The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) is nearing completion of the R50 million first phase of the R2 billion Dimbaza Industrial Park revitalisation project.
The first phase of the project is security upgrades which come at a price tag of R50 million which is financed by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).
By October 2019, the security upgrades were at 70% completion.
The practical completion of the security upgrades which includes fencing, construction of guard houses and the installation of high mast lights is estimated to be February 2020.
When fully-operational, the 156 hectare industrial park which has 72 factories, is expected to employ 3,125 people.
This number excludes ancillary services such as workers employed at security companies and cleaning companies. Currently, 161 jobs have been created this first phase. Furthermore, 18 small businesses from the local community have been supported.
The Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affair and Tourism (DEDEAT) has also approved R104 million as part of the second phase of the project from the Provincial Stimulus Fund for road and services upgrades.
About the Dimbaza Industrial Park upgrades
This includes the construction of a separate entrance into the park from the R63.
“Funding has been approved from the Provincial Stimulus Fund for the second phase, while the waste water treatment works upgrade portion has also been co-funded by the BCMM which has committed R14 million towards this project over a three-year period.
“In 2017, the Dimbaza Industrial Park masterplan was approved. The revitalisation is meant to attract investors into the park and to lobby for investment incentives for the parks in order to revive vibrant economic activity while facilitating job creation.
Already, eight companies have signed letters of intent to move into the industrial park. There are many other companies which have expressed interest in moving their operations to Dimbaza. They are finalising their letters of intent,” says ECDC chief executive officer Ndzondelelo Dlulane.
Dlulane says the five-phase revitalisation of the park is a five-year programme which includes security upgrades as a first phase, implementation of bulk infrastructure in phase two and the development of a agro-processing hub as a third phase.
The agro-processing hub will include hydroponics, aquaponics, a food factory complex, processing, packaging, warehousing and distribution.
The fourth phase involves the construction of community structures such as community collection points such as free range chicken structures. The fifth phase is the development of retail and residential structures for factory workers.
“Dimbaza is strategically located in so far as the delivery of products is concerned. It is close to Bulembu Airport and it is in close proximity to the East London and Port Elizabeth ports for the ease of movement of goods.
“There is already infrastructure which needs to be refurbished to support productive activity. This revitalisation will stimulate the economy of the region,” says Dlulane.