Fold Bay’s industrial zone — DA

2012-08-31 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance has called for the immediate liquidation of the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) unless the provincial government is prepared to offer greater incentives to attract “big investors”.

The call was made to Economic Development and Tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu yesterday in a motion in the KZN Legislature stating that “not a single job had been created and not one business or investment agreement [has been] entered into during the past three years”.

RBIDZ’s chief executive officer, Ike Nxedlana, dismissed the claim as “totally incorrect”.

DA MPL Johann Krog said that unless tax, labour and other incentives were created to attract big investors to the public entity, the RBIDZ would be a drain on the provincial coffers. Krog said he made this assessment after he and members of the province’s finance and economic development and tourism portfolio committee visited the IDZ this week.

“The IDZ is costing KwaZulu-Natal a lot of money. During the 2009/10 financial year, the IDZ received R103,75 million from provincial government coffers. In 2010/11, the figure increased to R156,975 million. The budgeted figure for transfer this financial year is R59,636 million.

“This is money that should be used to subsidise and market tourism in the province, a sure way of creating immediate jobs,” said Krog.

Nxedlana said he was “saddened” by Krog’s statement, especially as he was among several officials who had attended an RBIDZ presentation on Wednesday.

Nxedlana said: “They were given a thorough briefing and from our immediate assessment it seemed as if the visiting officials were happy with what we showed and told them.

“We were honest with them about our challenges, successes and outlook for the future, which we believe is positive. Our major challenges rest on environmental issues.

“We have created work as we prepare the infrastructure necessary for the IDZ to be operational.

“We have three core clients we are negotiating with and once our land is prepared and serviced we will be in a strong position.”

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