The City of uMhlathuze is pleased with the support by the Provincial Government aimed at bolstering mega projects that will see reshaped City’s landscape, drastically inject much needed economic boost and create massive employment opportunities.

The KwaZulu-Natal Premier Hon. Sihle Zikalala recently announced that the Province is supporting major investment initiatives driven by the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ), huge human settlement developments of the City of uMhlathuze during his 2021 State of the Province Address (SOPA).

Zikalala confirmed the announcement by the RBIDZ that the construction of the R 1,3 billion edible oils plant by Wilmar has started. “The project is expected to inject much needed jobs in the King Cetshwayo District. The plant is expected to be complete on the 4th quarter of the year 2022. The RBIDZ, has also appointed the contractor for Phase 1 of the R 4,5 billion Titanium Dioxide plan - this phase will be operational in the 4th quarter of 2021 and Phase 2 (40,000 tons per annum plant) construction will commence in January 2022” Zikalala said.

This RBIDZ will also launch two investor projects expected to commence construction in the 2nd and 3rd quarter of the year 2021.These will be a plant manufacturing architectural and industrial paints and an establishment of caustic soda/chlorine chemical production plant. These have a collective value of over R 1,1 billion.

Premier also announced the support of the construction of the eMpangeni Mega Housing Project, currently underway opposite Qalakabusha prison as well as the Aquadene Housing project which will see the City of uMhlathuze developing two large suburbs additional to the low cost settlement, Dumisani Makhaye Village.

“The eMpangeni IRDP Housing Project is located in uMhlathuze Local Municipality, at eMpangeni Town, on the outskirts of the CBD. An amount of R144 000 000 is budgeted for eMpangeni Phase 2 for the installation of internal Civil Engineering bulks infrastructure. The municipality have finalised installation of external bulk infrastructure. The proposed Aquadene Integrated Residential Development Programme (IRDP) is located within ward 26 of uMhlathuze Local Municipality. The development will consist of 2416 housing opportunities. An amount of R14.2 million has been budgeted for in the 2021/2022 financial year internal services. An amount of R1 million has been budgeted for, for internal bulk infrastructure as most of the work was done in the 2020/2021 financial year,” Zikalala announced.

City Mayor Mduduzi Mhlongo welcomed the announcement and further expressed his gratitude for the support. “We appreciate the gesture from the Provincial Government and from the Premier Sihle Zikalala. This will go a long way in changing the lives of uMhlathuze people for the better especially because eMpangeni Mega Housing project will consist of more than 10 000 different typologies of houses ranging from Low Coast Housing, Social Housing and Financed Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (Gap-Housing). For the people of the City, these projects have begun to create the much needed employment opportunities and we will continue to canvas for the localisation of other value chain in the process for our SMME’s beneficiation,” Mhlongo said.

Mhlongo said the key focus for the City now is to resuscitate the economy of the City and the region through a number of interventions to ensure that effective service delivery is uninterrupted to allow community members to thrive and fend off for their families during these Covid-19 challenges.

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