The KwaZulu-Natal government is rolling out a massive infrastructure programme which will change the face of the province for many more years to come, KwaZulu-Natal acting Premier Sihle Zikalala told delegates at the BRICS Business Council meeting in Durban on Sunday.
Outlining KwaZulu-Natal investment opportunities, Zikalala told delegates that the province was open for business, adding that the overall government infrastructure expenditure for the province would exceed R200 billion over the next seven years.
“The infrastructure development programme involves road construction, air-freight, rail, provision of water and sanitation, services, electrification and a major focus on the maritime industry. We are encouraging partnerships between the public and the private sectors to maximize investments and grow the economy together using the infrastructure as a catalyst,” said Zikalala.
Zikalala said KwaZulu-Natal was focusing on the oceans economy because of its strategic location along the ocean. Zikalala told delegates that KwaZulu-Natal’s special economic zones at Dube Trade Port and the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone, offered an attractive corporate tax regime that ensures greater value for investors.
The KZN One Stop Shop located in Durban provided an easy point of entry for potential investors, he noted. “It is geared to assist business people with the all the necessary support to set up business in our province and to ensure the elimination of red-tape in getting their business started.”
Government would ensure that potential investors are directed to various corners of this province, especially local municipalities. “As we rebuild these municipalities to become dynamic engines of economic development, we want to ensure inclusive economic growth, redistribution of wealth and the creation of an equal society.”
The Chairperson of the South African Chapter in BRICS, Dr Iqbal Surve, said there was significant positive sentiment in South Africa, adding that government has been able to demonstrate that South Africa is able to mobilise investor confidence.