NOTWITHSTANDING the third wave of COVID-19 infections and the recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, iLembe District on the KZN North Coast is upbeat about its potential to draw significant economic investment into the region.
Enterprise iLembe, an economic development agency which works to promote the area as a destination of choice for investment, business, and tourism is welcoming potential investors into the district.
Linda Mncube, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Enterprise iLembe Development Agency, said the district is well-known as a fast-developing premier lifestyle destination and as the home of innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups in tourism, agriculture, property, construction, manufacturing sectors.
The district has also seen the emergence of new economic drivers in the Information and Communications Technology sector and the renewable energy industry which then creates further opportunities for inclusive growth and job creation.
Mncube said Enterprise iLembe has a Business Incubator Facility aimed at providing assistance for the start-up and growth stages of entrepreneurs or SMMEs in the district, assisting them with access to technical and business-related skills, necessary for the business growth process.
“It is essentially the one-stop shop for all business-related information, ensuring compliance with all necessary regulations and facilitating access to funding for SMMEs within the district,” he said.
Mncube, believes the incubation project has the potential to enhance the viability of small businesses and strengthen local economic development, including youth-focused projects that have the potential to reduce unemployment in the district.
“ILembe has a very strong lifestyle brand, and this is a good reason for entrepreneurs
to move to the area to invest. Our location is very attractive for emerging start-ups and advanced manufacturers to open businesses.
“Being strategically located between the two major South African harbours of Durban and Richards Bay, iLembe District is located on the primary development corridor in the province of KZN. The close proximity to King Shaka International Airport and Dube TradePort also connects the district directly to both national and international markets.”
Mncube said Enterprise iLembe was grateful to the various sector departments as well as the iLembe family of municipalities for the support received to make the investor experience a seamless and hassle free one.
“We welcome local, national and international support to our iLembe District and look forward to building more partnerships with other business investors to sustain economic growth and employment in the future.”