Isithebe estate attracts much investment

Posted On Wednesday, 25 April 2001 03:01 Published by
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DURBAN Isithebe industrial estate, midway between Durban and Richards Bay, is emerging as a focal investment point in KwaZulu-Natal for the textile and clothing industry.

DURBAN Isithebe industrial estate, midway between Durban and Richards Bay, is emerging as a focal investment point in KwaZulu-Natal for the textile and clothing industry.
There have been 10 companies setting up or expanding within this sector in the estate during the past year alone.
Ithala Development Finance Corporation properties executive Jan van Niekerk says the organisation promotes Isithebe as an ideal investment point to take advantage of the export market.
This is particularly important for the textile and clothing industry following the passing of the African Growth and Opportunities Bill, which allows local textiles and clothing to enter the US duty free.
Ithala is the official investment arm for KwaZulu-Natal.
Van Niekerk says Ithala is committed to building a platform to ensure the industry reaps the benefits of the global market.
Ithala let more than 60000m² of factory space at Isithebe industrial estate in the year to March 2001, taking the space let to 473000m². Another 91000m² of buildings are privately owned by 28 companies.
Isithebe has more than 150 industrial operations employing 17000 people.
However, Van Niekerk acknowledges that companies are consolidating and downsizing to become more internationally competitive, and Isithebe has suffered withdrawals. Current vacancies are in line with Durban's at 10%, but Ithala is working towards reducing these. The available land is 80% developed, and Van Niekerk believes there is potential to expand the development into "a manufacturing Mecca for exports".
Despite the downturn in investor confidence in recent years, Ithala has established 65 new industries in its estates and industrial complexes around KwaZulu-Natal during the past financial year. It also helped expand another 16 operations.
These efforts brought on stream an additional 100000m² of production space in the province and created 3000 jobs, the bulk of which are in Isithebe.

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