The first phase of Vulindlela Industrial Park revitalisation was launched on the 15th of May 2017. The project was funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) with a tune of R22million for first phase and the department is looking at implementing the project in four phases. The upgrade is one of government efforts to address the challenge of unemployment and poverty.
DDG for DTI, Mr. Zipho Zikode said that one of the DTI roles is to facilitate the economic development of the country and to ensure that all the regions participates in the economic stream. “We are working together with provincial and local government to revamp the old Bantustan industrial parks that had collapsed and that includes Vulindlela.”
Mr Zikode went on to unpack the scope of work that has been done during this phase including fencing of the park to maximise security, signage on the entrances, refurbishment of high mast and upgrade of roads and electricity infrastructure.
The project employed 51 locals and 36 of them were young people. Four local SMMEs also benefited from the project. This industrial park is one of the ten parks that are being revitalised by the DTI around the country with the aim of creating jobs for communities.
Speaking at the launch, KSD Executive Mayor, Cllr Dumani Zozo welcomed the development saying it will address the high levels of unemployment and poverty in this region. “This investment is one of indications that the Municipality has a potential to grow. As KSD we have identified four developmental nodes to boost economy of this area. The initiative of revitalising Vulindlela Park is the realisation of KSD vision to have Mthatha as an industrial development zone. This is the area where we want the industries to boom as there is already an existing infrastructure and it is in a completion stage in terms of the upgrade.”
“We are looking at growing our economy and attract more investors and as such we have challenged some academic institutions like CSRI and business fraternity can to look at what kind of specific business that KSD can be known about, be it in the motor industry where we can be the only supplier of one component such as bolt or safety belt.”
“The other developmental nodes is Mqanduli as an agricultural node and Coffee Bay as an oceans economy. There are developments that are already taking place in all these nodes and we call for more investors to come and invest in KSD” said the Mayor. He also cited that the Municipality is having engagements with Office of Land Claims Commissioner and Claimants to address the land claim issue to unlock development.
The CEO of ECDC, Mr. Buhle Dlulane said that the park occupancy is currently at 87 percent and they plan to maximise it in order to boost economic activities within it.
Two factories were then visited to look at the prospects of the industries namely, Aminachem Company that producing cleaning material and Furntech factory that manufactures furniture.