Swiss govt injects R80?million into Ilembe

2013-11-21 00:00

THE economy of the Ilembe District Municipality, which also incorporates kwaDukuza and Maphumulo municipalities, has been given an R80 million shot in the arm.

The Swiss government, through its Economic Development Co-operation division, committed the funds towards projects geared at bolstering municipal financial management, infrastructure planning and financing, private sector development and trade promotion.

Economic Development Co-operation’s Markus Schrader said more money could be invested later in projects that prove to be worthwhile.

The multi-million-rand investment comes after the Ilembe District Municipality developed a local economic development strategy for its area.

This straddles Durban and Richards Bay ports, and incorporates the Dube TradePort and King Shaka International Airport.

District municipality mayor Welcome Mdabe said they examined agriculture and manufacturing as sectors for economic development.

Mdabe said agriculture and manufacturing would add value to agro-processing and beneficiation of mineral resources in the wake of the discovery of iron ore in Maphumulo Municipality.

“When we presented this to the Swiss they sent their team to come and work with Ilembe to make sure this becomes a success.”

The Swiss could commit up to R40 billion for infrastructure for an agro- processing plant, working closely with Dube TradePort.

“We are working with Ithala Bank to expand the Isithebe Industrial Estate,” said Mdabe.

Shrader said the investment would also look into helping the municipality improve its finances and generate income.

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