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Eastern Cape Provincial Investment Outlook 2024-25

At the 2023 Eastern Cape Investment Conference, R127-billion worth of investments were declared by 21 companies, providing a boost to economic growth across several sectors and multiple regions.

The province has attracted investments valued at R173-billion into the Eastern Cape economy since 2019. These investments reflect the province’s commitment to the attraction of sustainable foreign and local direct investment. These new investment commitments into the Eastern Cape represent a pivotal moment in the province’s economic trajectory.

The investments were announced by the province at the Eastern Cape Investment Conference hosted by the ECDC as a platform to attract investment and to showcase investor-attraction initiatives. The conference serves as a platform:

  • to promote economic growth, attract investors and showcase the immense investment potential of the province.
  • to drive investor messaging and investor projects in a coordinated manner across the three spheres of government.
  • for government, business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors to collaborate, network and explore opportunities in various sectors.

The Eastern Cape has hosted three successful investment conferences, in 2019, 2022 and 2023. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic led to the postponement of the conferences in 2020 and 2021. The key objective of the investment conference is to showcase the strides the province has made with regards to investor coordination and facilitation across provincial, district and local spheres.

Priority is given to sectors and industries that are poised to transform the structure of the economy towards inclusive development, by:

    • mobilising attraction efforts towards qualitative investment projects,
    • directing investment into strategic and labour-intensive sectors to address under-investment,
    • developing new economic nodes and value chains,
    • positioning the Eastern Cape as a preferred investment destination,
    • promoting investment facilitation and aftercare services.
The multi-product Sundale Dairy is just one of several businesses in many sectors which has been attracted to the space and services available in the East London Industrial Zone. Credit: ELIDZ

At the 2022 Eastern Cape Investment Conference, 10 investor declarations worth R46-billion were announced. These investments were:

  • Shoprite, retail and logistics sector. South Africa’s largest supermarket group by market capitalisation declared a R1.5-billion investment for the expansion of its distribution centre in Nelson Mandela Bay.
  • BENTELER Automotive, automotive component manufacturer, declared a R168-million investment into an approximately 9 000 m² extension of its Kariega plant and a new hot-forming line in Kariega in Nelson Mandela Bay.
  • In the film sector, production company, Tshedza Pictures declared an R85-million investment for the production of the telenovela, Gqeberha: The Empire, which was produced in Nelson Mandela Bay.
  • Leading supplier of material handling and industrial equipment, Toyota Material Handling, declared a R60-million investment for the operationalisation of its automotive material-handling project.
  • In the construction sector, Nelson Mandela Bay’s Mhlobiso Concrete declared a R9.5-million investment into the establishment of a sustainable ready-mix concrete facility.
  • In the public infrastructure investment sector, national roads agency, Sanral declared a R7.2-billion investment into road facilities, improvements, maintenance and road network strengthening across the Eastern Cape.
  • Integrated national freight and logistics giant, Transnet, declared a R1.59-billion investment into the Port of Ngqura.
  • In the property development sector, Sanaha Property Development declared a R542-million investment into retail property development projects, for lease and sale of land for the construction of 59 Boxer Stores.
The plant in Nelson Mandela Bay where sophisticated automotive parts are produced by BENTELER has recently undergone a 9 000 m² expansion. Credit: BENTELER International AG

At the 2023 Eastern Cape Investment Conference, R127-billion worth of investments were declared by 21 companies.

These investments will inject substantial capital into the provincial economy, leading to a cascade of positive effects that will benefit citizens, businesses and the overall economic landscape.

The investment declarations represent a diverse array of sectors and span a significant portion of the Eastern Cape’s districts, providing extensive economic development prospects.

  • In the oil and gas sector, the TAMSA Holdings and Central Energy Joint Venture is investing R13.6-billion for the construction of an on-shore Liquified Natural Gas storage and regasification terminal in Nelson Mandela Bay.
  • South African Breweries, a subsidiary of the world’s largest beer producer AB InBev, is investing R510-million in the manufacturing sector for the extension of its brewery in Nelson Mandela Bay.
  • In the tourism sector, Mkambati Matters, located in Mkambati Game Reserve, is investing R250-million into an ecotourism lodge development in the OR Tambo District Municipality.
  • Independent power producer, Parson Power Park, is investing R2.7-billion in the energy sector for the construction of a solar power plant in Nelson Mandela Bay.
  • Ivili Loboya Wool Processing is investing R45-million for the expansion of its existing wool-processing factory to increase its processing capacity and for infrastructure investment at the Amathole District Municipality.
  • In the Information Communication Technology sector, global technology company, Jendamark Automation, is investing R150-million in digital Fourth Industrialisation Revolution technologies in Nelson Mandela Bay.
  • Property development firm, AJ Properties, is investing R100-million in the property sector for the establishment of a retail shopping centre in the OR Tambo District Municipality.
  • In Nelson Mandela Bay, leader in the development, fabrication and supply of automotive metal formed components, Formex Industries, is investing R114-million in the manufacturing industry for the expansion of a new press plant to increase assembly capacity for Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s US variants.
All of the Eastern Cape OEMs regularly top up their investments in new production lines and models, making the automotive industry one of the most important sectors in the provincial economy. Here Mercedes-Benz vehicles await export from the Port of East London.
  • Global automaker and provider of innovative mobility solutions, Stellantis, is investing R3-billion in the manufacturing sector to develop a new vehicle manufacturing facility in Nelson Mandela Bay.
  • Specialising in the development of fuel stations and convenience shopping centres in the lower living standards measure (LSM) markets, Imperium Developments is investing R109-million in the property sector for construction of shopping and convenience centres in Peddie, Sterkspruit, Bhisho and in the Berea Shopping Centre, located in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.
  • Thezi-Langa Energy is investing R900-million in the energy sector into a 50-megawatt solar PV project at the East London Industrial Development Zone’s Ntabozuko Renewable Energy Park in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.
  • Furthermore, Hive Hydrogen is investing R105-billion in the renewable energy sector for the construction of a green hydrogen/green ammonia production facility at the Coega Special Economic Zone in Nelson Mandela Bay.
  • Bushveld Electrolyte Company is investing R330-million into a vanadium electrolyte production facility in the East London IDZ in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality. It is the largest publicly announced plant outside China.
  • Tshedza Pictures, is renewing its commitment to the film sector with an R80-million investment in Season 2 of Gqeberha: The Empire.
  • Nexus Yachts is investing R181-million in the manufacturing sector for the expansion of its facility to build new balance catamarans in the Sarah Baartman District Municipality.
Bushveld Electrolyte is investing R330-million into making vanadium electrolyte in the Eastern Cape.
  • In the information communication technology sector, the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa is investing R159-million in broadband implementation projects across various regions in the Eastern Cape.
  • In the healthcare sector, Medilinks is investing R100-million for diagnostic and primary healthcare centres. The company is scoping appropriate locations in various parts of the Eastern Cape.
  • Lastly, South Africa’s largest mobile communications company, Vodacom, is investing R500-million in the Information Communication Technology sector for expanding connectivity in rural areas and townships.

Establishment of the Provincial Investment Council (PIC)

The Provincial Investment Council (PIC) was launched in September 2023. It is a structure established by the Eastern Cape Premier and is constituted by investment promotion leaders, industrial champions of business, large companies and prominent industry bodies in the Eastern Cape across priority sectors.

Infrastructure is at the heart of improving the climate for inward investment. The Coega River Bridge is an impressive piece of engineering. Credit: ARQ Construction

The PIC includes the leadership of investment promotion agencies, economic cluster departments and metros and district municipalities and other relevant public-sector and private-sector stakeholders with the aim of strengthening province-wide planning, reporting, operation and implementation of investment activities.

The objectives of the PIC are to:
    • lead and coordinate the investment efforts in the Eastern Cape across the public and private sectors,
    • strengthen province-wide planning, reporting, operation and implementation of investment activities,
    • identify investment-stimulation measures, which include critical reform programmes,
    • unblock red tape by creating interventions to address any bureaucratic processes impacting industry development relevant to the provincial departments, provincial agencies and national government,
    • improve the interface and coordination between government and industry players on trade and investment matters,
    • create mechanisms where investor grievances will be addressed to prevent government-investor disputes,
    • enhance and improve the regulatory environment for ease of doing business and to enhance inward investment attraction.


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