Sihle Zikalala, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, today, 8 August 2017, officially opened the new multi-purpose iDube Cold Storage facility, located within Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone.
iDube Cold Storage invested ZAR99.2 million in the new facility, which will cater to the growing demand in chilled and frozen perishables storage within the region. The facility will initially cater to meat importers servicing local retailers as well as exports of dairy, fruit concentrate and citrus to markets in the European Union and the Far East.
MEC Zikalala described the cold storage facility as a great example of the work of government in its continued efforts to support the development of industries that enhance the effectiveness of the value chains throughout the economy.
“From production to processing, it is essential that we provide healthy and highly competitive business operating environments, which will present new opportunities for both established and emerging enterprises. To date, we have been successful in attracting ZAR1.5 billion in private sector investment, through various developments within Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone, with a further ZAR4.25 billion in investment that is in the immediate pipeline for developments are to be located within the second phases of Dube TradeZone,” says Zikalala.
The new facility is funded in part by KZN Growth Fund a public entity that is under the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.
“KZN Growth Fund provided ZAR63.4 million in funding towards iDube Cold Storage to help establish one of the largest multi-temperature cold storage facilities in KwaZulu-Natal. The facility is designed to handle both chilled and frozen perishable products.
‘Our funding of this project was motivated, in part, by our support of the Black Industrialist Programme, as 50% of the iDube Cold Storage’s shareholding is in the hands of previously disadvantaged individuals. Furthermore, one of the medium term targets of the company will be to allocate 10% of the shares to employees who will be drawn from BEE qualifying groups,” says Aubrey Shabane, KZN Growth Fund Acting Chief Executive Officer.
iDube Cold Storage falls under the umbrella of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Black Industrialist Programme, which is amongst the initiatives that are aimed at delivering on South Africa’s transformational goals that are being rolled out within Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone, as well as other locations that are supported by the Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal.
The new facility will employ around 80 staff when it is operating at full capacity, drawing its labour from a pool of experienced professionals in addition to creating new job opportunities for local communities, that will be added to the 5 500 jobs that have already been created throughout the entire Dube TradePort precinct.
Tebogo Mogapi, iDube Cold Storage Chief Executive Officer, commended both National and Provincial bodies for their outstanding assistance in bring-ing to reality their vision of a multi temperature cold storage facility.
“We are grateful to Dube TradePort, the KZN Growth Fund, the IDT and indeed the province of KwaZulu-Natal for giving us the opportunity to establish our company within this Special Economic Zone and for their continued support throughout the construction phase of the iDube Cold Storage Facility.”
iDube Cold Storage’s 4 500 square meter facility has the capacity to handle 8 600 mobile pallet positions, which can store up to 12 000 tonnes of perishable product. In addition to this, the facility is also equipped to provide a number of ancillary services that include weighing, sorting, repackaging, order picking, and container plug in of products as well as providing distribution and logistics solutions.