Planned Durban aerotropolis set to attract ‘massive investment’ value

Deputy trade and industry minister, Nomalungelo Gina.

A planned Durban aerotropolis is expected to turn the area around the King Shaka International Airport into a smart city with “diversified economic activities” that will boost the KwaZulu Natal (KZN) economy.

“Government perceives the 50-year Durban Aerotropolis Master Plan as not just a project for Durban, and its future economic boom, but for the entire province which will benefit through the economic spin-offs that will arise as a result of the hive of business activities in this Dube Trade Port precinct,” said Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Nomalungelo Gina.

She was reacting to the unveiling of the plan by the KZN premier Sihle Zikalala late last week, at which he said the project had the potential to attract “massive investment” of up to R1 trillion.

The master plan incorporates 32 000 hectares of land, as well as 10 000 hectares of green space. Timing and financing details have not been made public.

It is claimed to be the only greenfield aerotropolis in Africa.

“The planned aerotropolis is poised to take advantage of rapidly increasing global connectivity, efficient Dube Trade Port logistics, Durban's seaport and the Special Economic Zone status of the precinct surrounding the airport,” said Zikalala.

Gina said economic enclaves developed around airports to take advantage of the faster export of goods, increased global connectivity, multi-modal transportation systems and other aviation-related businesses.

“Being the second largest economy in South Africa, KZN presents a vast array of opportunities for investments with an ideal location,” she said, encouraging potential investors to look at both Dube Trade Port and the Richards Bay special economic zones as potential investment hubs.

“The two offer an internationally competitive value proposition with unique offerings for investors.  and some of which include ready infrastructure for business development, reduced costs for key inputs such as land, water and electricity, and tax relief which includes a reduced corporate tax rate.”

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