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Industrial hubs

By Di Brown

, |

Industrial hubs

By Di Brown

, |

If you’re thinking of investing in South Africa, it’s worth looking at some of the rapidly developing industrial hubs that are evolving in strategic locations around the country.

Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone

Considered one of South Africa’s top 10 investment opportunities, Dube TradePort is designated a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) comprising five business zones:

  • Dube TradeZone: A prime, fully serviced industrial precinct of 77 hectares, growing to 300 hectares, for electronics, pharmaceuticals and aerospace manufacturing, assembling and distribution.
  • Dube Cargo Terminal: A state-of-the-art cargo handling facility with digital tracking and secure cargo flow through on-site statutory bodies, reporting a 0% cargo loss since its inception in 2010.
  • Dube AgriZone: an advanced agricultural precinct of 16 hectares of greenhouses, post-harvest packhouses, a central packing and distribution centre, a nursery, and a sophisticated plant tissue culture laboratory, Dube AgriLab. It offers top-notch technical support for propagating, growing, packing and distributing high-value perishables and horticultural products through an efficient supply chain. It is the largest climate-controlled glass-covered growing area in Africa, and implements rainwater harvesting, solar power, and on-site waste management.
  • Dube City: A 12-hectare premium business and hospitality precinct, just three minutes from the passenger terminal.
  • Dube iConnect: A cutting-edge telecommunications platform and premier cloud service provider, servicing the Dube TradePort precinct.

Dube is ideal for new-generation warehousing, manufacturing, assembling, air-related cargo distribution, high-tech aerospace services, automotive industries, clothing, textiles and cold storage activities.

Benefits of investing in Dube TradePort include:

  • preferential 15% corporate tax for qualifying entities
  • 10% per annum building allowance
  • employment incentives for low-salary workers
  • import duty rebates for production-related and exported products
  • VAT exemptions for supplies procured in South Africa
  • enhanced 12i Tax Incentive designed to support greenfield and brownfield investments.

The developers actively support investors by acting as their interface with government agencies and departments, and providing assistance with registrations, licensing, visa services and investor after-care services.


Dube TradePort is located 30km north of the coastal city of Durban, 30 minutes from Africa’s busiest cargo port, Durban Harbour, and 90 minutes from Richards Bay Harbour. There is easy access to air, road and rail networks and it’s close to world-class golf estates, beaches and game reserves.


Originally built specifically as a bulk coal terminal, Richards Bay Harbour has, over the decades, evolved into a world-class industrial estate with extensive transport infrastructure.

The special economic zone at RBIDZ offers opportunities to investors in five key sectors, namely ICT and techno parks, metals beneficiation, marine industry development, renewable energy, and agro-processing. With its extensive logistics and strategic links with large-scale farmers, RBIDZ is particularly placed for agro-processing and the export of fresh and value-added agricultural products.

Incentives to investors include:

  • reduction in corporate tax from 28% to 15%
  • duty-free imports for production-related raw materials including machinery and assets used in production with the aim of exporting the finished products
  • VAT exemptions under specific conditions for supplies procured in South Africa.


RBIDZ is situated on the East Coast of South Africa, linked to road, rail and the international deepwater port at Richards Bay, 170km from Durban and 140km from King Shaka International Airport. The town is home to the Richards Bay Country Club and the luxurious Mzingazi Golf and Residential Estate. For leisure it is close to the World Heritage Site of iSimangaliso Wetlands at St Lucia, and the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, as well as being close to the borders of both Swaziland and Mozambique. The Zini River Estate on the Umlazi River and lagoon, the Eshowe Hills Eco and Golf Estate inland from Richards Bay, and the coastal Zimbali, Blythedale Beach and Prince’s Grant golf estates are all successful examples of developments that are thriving in this attractive area that is poised to boom.


The Eastern Cape is very low-key, so it is often overlooked as an industrial development destination, a situation the Coega Special Economic Zone was specifically designed to address.

The Coega Special Economic Zone is purpose-built for manufacturing, beneficiation of mineral and agricultural resources, investment and local socioeconomic growth, skills development and job creation. The Coega Development Corporation offers investors tax incentives, rebates and a duty-free zone.

All the necessary infrastructure – including roads, bulk water and sewer networks, high- and medium-voltage electrical substations and overhead power lines, and telecommunication sleeve networks – is in place. Coega is adjacent to the Port of Ngqura, a modern multi-use deepwater harbour that is the designated South African hub for container traffic and is served by the world’s top shipping lines, and the nearby Port of Port Elizabeth operates world-class container, vehicle, breakbulk and bulk terminals. Coega also offers easy access to the national road and rail networks, and is close to Port Elizabeth’s international airport.

Coega has been designated as the best SEZ in Africa, in terms of investment promotion and performance, and it is among the seven SEZs worldwide (and the only one in Africa) that has been earmarked by the World Bank and London School of Economics as a successful model or case study for SEZ development.


Coega is located 25km north of the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, which is close to the Addo Elephant National Park, numerous private game lodges and the adventurous Wild Coast. There are fabulous opportunities for a superb lifestyle on estates in and around the city. The spectacular beaches become your playground at the Sardinia Bay Golf and Wildlife Resort or the Royalston Coastal Wildlife Estate, while the Wedgewood Golf Estate is ideal for those preferring to be closer to town.


Johannesburg is the mineral, industrial and economic powerhouse of South Africa, and Ekurhuleni is the powerhouse of Johannesburg. Built around Africa’s biggest airport and principal hub, OR Tambo, and close to rail and road networks extending to the rest of South Africa, as well as neighbouring countries to the north and east, Ekurhuleni really is a hub in every sense of the word.

The Albertina Sisulu Corridor is a prime investment and development location straddling the R21 and R24 freeways, which link Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, OR Tambo International Airport and Pretoria (Tshwane).

The range of business, industrial and financial activities is impressive, but the two that most set this hub apart from the rest are aviation services and jewellery manufacturing – the former because of the world-class services offered by OR Tambo Airport to airlines from all over Africa, and the latter because of a concerted effort by the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency to develop local beneficiation of mineral resources such as gold, platinum and diamonds.
The Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis is a long-term project that is intended to unfold over the next two, three or maybe even four decades.


Ekurhuleni is the eastern part of Johannesburg, which is smack in the middle of the mining area, so it’s not surprising that this city has developed into an industrial and financial hub. But what is surprising is the vast expanses of green open space and natural areas. There are some lovely wetlands and nature reserves, including Modderfontein Nature Reserve, the Marievale Bird Sanctuary, and the crown of them all – Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve. And it’s not just for work and play; it’s a great place to live as well. The Serengeti Estates and Ebotse Golf and Country Estate both offer fabulous golfing, great lifestyle facilities and extensive natural areas in secure, well-positioned estates.

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