intensify efforts to get projects / opportunities that the district is currently working on;
Speedy implementation of Catalytic projects identified in the PGDS.
Sihle Mkhize, Project Manager at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) urged, "The robust implementation of government strategies and policies. These are critical for the improved economic growth as well as the fight against unemployment, poverty and inequality". Sheetal Issirinarain, Strategic Planning Manager for Apollo Tyres provided an insightful business perspective of being located in the district. Mr Gwala said that, "Cooperation mechanisms that will contribute to optimal economic growth will be defined clearly between the municipality and businesses."
----------------------------------------- ends -------------------------------------------- Submitted on behalf of Zamo Gwala, CEO at Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal Contact Person: Perusha Govender