Facing a threat of disinvestment and a bleak future, Estcourt businesses turned to KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ms Nomusa Dube-Ncube to intervene in their challenges.
The businessmen who converged under the banner of Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and Industry told the MEC of their inherent challenges with the local government leadership in Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality.
Estcourt businesses have endured a sustained pressure due to a variety of challenges that saw the likes of Clover and Masonite leaving the town and dozens of other businesses threatening to follow suit.
Dube-Ncube said she understood the challenges they faced but urged them to continue investing in the KZN Midlands town. He pledged her full support to all the initiative they undertake saying that she would facilitate with the Inkosi Langalibalele leadership to start dialogues following months of strained relations.
“We want business to do business in a conducive manner and as a provincial government business and investment top our agenda. This area has huge potential as they have the N3 passing through, a railway line and a huge dam whose capacity never dwindles. So we are committing to assist,” she said.
The Leader of Government Business also visited Sumitomo Rubber, a tyre making company on the outskirts of the Ladysmith town to inspect their newly-installed water tank and to engage management of a number of challenges they faced.
The R3.5 million and 1.1 million kilolitre tank was made possible by the Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal. It will be commissioned soon. The tank became a priority following acute water shortages that keep the rubber giant firm running and the lack of water would have caused adverse impact for the production which should always be at an optimal level.
“We understand that water is a scarce commodity and we will explore with the company and look for alternative sources of water to keep the production running in the plant. Their usage us high as they use over 500 000 litres of water a day,” Dube-Ncube who is also the district champion of uThukela.
ISSUED BY THE KWAZULU-NATAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL MINISTRY
For more information contact Mr Nathi Olifant on 060 970 5113, Mr Ndabezinhle Sibiya on 082 375 4742 or Ms Thando Biyela on 066 489 7373