Investment putting KZN on Africa map — MEC

2008-11-06 00:00

The global economic meltdown will have a minimal effect on KwaZulu-Natal and there is no chance that any of the infrastructural investment planned for the province will be cancelled, according to MEC for Finance and Industrial Development Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Instead, he said, multi-billion rand investments such as the Durban Point Waterfront, the widening of the harbour mouth, the Moses Mabida Stadium and the new airport are positioning the province as one of the continent’s major growth nodes.

Speaking at yesterday’s celebration of the conclusion of the second phase of the Point Development, Mkhize said he is aware of the frustrations of many potential investors, and he highlighted key challenges, including a complicated and protracted environmental impact assessment (EIA) process, backlogs in land claims and land evaluation.

Mkhize said a record of decision on the EIA for the third phase of the Point Development, which incorporates the controversial small craft harbour, is imminent and has been prioritised. This allows for construction of a 24-storey, five star hotel “in the water”, a 400 000 m2 retail component and additional residential accommodation.

He said the R1,2 billion already invested is a good example of the investment needed to reach growth targets.

Mkhize added that a further R800 million has been earmarked for infrastructure investment for the small craft harbour, which would attract an additional R4 billion.

Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo said that by 2012, R6 billion will have been invested. Already, private sector investment has exceeded institutional investment in infrastructure.

Mkhize said the Point Waterfront could create up to 8 000 jobs during construction and 6 000 permanent jobs.

“Our projections are that the completion of Phase II of the Durban Point Development Project will increase GDP in the eThekwini Municipality by R3 billion … The project will also increase growth in construction investment in the metro of 10-15% over the next decade or more.”

He added that land values in adjacent areas have already trebled, thereby increasing the eThekwini Municipality’s rates income.

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