Wheels set in motion for KZN titanium beneficiation plant

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pretoria - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu says the announcement of a R4.5 billion investment in the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) confirms that KwaZulu-Natal is a preferred destination for foreign direct investment. 

The Leader of Government Business and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, on Tuesday presided over the strategic partners signing ceremony, which was attended by captains of industry and members of the diplomatic corps representing New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Germany.

The partnership involving RBIDZ, Nyanza Light Metals and New Zealand based company, Avertana Ltd, paves the way for the construction of a titanium beneficiation plant.

“The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, has provided solid leadership, working with the Leader of Government Business, Sihle Zikalala. We thank all partners for working together under challenging circumstances to make this project possible.

“These positive news will boost business confidence and help attract more investment into the province.  Such developments are important, given the fact that there are fears of a recession resulting from the downgrading of South Africa.

“We acknowledge that we are not the only nation in the world that has had to adjust to the harshness of the impact of recession and other global economic challenges such as downgrading by rating agencies. Over the past years, we have been working hard to help our people to survive through the rough storm... This investment will help to create more jobs for our people,” said Premier Mchunu.

Speaking at the signing ceremony and representing the Premier, MEC Zikalala said they are excited that RBIDZ will now host this strategic plant, which will help to ensuring that KwaZulu-Natal remains a national leader in the production of chemicals.

“The plant will produce titanium dioxide pigment, a product used in paint, toothpaste and colourants for food products. The construction of the plant will commence next year, while production is expected to begin in late 2019.

“The Department of Trade and Industry extended a grant of R17.1 million to the company for feasibility studies and has also approved an investment allowance of R900 million. 

“We appreciate the news that about 550 permanent jobs will be created when the Nyanza plant is operational and that 1 200 indirect and 800 direct jobs will be created during construction,” MEC Zikalala said.

The RBIDZ, with the financial assistance of the SEZ Fund of the dti, is also funding and managing projects involving the widening of Alumina Allee Road and the upgrading of the municipal industries substation.

MEC Zikalala said they support the call by President Jacob Zuma and Premier Mchunu that government should ensure that all sectors of society benefit from the nation’s wealth “in order to guarantee a stable democratic dispensation and reasonable wealth distribution”. – SAnews.gov.za

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