Limpopo Business 2020-21

Page 1

2020/21 EDITION





06 Free Access to Selected Education Sites

Service Promise

Education URL (Bundles & Tarrifs)

Edu Tickets - Add on Microsoft Office bundles


BYOB / Device Options: Get a selection of devices @ amazing prices

02 Edu Tickets: Microsoft Office 365 A1

ConnectU Platform

Connect U Platform: Access to zero rated resources like eSchool NXT Level: Access to preferential rates for entertainment social & education data usage tickets / applications

NXT level benefits

Service Promise: Microsoft support, 135 / 1940

Traditional WAN

BYOD/ Devices Options


Hybrid WAN

SD WAN Policy Control



SD WAN Internet

Dedicated Internet Access


Cloud Connect

Cloud Connect

MPLS Data Centres

Based on MPLS with centralised internet and Cloud services

Self Serve





MPLS Data Centres Router APM, Firewall SD-WAN

Greater use of internet, transport, increased complexity

Data Centres

Application aware dynamic network connecting the enterprise and Cloud



CONTENTS Limpopo Business 2020/21 Edition

Introduction Foreword 6 A unique guide to business and investment in Limpopo.

Message from the Premier of Limpopo

The Honourable Chupu Stanley Mathabatha discusses the flagship Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone project.


Special features Regional overview of Limpopo


Transport is entering a new era


Boosting manufacturing is a key priority for Limpopo


Limpopo is looking to new mining projects, increased agri-processing capacity and a metallurgical complex at the new Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone to drive the economy in the wake of Covid-19. Polokwane is rolling out a new public transportation system.

Special Economic Zones and industrial parks are being built to provide infrastructure.

Economic sectors Agriculture 38 Marula is Limpopo’s super fruit.

Mining 40 Industry analysts and miners are looking at new uses for PGMs.

Construction and property


LEDA runs training for artisans in the building sector. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21


Africa Biomass Company Buy your own Bandit wood chipper Bandit the only logical choicebiomass for wood chippers in or hire us to deal with your

Your caring family trading as world leaders in the wood chipping industry.


P CHIPPER HIRE & SALES trading as Africa Biomass Company (ABC) is a wood chipping company that provides wood recycling services, supplying biomass according to specification. ABC is one of the best go-to wood chipper equipment sales and services agents.

Africa, which are now fitted on SABS-approved trailers. For more information on the Bandit, see page 11

ABC understands wood recycling

With a comprehensive understanding of the operational challenges of wood recycling in South Africa, ABC has established state-of-the-art facilities to serWood chipper services vice, repair and rebuild wood chipper equipment of • Agricultural: orchard / vineyard recycling and any brand and size. ABC’s facilities are operated by a remarkable of very experienced mulch spreading A small selection of Bandit wood chippers (from left toteam right): Model 75XP Engine; Model 65XPand PTO suitably and theor Intimidator™ 12XPC. qualified engineers, technicians and artisans. • Biomass for generation of heat electricity Company Slogan An equally remarkable team of field-service • Site clearing and preparation technicians deliver repairs, maintenance and parts • River rehabilitation in riparian zones Become an owner of a Bandit chipper Africa Biomass Company is the authorised dealer to clients’ sites to optimise uptime and efficiency. • Workshop, field services, parts and spares for Bandit Industries in Southern Africa. All existing and new customers are welcome • Operator training services: SETA-certified ABC has built up a substantial fleet of Bandit to contact us if they want to become the wood chippers for use by the company as part The most experienced owner of the top-class range of Bandit • Manufacturing workshop Company Slogan

of our wood recycling services, but ABC also equipment. Industries have delivered biomass producer in Bandit Africa offers a whole range of Bandit wood chippers successful recycling solutions to basically The X-factor in wood chippers to clients who want to invest in the Bandit range. every corner of the planet.

Dimensional Bandit chippers are designed with quality,wood chips are produced by the removal production andchippers longevity in mind. Hand-fed of alien invasiveAtrees in ripariantozones, previously ABC is the authorised dealer for Bandit wood commitment support chippers are mounted on custom-built, SABSABC, however, now has in Africa. Bandit combines first-world technology and deemed as impossible. Africa Biomass Company is fully equipped approved trailers. Owning a Bandit wood and stocked to service and repairthe any job Bandit thefront knowledge and technology to get experience with third-world functionality. This makes chipper will always put you in the seat of machine anywhere in South Africa. We own reliable wood chipping operations. done. These wood chips are then used a fully-equipped parts warehouse (650m²), In many cases, the Bandit wood chipper sets a greenmanufacturing applications department asaswell as field the benchmark for other brands in the wood in agri-industrial services to ensure that for partseither are always to coal heatreadily or chipping industry. We are ready to supply the er alternative available and our own, as well as our clients’ right Bandit wood chipping solution with advice electricity production. Bandit wood chippers are not out of commission and aftercare to your doorstep. All existing and longer than they have to be. new customers are welcome to contact us to Geographical footprint become the owner of Bandit equipment.

CAPE(Western BUSINESS 2020 9 is located in WESTERN ABC Worcester Cape), Kirkwood (Eastern Cape), Nelspruit (Mpumalanga) and Upington (Northern Cape). We operate in all nine provinces in South Africa and also across the borders into Sub-Saharan Africa, including Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria. ■


Energy 51 The Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will use and create large volumes of energy.

Water 52 Macadamia shells are filtering water for rural communities.



Banking and financial services


Development finance and SMME support


International golf puts Limpopo on television screens. Agricultural financing is in the spotlight. Small-scale farmers are getting support to connect to the value chain.

Education 60 The University of Limpopo celebrated 60 years in 2019.

References Key sector contents




Overviews of the main economic sectors of Limpopo.



Limpopo locator map.

ABOUT THE COVER: The bulk sorter at the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine in the Bushveld Complex. The mine is located near the town of Mokopane within the Mogalakwena Local Municipality, which is part of the Waterberg District Municipality. The largest open-pit platinum mine in the world, it was established in 1993. Photo: AngloAmerican.



safe When the safety of your workforce and community is a top priority we’re good together With the new Temperature Screening Solution, you can instantly detect and identify individuals with high temperatures. Through non-contact, thermographic CCTV cameras and advanced analytics, protecting your workforce, customers, students and general community has just become a whole lot easier.

For more information on this solution, email


MTN Terms and Conditions apply. For full product Terms and Conditions, visit


Limpopo Business A unique guide to business and investment in Limpopo.

Credits Publisher: Chris Whales Publishing director: Robert Arendse Editor: John Young Managing director: Clive During Online editor: Christoff Scholtz Art director: Brent Meder Designer: Simon Lewis Production: Lizel Olivier Business development manager: Shiko Diala Ad sales: Gavin van der Merwe, Sam Oliver, Jeremy Petersen Gabriel Venter, Vanessa Wallace. Administration & accounts: Charlene Steynberg and Natalie Koopman Printing: FA Print


he 2020/21 edition of Limpopo Business is the 12th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Limpopo Province. Limpopo has been attracting significant investments in the mining sector in recent years and the green light for the creation of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone in the province’s far north has attracted several billion dollars. A metallurgical and energy cluster will inaugurate the SEZ, after which investments in agri-processing, logistics and manufacturing are expected to follow. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there are special features on transport and logistics and specific plans that are in place to promote manufacturing in Limpopo. News related to mining, agriculture, tourism, construction and property, water, education and development finance is carried in overviews of the main economic sectors. To complement the extensive local, national and international distribution of the print edition, the full content can also be viewed online at Updated information on the Limpopo is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to online at, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces, our flagship South African Business title and the new addition to our list of publications, African Business, which was launched in 2020. ■

Chris Whales Publisher, Global Africa Network Media | Email: PUBLISHED BY


Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd Company Registration No: 2004/004982/07 Directors: Clive During, Chris Whales Physical address: 28 Main Road, Rondebosch 7700 Postal address: PO Box 292, Newlands 7701 Tel: +27 21 657 6200 | Fax: +27 21 674 6943 Email: | Website:

Limpopo Business is distributed internationally on outgoing and incoming trade missions, through trade and investment agencies; to foreign offices in South Africa’s main trading partners around the world; at top national and international events; through the offices of foreign representatives in South Africa; as well as nationally and regionally via chambers of commerce, tourism offices, airport lounges, provincial government departments, municipalities and companies. Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations COPYRIGHT | Limpopo Business is an independent publication published by Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd. Full copyright to the publication vests with Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd. No part of the publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd.

ISSN 1993-0119 PHOTO CREDITS | Pics courtesy African Bank, Amarula Festival, AngloAmerican, Anglo Platinum, BiogasSA, Columbus Steel, Forestry SA, Great North Transport, Housing Development Agency, Implats, Ivanhoe Mines, Kusini Water, Leeto la Polokwane, Ludwig Sevenster/SA Forestry, Marula Festival, Minerals Council South Africa, MMSEZ, SA Tourism, Shaun Roy/Sunshine Tour, Univen Innovative Growth Company, University of Limpopo, Venetia Mine, VKB, Westfalia.

DISCLAIMER | While the publisher, Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd, has used all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information contained in Limpopo Business is accurate and up-to-date, the publishers make no representations as to the accuracy, quality, timeliness, or completeness of the information. Global Africa Network will not accept responsibility for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or any reliance placed on such information.




The Musina-Makhado Special Infras Economic Zone is a flagship project driver Limpopo Premier Chupu Stanley Mathabatha invites private investors to work with the public sector in develo building infrastructure and growing the economy.


want to start by thanking Global Africa Network for sustaining the publication of this important magazine, Limpopo Business. I also wish to join in celebrating this 12th edition of what I consider a premier business and investment guide for our beautiful Limpopo Province. Indeed, Limpopo Business is an important partner in the continued endeavour to market and position Limpopo as a leading and most attractive business and investment destination. This informative edition once again affords us an opportunity to take you through the plentiful business and investment offerings of our province, from Bela-Bela to Musina. Through this publication, you will also learn about great private-public partnership investments that are the pulse of our provincial economy. As you will come to learn, Limpopo is home to a thriving mining sector, tantalising tourism offerings and a limitless potential for the agricultural sector. The construction industry is one of the booming sectors of the Limpopo economy, the inherited legacy of an infrastructure backlog means that the sector has a longer future. Investment in this sector is an investment in the future. Limpopo Province has also moved to embrace the new digital economy through competitive support infrastructure. The Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) remains our flagship economic development project. Through this initiative, and through partnerships with the private sector, we hope to stimulate economic growth, create much-needed employment opportunities and reduce the ballooning gap of inequality. Business opportunities in this SEZ project are limitless. These opportunities range from manufacturing, agroprocessing, automotives, steel, pharmaceutical, logistics and many more. What is even more tantalising is the fact that this project enjoys the overwhelming support of our National Government. As the Limpopo Provincial Government, we have placed this MusinaMakhado SEZ Project at the apex of our priorities. We believe that the only available option for us is to make this project a resounding success. Limpopo is open for business! ■


Limpopo Prem priorities in we already receivin


e th Ad Premier Chupu af Stanley Mathabatha successful nation general election election which w

Chupu Stanley Premier of Limp



A regional overview of Limpopo By John Young

Image: Implats

Limpopo is looking to new mining projects, increased agri-processing capacity and a metallurgical complex at the new Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone to drive the economy in the wake of Covid-19.


he Limpopo tourism sector received a boost in February 2020 when the Armed Forces Day was held in and around Polokwane, the provincial capital. Fully booked signs went up from Mokopane to Haenertsburg and tourism operators had reason to expect a bumper year ahead. Then on 5 March, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases announced that the first case of Covid-19 had been reported in South Africa. Any hopes of maintaining the positive increase in visitor numbers recorded in recent years had to be put aside and the focus was on saving lives. In 2018 Limpopo received 2.2-million international visitors in addition to 1.1-million domestic travellers. Last year’s regional overview referred to the sector’s “almost limitless potential” but most of that will have to wait until the global pandemic is under control. Nearly eight-million international tourists LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21

visited the province between 2014 and 2018 and more than 27-million South Africans visited some part of Limpopo in the same period. The combined land area of Limpopo’s national, provincial and private game and nature reserves is 3.6-million hectares. It is possible that these reserves will be able to receive visitors before other parts of the tourism sector are opened up so there is the possibility of some relief from that quarter. According to the Premier’s office, the tourism sector employed about 22 400 people in 2018. The absence of travellers in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic is obviously going to have a big impact on the Limpopo economy. Fortunately, the province’s other two big economic sectors, mining and agriculture, are strong and both of these sectors are the focus of public and private investment. The provincial government is putting considerable resources into agricultural


SPECIAL FEATURE infrastructure. This includes upgrading old irrigation schemes and building new ones, building a packhouse, investing in processing equipment at a tomato paste factory and constructing and supplying Farmer Production Support Units around the province. These all constitute attempts to bring smallscale farmers into the value chain at a point where more money can be made. Limpopo is home to some of South Africa’s largest commercial agricultural enterprises who are drawn to the fertile and varied soils that the province has to offer. This is one of the reasons why Limpopo punches above its weight in exports. Potatoes are grown, together with 75% of South Africa’s mangoes and tomatoes; papayas (65%); tea (36%); citrus, bananas and litchis (25%) and 60% of the country’s avocados. ZZ2 is one of the country’s largest agricultural companies. ZZ2 is most famous for the large quantity of tomatoes and avocados produced but its product range is also large: mangoes, onions, dates, cherries, apples, pears, stone fruit, almonds and blueberries. Agri-processing is strong elsewhere, with Pioneer Foods, McCain, Granor Passi, Kanhym, Westfalia and Enterprise Foods all prominent, but this sector still has potential to grow. The best performing subsector of South African exports in recent years has been fruit and nuts. Limpopo has been a major contributor to the country’s excellent export record: fruit and nuts from the province’s eastern regions are hugely popular in international markets and Limpopo’s commercial farmers are extremely efficient.

and Competition (dtic) said that a consortium of Chinese investors, Sino, had agreed to operate the mineral beneficiation operations. The initiative has already attracted other (local) investors in the form of Eco-Industrial Solutions (EIS), the private sector investor behind the Limpopo Eco-Industrial Park (LEIP). LEIP aims to be an integrated and industrial development comprising five major industrial components that sets new standards in sustainability. Set on 6 400ha of land, the LEIP will include a nature reserve, two residential estates and schools. The Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA) is working with EIS to establish a petrochemical cluster within the Musina-Makhado SEZ. Another SEZ is intended for Tubatse in eastern Limpopo. This project, together with an industrial park designed to promote and enhance opportunities related to the marula fruit and the revitalisation of industrial parks at Seshego and Nkowankowa, point to the centrality of clusters and concentrated land use in provincial economic planning. LEDA, an agency of the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET ), is the primary driver of the provincial government’s drive to boost the economy through investment.

Investment encouraged In July 2016 the national cabinet approved the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ). Located in the far north of Limpopo in the Vhembe region, the SEZ is strategically located near the border of Zimbabwe and on the Great North Road which links South Africa to the broader Southern African region. The location promotes the TransLimpopo Spatial Development Initiative. Logistics will be one of the key focus areas of the SEZ. Soon after the announcement of the designation of the SEZ, the National Department of Trade, Industry

Avocado packing factory. Image: Westfalia



SPECIAL FEATURE The mining sector continues to invest in projects in Limpopo. The province has huge reserves of coal, platinum, chromium, uranium clay, nickel, cobalt, vanadium, limestone and tin. Demand will always fluctuate, and the commodities cycle has recently been very volatile, but the world will always need minerals. Limpopo’s assets include the largest diamond mine in South Africa (De Beers Venetia Mine), the biggest copper mine in South Africa (Palabora Mining Company), the biggest open-pit platinum mine in the country and the biggest vermiculite mine in the world. The province has 41% of South Africa’s platinum group metals (PGMs), 90% of South Africa’s red-granite resources and approximately 50% of the country’s coal reserves. Antimony, a strategic mineral found in large quantities in China, is another of Limpopo’s major assets. According to the State of the Province Address given by Premier Chupu Mathabatha in February

From left to right: Limpopo Premier Representative, MEC Thabo Mokone, Malcolm Boyd from World Vision, Mxolisi Mgojo (Exxaro Resources CEO), Andile Sangqu (Executive head, Anglo American South Africa) and Dr Thulani Dlamini, CSIR CEO. Image: Anglo American.


2020, mining employment decreased from 106 000 to 86 000 between the 4th quarter of 2018 and the 4th quarter of 2019. This situation was partially reversed in the early stages of 2020 as global demand for PGMs increased and prices rose. The mining sector was less affected by shutdowns due to the pandemic than some other industries. The Premier further reported that the province would be receiving a total investment of R36.3-billion over the next five years from mining activity. The Provincial Government is in the process of reassessing its industrial strategy, the main thrust of which involves strengthening the drive to promote clusters in the mining, agriculture and tourism sectors. The other strategic thrust of the planning initiative is to help prepare Limpopo to exploit new sectors such as renewable energy and the creative sector and to examine the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

IMPACT CATALYST Two of Limpopo’s biggest companies, South Africa’s most respected research institution, a global humanitarian aid organisation and the Limpopo Provincial Government have signed up to the Impact Catalyst, which aims to drive socioeconomic growth through collaboration. The Impact Catalyst is part of Anglo American’s Collaborative Regional Development programme, and the launch in November 2019 was supported by partners Exxaro Resources, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), World Vision and the Provincial Government. With mining playing the role of a foundational sector in the Limpopo economy, the Impact Catalyst is an attempt to help communities build up other sectors of the economy to take advantage of the opportunities related to mining. Various initiatives to be supported relate to agri-processing, biofuels, waste recycling, integrated game farming and community health. Enterprise and supplier development programmes fall under the ambit of the venture, as does integrative geo-spatial planning, as developed by the CSIR. Integrated planning initiatives have the potential to bring together business, government and other affected parties such as NGOs, community and faith groups and academics.




BANDIT – EXPERIENCE THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS Polokwane has good hotel and conferencing faciliThohoyandou is the administrative centre of First-world technology and quality combined SABS-approved roadworthy trailers built at Africa ties. Park Inn by Radisson Polokwane is the newest Thulamela Local Municipality, Vhembe District with African simplicity. The main woodchipper Biomass Company in Worcester, South Africa. hotel to open in the city. Nearby Moria attracts up to Municipality and the University of Venda. The Ivory unit is manufactured by Bandit Industries, Inc. Engine-powered woodchippers are fitted a million people every year, when the Zion Christian Route passes through the district. Other attractions with 35-plus years’ experience with Tier 3, South African standard, diesel or Church celebrates Easter. include an ancient baobab tree, the Dzata Ruins, the in innovation and international petrol engines, depending on the woodchippers’ Museum of the Drum,preference. the mystical Lakeand Fundudzi research. These units specification or clients’ Electric PTO Sekhukhune District and Nwanedi Park. are shipped to options are alsoProvincial available in various Bandit models. Government is the largest employer in this southern South Africa The add-ons are specifically handpicked to give Waterberg District district, followed by agriculture and hunting. The vast where they are you the best set-up and will provide you with a The mining sector is the largest contributor to regionmajority of households are rural (94%) and Groblersdal fitted onto well-balanced woodchipper that will outperform al GDP, while agriculture is also significant. Several is the district capital. The region’s fertile lands produce most other chippers in Africa. towns in the district are in the mineral-rich Bushveld maize, tobacco, peanuts, vegetables, sunflower seeds Igneous Complex. and cotton on a large scale. Agriculture makes up 25% The district also features the riches of the of the economy. Burgersfort is an important town Waterberg Coal Fields, iron ore (at Thabazimbi) and because of platinum mining. Geography The province is home to two universities, the tin and platinum at Mookgophong. The town of University of Venda and the University of Limpopo, Mopani District Lephalale is at the heart of the region’s coal-mining Limpopo covers about 10% of South Africa’s land and seven Technical and Vocational Education and and power-generation sectors and is the site of Giyani is the administrative capital of the district and is mass and is home to about 10% of the country’s popTraining (TVET) colleges. The Turfloop Graduate Eskom’s huge new Medupi power plant which is key to the local economy. The public sector is one of ulation. The 2011 census recorded 5.4-million School of Business is in Polokwane. under construction. the largest employers the key sectors agriculresidents. The mainand languages of theare people of The centrally situated city of Polokwane is area around Mokopane is oneLocated of the richture and mining. hasXitsonga an established food manLimpopo are Mopani Sesotho, and Tshivenda theThe capital of Limpopo Province. on est zones South Africa,equidistant producing ufacturing industry, in canned, preservedand andgoverndriedbut English is widely used in business theagricultural Great North Roadin and almost fruit production and vegetable juices.125 Phalaborwa wheat, tobacco, cotton, beef, maize and ment. The Limpopo Province’s 754km² from the high-density population of peanuts. greater is covers the gateway to the Kruger National Park. It has The bubbling hot springs of Warmbaths (Bela-Bela) a remarkably diverse geographical anda Johannesburg and the neighbouring countries of good airport and is a that tourism hub. Palaborwa Mining isBotswana, a popular Zambia, tourism destination, district has cultural landscape is also rich in minerals and Zimbabwe and the Mozambique, Company (PMC) is the major economic driving force many luxury golf The Legendairport Golf & plays Safari agricultural products. Polokwane’s upgraded highway is phosphate a key reason the provan increasingly important of regional in theThe area.N1 State-owned andfor phosphoric Resort has the distinction havingrole. had each of its ince’s important roleisin the nation’s sector. holes Polokwane is the centre for indacid producer Foskor another majorlogistics employer. The 18 designed byprovince’s a differentmain famous golfer, and It passes through Limpopo from the south to the ustry, commerce, and medical Marula Festival is held in Phalaborwa every year. an extra hole whicheducation is very long (360m) but services. also very border town ofclimate Musinaand andfertile on tosoils Zimbabwe The city is closea helicopter to big concentrations A subtropical combineand to high: it requires ride to get to of themineral tee-off its neighbours in thevery Southern AfricaninDevelopdeposits to mountainside. fertile agricultural lands. Its make greater Tzaneen productive terms of point 400mand up the ment The second busy N11 highway industries reflect this diversity. ■ fruit andCommunity vegetables.(SADC). Limpopo’s most poplinkscity the has province to Botswana theThe west and ulous a population of 80 to 000. Letaba Mpumalanga to the east.of South Africa’s Valley producesProvince a large proportion Mostavocadoes of South Africa’s logistics operators have a mangoes, and tomatoes. Forty sawmills presence in the provincial capital city of Polokwane operate in the area, drawing on the heavily forested and logistics hubs have been established in hills around the city. that city and in Musina. The province has a sophisticated rail network which Transnet Freight Vhembe District Rail aims to further expand, primarily to haul the The Vhembe Zimbabwe and province’s vastDistrict reservesborders of coal away to the coast Botswana. at RichardsThe Bay.district’s administrative capital is Thohoyandou. Vhembe’s vast bushveldprojects supports Two of the largest engineering in commercial and the districtbeen has the historyand of game Southfarming Africa have recently considerable and historical assets. Gamestation farmundertakencultural in Limpopo: the Medupi power ing growing subsector, is eco-tourism. De Beers’ (atis aLephalale in the faraswest) and the De Hoop Venetia Mine, just west of Musina, is South Dam (in the situated south-east). Africa’s largest diamond producer. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2018/19

11 14



Transport is entering a new era Polokwane is rolling out a new public transportation system.


chrome, fertiliser, coal, fuel and citrus. Bulk and containerised cargo are handled, with an annual capacity of three-million tons per annum. Major investments in transport infrastructure are being made in Polokwane. SANRAL is building a R640-million ring road and a bus rapid transport system is being introduced. The scheme is called Leeto la Polokwane. Within the province more broadly, 22.6% of households in Limpopo use bus transport and 45.8% use taxis (2013 Household Travel Survey). Apart from Polokwane and Musina, the towns of Tzaneen, Lephalale and Burgersfort are important in logistics. Roads Agency Limpopo (RAL), of which the provincial government is the sole shareholder, accounts for about a third of the budget of the Limpopo Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure. The South African National Road Agency Limited (SANRAL) is involved in two major road projects in support of the Musina-Makhado SEZ. The N1 is to be re-routed and a new single carriageway created in the Musina CBD. A bypass into ZCC Moria has been completed. The Polokwane International Airport (PIA) is wholly owned by the provincial government and run by the Gateway Airports Authority Ltd (GAAL), an agency of the Limpopo Department Transport and Community Safety. SA Airlink caters mainly to the business market and offers 21 flights to Johannesburg six days a week. The airline also provides links between Phalaborwa and Johannesburg, and between Hoedspruit and Johannesburg and Cape Town. Great North Transport falls under the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA). The company has more than 500 buses, covers about 36-million kilometres every year on 279 routes and transports 37.6-million passengers. An amount of R814-million was budgeted in 2020/21 to support the public transport industry, including subsidies. ■

Image: Leeto la Polokwane

ith the City of Polokwane in the final stages of preparation for the introduction of the Leeto la Polokwane public transport system and the Special Economic Zone at MusinaMakhado designed to become a logistics hub, the Limpopo Province is set to take full advantage of its strategic location. Logistics is a vital feature of the Limpopo economy for another reason – the province has huge volumes of minerals and agricultural products to be transported to markets. In addition to the N1 highway, the N11 is a primary road corridor and there are nine provincial road corridors. The building of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) will further boost Limpopo’s importance as a transport and logistics hub. The official opening of the Musina Intermodal Terminal near the Beit Bridge Border Post is confirmation of Limpopo’s status as a leader in logistics. Located in the town of Musina on the N1 highway leading to Zimbabwe, the terminal is used to move cargo from road to rail. Warehousing facilities on-site make for loading efficiencies in the main cargoes such as



Leeto la Polokwane opens new opportunities for local businesses Affordable transport set to transform the provincial capital.


itizens of Polokwane and surrounding areas are anticipating business growth, employment opportunities and affordable transportation as the city prepares to launch an Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS), Leeto la Polokwane. Leeto la Polokwane is the city’s road-based public transport that will ease the movement of people to all parts of the city quicker, ensuring they have easy access to educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and employment centres. The system is set to provide a high-quality transport service that is in line with the National Transport Act, integrating the different forms of public transport across the municipality.

This transportation system has an important role in the development of a city and spurring economic growth. Public transport is the backbone of the economy as it allows workers to travel to their workplaces daily.

LEETO LA POLOKWANE AIMS TO • Reduce congestion on public roads • Improve the road networks • Create business opportunities • Employment with focus on the affected operators It is becoming increasingly clear that Leeto la Polokwane is crucial to socio-economic development as it provides a viable transport solution for commuters, something sorely lacking in the past. As milestones are achieved along the road to rolling out the system, so economic growth will follow. ■

Tel: + 27 15 290 2324 Email: Website: 13



Exciting public transport system to be launched in 2020 Phased approach to be adopted for maximum safety.

The National Department of Transport visited the City of Polokwane to monitor the progress of the system.


eeto la Polokwane’s initial Phase 1A is expected to go operational in 2020. Before the actual operations, the system will undergo trial operations to test the effectiveness of the system while at the same time training the drivers to efficiently run the buses. The system trial period will be guided by the Covid-19 regulations as tabled by the government. Precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure compliance with the Covid-19 Bus Transport Operators Guidelines. Phase 1A consists of two trunk extension routes and two complementary routes which will serve the Seshego, Flora Park and Westenburg areas. The complete system will be characterised by the dedicated bus lanes, smartcard payment systems, bus stops, a control centre, one median station, a layover facility, trunk extension routes and complementary routes.


Construction of dedicated bus lanes along Nelson Mandela Drive from Zebediela Street to Seshego Circle has been completed. The dedicated lanes will fast-track the arrival times for passengers by separating the Leeto buses from the normal traffic. A median station and a bus depot are under construction. The station will be situated in the Central Business District (CBD) along General Joubert Street between Thabo Mbeki and Grobler Street. The bus depot which is situated in Zone 8 on New Era Drive Street in Seshego will house 36 Leeto la Polokwane buses for Phase 1A operations. Both the Bus Depot and the Bus Station will not be ready for Go-Live 2020. In the meantime, operations will be on the kerbside (the side of a road or pavement that is nearer to the stop) and the buses will be operated from the layover facility. The buses will not be


FOCUS picking up passengers during the trial period; the aim of this period is to ensure drivers are being trained appropriately. The following elements will be functional during Phase 1A Implementation: • Trunk Extension TE4 which runs through Zone 1 and back into Nelson Mandela Street. • Trunk Extension TE5b which runs from Nelson Mandela Street onto Ditlou Street, Seshego B section and back into Nelson Mandela Street. • C omplementary F1 which runs on Grobler, Webster, Marshall and Thabo Mbeki Streets. • Complementary F4b which runs on Grobler and Nikkel Streets and circulates through Nirvana and back into the CBD via Thabo Mbeki Street. • The Control Centre, New Peter Mokaba Stadium. • The layover facility located near Itsoseng Centre, on the corner of Fluorspar and Silicon Streets.

for the first issue of the travel card. However, should the card be lost or damaged, a replacement fee will be charged. Commuters will register their cards with their ID numbers so that it can be blocked if it is lost, stolen or damaged. The card has no expiry date and can be used multiple times. Control centre The control centre, where all the operations for Leeto la Polokwane will be monitored and coordinated, is based at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium. It is connected to the buses and the station through the Intelligent Transport System (ITS), which updates passengers with information through audios and visual displays. All the buses and stations will be monitored through CCTV cameras.

Universal accessibility Leeto la Polokwane was built in line with Universal Access principles, to provide easy access to all people with a variety of needs, giving equal opportunity to have access to a safe, reliable and quality transport service. Features include the use of deployable boarding bridges to allow passengers in wheelchairs and mothers with baby strollers to enter and exit the buses safely. The other features are raised tactile (textured) paving, beeping alarms, and voice announcements that guide people who have reduced vision and who cannot read. Another important aspect is infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. About 18km of Non-Motorised Transport (NMT ) facilities have been built which includes the walkways that are dedicated to human-powered means of getting around such as bicycles, skateboards, wheelchairs and handcarts.

Urban traffic control (UTC) As part of the preparations to launch the Phase 1A of the project, Leeto la Polokwane will install

and test new traffic signals. Known as the Urban Traffic Control (UTC) system, it is a specialised form of traffic management that coordinates traffic light signals in a centralised location. The following intersections along Nelson Mandela Drive received new traffic signals in November 2019: • Madiba Park Street intersection. • Maropeng intersection. • Zebediela Street intersection.

Cashless ticketing system For commuters to get in the Leeto la Polokwane buses, they will need to buy a Leeto Travel Card that will be loaded with cash, allowing commuters to plan and budget for trips. There will be no cash handling between the drivers and the passengers. The card will be available at local outlets, vendors and spaza shops. Commuters will not be charged




Leeto la Polokwane aims for safe public transport rollout Safety measures for Covid-19.


n response to the current Covid-19 pandemic that has had an impact on every element of society in South Africa, the Leeto la Polokwane team has drafted measures to protect both its personnel and commuters to ensure a safe journey for everyone. One of the critical measures is the reduction of contact. It is challenging to reduce contact in a transport environment, but all precautions should be taken. The following measures as guided by Covid-19 Bus Transport Operators Guidelines May 2020 have been adopted by Leeto la Polokwane and include: • M eetings should be replaced with Zoom (or similar) to limit contact between staff. If meetings must take place, a meeting room for 10 people should not have more than three people in the room with a distance between each person no less than 2m. The meeting room should be disinfected after each meeting. • Administration staff who can work from home should do so between Levels 2-5. • Customer service staff should be available to passengers from behind perspex or glass screens. • Security staff should be provided with full-screen face masks and sanitiser spray. • D rivers should have perspex or glass cabins installed to protect them. If this is not possible, rear boarding can be considered to

protect drivers. • Automatic fare collection systems must be operational to ensure a contactless system. • T icket booths should be cashless as far as possible. • Types of masks to be used should be clarified to ensure people touch their faces as little as possible. Masks worn should adhere to the national specifications. ■ Leeto la Polokwane uses an automated fare collection systems to ensure a contactless payment system that is safe for everyone to use amid the Covid-19 epidemic and beyond.




Empowering the minibus taxi industry and providing efficient public transport Polokwane Local Municipality’s Transportation Services Director Malose Lamola outlines the transition of the regional taxi industry to becoming a bus-operating company.


hree taxi associations have registered a company which has signed agreements with the City of Polokwane to provide bus services on behalf of the city. The Leeto la Polokwane project has been planned in line with the 2007 Public Transport Strategy and Action Plan, under the guidance of the Department of Transport. One of the principles in implementing Integrated Rapid Public Transport Networks (IRPTNs) is that the incumbent public transport operators should not compete with the system to be implemented and should be compensated for their loss of business. In the case of Phase 1A of the Leeto la Polokwane project, the Polokwane Municipality has been negotiating and engaging with the Flora Park Pietersburg Taxi Association (FPTA), the Seshego Polokwane Taxi Association (SPTA) and the Westenberg Taxi Association (WTA), all of which are directly affected by the system footprint. The process has been finalised between the two parties in order to make way for the implementation of Leeto la Polokwane Phase 1A.

The municipality has started rolling out suitable training programmes to capacitate the Board of Directors to run the company sustainably. Other personnel that will be involved in the management of the company, as well as the operation of the Phase 1A of the Leeto la Polokwane system, will be recruited for the operationalisation of the system. Leeto la Polokwane is to be launched in the 2020/21 financial year. The following milestones have been reached since 2018: • Execution of supplementary market surveys for Phase 1A. • Sign off on the supplementary market surveys on Phase 1A. • Operating licence verifica-tion process for Phase 1A. • S igned process agreement on the Vehicle Operating Company Agreement (VOCA). • Signed process agreement on the compensation for affected Malose Lamola operators. • Delivery of universally compliant 12-Metre Buses. • Delivery of universally compliant 9-Metre Buses • Draft Vehicle Operating Company Agreement (three years). • Negotiations on VOCA, legal document. • N egotiations on VOCA, financial model (commercial contract) and approval by council. • C ompensation negotiations for Phase 1A finalisation. • Signed vehicle removal agreement. • S igned restraint of trade and compensation agreement. ■ By Malose Lamola: Director, Transportation Services, Polokwane Local Municipality.

Empowerment and training One of the main aspects of this project is to empower the minibus taxi industry and to assist it to make the transition from providing informal public transport services (unscheduled operations) to the provision of scheduled services. As part of the empowerment directive, which includes a capacitation programme, the three affected taxi associations have registered a Vehicle Operating Company called Esilux (Pty) Ltd. This company now has a full Board of Directors. The City of Polokwane and Esilux have also concluded an interim Vehicle Operating Company Agreement (VOCA).




Special Economic Zones can be transformative Among the paucity of realistic intervention options, SEZs offer an opportunity to attract investment and build manufacturing capacity.

Artistic impression. Credit: MMSEZ


ince the beginning of 2020, humanity was thrown into a tinderbox of tension characterised by anxiety, fear, frustration, agony, pain, anger and hopelessness. Status and class are unable to provide a shield to protect the elite and privileged and the working class are as hard-pressed as ever. The game of numbers and statistics, globally and nationally, has lost effect as daily shocks have become an integral feature of the new normal. The invisible enemy has struck again indiscriminately across the globe, affecting all nationalities, races, genders and classes. The fear of an imminent apocalypse as a consequence of climate change and natural disasters has been superseded by the catastrophe of a novel pandemic.

Life as we know it has drastically changed. Economic engines across global metropolises have taken an involuntary break and social distance separates families and prevents general human contact. One of the most quoted phrases by Karl Marx from his seminal work Thesis Eleven is “philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways, the point is to change it”. Perhaps the time has come for modern philosophers to reinterpret the world concomitant with the process of changing it. Global economic meltdown Some economic commentators have asserted that the impact of Covid-19 on the world economy may be worse than the 1929 Great Depression and the 2009 Global Financial Crisis. According to Golding and Muggah (2020), it is estimated that the Covid-19 crisis will lead to losses exceeding $9-trillion or 10% of global GDP. As for the African continent, UNECA estimates that the continent’s growth is expected to drop from 3.2% to 1.8%. It also estimates a 48% decline in employment. The time for planning for a repackaged

A need to reinterpret the world We have observed airplanes grounded at airports across the globe, boats and oil tankers stranded outside harbours, the finest hotels deserted, and yet hospitals are overflowing. Humanity has entered a new paradigm. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21




A world of game-changing opportunities

What is Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ)? The Musina-Makhado SEZ is a flagship initiative of the Limpopo Provincial Government implemented through the Musina-Makhado SEZ SOC in partnership with a Chinese Operator, Shenzhen Hoi Mor Resources Holding Company Ltd. The MMSEZ as an economic development tool aims to promote national economic growth and exports by using support measures in order to attract targeted foreign and domestic investments, research and development (R&D) and technology transfer. Where is the MMSEZ located? The Musina-Makhado SEZ is located in the vicinity of the Beit Bridge Border Post which is one of the busiest ports of entry in SA and an undisputable gateway to the South African Development Community (SADC) countries. The MMSEZ has the potential to become an inland intermodal terminal, facilitated by its anchor along the North-South Corridor, and directly connecting to the country’s major ports through both N1 road and the JohannesburgMusina railway line, for the trans-shipment of sea cargo and manufactured goods to inland destinations and the SADC markets.

MUSINA-MAKHADO SEZ CLUSTERS • Metallurgy (Minerals Beneficiation) • Energy Generation • Manufacturing • Agro-Processing • Logistics WHAT ARE THE INCENTIVES FOR INVESTING IN THE MMSEZ? • Preferential corporate tax • Building allowance and tax relief • Employment tax incentive • Customs-controlled area tax relief • Rental space discounts • Readily available infrastructure • Sufficient land for greenfield projects • Access to agricultural & mineral resources • Easy access to the up-north (SADC) market • Accessible logistics support for the movement of goods


ENERGY & METALLURGY Power Plant Steel Plant Stainless Steel Plant Coking Plant Pig Iron Plant Ferromanganese Plant Ferrochrome Plant Chrome Plating Lime Plant

AGRO-PROCESSING Food Processing Facility Fresh Produce Handling Canning Facility Cotton Beneficiation Timber Processing

CONTACTS MUSINA-MAKHADO SEZ SOC 29 Market Street, Polokwane, Limpopo Province (RSA)

LOGISTICS Logistics Services Warehousing Distribution Container Yard Vehicle Distribution Cold Storage Bonded Warehouses

INFRASTRUCTURE Construction Services Engineering Services Re al Estate Development Retail Property Hospitality Facilities Bu ilding Materials Manufacturing and Supply

MS TSHAMAANO MAKUYA Stakeholder Relations Manager Tel: +27(0) 15 295 5120 Cell: +27 (0)67 411 9192 19

MANUFACTURING Light Industries Basic Assembly Automotive Manufacturing Electromechanical Operations OE Manufacturing Component Manufacturing Fertilisers Agro-chemicals Petro-chemicals ICT Solutions Furniture Manufacturing Packaging Services

MR RICHARD ZITHA Project Executive Tel: +27(0) 15 295 5120 Cell: +27 (0)71 391 8188 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21

FOCUS modern “Marshal Plan” for the new economic recovery plan is now. Post the 2009 global economic meltdown, the South African economy contracted by 1.8%. Countries need to recharge and embark on a new trajectory of normalising life and rebuilding their economies. The pandemic disrupted many industries yet created a window of opportunity for innovation and alternative strategies. A country such as Saudi Arabia will undoubtedly begin to think about economic development beyond oil. Similarly, tourism-based economies will be forced to think outside the box. Countries endowed with natural resources such as South Africa should consider strongly accelerating the pace of industrialisation through the production of value-added products for export.

China’s astonishing economic growth can be attributed to the use of Special Economic Zones. One of the striking examples is the transformation of Shenzhen, a former small fishing village in the 1970s, into today’s city of over nine-million people, an illustration of the effectiveness of the SEZ model within the Chinese context. Hoekman asserts that SEZs offer a potentially valuable tool to overcome some of the existing constraints to attracting investment and growing exports for many African countries. Accelerating the pace of industrialisation The South African Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) recognises the SEZ programme as one of the critical tools for accelerating industrialisation. As a result, eight Special Economic Zones were designated in six provinces as follows: Saldanha Bay (Western Cape), Dube TradePort (KwaZulu-Natal), OR Tambo (Gauteng), Coega (Eastern Cape), East London (Eastern Cape), Richards Bay (KwaZulu-Natal), Musina-Makhado (Limpopo) and Maluti-a-Phofung (Free State). By 2019, the number of operational investors in designated SEZs in the country increased from 72 to 85, with a total investment value of over R9-billion. The number of direct jobs created currently stands at 13 561, but this is expected to increase substantially as the new investments come on-stream (dtic, 2019). Growing industrial capacity has become a priority for the South African government to grow the economy. It is evident that the top four provinces (Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Eastern Cape) enjoy the highest rate of industrial activities while the others experience relatively low manufacturing capacity (Stats SA). This is in contrast with the other five provinces having a plentiful endowment of primary resources such as minerals and agricultural produce, which are supposed to be the bedrock upon which industrialisation rests.

Artistic impression. Credit: MMSEZ Industrial activity through fiscal and regulatory incentives Among a plethora of potential economic recovery strategies and a paucity of realistic interventions is the phenomenon of Special Economic Zones (SEZs). SEZs are geographically delimited areas wherein governments facilitate industrial activity through fiscal and regulatory incentives and infrastructure support. SEZs can make important contributions to growth and development by attracting investment, creating jobs and boosting exports. They can build forward and backward linkages and support global value chain participation, industrial upgrading and diversification (UNCTAD, 2019). Globally, there is a boom of SEZs with over 5 400 operational in 147 countries and over 500 in the pipeline. According to Bernard Hoekman, Director International Trade Department World Bank, LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21

Limpopo’s Musina-Makhado SEZ Limpopo province has a competitive advantage in mining, agriculture and tourism as the strategic pillars. Among its rich mineral deposits are platinum group metals (PGMs), iron ore, chrome, coal, diamonds, antimony, phosphate, copper, black granite, corundum, etc.


FOCUS The bulk of these resources are extracted and exported to foreign markets as primary resources which deprives the province of an important opportunity to industrialise and develop. This is indeed a lost opportunity to build local industrial capacity, create much-needed employment opportunities and grow the SMME sector. Another lost opportunity has been within the agricultural sector. Limpopo is well endowed with agricultural resources, making it one of the key regions to produce fruits, nuts, vegetables, cereals and tea. Statistics from the Agricultural Business Chamber South Africa indicate that Limpopo accounts for approximately 19% of South Africa’s potatoes, 75% of mangoes, 65% of papayas, 36% of tea, 25% of citrus, 60% of litchis, 60% of avocados and 60% of its tomato production per annum. This abundance of agricultural products provides a great opportunity for agro-processing and production of value-added products for export markets. The designation of the Musina Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) in 2016 heralded a window of opportunity to turn the province’s fortunes around. The SADC Industrialisation Strategy (20152063) emphasises the pursuit of targeted and selected industrial policies to create conditions for higher rates of investment, especially in valueadding manufacturing. The Strategy and Roadmap for implementation focuses on three potential growth paths for SADC economies namely, agroprocessing, minerals beneficiation and downstream processing; and enhanced and upgraded participation in regional and global value chains. The recently signed Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), promises to redefine trade relations among African states and beyond. It is envisioned that it will create a single market for goods and services across 55 countries. The Musina-Makhado SEZ is well-positioned to play a regional integration role in SADC and to take up opportunities that are presented by the AfCFTA.

attract targeted foreign and domestic investments, research and development and technology transfer. With an anchor of investment pledges of about R150-billion, the MusinaMakhado SEZ will result in the establishment of an energy and metallurgical complex, a logistics hub, agroprocessing centre, light-to-medium manufacturing industries, SMME Incubation Centre, retail centres, hotels, residential and community facilities. All these investment opportunities will lay a solid foundation for the envisioned futuristic Smart City utilising the Internet of Things (IoT) anchored on a comprehensive ICT infrastructure for the realisation of a smart economy, smart governance, smart environment, smart mobility, smart living and smart people principles. The location of this flagship programme has been carefully chosen to meet the basic requirements of a successful SEZ initiative. Conclusion The envisaged job-creation opportunities, skills development, technology transfer, SMME empowerment and the socio- economic infrastructure development triggered by the MMSEZ will make a significant impact on the improvement of the quality of lives of many people and contribute to the provincial and national GDP. In the midst of this unprecedented global lockdown, we must afford ourselves an opportunity to reimagine the future and wake up from the dream. In the fullness of time, the morning after the night before shall be upon us and we dare not be found wanting. The time to concurrently reinterpret the world and change it has come and such a task cannot be left to philosophers alone. Article by Lehlogonolo Masoga, Chief Executive O f f i ce r o f M u s i n a Makhado Special Economic Zone.

A vision for a futuristic Smart City The MMSEZ as an economic development tool aims to promote national economic growth and exports by using support measures to




The Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone will host an energy and metallurgical complex CEO Lehlogonolo Masoga explains how the MMSEZ is ideally placed to play a key role in regional integration.

Lehlogonolo Masoga

BIOGRAPHY Lehlogonolo Masoga has more than 19 years of experience as an administrator and public ser vant, most recently as Deputy Speaker of the Limpopo Provincial Legislature and MEC for Roads and Transport. He served on the Limpopo Youth Commission. Lehlogonolo holds three master’s degrees: Governance and Public Leadership (Wits), Development Studies (Limpopo) and an MSc in Leadership and Change (Leeds Beckett University, UK). He has diplomas in human resources and humanitarian assistance and is currently a registered PhD candidate in Administration. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21

What locational advantages does the MMSEZ enjoy? The Musina-Makhado SEZ is located in the vicinity of the Beit Bridge Border Post which is one of the busiest ports of entry to South Africa and a gateway to the South African Development Community (SADC) countries. The MMSEZ has the potential to become an inland intermodal terminal, facilitated by its anchoring position along the North-South Corridor, and directly connecting to the country’s major ports through both N1 road and the Johannesburg-Musina railway line, for the trans-shipment of sea cargo and manufactured goods. Musina and Makhado municipalities are located in the Vhembe District. What industries will be established at the SEZ? An energy and metallurgical complex will include the following plants: Coal Power, Coke, Ferrochrome, Ferromanganese, Pig Iron, Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Lime, Silicon-Manganese, Metal Silicon and Calcium Carbide. This will be complemented by the logistics hub, agroprocessing centre, light-to-medium manufacturing industries, SMME Incubation Centre, retail centres, hotels and residential amenities. What is planned for the early phases? The planning phase has been complex. A rigorous and diligent planning process was undertaken which involved pre-feasibility, feasibility, licence application, operator appointment, stakeholder engagement, environmental impact assessment, clusters analysis, internal and external infrastructure master planning, entity corporatisation, etc. Despite the lengthy environmental impact assessment process affecting the Energy and the Metallurgical Cluster (South Site), we are confident that the light-to-medium industrial park, to be located in the North Site of the SEZ, will be operational by the end of 2021. Our infrastructure rollout plans are unfolding smoothly. What are the longer-term plans for the SEZ? The MMSEZ is an economic development tool which aims to promote national economic growth and exports by using support measures in order to attract targeted foreign and domestic investments, research and development and technology transfer. We are looking forward


INTERVIEW exploring various innovative engineering options, including cross-border water-transfer schemes. Will construction of the SEZ infrastructure be done by local companies? Local empowerment is at the centre of the MMSEZ business model. We are already at an advanced stage of completing a comprehensive Enterprise Development Strategy and the development of an SMME Incubation Centre. Local enterprises will undoubtedly enjoy preference in a variety of opportunities throughout the project development phases, including infrastructure roll-out. With whom is the Limpopo Provincial Government partnering in the creation of the SEZ? Each SEZ project is regarded as a national asset located in a particular province. Such national assets are expected to attract foreign direct investment and technology transfer. This model warrants public and private partnerships at all levels. The Limpopo Provincial Government has partnered with the national government through the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), an international operator from China, Vhembe District and local municipalities, particularly Musina and Makhado municipalities, and the business fraternity to implement the MMSEZ.

Furnace. Credit: Anglo Platinum to creating a minimum of 50 000 job opportunities in the next 10 years through this initiative and to turn around the economic fortunes of the Limpopo Province. All these investment opportunities will lay a solid foundation for the envisioned futuristic Smart City and smart economy. When the High-Speed Train between Johannesburg and Musina comes to fruition, that will add impetus to the MMSEZ. How is pollution being mitigated? The MMSEZ SOC is committed to environmental and biodiversity protection. We fully appreciate and respect the Paris Agreement and our country’s commitment to ecological sustainable development and are already taking all reasonable measures to mitigate environmental concerns such as global warming, pollution, biodiversity loss, water scarcity and possible threats to food security. Substantial research is being conducted to mitigate such risks which will include the deployment of the best carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions. Specialist studies on climate change and pollution have been conducted to mitigate potential negative impacts. With regard to water scarcity, efforts are being made to avoid tapping into the already stressed water resources by

Where does the SEZ fit in regional strategies? The location of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone makes it an ideal regional integration initiative. The SADC Industrialisation Strategy (2015-2063) emphasises the pursuit of targeted and selected industrial policies to create conditions for higher rates of investment by the public and private sectors to enable crucial sectors to prosper, especially value-adding manufacturing. The recently signed Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), promises to redefine trade relations among African states and beyond. The Musina-Makhado SEZ is well positioned to play a regional integration role in SADC and to take up opportunities that are presented by the AfCFTA.




Boosting manufacturing is a key priority for Limpopo Special Economic Zones and industrial parks are being built to provide infrastructure.

Westfalia fruit warehouse. Credit: Westfalia


etting more value for the minerals and agricultural crops that are extracted from the soil of Limpopo is a major goal of economic planners. A key component of the strategy to boost the value of the region’s products through manufacturing is to develop Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and industrial parks. Described as “major catalytic projects”, the Musina-Makhado SEZ (approved and forging ahead), the Tubatse SEZ (proposed) and several industrial parks (either being revived or established) are central to the strategy to grow Limpopo’s manufacturing capacity. As of February 2020, Shaanxi CEI Investment Holdings had committed to a $5-billion investment in a vanadium and titanium smelter project at the MusinaMakhado SEZ (MMSEZ) and a further $1.1-billion had been pledged from other sources. The focus of the first phase of the SEZ is on energy and metallurgical processes but agriprocessing, logistics and general manufacturing are expected to follow in short order. An investment conference targeting the northern side of the SEZ was held in November 2019 and a South African


company has announced it will manufacture products in the electric vehicle field, new energy solar system products, energy storage systems and high-density polyethylene water pipes. Most of the planning for both sections of the SEZ is complete and the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are nearly finished. Projections for employment opportunities at the MMSEZ have been revised upwards to 26 000. The plans for the proposed Tubatse SEZ have been amended and will be submitted to national government in the course of 2020. The SEZ in Tubatse will focus on the beneficiation of platinum group metals (PGM) and mining-related manufacturing. Phase one of the project would see a 280ha site developed to accommodate a mining suppliers park, light manufacturing, heavy manufacturing, logistics, a solar energy cluster and a PGM beneficiation cluster. A good example of an attempt to derive greater benefit from an agricultural product is the plan to create a Marula Industrial Park. The Marula Industrial Hub envisaged for the Phalaborwa area will provide a platform to further



Limpopo United Business Forum The Forum provides local bodies with a single voice to talk to government.


months engaged with the Minister of Small Business Development, Honorable Khumbudzo Ntshaveni, MEC for LEDET, Honorable Thabo Mokoni, CEO for Musina-Makhado SEZ, Lehlogonolo Masoga, and the MEC for Public Works, Honorable Dickson Masemola in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Economic Transformation Unit of the ANC in Limpopo.

impopo United Business Forum (LUBF) is an overarching organisation comprising 10 business and professional organisations in Limpopo. LUBF represents a united voice that advocates and lobbies for the interests and aspirations of businesspeople in Limpopo. Members NAFCOC, Black Management Forum (BMF), Businesswomen’s Association (BWA), Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF), South African Women in Construction (SAWIC), Seshego Business Quorum, Forum of Limpopo Entrepreneurs (FOLE), Small Business Empowerment Unity (SBEU), Limpopo ICT Forum and the African Farmers’ Association of SA.

Survival and opportunity • Businesses are struggling due to the stagnant economy, a situation that has now been exacerbated by the unprecedented pandemic. Limpopo has lower than average household income and low ICT connectivity. Small businesses have to continue creating jobs to save the economy. • LUBF has intensified its programme of action and has recently engaged many relevant stakeholders. The objective is to assist SMMEs to gain access to Covid-19 relief programmes and access business opportunities. • Intervention is vital for the survival of businesses but it is also true that the new economy presents opportunities for small businesses to create new jobs and maintain current ones. • LUBF’s role is therefore to ensure access to available programmes and assist entrepreneurs to take their space in the new normal of digitisation, innovation and manufacturing. • The leadership remain committed to uniting the voice of business. ■

Objective To collaborate and partner with public and private organisations in promoting and advancing the interests of members. LUBF further forms part of the social compact comprising business, government and civil society in order to grow the economy of Limpopo, contribute to the creation of jobs, reduce inequality and eradicate poverty. Programme of action Address challenges that affect small businesses. These include access to information, access to finance, access to markets and access to skills development and training. Late payments by government departments are a threat to the survival of small businesses. LUBF is lobbying the Provincial Treasury and the Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism Department (LEDET ) to deal decisively with departments that continuously disadvantage small businesses. LUBF is looking forward to the Public Procurement Bill which will create a better legislative framework for local empowerment. In responding to the challenges that are currently facing SMMEs, LUBF has in the past two

Contact details Address: 1st Flr, Terminal Bldg, Polokwane Airport, Gateway Drive, Polokwane Tel: +27 15 296 0654 Administrator: Abram Luruli Cell: 084 451 9923 Email: Facebook: Limpopo United Business Forum-LUBF



SPECIAL FEATURE exploit the tasty marula fruit, which has a high vitamin C content and is already produced as a beer and a liqueur. The Limpopo Department of Economic Development and Tourism (LEDET) is encouraging research into the uses of marula and the development of commercial products such as cosmetics and jams. The University of Limpopo is making good progress with a marula wine. Facilities at the hub will include a centre for research and processing facilities to create more value from the raw product. Advisors will be available to help small-scale farmers and SMMEs enter the formal economy. The Marula initiative is consistent with the broader agricultural sector plans for Limpopo. The provincial government has identified five Agricultural Development Zones (ADZs) across the province, including the Mopani District within which the Marula Hub is located. Programmes to increase productivity have been presented to small-scale farmers. Small-scale producers are receiving support in the form of irrigation infrastructure, livestock infrastructure and other production inputs. The University of Venda has its own commercial offshoot, the Univen Innovative Growth Company (UIGC) which is solely owned by the university. Services are offered to the public by a range of consultants and trainers via five programmes, including the Animal Production Programme, the Farm Equipment Programme, the Univen Commercial Unit and the Univen Consultancy Unit. Targeted plans The SEZ and industrial parks being promoted in the province are conceptualised within a broader framework. The Limpopo Development Plan (LDP) targets three broad areas for improvement and development: socio-economic, infrastructural and institutional. Every department of the Limpopo Provincial Government has targets within the LDP which are translated into actionable programmes to be implemented within time-frames. The plan is supported by strategies relating to a spatial investment framework in public and private sector infrastructure, an integrated public transport policy and policies on land development. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21

Key elements of the Limpopo Development Plan are: industrialisation (beneficiation of mining and agricultural products and produce); mining (local suppliers, improved training and access to sector for entrepreneurs); infrastructure development; agri-processing; SMME promotion and ICT and the knowledge economy (establish a WAN footprint). The Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA) is the key driver of the provincial government’s drive to boost the economy through investment. LEDA is an agency of LEDET. LEDA’s brief is to contribute to accelerated industrialisation in Limpopo by stimulating and diversifying the industrial base of the regional economy. The focus is on high-impact projects that will spark growth in a variety of sectors and create employment opportunities.

Sawn timber. Image: Ludwig Sevenster/SA Forestry Land, property and infrastructure develop-ment (including business parks and industrial parks) are vital components of the plan. As these targeted areas grow, the infrastructure and associated industries should act as a magnet for other businesses and industries in the same sector, and service industries. Mining is currently the most important part of the provincial economy. Recent platinum mining developments on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex have increased this effect but global commodity prices have been uncertain in recent years. One of the goals of the LDP is to see more beneficiation from the mining sector, which will support the goal of further industrialising the province’s economy. Related to this is an emphasis on the goal of developing manufacturing capacity, and this is where the role of SEZs is so important. ■


Accelerating erating empowerment through werment through Accelerating empowerment through sound and sustainable and sustainable sound and sustainable investments ments and investments partnerships artnerships and partnerships in mining ing in mining Services Services

Mining and Mineral Beneficiation Mineral Beneficiation Mining and Mineral Beneficiation and blending, g (coal and washing blending, (coal washing and blending, concrete aggregate crushing screening) concretecrushing aggregate crushing and and screening) regate and screening)

Dr.John JohnMudau Mudau (CEO) Dr.Dr. Mudau (CEO) John (CEO)

Commodities Commodities dities Coal and Concrete aggregates

Coal and Concrete aggregates ncrete aggregates

Mr. Makhado Nengovhela (GM) Cell: 071 616 0411

Mr.Makhado Makhado Nengovhela (GM)(GM) Mr. Nengovhela Cell:071 071 616 616 0411 Cell: 0411


Univen Innovative Growth Company UIGC provides the University of Venda with an independent stream of income.


he Univen Innovative Growth Company (UIGC) Pty (Ltd) is a company solely owned by the University of Venda. The company has a robust database of professional consultants and trainers who, respectively, provide quality services at competitive rates and offer accredited short courses.

• UIGC GarCle has been providing independent cleaning and maintenance services since 2017.

Vision To contribute to the field of skills development for South Africa and beyond and to be a sustainable third-stream income for the University of Venda. Mission To offer critical client-based services through short skills programmes, consultancy and commercial ventures in a financially viable and sustainable manner in pursuance of university strategic objectives. Mandate UIGC is tasked with the responsibility to generate third-stream income through the units. The UIGC units are: • Univen Commercial Unit. • Univen Consultancy Unit. • Editing and Proofreading Unit (EPU). • Statistics and Research Design Unit. • Univen Centre for Continuing Education (UCCE). In addition, the Univen Store sells university-related clothing such as golf shirts and caps, there are programmes covering animal production and farm equipment and five subsidiary companies operate under the UGIC banner. The companies are: • UIGC Securities, a security company registered with PSIRA. After the university terminated the contract with the private security company which was rendering security services, they partially insourced all security staff members to UIGC in 2016. • The UIGC Travel Agency started operating in 2017. It comprises two travel consultants and a general manager who provide services to Univen staff, government employees as well as the general public.

Contact details Address: Univen Innovative Growth Company (UIGC), University Road, Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province, 0950 Email: | Tel: +27 15 962 8761



• Tshakhuma Barotta UIGC Farm was launched in 2016 as a partnership between UIGC and the community with 49 fulltime employees. Due to the successful revitalisation of the farm, the Tshakhuma Community Trust has agreed to UIGC increasing its shareholding. • U IGC Mining: a partnership created the Duisend-UIGC Mining Consortium (DUMC) which processes and crushes aggregates from the mining of waste rock at Sibanye Stillwater’s Baobab Platinum Mine in the Lebowakgomo area. ■


Leadership and management training are key functions of the UIGC The Univen Innovative Growth Company earns revenue while building local capacity. Courses include: • Public Service and Administration By way of example, this popular course includes units such as the Municipal Finance Management Programme, Multi-Stakeholder Engagement Processes, Local Government Citizen Participation, Local Government Legislative Framework, Local Government Ethics, Values and Integrity, Community Development, Local Economic Development, Policy Management, Implementation and Analysis in the Public Sector and Public Financial Management. • G eneral Management and Responsible Leadership. • Certificate for end-user computing. • Environmental Management. • Integrated Waste Management. • Envirotrac (Environmental Manager’s Certificate of Competency). • Catchment Management Strategy. • Safety Management courses. • Strategic Management. • Supervisory course. • Research Methodology. • Supply Chain and Logistics. • Business Management and Entrepreneurship. • Education and Teacher Development. ■


ne of the most important functions of the Univen Innovative Growth Company is to offer short courses and training. This not only passes on skills and helps local people who might not have had access to education in the past, it earns money for the institution which can then be deployed to help students in need. The training function is currently among the best revenue earners in the UIGC stable, with popular courses being offered and taken up by adults keen to improve their qualifications. The training division has also attracted funding from the private and public sectors. The local municipality has taken advantage of training courses in finance for non-finance managers, integrated development planning (IDP) and Local Economic Development (LED). UIGC venues are used as training sites for students from both the University of Venda and Vhembe TVET College. Profits generated from UIGC enterprises are ploughed back to help fund students attending the university, with an emphasis on assisting those in the “missing middle”. A sum of R8-million was contributed by UIGC in 2016 towards this cause. A large number of courses are offered by UGIC in a wide range of spheres, including local government and environmental management.

Contact details Contact: Dr John Mudau, Chief Executive Officer Email: Khathutshelo Ligege, Personal Assistant to CEO Tel: + 27 15 962 8754 / 61 Email:




De Beers Venetia Mine unveils a testing laboratory Response to the Covid-19 pandemic is part of “Building Forever” commitment.


to increase testing capacity and analyse test samples to help speed up diagnoses and curb the spread of the virus. If aligned to the Limpopo Department of Health’s testing strategy, the laboratory will also analyse test samples from the Musina Hospital, Louis Trichardt Memorial Hospital and Helena Franz Hospital, which are the local health facilities identified for screening positive Covid-19 patients from Venetia and the communities surrounding the mine. Venetia Mine has also appointed three clinical associates and provided vehicles to allow them to conduct home-based responses as part of the company’s “WeCare” programme. The programme encourages employees and contractors to protect themselves from exposure and transmission of Covid-19, as well as monitor and manage their health should they test positive. Mpumi Zikalala, Managing Director, De Beers Group Managed Operations, said, “As a business, our first and most important value is to Put Safety First. We value the health and safety of our people above all else and are equally committed to delivering support to our host communities throughout this difficult period. The PCR laboratory is one element in our range of proactive response measures to support the fight against this global pandemic and through which we hope to increase access to testing, not only for our employees, but also communities in partnership with the Department of Health.” Dr Phophi Ramathuba, Limpopo MEC of Health, said, “We welcome this development as the Department of Health as it will go a long way in assisting us as government to deal with the current testing backlog. We do appreciate every single collaboration, especially the likes of this laboratory, which not only will focus on testing employees at Venetia Mine, but community members as well.” ■

e Beers Venetia Mine has unveiled a R10-million coronavirus (Covid-19) testing laboratory that will be utilised to test the mine’s employees and contractors. The laboratory will play a vital role in the diagnostic testing process of Covid-19 for employees and contractors and is expected to analyse at least 80 tests per day with a 24-hour turnout time for results. Operated by two technicians, the highthroughput laboratory is fully equipped with a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine and other vital equipment including among others storage fridges, biosafety cabinet and centrifuges

Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba and De Beers Group Managed Operations MD Mpumi Zikalala unveil the testing lab in Musina LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21



Venetia Mine brings community relief amid Covid-19 lockdown “WeCare” programme delivers vital medical equipment.


enetia Mine and the Departments of Health and Social Development have rallied around efforts to provide support and relief to communities within the mine’s labour-sending areas of Musina and Blouberg. The mine has donated necessities such as maize meal, rice, oatmeal, tea, milk, canned foods and hygiene products including sanitisers, to ensure that those who are in hardship will have access to sufficient food during the nationwide lockdown.

of the Musina community ahead of the door-todoor deliveries, said the community was grateful for Venetia Mine’s efforts in helping fight food insecurity during the lockdown. “Government alone cannot win this difficult war against hunger and starvation. We need stakeholders like De Beers Venetia Mine and Gift of the Givers Foundation to come on board. As Musina Municipality, we are very humbled by this donation,” she said.

Medical equipment donated Through the Anglo-American Foundation, Venetia Mine is donating medical supplies to six clinics in the Blouberg area, namely: Alldays, Ga-Kibi, De Vrede, Kromhoek, Indermark and Taaibosch. These clinics will each receive the following supplies over a period of three months: N95 masks, surgical masks, disposable gowns, examination gloves, surgical gloves, paper towels, chlorhexidine solution, goggles and chlorhexidine scrub. They will also each receive the following onceoff medical items: blood-gas machine and noncontact thermometer. Hospitals and clinics will be equipped with medical equipment and supplies to support their efforts to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus and for treatment.

Coordinat ing t he deliveries of food parcels in Blouberg, Local Economic Development Manager at the Blouberg Local Municipality, Stanford Moremi, alongside Mayor, Solomon Pheedi, said, “We would like to extend our gratitude to Venetia Mine for this initiative. This food relief initiative has certainly touched the lives of many in our community considering the devastating Covid-19 impact on our communities.” ■

More food parcels donated In a continued effort to help ease the burden for families during the Covid-19 pandemic, Venetia Mine, through the disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers, has donated 1 000 food parcels to communities in Musina and Blouberg. The donation is part of the mine’s response to Covid-19, through which a total of R1.2-million will be used to purchase and distribute food parcels to indigent households over a period of three months. Mayor of Musina Local Municipality, Mihloti Muhlope, who accepted the food parcels on behalf




see money differently



t the heart of Nedbank’s business strategy is its belief that its sustainability depends on its ability to integrate into the communities in which it operates. Juliana Selemela, Regional Manager for Retail Business Banking in Limpopo, explains: ‘Nedbank has continued to deliver on its brand promise, which is to use our financial expertise to do good for individuals, families, businesses and communities in which we operate. Our client-centred strategy has enabled us to reach out to our clients in time of need during the Covid-19 national lockdown.’

The Nedbank Contact Centre and advanced digital innovation, including the awardwinning Nedbank Money app, enabled the bank to continue serving clients in the comfort of their homes. It brought convenience to clients and helped them to comply with lockdown regulations. Selemela says that for small- and mediumsized business clients, Nedbank continues to deliver end-to-end solutions through a dedicated business manager. ‘Our business managers are supported by a team of

Our client-centred strategy has enabled us to reach out to our clients in time of need during the Covid-19 national lockdown.

experts across the bank to deliver seamless banking solutions. Our bigger-picture business approach ensures that we are able to take a holistic view of the business by understanding the vision, cashflow cycle, and transactional and capital expenditure needs of the business. This way, we become trusted advisors to the business owners who strive to grow their business.’ If you are interested in taking your business to its next level or need information about Nedbank’s specialised service offering, please email Juliana Selemela at or visit


see money differently



edbank’s Support Manager for Small Business and Professionals for the Limpopo Province, Peteke Mojela, says that small businesses are the mainstay of the economy and Nedbank provides small-business owners with support that goes beyond banking.

‘Covid-19 has dealt entrepreneurs a major blow and, naturally, they are overwhelmed and anxious about the future of their businesses. Nedbank is proud to be involved in various ways to help mitigate the economic impact of the crisis on this vital sector. For example, BackaBusiness is an innovative and relevant way in which people can show their support for small businesses to ensure their survival. Loyal customers, family and friends, and society at large can join the movement to pay now and redeem a reward from the business owner once trading resumes.’ ‘Beyond this Covid-19 relief, our experts are available to provide all the support you need. Nedbank offers simple, affordable banking solutions and value-added services to get and keep your business going,’ says Mojela. Initiatives such as our free-to-join networking portal, The

We provide our professional clients with banking at their fingertips, benefits that matter, expert savings …

Essential Guide for Small-business Owners, business registration services and free small-business seminars are all geared to support SMEs. Mojela adds that Nedbank’s Professional Banking solution is built on five pillars. ‘We provide our professional clients with banking at their fingertips, benefits that matter, expert savings and investment advice and a unique household banking approach, which allows them and their families to finance their dreams and growth.’ ‘With dedicated relationship bankers, tailored financing options and 24/7 service, the banking experience we offer is seamless, enables our clients’ financial aspirations and is flexible to grow as your needs grow,’ says Mojela.

If you wish to tap into our small-business expertise to reach your business goals, please email Peteke Mojela at or visit


see money differently



e are all aware of the individuals and businesses that have been adversely affected as a result of the chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Interest rates are at historical lows and Nedbank’s economic forecast for the next 12 to 18 months predicts a sharp downward trend.

In this challenging economic environment, it is more important than ever to manage and invest funds optimally in relation to cash flow needs. Cash flow is, without doubt, one of the most critical components of success for any business. In fact, according to a U.S. Bank study, 82% of business failures can be attributed to poor cash flow management. That being said, every growing business needs capital to invest in expansion – or to pivot to remain relevant in the extreme uncertainty we currently face. Every business has unique cash requirements, so how does a business owner ensure that surplus cash is managed in a manner that yields maximum returns in harmony with the company's liquidity requirements? Marcia Mathsa, Nedbank’s Corporate Saver and Investment Specialist for Limpopo, says that Nedbank Business Banking is

Nedbank has made available a raft of relief measures to benefit clients across the bank.

committed to assisting its clients overcome their financial obstacles and provide sound financial advice in managing their funds.

‘The pandemic and struggles of business highlight the need for expert advice, and a needs-based conversation with a Nedbank business manager can result in optimal financial solutions that make all the difference,’ says Mathsa. The investment sector will continue to be impacted for some time to come, but Nedbank has made available a raft of relief measures to benefit clients across the bank. We will continue to partner with our clients to provide expert advice on investments during what is a most challenging period not just for our country – but the world. To find out more about how Nedbank can partner with your organisation to grow a greater South Africa, please email Marcia Mathsa at or visit


see money differently

NEDBANK BUSINESS BANKING AIMS TO SUPPORT ALL LIMPOPO BUSINESS SECTORS Innocent Mafahla, Provincial Manager for Business Banking in the Limpopo Province, says that a deep commitment to partnership is what underlies the team's personal and professional values.

The bank caters for all industries, but the Limpopo team has many clients in the franchising and agricultural sectors. 'The banking products and services tailored specifically for these sectors and designed to achieve overall business efficiency, profitability and sustainability make Nedbank one of the most franchise-friendly banks in South Africa and one of the market-leading banks in the agricultural space,' says Mafahla. Nedbank’s highly competitive pricing is structured to the needs and individual risk

… Nedbank has developed innovative funding solutions designed to support farmers with sustainable farming interventions …

profile and track record of each particular franchise business. Products include POS devices and Nedbank’s POSPlus™ management system, e-commerce solutions and cash acceptance devices, as well as a broad spectrum of tailored financing options. Nedbank understands that if the various challenges faced by the agricultural sector are not addressed, it will threaten economic growth, food security, employment and investment. To this end Nedbank has developed innovative funding solutions designed to support farmers with sustainable farming interventions, ranging from water efficiency mechanisms and cutting-edge irrigation to renewableenergy financing.

If you are interested in taking your business to the next level, please email Innocent Mafahla at or visit Nedbank Ltd Reg No 1951/000009/06. Authorised financial services and registered credit provider (NCRCP16).



ur bigger-picture banking approach enables us not only to provide you with the banking solutions you need, but also to give you a holistic view of how our products are connected to create a framework that yields maximum impact across every facet of your business and beyond. We know that success in business is about partnerships, and that is why we put the building of deep, lasting, value-adding relationships at the centre of everything we do. This means your goals are our goals, your vision is our vision, and your success is our success – while you rely on our additional support that is most needed in times of change and uncertainty.


Hot-air balloon in Limpopo. Pic: South African Tourism LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21



KEY SECTORS Overviews of the main economic sectors of Limpopo Agriculture 38 Mining 40 Construction and property 50 Energy 51 Water 52 Tourism 54 Banking and financial services 56 Development finance and SMME support 58 Education 60 37



Agriculture Marula is Limpopo’s super fruit. Marula wine tasting laboratory. Image: University of Limpopo


festival, an industrial park, the source of a world-famous liqueur and a centuries-old beer recipe – and now the fruit of the marula tree is inspiring an associate professor at the University of Limpopo to make a marula fruit wine. The women of Limpopo have been making beer from marula fruit for longer than records exist. They continue to make it in large quantities every year in February at the time of the Marula Festival, a major contribution to the arts and culture and tourism calendar. Distell makes and distributes Amarula cream liqueur around the world. The Limpopo Department of Economic Development and Tourism (LEDET) wants to see the University of Limpopo doing more research on the possible uses for the fruit, including jams and cosmetics. To that end, a Marula Industrial Hub at Phalaborwa is envisaged that will provide a platform to further exploit the tasty marula fruit, which has a high vitamin C content and is much loved by elephants. Facilities at the hub will include a centre for research and processing facilities to create more value from the raw product. Advisors will be available to help small-scale farmers and SMMEs enter the formal economy. One researcher already underway is Professor Kgabo Moganedi. Drawing on time-honoured (and organic) fermentation processes, Moganedi has created a clear alcoholic beverage and is reported to be almost ready to scale up production. The project has received



Sector Insight Farmer Production Support Units are being rolled out. funding from National Research Foundation (NRF) under the Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). Cotton growing is experiencing a renewal in Limpopo, and the Provincial Government’s programme for revitalising irrigation schemes is helping. In Ephraim Mogale Municipality about 345 hectares of cotton has been planted which will benefit 74 small-scale farmers in the area. The projected harvest is 522 tons and an estimated 300 seasonal jobs are expected to be created during the harvesting period.

OVERVIEW Other schemes are at various stages of development: 100ha of land is being cleared for cultivation at the Mogalatjane Irrigation Scheme; 41ha has been identified at Tswelopele Irrigation Scheme in Fetakgomo Tubatse Municipality; and agreements are due to be signed at Kolokotela and Setlaboswana Irrigation Schemes. The provincial government sees the creation of infrastructure to support agriculture as part of its mandate. In the 2020 State of the Province Address, Premier Chupu Mathabatha said that two important projects would be completed during 2020 (this was before the Covid-19 epidemic): • Matsika Pack House • Upgrading of Norjax Canning tomato paste processing facility. More than 1 000 small-scale farmers are being trained annually to improve their skills and to improve production. Various Farmer Production Support Units are due for completion in 2020 and 2021. These are situated at: • Masala in Mopani • Vleisboom in Sekhukhune •Tshiombo in Vhembe • Mapela in the Waterberg

Wide variety The percentage contribution of Limpopo agriculture to national agriculture is 7.6% although its contribution to provincial GDP is just 2.3%. Agri-processing has enormous potential to expand in every subsector. L i m p o p o’s f r u i t s a n d vegetables form an important

part of South Africa’s export basket and more than 45% of the annual turnover of the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market originates in the fertile province. Companies like ZZ2 are major contributors to the country’s annual production of 120 000 tons of avocados. Of the current crop, about half is currently produced in two Limpopo regions, Letaba and Tzaneen. Exports are rising exponentially. In response to this demand, and the potential of the Chinese market, almost 1 000ha per year of new land is being planted with avocados in South Africa. The same amount of new macadamia planting is underway every year, according to the Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC), adding to the existing 19 000ha. The other big sellers are mangoes and tomatoes. Limpopo grows three-quarters of South Africa’s mangoes and two-thirds of its tomatoes. The Waterberg district produces large quantities of red meat, Capricorn has potatoes in abundance, Vhembe in the north specialises in citrus and subtropical fruits. Mopani has those fruits too – and the Mopani worm. The Sekhukhune region in the south-east produces grain and the marula fruit that goes into Amarula cream liqueur. Westfalia is another huge enterprise, part of the Hans Merensky Group, and it is the world’s largest avocado grower. It also produces significant quantities of mango, litchi, citrus and macadamia and has three agri-processing plants in the province. Greenway Farms supplies about 45% of the fresh-market carrots consumed in Southern Africa under the Rugani brand. The two most active agricultural Avocados harvested companies in Limpopo are NTKLA (with its headquarters in Modimolle) and Afgri, South Africa’s biggest agricultural company, is headquartered in Centurion (Gauteng). NTKLA is a shareholder in Venda Roller Mills in Thohoyandou and operates 10 grain silos, 23 retail outlets, 28 flour depots and one cold-storage facility. ■

Online Resources Agro-Food Technology Station, Limpopo University: Citrus Growers Association: Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust: Limpopo Dept of Agriculture & Rural Development: Macadamias South Africa: South African Subtropical Growers’ Association:




Mining Industry analysts and miners are looking at new uses for PGMs.

Image: Implats


he mining sector in Limpopo lost nearly 20 000 jobs between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2019. A key factor was the slump in the global price of platinum but a later surge in the price of other platinum group metals (PGM) such as palladium and rhodium offset this downturn. The fact that the mining industry was allowed to continue to operate through most of the lockdown that accompanied the Covid-19 outbreak helped to bring some stability back to the sector. In early 2020 rhodium rose to its highest price since 2008, $8 200/oz, and palladium achieved a new record high of nearly $2 150/oz. Some mining companies such as Ivanplats discovered that several of the other minerals that are present in their mines (gold, copper and nickel) were also surging in price, causing them to investigate the possibility of ramping up operations at a faster pace. Better prices led to companies such as Bushveld Minerals increasing production. Figures for the company’s Vametco vanadium mine in 2019 were comparable to volumes previously reached two years earlier as they aimed to reach between 2 800 and 2 900 tons of vanadium for the year. With the largest primary vanadium resource base in the world, Bushveld’s long-term goal is to produce 8 400/mtpa. The company LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21


Sector Insight BASF is developing an auto catalyst that needs less palladium. runs its own processing and is busy with a feasibility study on a new mine at Mokopane. Investments covering the period to 2025 in the mining sector in Limpopo totalling more than R36-billion have been announced. All but one of the investments is in the Waterberg region. These include: • Modikwa mine (R1.6-billion), African Rainbow Minerals, PGM, Sekhukhune region. • Lejaja mine (R4.2-billion), Lejaja Coal (Resgen), coal.

OVERVIEW • G rootgeluk and Thabametsi mines (R5.1-billion), Exxaro, coal. • Lesego mine project (R5.4billion), Lesego Platinum, PGM. • P latreef mine (R20-billion), Ivanplats, PGM. Other long-standing projects include • Venetia underground project (about $2-billion to 2023), De Beers Consolidated Mines, conversion of an open-pit operation to underground mining. The mine is the largest producer of diamonds in South Africa. • B ooysendal South mine (R4.2-billion), Northam Platinum, PGM. The soils of Limpopo are rich in platinum group metals, coal, copper, diamonds, gold, iron ore, nickel, rare earth minerals and tin. Limpopo contributes 4% of coal mining in South Africa, according to the National Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, but it is likely that within the next three decades, the province will be supplying about half of South Africa’s coal. Limpopo’s Waterberg coal field is estimated to contain about 75-billion tons of coal. Exxaro’s two coal mines in the Waterberg represent threebillion tons of Measured Coal Resources and 1.8-billion tons of Indicated Coal Resources. This is where Exxaro operates its giant Grootegeluk mine. Nine plants serve a 4km-long and 120m-deep opencast mine on a 1 200ha site. Originally intended to supply the nearby power plants, Exxaro is now eyeing the export market with countries such as Ethiopia, Egypt and Pakistan potential markets. By

2023 Exxaro hopes to be producing 60-million tons of coal from its sites in Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Its current annual production is 47-million tons. MC Mining has started selling hard coking and thermal coal from its Makhado coal project in the Soutpansberg coalfield. The mine is 36km north of the town of Makhado and 80km south-east of the Vele Colliery. In 2019 the company signed an offtake agreement whereby Arcelor Mittal will buy between 350 000 and 450 000 tons of hard coking coal per annum. Mineral beneficiation is a key component of the newly accredited Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the far north of Limpopo and coal is needed for the making of steel. In 2018 nine Chinese companies committed to investing more than $10-billion in projects related to the zone’s four main areas of activity: a coking plant, a power plant, an alloy factory and the manufacture of steel. The planned Tubatse Platinum SEZ will focus on mining, as its name implies. According to the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA), 17 new mines were established in the greater Tubatse/ Burgersfort/Steelport area between 2001 and 2016, and a further 22 new mines are planned. The focus at Tubatse will be on the beneficiation of platinum group metals, magnetite, vanadium and chrome. The other strong mineral focus in the eastern part of the province is at Phalaborwa where Palabora Copper, a subsidiary of Palabora Mining Company, produces about 45 000 tons of copper annually, most of which is sold domestically. It runs a smelter and a refinery and also mines magnetite, vermiculite sulphuric acid, and nickel sulphate.

Projects and plans Important as the coalfields of the Waterberg are, the area is clearly not only about coal. A PGM project with enormous potential is also in preparation in the Waterberg, on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex about 85km north of Mokopane.

Image: Implats



OVERVIEW Platinum Group Metals Ltd. is the operator of the Waterberg Project but the joint venture (JV) includes Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats), JOGMEC (Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation), Hanwa Co (a Japanese trading company) and Mnombo Wethu Consultants (the BEE partner). The shareholding agreement was amended somewhat in February 2020 when Implats agreed to fund 100% of a new implementation budget and work programme. Implats also has an interest in two big operations on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex. Marula (in which Implats is a 73% shareholder) is in Limpopo province, about 50km north of Burgersfort. South of the same town, in Mpumalanga, Implats (49%) is in a joint venture with African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) at the Two Rivers mine.

south of Thabazimbi. By building a second furnace at the facility, Northam is making provision for reaching a goal of processing one-million ounces of PGMs. The cost of the expansion, which was partly born by Heraeus, is R900-million. Heraeus South Africa has offices in Gauteng and runs a precious metal chemical compounds production and refinery site in Port Elizabeth.

Image: Anglo American The Waterberg reserves and resources of PGMs are 63% palladium. Mining Technology has previously reported that the developed mine could produce as much as 744 000oz platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold and 23Mlb of nickel and copper on an annual basis. This would make it one of the biggest PGM mines in the world. Impala Platinum has made a bid to add to its South African and Zimbabwean assets through the purchase of Canadian mining firm, North American Palladium. The bid for R11.4-billion would give Implats a pure palladium mine and increase its geographical footprint. The sale in late 2018 of Glencore’s stake in the Mototolo PGM mine and chrome plant marked the end of that company’s foray into platinum. The purchase of Glencore’s 39% stake takes Amplats share in the complex up to 89%, giving Amplats access to a further 130 000oz of platinum and improving the prospects of working on the adjacent Der Brochen. The deal was worth about R1.5-billion. Eland mine, after being put on care and maintenance, was sold in 2017 by Glencore to Northam for R175-million. In 2019 plans were being put in place to reopen the mine because of higher prices for rhodium. The company intends spending R300-million at Eland and R1.5-billion at Booysendal. Northam bought the Tumela block from Amplats and invested heavily in a smelter expansion project at its Zondereinde mine just LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21


The future of platinum Two of South Africa’s foremost platinum mining companies have joined forces to support BASF in the development of an automotive catalyst that uses less palladium. The research and development project is backed by Sibanye-Stillwater and Implats. The German chemical group has found a way to replace some of the palladium and the rhodium, both minerals that are in short supply globally, with platinum. Platinum is routinely used in diesel engine catalysts, but this latest adaptation will significantly increase its usefulness. The device is known as the tri-metal catalyst.

On June 13, 2020, Ivanhoe Mines’ South African subsidiary, Ivanplats, successfully completed the sinking of Shaft 1 to a final On June 13, 2020, Ivanhoe Mines’ South African subsidiary, depth of 996 metres below surface, at the company’s palladium, Ivanplats, successfully completed the sinking of Shaft 1 to a final platinum, gold and rhodium Platreef mining depth of 996nickel, metrescopper, below surface, at the company’s palladium, licence, near Mokopane. platinum, nickel, copper, gold and rhodium Platreef mining licence, near Mokopane. Ivanhoe is particularly pleased that the project remains ‘Fall-ofGround’is incident freepleased since shaft-sinking operations began in Ivanhoe particularly that the project remains ‘Fall-ofJuly 2016, which free is a tribute to the excellent work by the Platreef Ground’ incident since shaft-sinking operations began in Project andis its South African sinking contractor, Moolmans. July 2016,team which a tribute to the excellent work by the Platreef Project team and its South African sinking contractor, Moolmans. The Platreef Project has long been recognized as one of the Platreef world’s Project largest has deposits high-grade platinum-group The long of been recognized as one of metals, (PGMs) nickel and copper. With the sinking of Shaft 1 the world’s largest deposits of high-grade platinum-group now complete, Ivanplats is exploring metals, (PGMs) nickel and copper. With near-term the sinkingdevelopment of Shaft 1 pathways at Platreef. now complete, Ivanplats is exploring near-term development pathways at Platreef. We are confident that the project will, in time, become one of the world’s largest and primary producers platinumWe are confident that lowest-cost the project will, in time, becomeof one of the group largest metals and long-lasting and meaningful benefits world’s and provide lowest-cost primary producers of platinumto all of our stakeholders, including the 20 local communities group metals and provide long-lasting and meaningful benefits − 150,000 local Mokopane area residents tocomprising all of our approximately stakeholders, including the 20 local communities − – that are our equity partners. comprising approximately 150,000 local Mokopane area residents Mothena Shirley Matlala, Diesel Mechanic, Mothena Shirley Matlala, Platreef Project Diesel Mechanic, Platreef Project

Limpopo Business Journal - Platreef.indd 1 Limpopo Business Journal - Platreef.indd 1

– that are our equity partners. Ivanhoe is not a conventional mining company. Our diverse team is building something different andcompany. exciting. Our We are committed Ivanhoe is not a conventional mining diverse team discovering and developing modern, leading-edge mines that istobuilding something different and exciting. We are committed secure, responsible access key toprovide discovering andsocio-environmentally developing modern, leading-edge minesto that raw materials the world embraces an electric future. provide secure,associo-environmentally responsible access to key raw materials as the world embraces an electric future. 2020-06-29 8:12:38 AM 2020-06-29 8:12:38 AM

OVERVIEW Bushveld Minerals, meanwhile, is exploring the potential of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) where the focus is less on powering vehicles and more on creating stationary energy platforms. The group has companies in various minerals, including coal, iron and phosphate. The relevant companies in this instance are Bushveld Vanadium, which mines and processes vanadium, and Bushveld Energy, which is focussed on the manufacture of vanadium electrolyte and the future potential of VRFB.

The fuel cell at the offices of Minerals Council South Africa. Finding new uses for platinum group metals (PGM) has been a focus of the industry for some time. The head office of the Minerals Council South Africa is powered by 40 ounces of platinum and natural gas, a concrete symbol of the industry’s interest in this issue. A fuel cell at the Johannesburg site of the national mine owners’ association is South Africa and Africa’s first base load installation. The slow moves towards allowing South African mines LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21

to power their own operations is another spur for mining companies to explore power generation. The national energy plan, Integrated Resources Plan 2019, allocates 2 000MW for energy storage and this provides an opportunity for companies such as Bushveld Energy. South Africa produces the majority of the world’s platinum (4.4-million ounces compared to six-million ounces by the rest of the world). Only Russia (2.6-million ounces) produces more palladium than South Africa but in rhodium South Africa is also number one: out of the global supply of 746 000 ounces, South Africa’s share is 621 000 ounces. The Mapungbuwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) hosts an annual PGM roundtable. Mining Weekly reported in December 2019 that the institute’s latest report focuses on the potential for the creation of a PGM exchange in South Africa. In other presentations during the event, it was noted that while an exchange would not fix the price, it would help to reduce volatility. While there is broad agreement that the world needs to steer away from minerals that pollute the environment, the supply of minerals used in electric car manufacture (such as nickel and cobalt) is also finite. Speaking at the 2019 Investing in African Mining Indaba, Ford’s head of Energy Storage Strategy and Research, Ted J Miller, said that the motor industry was “uncomfortable driving these commodities”. He noted that Ford has already reduced cobalt production by two-thirds, but the challenge is scale. In 2012 Anglo Platinum launched an underground locomotive powered by a fuel cell. Platinum coating greatly enhances the hydrogen absorption capacity of fuel cells. In 2016 Impala Platinum Refinery unveiled a fuel cell forklift and a hydrogen refuelling station in Springs. The editor of Mining Weekly, Martin Creamer, has published a series of articles and editorials extolling the virtues of what he calls the “best of two new carbon-reducing technology worlds”. Creamer notes that South Africa’s abundant supplies of PGMs and manganese ore can make the country a leader in battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). He further points to the work being done by Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) at three universities and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). South Africa’s good supplies of sunshine and wind make it ideally suited to generate hydrogen and if the country could capture 25% of the world market, it would be worth $600-million (Mining Weekly). ■

Online Resources Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection: Minerals Council South Africa: Mining Qualifications Authority: Department of Mineral Resources and Energy: Geological Society of South Africa: South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy:



Focussed support for communities Venetia Mine General Manager Gerrie Nortje explains how a Community Response Plan is coordinating efforts in water provision, food security, health and safety in labour-sending areas.

Venetia Mine General Manager, Gerrie Nortje

BIOGRAPHY Gerrie Nortje began his career with Anglo American in 1997 as a bursar studying Mining Engineering. On completion of his degree, he worked at various Anglo American Thermal Coal operations before becoming Operations Manager at Xstrata. He rejoined Anglo American as Principal Mining Engineer and transitioned into a Lead Open Pit Mining role in 2014 as a member of the Technical and Sustainability team. At head office he was involved with a variety of projects across the group’s business units.

What is the Community Response Plan? As a responsible corporate citizen and a long-term committed partner in the communities where we operate, we, as Venetia Mine, are actively and urgently supporting the efforts of the communities in our labour-sending areas during the Covid 19 pandemic. The Community Response Plan (CRP) helps us focus our efforts in addressing the most urgent needs first, while ensuring that where possible, projects benefit the communities over the longer term. Some of the support we have provided includes: • Provision of food: donation of food parcels to indigent households, hospitals, homeless shelters and GBV centres. • Water: the provision of water tanks, repair and maintenance of water infrastructure and the upgrading of infrastructure to sustain the supply of water to communities. • Hospital and clinic support: providing much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals and clinics, and providing hospitals with medical equipment including two ventilators. • Gender Based Violence: providing victim empowerment centres with hygiene packs for victims, communication material and posters and upgrading some of the facilities • SMEs: remote support to small businesses in dealing with the impact of the lockdown on their businesses and supporting them to apply for government-funded support programmes. • Testing facilities: making sure that our facilities are all available. The CRP is a living plan that changes as we navigate through the pandemic. Some of our contracting partners (Total and Sandvik) have agreed to support a small farmer rural development programme aimed at capacitating 500 small farmers in our host communities. What has been the impact on the number of people who work at the mine at any one time? We started developing and implementing measures to protect our employees and contractors since the pandemic became a public concern and we continue to enhance and improve these controls. Key to these measures is the education of our workforce on how the virus spreads and equipping them with the right information to continuously do the right things to protect themselves and others. A number of things had to be considered as we started to ramp up production:



INTERVIEW • Employees that could work from home were allowed to and our processes were aligned. • Additional controls and measures were introduced on the mine including social distancing measures on busses, thermal scanning and continuous sanitising of the workplace. • A phased and controlled recall process was introduced to bring back employees over a period

At Venetia Mine, we have put extensive safety, health and hygiene measures in place to combat the spread of the virus in the workplace and our communities. These measures are not limited to and include: • A comprehensive risk assessment to identify areas of potential exposure, including implementing the required policies, procedures and controls. Venetia Mine General Manager Gerrie Nortje with De Beers Group Managed Operations Managing Director Mpumi Zikalala and Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba at the Venetia Mine Testing Laboratory.

of four to six months. • A new process was introduced with a telephonic Covid-19 screening assessment before employees were recalled. • Shift arrangements and working schedules were adjusted to ensure we maintain social distancing requirements. All these measures allowed us to recall more than 70% of our workforce. We are continuing to ramp up and have adjusted our measures.

• All our employees undergo a mandatory Covid-19 medical screening and induction session prior to returning to work. • Our Occupational Medical Practitioners assess and approve all employees returning to work. • All our employees have been issued with personal thermometers for them to monitor their own body temperatures as part of a daily selfassessment process. • T he installation of Thermal Scanners at the entrance of the mine and on our buses to ensure that 100% of the employees’ body temperatures are assessed. • We are continuously educating, training and ensuring compliance to social distancing on site and on our vehicles. • Continuous sanitisation of biometric readers,

What are some of the specific steps to ensure the safety of staff? Our employees are at the heart of our business and we have taken decisive, wide-ranging measures that are stringently applied to protect both the health and well-being of them and their families. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21


handrails, workplaces and transport vehicles, Since the start of the pandemic we have been including the installation of UV lights to disinfect engaging with the local hospitals and the areas within the mine. Department of Health on a regular basis to • A ll our employees have been provided with understand their challenges during this difficult appropriate PPE and cloth masks. period and to understand how best we can • R egular Visible Felt Leadership to focus on support them and thank them for the work they Covid-19 in addition to Safety, Health and are doing for all of us. Environmental performance. We have donated medical supplies and • A 24-hour call centre (on a toll-free number) for equipment to hospitals and clinics in collaboration employees to call if they are displaying any with the Department of Health. In addition, the Covid-19 symptoms or require any other rele- Limpopo MEC of Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, vant information. recently unveiled the Venetia Mine PCR Covid-19 • Introduction of the WeCare programme for Testing Laboratory in Musina. This laboratory will be employees, their direct dependants and a utilised to test the mine’s employees, contractors community support programme through the and all the associated contacts. Limpopo Department of Health. We are also in discussions with the Department • Established and manage quarantine and isolation of Health to make the laboratory available for the facilities in the town of Musina. testing of community members through the local hospitals. The laboratory will play a vital role in Have you been able to get enough masks and the diagnostic testing process of Covid-19 and is other protective gear? expected to analyse at least 80 tests per day with a Key to the CRP is supporting our host communities 24-hour turnout time for results. and suppliers. We are very proud that through our In addition to this, we have established enterprise and supplier development programmes, quarantine and isolation facilities for positive we have been able to support a number of cases and contacts and are providing them with businesses. All our masks are manufactured locally continuous healthcare support. by Dithebele Clothing, a company based in Bochum, a community in the Blouberg Municipality. The company is one of many that has enjoyed good local sales and is successfully acquiring clients since it started participating in our Enterprise and Supplier Development programmes. In addition, we have identified and approached a few other local suppliers manufacturing goodquality masks to supply to some of the schools we are supporting through our CRP. Is the mine providing support in terms of clinics and local hospitals? Venetia Mine recognises the significant role of the hospitals Villagers in Simpson Village, Blouberg, with a water tank provided by the and clinics in our communities. De Beers water project.




Weathering the Covid-19 pandemic Medical preparedness and safety are priorities at the Marula Platinum mine.


s a member of the Implats Group, Marula supports the lockdown measures taken by national government to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and to mitigate the severe impact on the lives and livelihoods of employees, host communities and suppliers. Internal planning within the Group has focused on securing operational resilience during the pandemic based on the view that the virus will be a feature for some time and operating in a “business as usual” environment will not be possible in the near term. In addition, Implats has implemented and enforced several measures to provide protection to employees, rolling out a number of programmes across the group. Risk-based operating procedures were introduced specifically aimed at reducing the risk of viral infections in high-risk work areas and to vulnerable employee categories. These steps include improved hygiene, restrictions on the amount of work performed, social distancing while performing work and while travelling to and from work, the provision of additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and the implementation of screening and testing procedures. Stock levels of medical protective equipment and PPE were increased and regular large-scale disinfection of workplaces



continues to be performed. A meaningful increase in medical care preparedness was also undertaken through increasing the capacity of internal medical facilities and through the coordinated collaboration with industry peers, public/private partnerships and both local and regional medical institutions. All employees are currently screened using questionnaires, thermo-scanning of skin temperature, and if necessary, core temperature screening, before entering their work areas. Employees with abnormal temperatures are isolated at dedicated areas and then transpor ted to designated medical facilities for diagnosis and, if necessary, testing, quarantine and/or hospitalisation. Mogale Mashilane, Executive Marula Operations, notes, “As the pandemic progresses, we expect to face increasing challenges to our medical preparedness and operational resilience. The benefit of experience gained by our team over the past few months will prove vital to successfully navigating the nearterm operating environment and mitigating the impact on our employees and communities.” ■


through our commitment to health

Education Intense effort to educate and prepare stakeholders for the Covid-19 pandemic

Medical Preparedness High level of medical preparedness across all operations including screening and testing, isolation/quarantine facilities and equipment

Procedures Risk-based operating procedures to reduce infections in high-risk areas

Marula is committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of all our employees and continually strives for zero harm in the workplace.


LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21 CooleAd 18533


Construction and property LEDA runs training for artisans in the building sector. Sector Insight More than 10 000 housing units have been pledged by provincial government.

Military veterans housing. Image: Housing Development Agency


he Provincial Government of Limpopo has built more than 320 000 houses since 1994. A budget of R3.9-billion has been assigned by National Treasury for the Limpopo Academic Hospital. Clinics are also being built, providing more work opportunities in the construction sector. A start has been made on a provincial theatre, with R15-million allocated to planning. A commitment has been made to build 10 456 housing units by the end of the 2020/21 financial year, a figure that includes a rollover of nearly 4 000 from the previous year. This represents a further opportunity for contractors in the construction sector. The Enterprise Development and Finance Division of the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA) offers loans to businesses in the construction and property sector and runs specialised training in vocational skills such as bricklaying, plastering, carpentry, plumbing, electrical and welding. The Risima Housing and Finance Corporation, another division of LEDA, is helping citizens of the province to become homeowners. Since 2014, Risima has assisted 1 037 beneficiaries with loans of up to R1.5-million. The gap market – people who earn too much to qualify for social (RDP) housing but don’t earn enough to be granted bonds – is a hot topic. Opportunities exist, but the risk profile is different. A new association caters for this subsector, the South African Affordable Residential Developers Association (SAARDA).

Online Resources Black Business Council in Built Environment: Construction Industry Development Board: South African Affordable Residential Developers Association: South African Property Owners Association:



Risima has introduced the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, for those earning between R3 501 and R15 000 per month. Risima and the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlement a n d Tr a d i t i o n a l A f f a i r s (COGHSTA) distribute grants to cover a deposit or to make up the shortfall between an asking price and what the applicant can afford. A non-mortgaged financial product assists government employees to get a foot on the property ladder. Risima is also exploring cooperation with mining houses such as Exxaro, Amplats and Northam at Thabazimbi. Thavhani Mall is operating in Thohoyandou in a bigger development called Thavhani City. The 27ha site will eventually include an office park, automotive-related businesses, private healthcare, a library, an information centre and a sports stadium. Its anchor retail tenants include Woolworths, Edgars, Pick n Pay and SuperSpar. The partners in the R1-billion project are Thavhani Property Investments, Vukile Property Fund and Flanagan & Gerard Property Development. ■


Energy The Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will use and create large volumes of energy.


n Energy and Metallurgical Cluster is an important compoSector Insight nent of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) under construction New planning blueprint at Musina-Makhado in the far north of the province. A South includes biofuels. African company has announced that it will manufacture new energy solar system products, energy storage systems and high-density polyethylene water pipes at the SEZ. The two local municipalities have been allocated R147-million Mining group Exxaro is sponsorby provincial government for infrastructure upgrades, including ing the roll-out of alternative electricity. The National Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy energy near its remote TshikonIndependent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has deni mine east of Musina. been successful so far. The three photovoltaic solar projects located in Implats is already using Limpopo have a combined investment value of R3.6-billion. natural gas to supply its refinery A new public-private planning exercise, known as Impact Catalyst, in Springs. Phase one of the is working on focus areas which include biofuels and intends to project will see 20 Doosan prepare the province to deal with the emergence of new sectors such fuel cells generating 8MW of as renewable energy. The provincial government’s Green Economy Plan has identified solar and biomass as the main kinds of renewable energy for Limpopo. With huge silicon reserves in the province, there is also potential to produce solar panels and solar chargers for cellphones. Nine biogas digesters have been installed in the Vhembe District to be controlled by young entrepreneurs trained by the University of Venda. A group of 31 students is studying Energy Management Systems as part of the provincial plan. The Mogalakwena Mine run by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) is a large energy user. The mine’s concentrator relies on constant and reliable electricity supply. With energy comprising a significant portion Rural digester. Image: BiogasSA of costs and national utility Eskom experiencing difficulties in terms of its debt and its ability to supply reliable power. The long-term goal is to power, the mining company is investigating the installation of a generate 22-30MW. large solar PV project. In early 2019 the project was at the “request The huge Eskom project for interest” stage. Anglo Platinum has pioneered an underground at Medupi power station is mining locomotive powered by a fuel cell. Platinum coating over budget and behind in greatly enhances the hydrogen absorption capacity of fuel cells. implementation. Three of the plant’s six units are operating Online Resources (although there have been many problems). When the plant is National Department of Minerals and Energy: completed, the Lephalale area South African Photovoltaic Industry Association: will become a petrochemical Southern African Biofuels Association: hub and energy complex. ■




Water Macadamia shells are filtering water for rural communities. Sector Insight Several large water schemes are close to completion.

Mobile solar-powered water filtration system . Image: Kusini Water


Limpopo entrepreneur has found a way to safely filter water using macadamia shells. The brainchild of Murendeni Mafumo, the idea was first put into action in 2018 and has been used in schools and rural communities by Kusini Water. Powered by solar power, the purification system uses a carbon filter that is made from macadamia nut shells. With support from the National Research Foundation and six reputable partners, including the Innovation Hub and the Shuttleworth Foundation, the system seems destined for widespread use. The National Department of Science and Technology is piloting a Point-of-Use (POU) project in Malatane village in the Capricorn District. The project is part of the department’s Innovation Partnership for Rural Development Programme (IPRDP), which is supported by the European Union. Limpopo has markedly different rainfall patterns in its three main geographical regions: the escarpment (sub-humid with annual rainfall of more than 700mm); semi-arid middle veld and Highveld; and the arid and semi-arid Lowveld. The province’s rivers are under threat from the damaging effects of the mining industry, power stations, chemicals used in agriculture and from sewage treatment in catchment areas. Opportunities exist in this sector for innovative solutions. Concern about drought conditions and water quality under pressure from mines and industry has led to the calling of a Provincial Water and Sanitation Summit.

Online Resources Innovation Hub: National Department of Science and Technology: National Department of Water and Sanitation: National Research Foundation:



The Water and Sanitation Services branch of the Polokwane Municipality operates five waterpurification plants and three sewage-purification plants. As part of its Regional Water Scheme programme, Polokwane provides water to the residents of the rural areas of Mothapo, Mothiba and Makotopong. The Capricorn District Municipality funds a watertesting laboratory on the campus of the University of Limpopo. Providing water to the citizens of Limpopo has been a fraught process for many years. Schemes have come and gone and many local councils have not been up to the task. So it was significant that Premier Chupu Mathabatha announced the following markers of progress in his State of the Province Address in February 2020: Polokwane Bulk Water Scheme 100% complete; Polokwane Regional Wastewater Treatment Works 74%; MametjaSekororo Bulk Water Supply 97%; Nebo Bulk Water Supply 90%; Moutse Water Treatment Works 90%; Malekana Water Treatment Works 90%. The completion of the De Hoop Dam has provided goodquality water for the first time to many communities in the eastern part of Limpopo. ■


Venetia Mine eases water shortage in Simson Village Pumps, pipes, valves and reservoirs are boosting services.


mid the Covid-19 pandemic, good has come for the community of Simson Village, which had previously struggled with access to clean water. As an emergency interim measure, Venetia Mine has installed a 10 000-litre water tank with four additional taps and then cleaned, repaired and recommissioned the existing 100 000-litre reservoir, restoring access to sustainable water supply for the community. The initiative was in response to a plea from the community as the damaged communal reservoir full of debris had resulted in clogging the water supply. Residents were also left with no option but to retrieve and siphon water from the top of the reservoir. Ward 17 councillor in the Blouberg Local Municipality, Dan Mojodo welcomed the intervention and expressed great delight at finally having access to a clean supply of water. “As a community, we are very relieved and grateful to Venetia Mine for stepping in to assist our community in this very needy period and making a difference in our lives. We appeal to the mine to extend this great work to other vulnerable communities in the Blouberg region in need of support during this crucial period of the lockdown.”

Other water projects currently underway in Blouberg include the following:

The Taaibosch Groet Water Project The Taaibosch community is one of many villages in the Blouberg Municipal District that have massive shortages of water. Venetia Mine has, as a result, extended the current bulk water line to supply water to the Taaibosch Clinic, Sebeelwa crèche, the Taaibosch Community Hall and Taaibosch Disability Centre. An estimated 1.7km pipeline has been installed to ensure a sustainable supply of water to these surrounding facilities.

The Kromhoek Village Water Project The current infrastructure in the Kromhoek Village is not sustainable to provide water to the community; the current infrastructure is aged and worn out, resulting in leakages and communities not being able to access water. As a result, Venetia Mine has repaired and restored one borehole, and has equipped the other borehole with new infrastructure to restore sustainable access and supply of water.

The Donker Hoek, Ga-Raditshaba Village Water Project The Donker Hoek community has a water source but only 30% of the village has running water within a radius of 200m from their home. The other 70% of the community must fetch water from a communal water standpipe – about 6km away from their homes. As an intervention, Venetia Mine upgraded the current borehole and installed an additional 90 000-litre reservoir. The mine has also extended the current water reticulation (pipeline) to bring water closer to communities – within a 200m radius of their homes. ■




Tourism International golf puts Limpopo on television screens.


hen golf’s Sunshine Tour descended on Modimolle in February, there was much more on offer than R3.5-million in prize money for the Limpopo Championship. Participants and followers were treated to evenings of comedy and jazz and could buy a wide range of goods from stalls set up at the Euphoria Golf and Lifestyle Estate; everything from beads and books to locally-made gin. The fact that this tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Challenge Tour increases the potential for marketing to a large audience and will raise awareness about the province as a golf destination. Armed Forces Day was held in and around Polokwane in February 2020. Events included displays of military equipment, a career village for prospective recruits, arena events, a fun run and a flypast. Accommodation was at a premium in the provincial capital and the event proved a boost to local tourism. Armed Forces Day is held annually in commemoration of the sinking of the SS Mendi on 21 February 1917, one of the worst tragedies of the First World War (1914-1918) from a South African perspective. Tourism is a key sector in the economy of Limpopo, and as such is part of a new planning initiative called Impact Catalyst. In addition to a broad examination of the sector, specific thematic areas of focus include the game-farming sector, an important and lucrative subsector of tourism. Wildlife farming and hunting generates enormous amounts of money but South Africans who were previously excluded by law still have limited access to this sector. According to calculations done by a Professor in Tourism at the University of the North West, Peet van der Merwe, trophy and biltong hunters contributed a combined R13.6-billion to the South African economy in the 2016/17 season. The number of direct jobs created

2020 Limpopo Championship. Pic: Shaun Roy/Sunshine Tour LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21


Sector Insight Armed Forces Day was held in Limpopo in 2020. in this period in Limpopo was 17 806 (The Conversation). In 2018, the formal wildlife auction turnover for the whole of South Africa was R750million, as reported by Yolande Groenewald in the Mail & Guardian. A buffalo bull was sold in 2016 for R178-million. The Limpopo Department of Economic Development and Tourism (LEDET) aims to create wider opportunities within these sectors via its Wildlife Transformation Policy. A total of 3.3-million people visited Limpopo in 2018, which number included an increased number of international tourists (2.2-million). In terms of domestic travel, Limpopo is the most-visited province in South Africa. According to the Premier’s office, the tourism sector employs about 22 414 people. The Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) has six focus areas: · Golf and game. · Hunting and safari. · Family and recreation. · Special interest. · Mega-conservation. · Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events (MICE). A new event on Limpopo’s calendar caused great excitement in 2018 with the first riding of the Tour de Limpopo,

OVERVIEW a four-day UCI Africa Tour 2.2 stage race which started and finished in Polokwane, with a stopover in Tzaneen. A range of sponsors enthusiastically endorsed the race, promoted by the LTA. Hotel@Tzaneen and Europcar South Africa were sponsors and race officials were provided with cars by Audi Centre Polokwane. Another kind of cycle race is the regular Kremetart Cycle Race, a popular family event that draws huge numbers of entries. Regular events are holding their own as well: the annual Limpopo Marula Festival in Phalabor wa attracts more than 20 000 participants and is estimated to inject upwards of R45-million into the provincial economy. Several neighbouring countries are well represented in the crowds and 13 cooperatives operating under the Mukumbi Industries brand normally brew about 12 000 litres of marula beverages for the thirsty crowds. Other marula products are also sold such as nuts, body lotions, jam, cooking oil and soap. The Mapungubwe Festival is growing in stature every year. In addition to popular musical per formances, crafters have an opportunity to display their crafts and generate good income during the festivities.

Hotels and casinos The 160-room Park Inn by R adisson Polok wane has opened in the provincial capital. Located near the golf course

Game drive, Kruger National Park. Image: SA Tourism and the Peter Mokaba Stadium, the hotel also has conference and event facilities. Tsogo Sun runs the Garden Court Polokwane, which has 180 rooms ranging from executive suites to family rooms. The Protea Hotel group has two hotels in the province. The Protea Hotel Landmark in Polokwane has 80 rooms and six conference venues. Just outside the city is the Protea Hotel Polokwane Ranch Resort where guests can walk with lions. The hotel is on a 1 000-hectare nature conservancy and specialises in weddings. In Mokopane near the Waterberg mountains, the family-run The Park Hotel Mokopane has 125 rooms and can cater for up to 400 conference delegates. The three-star hotel recently added 25 selfcatering units. The Fusion Boutique Hotel in the provincial capital offers fivestar quality in 30 en-suite rooms and two exclusive suites. Sun International runs the Meropa Casino and Entertainment World near Polokwane. The Khoroni Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort is in Thohoyandou. A three-star Peermont Metcourt Hotel is in the same complex. The newest casino licence was awarded to Peermont Global Resorts for the official launch and operation of the Thaba Moshate Casino, Hotel and Conference Centre in the Greater Tubatse Local Munici-pality. There are 237 limited pay-out gambling machines in the province, and licences of one sort or another generate more than R50-million for the provincial government. ■

Online Resources Confederation of Hunting Associations of South Africa: Limpopo Tourism Authority: Marula Festival: South African National Parks:




Banking and financial services Agricultural financing is in the spotlight.

Mechanised harvesting equipment. Image: VKB


he Provincial Government of Limpopo is in the process of re-examining the agricultural sector to better use the value chain and to expand agriprocessing in the province. One of the aspects under discussion is the model used in financing the sector and how partnerships are created. Related topics include land availability and access. The two most active agricultural companies in Limpopo are both registered financial service providers. NTK, a subsidiary of the Free State-based VKB, has access to lending for farmers and insurance products. Afgri offers the same services under the brand Unigro, and it has another service called Gro Capital Financial Services which offers more sophisticated products such as trade finance. South Africa’s four big retail banks (Nedbank, Absa, Standard Bank and First National Bank) have a solid presence in the major towns in the province. Agriculture is an important focus area for banks and so they have established specialised units such as Nedbank Agribusiness. Focus areas for this unit are agronomy (grain, oil seeds, sugar and cotton), livestock (including game farming), horticulture (fruit and vegetables, for example), and secondary agriculture which covers agricultural processing and storage. The biggest news in South African banking is the issuing of new licences, giving customers more choice. Most of these banks are making banking more accessible and the previously unbanked sector of society should now be in a better position to use banking services. In 2017 Tyme Digital received a licence to run a bank. By early 2019, TymeBank was available in 500 Pick n Pay and Boxer stores and LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21


Sector Insight African Bank is offering new and flexible products. more than 50 000 customers around South Africa had an account. Tyme stands for Take Your Money Everywhere and refers to the fact that the bank does not have a branch network. The bank is targeting the lower-income segment and promises speedy transaction and approval times. Second to market among the country’s new banks was Discovery Bank, which officially launched in March 2019. Discovery Bank applies the behavioural model it uses in its health business to reward good financial behaviour. The revitalised African Bank, which was put under curatorship in 2014 by the Reserve Bank, is making a play

OVERVIEW for new customers with an interesting offering that does not rely so much on digital wizardry as on presenting the customer with enhanced banking facilities. African Bank has created an account that allows up to five additional accounts to be created in the name of the main account. Fees are only charged for drawing cash or at the time of a transaction. There are no monthly fees for any of the accounts which can be either for saving or transactional. Each user has his or her own card and monies can be moved between accounts, ideal for families. Sanlam has entered two partnerships in the insurance market. African Rainbow Life has launched life-cover policies in the low- and middle-income market, in association with Sanlam and African Rainbow Capital. Sanlam is also in a venture with Capitec. In 2019, Financial Mail quoted Capitec CEO Gerrie Fourie saying that the bank was selling 3 000 funeral policies a day. The Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA) intends establishing a local l i fe i n s u r a n c e c o m p a ny. These initiatives aim to make banking more accessible for rural communities and to make finance more readily available to small and microsized businesses. Trying to integrate small business into the mainstream economy is a major goal of national and provincial governments in South Africa. VBS Mutual Bank, one of three mutual banks in South

Africa, was placed under curatorship in 2018. The appointed curator was not able to confirm all deposits. In the lead-up to the bank not being able to meet its commitments municipalities had been making deposits to the bank although these violated restrictions put in place by the National Treasury. VBS began life as the Venda Building Society in 1982. The Public Investment Corporation held 34% of equity. To support entrepreneurial students, the University of Limpopo has set up the Limpopo Student Seed Fund together with the SAB Foundation. Support will be offered to businesses that promise to find solutions to social problems such as unemployment and hunger. Ubank is owned by a trust that is managed by the Chamber of Mines and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). It has about 100 branches and a strong presence in Limpopo because of its strong focus on the mining sector. Ubank has about half-a-million clients. Banks are actively working to sign up more of the unbanked population. Nedbank has Approve-it™, which allows customers to accept or reject an Internet transaction by cellphone. Nedbank also has partnerships with shops such as Boxer Stores and Pick n Pay where customers can have access to financial services in previously unserviced areas.

Image: African Bank Some of Nedbank’s other innovations include Home Loans Online Digital Channel and Market Edge, together with the Nedbank App Suite™. The Keyona Plus account includes funeral cover, a loan facility and a method of transferring money. The Nedbank4me account is tailored to the youth market. ■

Online Resources Financial Sector Conduct Authority: National Credit Regulator: Office of the Auditor-General of South Africa: Public Investment Corporation: South African Institute for Chartered Accountants:




Development finance and SMME support Small-scale farmers are getting support to connect to the value chain.


arge companies in Limpopo support new business ventures by allocating service functions to local businesses and through training and mentoring. All of the province’s big mining concerns have significant budgets set aside for procurement from small businesses and work such as cleaning and transport is routinely allocated to small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs). The Implats Group spent 36% of its procurement budget with Limpopo companies in 2017/18. During the 2018 financial year, the Marula Mine spent R101-million on goods and services purchased from local companies in the Sekhukhune District. The Supplier Development Pro g r a m m e o f I m p l a t s (pictured) aims to make SMMEs more competitive and offers accredited training and mentoring. De Beers Consolidated Mines plays a big role in the economy of northern Limpopo through its Venetia Mine. The company has launched t wo business incubators in local Enterprise development. Image: Implats municipalities, Blouberg and Musina. The De Beers Zimele Venetia Mine Business Hub has created more than 495 jobs since it was established to support entrepreneurs through low-interest loans, mentorship, coaching and skills development. Local procurement has given chances to 15 local companies, in fields such as road maintenance, the canteen, small civils work and the supply of tyres and batteries. Anglo American Platinum has extended the contract with

Online Resources Black Umbrellas: Industrial Development Corporation: Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism: Small Enterprise Development Agency:



Sector Insight Over R100-million went to local business from one Implats mine. Zizwe Batlase for the provision of strip-mining services at its Amandelbult Complex. Zizwe Batlase is 51% owned by the local community of Baphalane through the Baphalane Community Trust, named Batlase. Since 2016, Ziz we Batlase has been providing employment, SMME development, infrastructure development and business opportunities to local and small businesses in the community. Vodacom repor ts that Limpopo has seen doubledigit growth in smartphone penetration, which undoubtedly benefits SMMEs. An investment by Vodacom’s Polokwane region of more than R170-million in the network in the 2019/20 financial year helped small business in that data speeds were increased and 3G and 4G network coverage was increased. The major banks all have SMME offerings. Standard Bank runs a Community Investment Fund and Nedbank offers an enterprise development product for businesses with turnovers up to R35-million. ■


Education The University of Limpopo celebrated 60 years in 2019.


he University of Limpopo celebrated a significant milestone in September 2019, a 60th birthday. As part of the celebrations, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was installed as the university’s first female Chancellor. Early in 2020, the university received a gift in the form of a R480million loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) for the construction of a 3 500-bed student residence. Other contributions will come from the Department of Higher Education and Training and the National Treasury Budget Facility for Infrastructure. This is the first phase of a longer-term project to provide 15 000 beds over the next 15 years. The University of Venda (UNIVEN) is making strides in the field of waste-to-energy. The Green Technologies Promotion Drive draws from the Department of Physics and the schools of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences with support from the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Water Research Commission (WRC). One of its goals is to develop the biogas market. The Univen Innovative Growth Company offers professional services to the outside world through four units which cover areas such as statistics and design and editing. This not only creates another revenue stream for the University of Venda but links the academic institution to the commercial world. The Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (formerly part of Limpopo University) is now an independent university in Gauteng Province. University of South Africa (Unisa) has a regional support centre in Polokwane and agencies at Makhado and Giyani. The longstanding issue of school sanitation infrastructure is being tackled aggressively. A commitment was made in February 2020 that 515 schools in the province will benefit from new or upgraded infrastructure this year. Some of the funding for this programme comes from the Presidential School Sanitation Infrastructure Grant. A Coding and Robotic curriculum is to be introduced in 110 primary schools in the 2021 academic year. There are 15 secondary schools in Limpopo offering Information Technology at Grade 12

Online Resources Limpopo Department of Education: National Education Collaboration Trust: Turfloof Graduate School of Leadership:



Sector Insight Energy research is going forward at the University of Venda. while 46 schools are offering Computer Applications Technology. During 2020, a further 75 secondary and 32 primary schools are to be provided with ICT equipment. The S chool Nutr ition Programme in Limpopo feeds pupils in 3 795 public schools and the Scholar Transport Programme is active in 380 schools. The No-Fee School Policy applies to more than

UIGC graduation. Image: UIGC 1.6-million pupils and more than 231 000 children have been enrolled at Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres. There are seven Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET ) colleges in Limpopo: Capricorn College, Lephalale College, Mopani East College, Mopani South College, Sekhukhune College, Vhembe College and Waterberg College. ■


University of Limpopo Finding solutions for Africa.


he University of Limpopo celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2019. With a strong history in the struggle against apartheid, the university counts among its alumni the current Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni and President Cyril Ramaphosa. Located in the rural township of Mankweng in the Capricorn District of the Limpopo Province with an enrolment of 22 000 students, the university plays a vital role in the region. New hostels are being built to accommodate increasing demand and the university is expanding its curriculum and the scope of its research.

History The University College of the North was established in 1959 in terms of legislation which aimed to create ethnicallybased institutions. However, the University of the North became a centre of resistance to apartheid. In 1972, Onkgopotse Tiro sharply criticised Bantu education in a graduation speech. He was expelled and later killed by a parcel bomb while exiled in Botswana. The University of Limpopo is the result of a 2005 merger between the former Medical University of Southern Africa and the University of the North. In 2015 the University of Limpopo became a standalone

institution with its own Faculty of Health Sciences, offering qualifications in medicine, nursing, dietetics and nutrition, pharmacy, optometry and medical sciences. The 60th anniversary celebrations coincided with the inauguration of the university’s first female Chancellor, Dr Nkosazanza Dlamini-Zuma. A qualified medical practitioner, she was the first Minister of Health in post-apartheid South Africa and is currently Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Vision: To be a leading African university focused on the developmental needs of its communities and epitomising academic excellence and innovativeness. Mission: A university which responds actively to the development needs of its students, staff and communities through relevant and higher-quality education and training, research and community engagement, and in partnership and collaboration with its stakeholders. Values: Accountability; Transparency; Integrity; Academic Freedom; Excellence and Professionalism. Faculties Health Sciences Schools of Health Sciences and Medicine. Humanities Schools of Languages and Communication Studies; Education; Social Sciences. Science and Agriculture Schools of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Mathematical and Computer Sciences; Molecular and Life Sciences; Physical and Mineral Science. Management and Law Schools of Economics and Management; Law; Accountancy; Turfloop Graduate School of Leadership ■

Contact details Physical Address: C/O R71 Tzaneen Road and University Street, Mankweng Township, Polokwane, Limpopo Province Tel: +27 15 268 9111 Enrolment email: Website:



New research units are finding new solutions The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Limpopo (UL), Professor Mahlo Mokgalong, commits the university to more local engagement and building an international reputation. Congratulations on UL’s 60th anniversary. Where to from here? The next chapter beyond this 60-year feat will be the building and sustaining of an international reputation. We have established a portfolio of “Research, Innovation and Partnerships” to begin positioning the university as a global player in knowledge generation. We want to remain as the University of Limpopo for human and environmental wellness, finding solutions for Africa. We are proud to have several health-related programmes. We are, so far, the only university to establish a medical school post-1994. We are also participating in the Nelson Mandela-Fidel Castro programme. The 2018 cohort which we hosted secured a 100% pass.

Professor Mahlo Mokgalong

BIOGRAPHY P r o f e s s o r M o k g a l o n g ’s speciality for his PhD (Zoology) was Parasitology while his MSc focused on Limnology. While completing his PhD he worked at the British Museum of Natural History and the Commonwealth Institute of Parasitology where he discovered his love of research. He has been Research Assistant, Senior Lecturer, Deputy Dean and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture. He first enrolled at the University of the North (as UL then was) in 1972.

Is this giving life to UL’s motto “Finding solutions for Africa”? We have established a unit called the Rural Development and Innovation Hub (RDIH), which serves as the primary vehicle for innovation and the institutionalisation of our scholarship of engagement. Major projects such as the Faculty of Science and Agriculture’s “Science Centre”, the Limpopo Agro-Food Technology Station (LATS) and the Limpopo Co-Lab lead the way. Alongside these highly visible flagships are a myriad transdisciplinary projects, including Creative Waste Management, the Nguni Cattle Project,

University of Limpopo campus



INTERVIEW Epigenetics and the In-Utero Environment, Adopt a School Projects, Space Week and Hydroponics. Is the environment a concern for researchers? We have various departments that participate in environmental wellness. The Department of Biodiversity researches on several issues, including riverine health which relates to a system of inland wetlands and deep-water habitats. They are also studying the effects of pollution on the health of aquatic life or fresh-water fish. We are succeeding in our research to make sure that we use extracts from indigenous plants as pesticides. Is climate change on the UL agenda? We host a Risk and Vulnerability Science Centre for Limpopo Province. Here we gather data on climate change and feed into the national atlas. How is UL’s collaboration with private and public partners progressing in agriculture? The Nguni Cattle Project is aimed at empowering rural small-scale livestock farmers and serves as a model for poverty reduction, promotion of economic growth, engagement with and development of rural communities. During 2019/20, the university further developed and implemented a formal training programme for emerging farmers to be trained in relevant business management skills. How do you help students adjust to university? We realised that some students came to the university underprepared, requiring additional assistance. We introduced them to a foundation programme in the sciences. The programme was conceived and delivered without any grant from the government and only survived through external funding. Donors such as the European Union ensured that the programme survived and delivered, and today, in the form of an Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP), it has become a tool to identify students with potential, with everybody in the sector pushing in the direction we took almost three decades ago. How does UL contribute to community health? We are not a rural university, but a responsive university in a rural setting. Certain issues like disease and the health of the population are often

neglected because they are not understood. For the last 22 years, we have had a population health study. There has been an increase in diabetes among the rural p o p u l a t i o n . We visit these households annually and conduct surveys. What has been the impact of the DIMAMO Population Health Research Big Walk Centre? We started in 2019 with a population of 40 000 and now we are at 100 000 at Dikgale and Mamabolo villages. We have included other communities as well. Every year we collect data with the same group of people to uncover any new developments. We also try to improve the lives of the people and lobby others to provide a solution. What measures are in place on campus for students with disabilities? As a caring institution that recognises that students with disabilities should enjoy the same rights as any other student, we have put measures in place to promote the quality of these students’ education and lives. A dedicated centre called the Reakgona Disability Centre, which is armed with a host of devices that help the disabled community, has been splendidly making the university experience liveable for students with disabilities. What other assistance is there for students? UL has introduced the Baditi Student Support Programme where senior students groom new students. The Sepedi name Baditi is derived from the African initiation school tradition and refers to graduates who train their successors. The mandate is to look after and mentor new students who have just enrolled so that they don’t get lost or discouraged. In addition, a programme targeted at female academics, University of Limpopo Women’s Academic Solidarity Association (ULWASA), encourages aspiring female researchers to gain support from senior female academics.




INDEX Africa Biomass Company (ABC) ............................................................................................................................ 3, 11 De Beers Group of Companies (Venetia Mine)............................................................30, 45-47, 53, OBC Implats ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 48 Ivanhoe Mines......................................................................................................................................................................... 43 Leeta la Polokwane ......................................................................................................................................................13-17 Limpopo Office of the Premier ..................................................................................................................................... 7 Limpopo United Business Forum ............................................................................................................................. 25 MTN .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 5 Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ)............................................................................18-23 Nedbank ..............................................................................................................................................................................32-35 SA Airlink....................................................................................................................................................................................IBC Univen Innovative Growth Company (UIGC) ............................................................................................27-29 University of Limpopo ...............................................................................................................................................61-63 Vodacom............................................................................................................................................................................IFC, 59




More choices. 47556

More opportunities. More freedom.

Fly Airlink, a proudly South African airline offering endless possibilities. As the largest privately-owned regional feeder airline in southern Africa, our independence offers even more freedom, as well as the widest network and choice of flights. Airlink is now operating under its own 4Z flight code, with an ontime performance consistently at 95% and a fleet of +50 aircraft.


Fly Airlink

VENETIA UNDERGROUND PROJECT The future of South African diamond mining. The new US$2 billion Venetia underground mine ranks as the biggest single investment by De Beers Group in the South African diamond industry. Excavation work for the underground extension got under way in 2013, the year De Beers celebrated its 125th anniversary. Production is scheduled to begin in 2022, climbing to full production in 2025. Over the course of its life, the underground mine will treat about 132 million tonnes of ore containing an estimated 94 million carats. The underground project will extend the life of Venetia mine to 2046, securing the future for our host communities.