Mpumalanga Business 2020-21

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2020/21 EDITION

2018/19 EDITION 2018/19 EDITION





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CONTENTS Mpumalanga Business 2020/21 Edition

Introduction Foreword

A unique guide to business and investment in Mpumalanga.


Special features A regional overview of Mpumalanga


New technologies and new priorities are set to reshape the economy of Mpumalanga.

Investment incentives


A range of incentives are available to investors, companies, entrepreneurs and co-operatives.

Economic sectors Agriculture and agri-processing


Forestry and paper


Oil and gas


New agricultural sites are planned for defunct mines. Sonae Arauco has expanded its White River factory. Gas finds off the coast of Mozambique could be significant.

Water 23 National department steps in with tanks and trucks.



Afrimat is looking to expand into Mpumalanga.

Manufacturing 28 Mpumalanga’s natural resources support a diverse manufacturing sector.




Transport and logistics


Mpumalanga is the country’s busiest rail province.

Tourism 34 Tourism makes up 7% of provincial GDP.

Banking and financial services


Education and training


Development finance and SMME support


Banking customers are being offered more choice. Robotics and Coding are now part of teacher training. Entrepreneurship training is offered at new youth centres.

Reference Sector contents


Local government listings






ABOUT THE COVER: The Two Rivers platinum mine is on the southern part of the eastern limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, south-west of Burgersfort. Two Rivers is a joint venture between African Rainbow Minerals (54%) and Implats (46%). Image: Implats.

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Africa, which are now fitted on SABS-approved trailers. For more information on the Bandit, see page 9

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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. ■ Mpumalanga Area Manager: Christian de Wet 078 683 4209 |


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

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 Ad sales: Gavin van der Merwe Sam Oliver Jeremy Petersen Gabriel Venter Vanessa Wallace Shiko Diala Administration & accounts: Charlene Steynberg and Natalie Koopman Printing: FA Print


he 2020/21 edition of Mpumalanga Business is the 11th issue of this successful publication that since its launch in 2008 has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the province.

Updated overviews of each of the key economic sectors of the province are included, with references to the latest investments by companies across multiple sectors. These include Sappi, Sasol and Sonae Arauco, which is expanding its White River factory. Afrimat is considering investment in the mining sector, while Exxaro Resources, South32 and Pan African Resources are among the mining companies spending on extending the life of existing mines. A useful article on what incentives are available to investors from various departments and agencies is provided. Mpumalanga has several investment and business opportunities in a wide range of 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 Mpumalanga 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 our list of publications, African Business, which was launched in 2020. ■ Chris Whales Publisher, Global Africa Network Media | Email: PUBLISHED BY


Mpumalanga 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.

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:

Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations

ISSN 2222-3274

COPYRIGHT | Mpumalanga 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.

Water, Pexels, Pixabay, Transnet, Sasol, Sasol Foundation, Seda, Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Ubank, Wikipedia . DISCLAIMER | While the publisher, Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd, has used all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information contained in Mpumalanga Business is accurate and up-to-date, the publishers make no representations as to PHOTO CREDITS | Pics courtesy Andover NR, Anglo American, Columbus the accuracy, quality, timeliness, or completeness of the information. Global Africa Stainless, Eco Log Homes, Implats, KLCBT, Laeveld Agrochem, Likweti Network will not accept responsibility for any loss or damage suffered as a result of Bushveld Farm Estate, Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, Nafasi the use of or any reliance placed on such information.




A regional overview of Mpumalanga By John Young

New technologies and new priorities are set to reshape the economy of Mpumalanga.


The most popular renewable energy technologies, wind and solar, have little purchase in Mpumalanga but a game-changer could come to the provincial economy in the form of gas. This would allow the province to retain its position as an energy provider and to start moving away from coal. Vast new fields of natural gas have been found off the coast of Mozambique and the large and sophisticated infrastructure that Sasol has built up over the years make it well-placed to fire up a gas-based economy. Sasol (pictured above), an integrated oil, gas and chemicals company with more than 30 000 employees and operations in 31 countries, runs several plants at Secunda. Products manufactured at the complex include synthetic fuel, petroleum, paraffin, jet fuel, creosote, bitumen, diesel and lubricants. The primary feedstock for synthetic-fuel production is coal, and the plant is in the heart of

oal has been the engine of the Mpumalanga economy for many years. Most of South Africa’s power comes from coal, and most of those power stations are in Mpumalanga. More than 80% of South Africa’s coal is currently sourced in Mpumalanga, with the town of eMalahleni (Witbank) being the centre of the industry. Other minerals found in the province include gold, platinum-group minerals, chromite, zinc, cobalt, copper, iron and manganese. Confronting South Africa’s reliance on coal is not something that seems to be on the agenda at the moment, with a good deal of thought and effort going into find ways to get coal to Mpumalanga’s power stations from the next big coal region, the Waterberg. A new railway line is mooted. The lives of a number of Mpumalanga coal mines are being extended and Sasol launched the third of its replacement mines in 2019.



SPECIAL FEATURE courses in education, agriculture and hospitality. Several infrastructure investment projects in the tourism sector have been put forward by the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA). There is a special focus on BRICS countries and provincial authorities are investigating a tourism airlift route between Moscow and Mpumalanga. The TRILAND partnership with Eswatini and Mozambique is another avenue, as is the collaboration with KwaZulu-Natal, Eswatini, Mozambique and the Seychelles. The latter project is called east3ROUTE Tourism Initiative and proclaims “Experience, Adventure, Scenery and Trade” between the participating provinces and countries. A major concern for provincial planners is to diversify the economy and to grow the manufacturing sector. The Mpumalanga Economic Growth and Development Path (MEGDP) identifies beneficiation, agri-processing and the development of value chains as priorities. Various industrial parks are planned which will focus on agriculture and forestry, mining and metals and petrochemicals. An International Fresh Produce Market in Nelspruit and the planned Nkomazi Special Economic Zone (SEZ) are other priorities. Steel and associated manufacturing remains one of the province’s strong suits and Mpumalanga has rich and varied mineral resources and fertile soil that support diverse farming operations, agriprocessing and forestry. The province also hosts large companies in the manufacturing sector. Columbus Stainless in Middelburg is a major producer of stainless steel, while Middelburg Ferrochrome, Thos Begbie and the Nelspruit-based Manganese Metal Company are among other important heavy industrial companies. The province’s rich agricultural produce is used by companies such as McCain, Nestlé and PepsiCo and there are also pulp and paper plants (Sappi and Mondi), fertiliser facilities and textile manufacturing concerns. The decision by Sappi to start producing dissolving wood pulp at its Ngodwana Mill has significantly increased the manufacturing capacity of the province. York Timbers is a leading forestry company and the sugar mills and refinery of RCL Foods (formerly TSB Sugar) are large contributors to the provincial economy.

Mpumalanga’s coalfields. Sasol regularly spends tens of millions on upgrades and improvements at the Secunda complex. The Sasol Synfuels refinery is the only commercial coal-to-liquid fuel plant in the world and constitutes a key component in South Africa’s oil and gas sector. On a smaller scale, the provincial government is looking beyond coal towards a renewable energy future, especially where projects can be tackled by small businesses. There might be opportunities in micro-hydro or rooftop solar projects that will help to reduce dependence on the national grid while simultaneously promoting SMMEs. The other big new reality that Mpumalanga has to face is the fact that travel and tourism will not be a priority for people around the world any time soon. The effect of the Covid-19 epidemic is likely to be keenly felt by the hotels, lodges and game reserves of Mpumalanga. It is possible that visits to game reserves and nature reserves will be allowed (even encouraged perhaps) sooner than other sectors of the tourism sector because of the big distances between cars and people that can be achieved. But the turnover from restaurants will be absent for some considerable time and in a province where 7% of GDP is derived from tourism, this is bad news. In 2018, tourists spent R13.1-billion in the province. Numbers were rising for both international tourist arrivals and domestic tourists as a result of a strong marketing campaign by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA). The Kruger National Park remains the province’s most visited asset but the decision by UNESCO to afford World Heritage Site status to the Makhonjwa Mountains near Barberton will boost geological tourism to the province and supports the efforts of the province to diversify its offering. Major projects to improve tourist experiences are underway at the Graskop Gorge (where a transparent lift takes tourists into the depths of the gorge), a skywalk is to be built at God’s Window and a cable car is planned for Three Rondavels. The international body’s decision has also had the effect of expanding the curriculum at the relatively new University of Mpumalanga. On the basis of the UNESCO ruling, UMP is offering geology as part of a BSc degree, to supplement existing



SPECIAL FEATURE volumes. The Nelspruit district in the Lowveld is South Africa’s second-biggest producer of citrus fruit, while vegetables of all sorts do well in this area too. Large parts of the province are in the so-called Middleveld comprising high-plateau grasslands. Forestry operations are found in central and south-eastern Mpumalanga, but the heart of this important industry is around Sabie in the east. The Mpumalanga forestry sector is one of the most important in the country: 11% of the total land area of Mpumalanga is covered either by plantations or natural forests. Large sugar operations are found in the south-east of the province. The province has excellent roads and railway connections and is well served by airports, airstrips and heliports. The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and Hoedspruit Airport are the province’s two main airports. The Maputo Development Corridor is a transportation corridor comprising road, rail, border posts, port and terminal facilities, running from Pretoria in Gauteng through Mpumalanga to the Port of Maputo in Mozambique. This international initiative emphasises Mpumalanga’s excellent location as a logistics and transport hub.

The southern half of the eastern limb of the platinum-rich Bushveld Igneous Complex runs south towards the towns of Lydenburg and Machadodorp. Deposits of chromite, magnetite and vanadium in this area are the basis of the ferro-alloy complex in Witbank-Middelburg and Lydenburg.

Geography The Drakensberg escarpment sharply divides the western grasslands at high altitude (Highveld) and the subtropical component to the east, the Lowveld. The central region of the province is mountainous, with dramatic landscapes presenting exciting vistas for visitors. The Lebombo Mountains rise in the east. The southern and northern Highveld regions produce large quantities of field crops such as barley, soybeans, maize, grain and sorghum. Potatoes also flourish in this area. Most of the province receives summer rainfall, often via thunderstorms. Frost is common on the Highveld but is almost absent in the subtropical regions where fruit, nuts and citrus thrive. Differences in temperature and rainfall between the Highveld and Lowveld can be considerable. One of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors is macadamia nuts. These are cultivated in the Lowveld and are exported in ever-growing


Ehlanzeni District Municipality

Towns: Mbombela, Malelane, Hazyview, White River, Sabie, Lydenburg, Barberton Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) is the capital city of Mpumalanga province and the main town of the Mbombela Local Municipality within the Ehlanzeni District Municipality.The new University of Mpumalanga has its headquarters in Mbombela. The Lowveld Show and the InniBos Arts Festival are major events that showcase Mbombela’s diversity and importance as a regional hub. The fertile Crocodile River Valley ensures good fruit crops in a typically subtropical climate. Mangoes, litchis and avocados are among the crops grown most profitably and the town is at the centre of the regional citrus sector. The Lowveld Botanical Gardens contain many rare species.The urban centres are


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Mozambique Mozambique Mozambique

LISTING LISTINGlive Govan Mbeki Local Municipality the municipality.DrAbout JS Moroka Local Municipality one-million people nodes of manufacturing in Tel: +27 17 620 6000 | Fax: +27 17 634 8019 Tel: +27 13District 973 1101 | Fax: +27 13 973the 0974 municipal in the Gert Sibande and this region, which is also at the heart of MpumaGovan Mbeki Mbeki Local Local Municipality Municipality Dr JS JS Moroka Moroka Local Local Municipality Municipality Govan Dr Website: Website: Tel:National +2717 17620 6206000 6000 Park, Fax:+27 +2717 17634 6348019 8019 Tel: +27 13973 9731101 1101 || Fax: Fax:+27 +2713 13973 9730974 0974 headquarters areTel: in+27 Ermelo. langa’s tourism offering. The KrugerTel: +27 || Fax: 13 Website: Website: Lekwa Local Municipality Emakhazeni Local Municipality Website: Website: the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Tel: +27 17 712 9600 | Fax: +27 17 712 6808 Tel: +27 13 253 7600 Lekwa Local Municipality Municipality Emakhazeni Local Municipality Municipality Lekwa Local Emakhazeni God’s Window and other attractions make this a Nkangala District Municipality Website: Fax: +27 13 253Local 2440 Tel:+27 +2717 17712 7129600 9600 || Fax: Fax:+27 +2717 17712 7126808 6808 Tel: +2713 13 2537600 7600 Tel: Tel: +27 253 Website: highly desirable place to visit. Citrus, sugar and Towns: Middelburg, Delmas, Kriel, eMalahleni Website: Fax:+27 +2713 13253 253 2440Municipality Mkhondo Local Municipality eMalahleni Local Website: Fax: 2440 Website: forestry are the major agriculturalTel:products, ( Witbank), eMakhazeni Website: +27 17 826 8100 | Fax:all +27 17 826 3129 Tel: +27 13 690 6911(Belfast), | Fax: +27 13 690 6207Dullstroom, Mkhondo Local Municipality eMalahleni Local Municipality Local Municipality eMalahleni Local Municipality Website: Website: being major contributors to exportMkhondo earnings. The eMgwenya (Waterval Boven) Tel:+27 +2717 17826 8268100 8100 || Fax: Fax:+27 +2717 17826 8263129 3129 Tel:+27 +2713 13690 6906911 6911 || Fax: Fax:+27 +2713 13690 6906207 6207 Tel: Tel: Sappi paper mill at Ngodwana is oneWebsite: of the biggest the Local north-west. Rural and Website: Website: Msukaligwa Local Municipality This area straddles Steve Tshwete Municipality Website: 086 116 7852 | Fax: +27 17 801 3851 Tel: +27 13 249 7000 where the King of the of its kind while RCL Foods operates Tel: two large mills traditional in the north-west Msukaligwa Local Municipality Steve Tshwete Local Municipality Msukaligwa Local Municipality Steve Tshwete Local Municipality Website: Fax: +27 13 243 2550 in the east. The population is about 1.7-million. Ndebele is still revered, there is a concentration Tel: 086 086 116 116 7852 7852 || Fax: Fax: +27 +27 17 17 801 801 3851 3851 Tel: +2713 13 2497000 7000 Tel: Tel: +27 249 Website: Website: Fax: +2713 13243 243 2550 Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality Website: +27 2550 of coal mining Fax: and steel production in the Website: Thembisile Hani Local Municipality Website: Tel: +27 17 734 6100 | Fax: 086 630 2209 industrial centre. Proximity to Gauteng brings Gert Sibande District Municipality Pixley Ka Ka Isaka Isaka Seme Seme Local Local Municipality Municipality Pixley Website: Tel: +27 13 986 9100 | Fax: +27 13 986 0995 Thembisile Hani Hani Local Local Municipality Municipality Tel:+27 +2717 17734 734Ermelo, 6100 || Fax: Fax:086 086630 6302209 2209economic opportunity Thembisile Tel: 6100 and the area is rich in Towns: Bethal, Secunda, Standerton, Website: Website: Tel:+27 +2713 13986 9869100 9100 || Fax: Fax:+27 +2713 13986 9860995 0995 NKANGALA DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY Website: Tel: minerals. The District Municipality’s headquarters Volksrust, Mkhondo (Piet Retief ), Carolina Website: Victor Khanye Local Municipality Website: Physical address: 2A Walter Sisulu Street, Middleburg 1055 NKANGALA DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY MUNICIPALITY DISTRICT are in Middelburg. The north-east hosts a lively Power stations abound in this NKANGALA region which Postal address: PO Box 437, Middleburg 1050 Tel: +27 13 665 6000 | Fax: +27 13 665 2913 Victor Khanye Khanye Local Local Municipality Municipality Physical address: 2AWalter Walter Sisulu Street, Middleburg1055 1055 Victor Physical 2A Street, Middleburg Tel: the +27address: 13 249 2000 | Fax:Sisulu +27 13 249 2056 Email: trout-fishing sector that includes stretches across the southern half of province Postaladdress: address: POBox Box437, 437,Middleburg Middleburg1050 1050 Tel:+27 +2713 13 665 6000 || Fax: Fax: +2713 13665 6652913 2913 hatcheries Postal PO Tel: 665 6000 +27 Website: Website: Tel: +27 13 249 2000 | Fax: +27 13 249 2056 Email: and accommodation for tourists. and it is the home of the giant Sasol facilities at Tel: +27 13 249 2000 | Fax: +27 13 249 2056 Email: Approximately Website: 1.4-million peopleWebsite: in the district. ■ Secunda. The area makes up the northern tip of MUNICIPALITIES IN MPUMALANGA South Africa’s maize triangle. MUNICIPALITIES IN MPUMALANGA Limpopo Agriculture and food processing are well-developed sectors. Limpopo Limpopo North West Ehlanzeni Sheep, chicken, sunflower and North West West North sorghum are among the area’s Ehlanzeni Ehlanzeni Nkangala many agricultural products. Nkangala Nkangala Nestlé has a processing Gauteng N plant at Standerton, as does Gauteng Gauteng Astral Foods. Mondi runs a N Swaziland pulp and paper facility in the Gert Sibande Swaziland Swaziland south-east. Major highways Gert Sibande Sibande Gert connecting Gauteng with the Free State Amajuba coastal regions pass through Free State Nkomazi Nkomazi

Chief Albert Luthuli Chief Albert Luthuli

Msukaligwa Msukaligwa


Dipaleseng Dipaleseng


Lekwa Lekwa

Pixley Ka Seme

Free State


Metropolitan/District Municipality Boundary

Local Municipality Boundary

Mkhondo Mkhondo

Pixley Ka Seme Pixley Ka Seme

District Municipality Metropolitan/District Municipality Boundary Metropolitan/District Local Municipality Municipality Boundary uMlalazi Local Municipality Boundary Local Municipality Boundary District Municipality Amajuba District Municipality Amajuba Local Municipality uMlalazi Local Municipality uMlalazi



63 63




South African investment incentives The South African government, particularly the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, has a range of incentives available to investors, existing companies, entrepreneurs and co-operatives across many sectors.

Zindoga Trading and Projects. Image: Seda


ment (grants for R&D and feasibility studies, THRIP, Stp, etc) • Capital expenditure – involving the creation or expansion of the productive capacity of businesses (MCEP, EIP, CIP, FIG, etc) • Competitiveness enhancement – involving the introduction of efficiencies and whetting the competitive edge of established companies and commercial or industrial sectors (BBSDP, EMIA, CTCIP, etc) • Some of the incentives are sector-specific, for example the Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP), Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Improvement Programme (CTCIP) and the Tourism Support Programme (TSP).

outh Africa wishes to diversify its economy and incentives are an important part of the strategy to attract investors to the country. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) is the lead agency in the incentives programme, which aims to encourage local and foreign investment into targeted economic sectors, but the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is the most influential funder of projects across South Africa. There a variety of incentives available and these incentives can broadly be categorised according to the stage of project development: • Conceptualisation of the project – including feasibility studies and research and develop-



Manufacturing Key components of the incentive programme are the Manufacturing Incentive Programme (MIP) and the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP). The initial MCEP, launched in 2012, was so successful that it was oversubscribed with almost 890 businesses receiving funding. A second phase of the programme was launched in 2016. The grants are not handouts as the funding covers a maximum of 50% of the cost of the investment, with the remainder to be sourced elsewhere. The Enterprise Investment Programme (EIP) makes targeted grants to stimulate and promote investment, BEE and employment creation in the manufacturing and tourism sectors. Aimed at smaller companies, the maximum grant is R30million. Specific tax deductions are permissible for larger companies investing in the manufacturing sector under Section 12i of the Income Tax Act.

Gladtidings Interiors CC. Image: Seda ed to promote the growth of these businesses. These include: • S mall Medium Enterprise Development Programme (SMEDP) • Isivande Women’s Fund • Seda Technology Programme (Stp). • Seda is the Small Enterprise Development Agency, an agency of the Department of Small Business Development that exists to promote SMMEs.

Other incentives Other incentives available to investors and existing businesses in more than one sector include the: • Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) • Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII) • Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP), which is a cost-sharing grant offered to black-owned small enterprises • Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP) that covers between 10% and 30% of the total development costs of qualifying infrastructure • C o-operative Incentive Scheme, which is a 90:10 matching cash grant for registered primary co-operatives • Sector Specific Assistance Scheme, which is a reimbursable 80:20 cost-sharing grant that can be applied for by export councils, joint action groups and industry associations.

Trade-related incentives The Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme includes support for local businesses that wish to market their businesses internationally to potential importers and investors. The scheme offers financial assistance to South Africans travelling or exhibiting abroad as well as for inbound potential buyers of South African goods. ■

Online Resources Department of Trade, Industry and Competition: Industrial Development Corporation: Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency: Official South African government incentive schemes:

Incentives for SMMEs A lot of emphasis is placed on the potential role of small, medium and micro enterprises in job creation and a number of incentives are design-




see money differently



oderick Lubisi, Nedbank’s Provincial General Manager for Limpopo and Mpumalanga, explains how new brand values built on the bank’s expertise can benefit Nedbank clients, especially in what is now ‘the new normal’.

'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 individual and business clients in times of need during the Covid-19 national lockdown,' he says. 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. Lubisi says that for small- and mediumbusiness clients, Nedbank continues to deliver end-to-end solutions through a dedicated business manager. ‘Our business managers are supported by a team of experts across the bank to deliver seamless

Our client-centred strategy has enabled us to reach out to our individual and business clients in times of need …

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.’

‘We encourage you to see money differently with the bigger-picture approach offered by Nedbank Business Banking, and to take advantage of our one-stop banking service in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and beyond,’ Lubisi says. To take your business to the next level or for more information about Nedbank’s specialised service offering, email Loderick Lubisi at or visit


see money differently



edbank is committed to delivering easy and innovative banking solutions to government, municipalities and state-owned enterprises throughout South Africa.

Monei Seleho, Nedbank's Provincial Manager for the Public Sector in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, says that given the strategic importance of the public sector to the economy and the country at large, Nedbank has a dedicated public sector team to provide financial solutions that enable the broader mandate of service delivery. ‘We understand that the various spheres of government and their agencies face unique challenges, and are ready and able to draw on the bank’s innovative, seamless and hassle-free products to help build a greater nation.’ With an enduring belief in the value of strong partnerships in facilitating business growth, effective community development and environmental conservation, Seleho’s team boasts extensive experience in provincial and local government, stateowned entities and educational institutions. ‘Our services are tailored specifically for the needs of the public sector and include

We understand that the various spheres of government and their agencies face unique challenges …

extensive transactional banking solutions, short to long term funding, financial products and services for public servants and value-added services.’ In addition, Nedbank supports its public sector clients on their transformation journey through the implementation of various enterprise development initiatives. ‘The focus to grow small and medium enterprises is a business imperative for economic sustainability as well as for ensuring a thriving, vibrant social and economic future,’ says Seleho. To find out more about how Nedbank can partner with your organisation to grow a greater South Africa, please email Monei Seleho at or visit


see money differently

MONEY EXPERTS BRINGING 21ST-CENTURY BANKING TO LIMPOPO AND MPUMALANGA Claude Keena, Nedbank Provincial Sales Manager for Limpopo and Mpumalanga, says that a deep connection with the community is what underlies his team's personal and professional values.


ased in each community, our teams have a thorough understanding of the local economy and a genuine interest in the success of each client. We believe that our role goes beyond providing banking solutions and we play an active role in empowering the communities in which we operate.’ Keena says that, as money experts who do good, Nedbank strives to empower the workplace employees who drive the Limpopo & Mpumalanga economy by saving them time and money, as well as helping them manage their money better through the Workplace Banking solution.

'We assist clients to save time by providing onsite assistance from our dedicated teams, and we help them save money through our preferential banking packages and our award-winning Financial Fitness and Consumer Education programmes. These interventions assist clients in managing their money better by providing budgeting and money management training, equipping their staff to better deal with everyday money management challenges' And the innovative banking journey continues, ensuring greater value for clients.

We assist clients to save time by providing onsite assistance from our dedicated teams …

Our market-leading Money app allows clients to manage accounts and investments, make payments and set savings goals and budgets from their smartphone. Keena adds that working with communities is entrenched in the bank’s values through community development, skills development, education and job creation, as well as environmental conservation. ‘These play a vital role in building a sustainable economy and vibrant society. We believe our fastgrowing presence in communities goes a long way in enabling greater financial inclusion while contributing towards economic growth,' he says. If you are interested in taking your business to the next level through our workplace banking solution and would like more information about Nedbank’s specialised service offering, please contact Claude Keena at or visit


see money differently

NEDBANK: PARTNERING FOR GROWTH AND SUSTAINABLE AGRIBUSINESSES According to the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz), South Africa’s agricultural sector is not expected to be hit as hard by the Covid-19 pandemic as the global agricultural sector.

While this is good news for an economy entering what’s expected to be the deepest recession on record, the agriculture value chain faces a daunting task: to increase food production by 70% to meet the demands of a global population that is expected to reach nine billion by 2050. As with many economic sectors, it is becoming clear that technology and innovation are the drivers in the establishment of more efficient, productive and sustainable agriculture. Ivor Meeding, Nedbank Regional Manager Agriculture for Mpumalanga, says that Nedbank has created innovative funding solutions designed to support farmers with sustainable farming interventions where the commodity produced or infrastructure itself is used as security. ‘For example, with drought a perpetual threat that South

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

Africa faces, our funding solutions range from water-efficiency innovations and cutting-edge irrigation to shade-netting, which improves the yield of underperforming crops, protects them from natural hazards and reduces water use.’ Nedbank's purpose is to help clients 'see money differently' and we do this by applying our bigger-picture business banking approach to understand each client’s business and the specific challenges and opportunities they face. This enables us to provide the banking solutions they need, ranging from the innovations mentioned above to short- and long-term financial support,’ he says. If you would like to see how our specialist teams can assist you, or want more information, please send email Ivor Meeding at or visit Nedbank Ltd Reg No 1951/000009/06. Authorised financial services and registered credit provider (NCRCP16).



n fact, thanks to bumper grain and fruit harvests, we could see a 10% year-onyear recovery in GDP in the sector for 2020. The current maize harvest is up 38% from the 2018/19 harvest, and is the secondlargest harvest on record, which means that South Africa remain a net exporter of maize and could also export maize beyond the African continent.

Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit. Pic: Wikipedia 16

KEY SECTORS Overviews of the main economic sectors of Mpumalanga Agriculture 18 Forestry and paper 20 Oil and gas 22 Water 23 Mining 26 Manufacturing 2817

Transport and logistics 32 Tourism 34 Banking and financial services 36 Education and training 37 Development finance MPUMALANGA and SMME support BUSINESS 2020/2138


Agriculture and agri-processing New agricultural sites are planned for defunct mines.


ith several coal mines reaching the end of their lives, steps are being taken to convert the land to useful agricultural land. Safety and health concerns will have to be addressed, but there is potential to improve food security for poorer families in the province. A number of off-take agreements have been signed between commercial and emerging farmers and wholesalers and distributers in Oman. A provincial programme called Phezukomkhono Mlimi is providing mechanisation and input support to subsistence and emerging famers and households which are engaged in agriculture. Farmers receiving support from government are expected to enrol on courses offered by the AgriSETA. The Fortune 40 programme has a specific focus on developing young entrepreneurs in farming. Twelve of the Fortune 40 farms have been linked to retailers such as Spar, Shoprite and Boxer and with wholesalers and agri-hubs. The goal is to have an agri-hub in each of the province’s three districts. Small-scale farmers and co-operatives are being given a chance to connect to the formal economy via the hubs which will also provide advice and equipment. The Mkhuhlu agri-hub in Bushbuckridge, which forms part of the Provincial Government Nutrition Programme, is operational. The Mkhondo agri-hub in Gert Sibande District is completed and partially operational. The plan is for it become fully operational in the next financial year. A feasibility study is underway relating to the establishment of a hub in the Nkomazi Municipality. A budget of R15million has been agreed for the first phase and the creation of a packhouse. An International Fresh Produce Market is planned as a means of stimulating agricultural production, but the project has stalled. Other interventions include the re-commissioning of the Bushbuckridge poultry abattoir and support for soya and maize farmers to supply the Lekwa Oilseed Crushing Plant in Standerton. Agriculture is responsible for about 3.4% of Mpumalanga’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Sector Insight The Sultanate of Oman will purchase Mpumalanga produce.

Crops Mpumalanga accounts for about 21% of South Africa’s citrus production and a third of its export volumes, with Valencias being the province’s most popular varietal and Nelspruit being the centre of the sector. Avocados, litchis, mangoes and bananas thrive in the province. Haz yview is an important source of bananas, with 20% of South Africa’s production originating there. D e c i d u o u s f r u i t s a re cultivated in smaller quantities. About 15 000 tons of table grapes are produced in the province annually and Mpumalanga produces its own wine. A specialist fruit that does well in the province is the marula. The marula fruit makes a popular beer and is used in the production of a liqueur that has done well on the international market. Macadamia nuts have grown in popularity exponentially. About 4 000 hectares of new trees is added each year across

Macadamia orchard. Image: Likweti Bushveld Farm Estate MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2020/21



Credit: Laeveld Agrochem South Africa, with most of that in Mpumalanga and neighbouring Limpopo. The vast majority of the nuts are exported, with about 40% going to China. There are about 450 farmers growing the nuts and there are 14 cracking factories in South Africa. The sector employs about 4 500 people, of which 1 500 are permanent employees. Barberton and Hazyview are two prime areas for the nut. Mpumalanga produces one-million tons of maize from 291 788ha. About 53 000 tons of wheat and 33 000 tons of sorghum are produced annually. Soya bean is another major crop: more than half of South Africa’s soya bean crop is produced in Mpumalanga’s Highveld areas. Cotton is grown mostly under dryland conditions in Marble Hall. The province has 1 500ha of dryland under cotton. Much of South Africa’s total annual production of about 34-million kilograms of tobacco, especially Virginia tobacco, takes place in the north-western parts of Mpumalanga, and in neighbouring

Limpopo. Other crops produced for export in Mpumalanga include cut flowers, pot plants and nursery plants. Mpumalanga has the second-biggest sugar industry in South Africa, after KwaZulu-Natal. TSB Sugar runs three mills in the Lowveld region, two of which have refining capacity, and employs about 4 700 people. More than 1 400 farmers (commercial and small-scale) deliver sugar cane to the company. TSB brands are Selati (sugar) and Molatek (animal feed).


Astral Foods runs a poultry processing plant in Standerton which has 2 425 employees. Fresh fruit and nut supplier Halls cultivates 375ha of its own land and has another 1 400ha under management. Its crops include avocados and litchis. Westfalia is a diversified agricultural group which runs extensive operations in the province. Umbhaba Estates is one of the biggest banana growers in the province. The drier Highveld region with its cold winters supports crops such as cereals, legumes and nuts. There is extensive irrigation in the Loskop Dam area. Ermelo is one of South Africa’s main centres of sheep farming and wool production. Subtropical fruit flourishes in the Lowveld with the town of Nelspruit being a major citrus producer. Mixed farming and potatoes, sweet potatoes and beans are mostly found in the southern and western parts of the province. ■

Online Resources Citrus Growers Association: Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum: Macadamias South Africa: South African Cane Growers’ Association: South African Subtropical Growers’ Association:




Forestry and paper Sonae Arauco has expanded its White River factory.

Timber frame house. Image: Eco Log Homes


he White River plant of Sonae Arauco now offers more decorative solutions because of the installation in 2019 of a Dieffenbacher melamine press. The company’s aim is to make the site a uniquely integrated facility. Among the new offerings as a result of the R200-million expansion are a woodgrain named for and inspired by the Chobe River and Grigio, a “marbled fantasy décor”. The company produces particleboard and fibreboard, melamine-faced boards and finishes. The invitation to the launch of the factory extension claimed that the factory is the “most efficient in Africa”. The company has another plant at Panbult between Ermelo and Mkhondo (Piet Retief ). Sawmilling South Africa (SSA) and the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) made an offer during the Covid-19 lockdown to share with the South African government their skills and expertise. Sawmilling South Africa is an industry association which represents the majority of sawmillers in South Africa. By building alternative housing (with wood), it was felt that this could contribute to thinning out densely populated informal settlements to slow the spread of the virus. MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2020/21


Sector Insight An Agriculture and Forestry Technology Park is planned. Mpumalanga has the ideal climate and topography for forests. Sabie and Graskop represent the hub of the industry, but commercial forests are also found to the east and south along the Swaziland border. About 11% of the land mass is forested, with 4% of that being natural forest. The province is the national leader in total hectares under forest (514 000ha) and in export earnings. Forestry accounts for about 8% of Mpumalanga’s gross

OVERVIEW domestic product. The sector comprises logging, saw-milling, wood product and pulp and paper manufacture. Pulp and paper are the main exports, along with sawn lumber, wood chips and wattle extract. Most sawn timber in South Africa is used in the construction sector. The Provincial Government of Mpumalanga plans to develop an Agriculture and Forestry Technology Park. The Mpumalanga Economic Growth and Development Path (MEGDP) intends to expand the industrial base of the provincial economy with a focus on beneficiation, agr i-processing and the development of value chains.

Companies Sustainability is the modern watchword but finding a way to use resources for people is also popular. The MTO Group, which has 39 900ha of plantation under management in the Lowveld, has teamed up with mountainbike enthusiasts of White River and Nelspruit to develop a set of trails through the hilly landscape of the area. One of the biggest operations in the forestry and paper sector in Mpumalanga is Sappi’s Ngodwana Mill. The mill produces 330 000 tons of paper pulp for its own consumption, 250 000 tons of dissolving wood pulp (DWP) and 380 000 tons of paper (newsprint and kraft linerboard used for packaging) annually. Exports account for 70% of the mill’s product. Ongoing investment at Ngodwana Mill will contribute

R13-billion to the provincial economy over 20 years. Sappi’s other large facility in the province, the Lomati Sawmill in Barberton, produces kiln-dried Southern African pine lumber from sawlogs supplied by Sappi Forests. The mill generates its own energy through co-generation (steam and electricity from renewable and other sources). Sappi has recently built a sugar-extraction demonstration plant at Ngodwana. Findings from the experiment will help to improve the process of extracting bio-renewable chemicals. Sappi is partnering with Valmet, a Finnish company. Other forestry companies are looking into energy generation, including AFCOL. Mpumalanga has 40% of South Africa’s forestry resources. This fact presents an opportunity to exploit the sector’s byproducts in the biomass-to-energy field. The Zebra Pellets plant in Sabie is to be converted by national utility Eskom into a torrified pellet plant. The wood will be provided to the plant (owned by the Industrial Development Corporation) and then heated without the use of oxygen (torrified) which creates a coal-like product without the carbon. York Timbers owns and operates five processing plants, including the including the largest sawmill and plywood plants in South Africa and it has 60 470 planted hectares. The company is considering investing in biomass energy generation. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has a stake in York Timbers and a 42.6% share in Hans Merensky Holdings, a company with timber and processing interests in three provinces. Merensky is responsible for 20% of South Africa’s sawn pine lumber. The Mondi Group has extensive forestry holdings in the province and has been working on introducing a higher degree of mechanisation in its operations. Mondi has also instituted an ecosystem management plan throughout its forestry operations with the intention of better managing the impact its work has on the environment. Although local demand is dwindling, the export market for pulp and paper is strong. Pulp production figures have been on the rise for several years and companies like Mondi are increasingly focusing on pulp export because of better margins. PG Bison has a board plant in Piet Retief. Komatiland Forests, a 100% owned subsidiary of state company SAFCOL, has big plantations in several districts. TWK is a R6-billion agricultural company with its headquarters in Mkhondo. ■

Online Resources Forestry South Africa: Institute for Timber Construction South Africa: www. Sawmilling South Africa: Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry of South Africa:




Oil and gas Gas finds off the coast of Mozambique could be significant. Sector Insight Gas-to-power forms part of a national masterplan.

Sasol at night. Image: Sasol


assive natural gas finds in Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin could have a big impact on Mpumalanga’s economy. The province is already equipped with energy and fuel infrastructure and expertise. The Liquefied Natural Gas Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (LNG IPPPP) is part of the broader programme of the National Department of Mineral Resources and Energy which encourages private investment in renewable energy, namely the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). The total allocated to gas-to-power in the national power plan is 3 726MW, of which 3 000MW is for LNG. The new gas from Mozambique could be shipped as liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Maputo and continue from there to the Sasol plant at Secunda via the existing Rompco pipeline. The promoters of the Nkomazi Special Economic Zone believe that the fact that the pipeline passes through the SEZ is a big selling point. An alternative would be for the LNG to be shipped to Richards Bay before being piped north. Many of the big mining and manufacturing concerns in Mpumalanga have long-term contracts for the supply of gas with big gas companies. Afrox and Air Liquide are two of the biggest, with the latter having 3 500 national customers, which include Sappi and Sasol. International chemicals and energy company Sasol has several large plants in Mpumalanga and plays a major role in the economy of Mpumalanga. Sasol Gas is one of the four Sasol operations at Secunda,

Online Resources Independent Power Producers Programme: Petroleum Agency SA: PetroSA:



supplying natural gas to Sasol Synfuels and buying Sasol Synfuels’ methane-rich pipeline gas to sell to customers in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. Sasol and the provincial government have commissioned a technical feasibility study for a Petrochemical Technology Park to be located in the province. Sasol will be a key player when national government finalises policy on biofuels. Sasol is already making 285 000kl of absolute alcohol in ethanol from sugar fermentation annually. About 60-million litres of liquid fuel is produced each day at the coal-to-liquid plant run at Secunda. Sasol has finished its mine replacement programme and feedstock is secure until the year 2050. Another part of the REIPPPP covers the conversion of biomass to energy. At Sappi’s Ngodwana mill, a 25MW project is underway. Transnet Pipelines runs a 3 800km network of underground, high-pressure petroleum and gas pipelines throughout the eastern parts of South Africa. The company’s sophisticated multi-product pipeline (NMPP) between the coast and Gauteng transports a range of liquid products. ■


Water National department steps in with tanks and trucks.


n response to the Covid-19 crisis, the National Department of Water Sector Insight and Sanitation (DWS) delivered 500 water tanks and 56 water trucks to Nafasi Water is a recent several Mpumalanga municipalities. This was to ensure that residents purchase for Infinity had a reliable supply of water to wash their hands and for drinking. Partners. The Operations and Maintenance Division of Nafasi Water is responsible for large water treatments plants at Middelburg and create 900 jobs in the Nkangala eMalahleni. Nafasi is a rebranding of Aveng Water which was purchased District Municipality. by Infinity Partners for R95-million in 2019. Infinity is owned by the The Imkomati-Usuthu Catchformer Aveng Water CEO Suzie Nkambule and E-Squared Investments. ment Management Agency The Middelburg Water Reclamation Plant (MWRP) produces no covers Mpumalanga, parts brine and avoids energy-intensive methods, a world first for a mine of Limpopo and part of the water treatment plant. Phase 2 of the eMalahleni project produces Kingdom of Swaziland and is drinking water after treating mine water from one of the collieries of Anglo American Thermal Coal. Rapid growth in the Ehlanzeni District Municipality has persuaded the Provincial Government of Mpumalanga to build a new dam on the Crocodile River in the City of Mbombela. Citizens of the Thembisile Hani Municipality will get more immediate relief from water shortages with the construction of a treatment plant on the Moses River. Acting on a disturbing report published by the Centre for Environmental Rights on the way some mining companies are using water, a provincial Environmental Management Committee has been appointed to conduct environmental impact analysis and assess climate change threats. NuWater was contracted to reduce waste at the Image: Nafasi Water water treatment plant for eMalahleni Municipality. An ultra-filtration technology was used to reduce waste from 20Ml/day. responsible for water usage A total of 327 water infrastructure projects benefiting 350 259 issues relating to the following households have been completed, with a further 165 sanitation river catchment areas: Sabieprojects finalised. A bulk water supply system connecting villages Sand, Crocodile, K omati, within the Bushbuckridge area has been completed. Rand Water has Nwaswitsontso and Nwanedzi. taken over the operations of the Bushbuckridge Water Board. The Komati Basin Water A joint project with Eskom related to rain-water harvesting will Authority (KOBWA) is an also create jobs. The Siyasebenza Job Creation Initiative is intended to important agency in controlling water resources in the region. Online Resources Formed out of a cooperation agreement between South Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency: African and Swaziland, the Komati Basin Water Authority: agency has built two large National Department of Water and Sanitation: dams and is responsible for their Water Research Commission: upkeep. ■




Ensuring water for all in Inkomati-Usuthu The Green Scorpions protect the environment.


he Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency is responsible for several functions related to water resources in the Mpumalanga Province. These include: • Water resource planning and operations. • Real-time river operations. • A daptive operational water resource management framework. • Water resource protection. • Water resource utilisation. DR Thomas Gyedu• Public participation. Ababio, CEO

Forestry and Fisheries, the EMI must see to it that environmental legislation is followed and enforced. The EMIs have the powers to: Investigate: question witnesses, inspect and remove articles, take photographs and audiovisual recordings, take samples and remove waste. Inspect: enter premises to ascertain whether legislation is being followed and seize evidence of criminal activity. Enforce: search premises, containers, vessels, vehicles, aircraft and pack animals; seize evidence and contraband; establish roadblocks and make arrests. Administer: issue compliance notices and admission of guilt fines. The EMIs are not empowered to prosecute cases in court. All cases continue to be handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for prosecution. The EMIs therefore work closely with prosecutors country-wide to ensure the successful prosecution of offenders.

The Green Scorpions explained The Environmental Management Inspectorate (EMI), commonly known to the public as the Green Scorpions, are government officials (from national, provincial and local government, including the parks authorities and relevant government entities) who are responsible for compliance and enforcement activities with environmental legislation. Simply put, the Green Scorpions represent the environmental compliance and enforcement capacity in respect of the National Environment Management Act (NEMA) and the Specific Environmental Management Acts. According to the Department of Environment,


The South African Police Service The South African Police Service continues to play a crucial role in enforcing environmental legislation and EMIs work closely with the SAPS in the investigation of environmental crimes. In terms of the National Environment Management Act, all police officers have the powers of an EMI.


Companies and the EMI

Issue of a Directive

The biggest exposure most companies have is from technical non-compliances with conditions imposed in an Environmental Authorisation (often called RoDs) issued in terms of NEMA or similar permit conditions, such as the conditions contained in a Waste Management Licence issued in terms of the National Environmental Management, Waste Act, 2008 and others. For this reason, it is important to carefully design an environmental management programme to ensure awareness and ongoing compliance with each of the conditions in any authorisation which the company has. A further exposure is undertaking a listed activity without an environmental authorisation. There have been a number of changes to the activities which are listed over the years and it is important for companies to keep up to date with these changes and re-examine their operations from time to time, especially when undertaking any sort of expansion of an existing activity.

The DEA also has empowered EMIs to issue directives. Unlike a compliance notice, the authorities may only issue a directive if they believe that actions by the company are causing pollution or other damage or degradation to the environment. The obligation in the statutes is to take reasonable measures to avoid such pollution or damage. ■

Issue of a Compliance Notice Where a company is failing to comply with a permit condition or with some other provisions of an environmental statute, a non-compliance notice may be issued by the DEA. When issuing a non-compliance notice, the DEA does not have to believe there is any actual harm to the environment from the transgression but simply that there is non-compliance with a technical, legally-binding requirement.

Contact details Postal address: PO Box X11214, Nelspruit 1200 Physical address: MAXSA Building, 13 Streak Street, Nelspruit. Tel: +27 13 753 9000 Email: Website:




Mining Afrimat is looking to expand into Mpumalanga. Sector Insight New investor Menar has two coal mines in the province.


Image: Anglo American Plc

frimat is listed on the JSE in the “Construction and Building Materials” section, but the company has shown an appetite for acquiring mines in order to diversify. In May 2020 Afrimat made a bid for control of Unicorn Capital Partners (previously Sentula Mining) which controls the Nkomati anthracite mine in Mpumalanga. The mine, which is in the south-eastern corner of the province, has proven resources of 8.7-million tons and upwards of 400 jobs were created over the last two years. Local communities have a 16.1% stake in the relaunched mine and the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) holds 34%. The private investment and management company Menar, which is headquartered in Luxembourg, controls and manages two assets in Mpumalanga through Canyon Coal and Sitatunga Resources. Extension projects are underway or planned at Phalanndwa colliery and De Wittekrans. Other companies engaged in expansion of life-of-mine projects are Pan African Resources and Evander (Elikhulu tailings), Exxaro Resources (Leeuwpan) and South32, which is spending about R4.3-billion at Klipspruit. Mpumalanga accounts for 83% of South Africa’s coal production and is the third-largest coal-exporting region in the world. Although



renewable energy is catching on in South Africa, there is no prospect of Mpumalanga’s coal-fired power stations being mothballed soon. Mining’s contribution to provincial GDP is 25.9% and the sector employs 53 000 people. Most of the province’s mining companies are involved in training. The Colliery Training College (CTC) in Emalahleni is owned by a consortium of companies: Exxaro, Glencore, Kanga Coal, South32 and Izimbiwa Coal. The centre offers a broad range of artisan training, including auto electrician, fitting and turning and millwrights. CTC has been recognised as a leader in artisan training by the National Skills Authority. Coal giant Exxaro, which runs five mines in the province, has committed R3.8-billion to its Belfast project, an investment that will create 1 160 jobs and have an impact on the GDP (over the life of the mine) of R39-billion. After Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga’s transfer of its 50% stake in the Arnot coal mine to mineworkers at no cost, the workers received a further 5% “free-carry” because of the specifications of Mining Charter III.

OVERVIEW The mine thus becomes South Africa’s first majority workerowned mine. Wescoal is the other shareholder and operator of the mine. The opening in 2019 of Sasol’s Impumelelo Colliery south-west of Secunda was the final phase of an investment in new coal mines to replace three coal mines that had reached the end of their lives. Sasol produces 40-million tons of coal annually. Impumelelo, which will produce 8.5-million tons per year, cost R5.6-billion to build. Anglo American has sold its thermal coal operations to Seriti, which is therefore the secondlargest provider of thermal coal to Eskom, supplying almost a quarter of the utility’s annual coal requirements. State coal company AEMFC (African Exploration Mining & Finance Corporation) runs a colliery at Vlakfontein near Ogies and is planning to develop other projects. South32 has four collieries and three processing plants in the province. The company has 4 860 full-time employees and 4 400 contractors. ArmCoal is a black-owned coal company that arose out of a deal between Xstrata Coal SA and African Rainbow Minerals Limited (51%).

Rich resources Coal, platinum, gold and nickel are the province’s major mineral resources and all are still in demand. South Africa produces 75% of the world’s platinum, 80% of its manganese, 73% of its chrome and 45% of its vanadium.

Deposits of chromite, magnetite and vanadium are the basis of the ferro-alloy complex in Witbank-Middelburg (in the District Municipality of Nkangala) and Lydenburg (Mashishing). Nkomati Mine was South Africa’s only pure-nickel operation before it was decided to place it on care and maintenance in preparation of closure. The underground mine was closed in 2015 and the open-pit operation will close in 2020. Stillwater Sibanye is the new owner of the Burnstone gold mine near Balfour. Stonewall Resources runs the TGME Project, near the towns of Pilgrim’s Rest and Sabie. Stonewall has ambitious targets of going beyond production of 40 000 ounces from this and other historic mines in the area. Having taken full control of its Barberton mines, Pan African improved its BEE position (Shanduka Gold is a 23.8% shareholder) and set about increasing its annual gold output to 100 000 ounces. Platinum is an important mineral for the modern economy. Two Rivers is a joint venture between Implats (46%) and African Rainbow Minerals. Northam Platinum, which has assets on both limbs of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, has purchased the Everest mine from Aquarius Platinum. Everest is adjacent to Northam’s existing Booysendal mine. Jubilee Platinum has sold its Smelting and Refining business in Middelburg to Siyanda Resources. Sylvania Platinum now has seven PGM recovery plants that extract chrome from tailings on both sides of the Bushveld Igneous Complex. Lydenburg is home to the Lion ferrochrome smelter that is a joint venture between Glencore and Merafe Resources. Assmang, the joint venture between ARM Ferrous and the JSE-listed Assore, operates a chrome mine (Dwarsrivier) and a ferrochrome plant where chrome alloys are made. The Manganese Metal Company (MMC) in Nelspruit is the largest producer of pure electrolytic manganese in the world. MMC is owned by Samancor (51%) and Bilston Investments owns the balance. ■

Online Resources Colliery Training College: Minerals Council South Africa: National Department of Mineral Resources and Energy: South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy:




Manufacturing Mpumalanga’s natural resources support a diverse manufacturing sector.

Columbus Stainless’ factory. Image: Columbus Stainless


rom steel to chemicals, petroleum and stainless steel to paper and fruit juice, Mpumalanga makes a wide variety of products. There is a distinct geographical divide. Fuel, petroleum and chemical production occurs in the southern Highveld region clustered around Sasol’s plants. The Sasol chemicals and liquid fluids complex at Secunda is a vital component of Mpumalanga’s manufacturing sector. The company has two propylene manufacturing plants and recently completed two major investments aimed at improving flows and expanding production. Propylene is an input for polypropylene which is used in packaging, automotive components and textiles. The market is growing in South Africa at 4% per annum, roughly the same rate as the global market. The northern Highveld area, including Middleburg and eMalahleni (Witbank), is home to ferro alloy, steel and stainless-steel concerns. In the Lowveld, agricultural and forestry products are processed while Sappi’s giant mill is close to the company’s forests south-west of the provincial capital, Mbombela. Standerton has textile-manufacturing capacity in the form of Standerton Mills. It is also home to several plants that use local raw materials: Nestlé has an infant-cereal manufacturing plant, RCL runs farms in the Carolina district and Early Bird is prominent. McCain and



Sector Insight Food and forestry provide the most jobs in the manufacturing sector. PepsiCo (Simba) have plants that use the province’s plentiful potato crop. TSB Sugar runs two large mills and produces fruit juices through a subsidiary company. Nelspruit is the centre of the province’s food-processing cluster. Approximately 70% of jobs in the manufacturing sector are in food and forestry. A Social Enterprise Development Programme has been designed by the Provincial Government of Mpumalanga

OVERVIEW to assist township and rural manufacturing businesses in the steel fabrication sector. This will include manufacturers of finished products such as door frames, window frames and concrete products like paving bricks, building bricks and blocks. A key objective of the provincial government’s Mpumalanga Economic Growth and Development Path (MEGDP) is to expand the industrial base of the provincial economy. To do this, policy-makers are focusing on beneficiation, agri-processing and value chain development. A large agri-processing fruit hub is planned for the province. Located in the Nkomazi Special Economic Zone, the proposed hub, with an estimated value of R10-billion, would deal with the whole value chain from growing fruit through to processing, marketing and logistics. Having manufacturing facilities at the core of the hub will enable a variety of businesses to be established, both upstream (to supply the plant) and downstream (to deal with the products of the plant).

Steel Middelburg-based Columbus Stainless is a major supplier of stainless-steel products to the domestic and international market. About 25% of the company’s production is sold domestically. The South African steel industry has endured tough times. According to the South African Iron and Steel Institute (SAISI), the sector has shown virtually no growth since 2013.

The country produces about six-million tons annually, but costs are high and domestic demand is low. The industry has important strategic value and has about 190 000 employees. Creative thinking kicked in when Highveld Steel’s troubles reached a tipping point in 2015. Aside from the business rescue process, the 1 000ha property has been repurposed as a multi-purpose site for industry and commerce. Called the Highveld Industrial Park, the project promotes a wide range of manufacturing enterprises. Stockpiles of coal and vanadium are being sold off, but two iron plants and a steel plant offer fully-equipped metallurgical and steelmaking facilities, supported by environmental monitoring services and metallurgical and chemical laboratories. The structural mill of Evraz Highveld Steel in Witbank was officially relaunched in June 2017 after ArcelorMittal South Africa signed a contract to supply blooms and slabs for the mill to make into heavy structural steel. The two-year contract had an option to renew but ArcelorMittal took the alternative option in July 2019 when it announced its intention to buy the mill. Samancor Chrome (which runs Ferrometals) is the second-largest ferrochrome producer in the world with three plants, two of which are in Mpumalanga: eMalahleni (Witbank) and Middelburg.

Metals and machinery The presence of Ferrometals (a Samancor company) in eMalahleni means that Mpumalanga is an important place for metals and machinery manufacturing. It produces charge chrome and is one of the largest ferrochome plants in the world. Joint ventures such as Crometals, Poschrome and Elkem Ferroveld operate from the site. In the course of an upgrade, FLSmidth has also doubled the size of its Delmas Supercentre to 10 500m². The company makes equipment for materials handling and mineral processing. The centre also hosts a training facility and handles repairs for customers. In Middelburg, Thos Begbie makes a variety of products at its heavy engineering works. Graphite Freezeline Solutions opened a new graphite facility within the Begbie property in 2018. Thos Begbie has announced an expansion into Zambia, where it will service and repair furnace components. The Manganese Metal Company in Nelspruit is the largest producer of pure electrolytic manganese metal in the world. Delta EMD, in the same town, is one of the biggest producers of electrolytic manganese dioxide, a material used in the manufacture of alkaline batteries. ■

Online Resources Highveld Industrial Park: Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency: South African Iron and Steel Institute:




Columbus Stainless The future of manufacturing.


olumbus Stainless, a member of the Spanish based Acerinox SA Group of Companies, is South Africa’s and Africa’s only producer of stainless-steel flat products. Founded in 1966, Columbus Stainless is the only fully integrated, technologically advanced, single site stainless-steel producer in Africa. The plant based in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, produces a wide range of Austenitic, Ferritic, Utility and Duplex grades of stainless steel suitable for most applications and has melting capacity of 1 000 000 tons per annum to supply stainless-steel flat products (coils, plates and sheets) to various final customers, distributors, engineering shops and mines globally (in Africa, Europe, the United States, Asia, etc). The company supports the livelihoods of 1 300 employees and 600 contractors. Through its BBBEE programme, Columbus Stainless actively promotes doing business with small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) owned or controlled by black entrepreneurs who are able to supply quality products and services in a timely and competitive manner. These businesses have created more than 100 sustainable jobs in the last five years. Columbus produces many grades of stainless steel, which include the three main families of stainless-steel grades:

• Austenitic Grades: Popular grades include 304 and 316 which are used in applications demanding high hygienic and cleanability properties such as equipment used in dairy processing and meat-handling, water storage tanks; catering and hospitality (cooking utensils, food processing equipment, cold storage) and healthcare industries. • Duplex Grades: These include 2304 and 2205 which are used in the chemical, petrochemical and mining industries due to their excellent corrosion resistance properties in very harsh conditions for various types of processing equipment and holding tanks. • Ferritic Grades: Popular grades include 430 and 441 which are used in general kitchenware and catering applications as well as automotive applications, ranging from exhaust systems to highly visible trim. The ferritic grades also include the very versatile and popular 3CR12®. 3CR12® is a low-cost utility ferritic stainless steel developed by Columbus Stainless and used widely throughout the South African mining industry as a cost-effective solution to mild corrosion environments in a wide range of structural applications. It offers excellent properties in sliding wet-abrasion conditions due to its superior corrosion resistance and slideability characteristics when compared to carbon steels. Applications are widespread and include materials handling environments in mines and coal wash plants. It is used for applications such as ore cars and wagons, chutes and launders as well as shaft

Columbus Stainless’ factory.



steel work, chimney stacks, ducting, roofing and cladding (most commonly poultry and piggery buildings), walkways including grating, hand rails, stairs, electrical boxes and security fencing. It is also widely used in sewage processing plants and municipal water storage tanks. Mpumalanga boasts a wide variety of large industries, including power generation, mining, farming and manufacturing. To support these diverse industries throughout South Africa, the steel industry lies at the helm. Stainless steel has proven itself as a multi-functional and adaptable metal of choice and has proven successful and offers great value to the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing industry as a whole is under great strain, especially in this tough economic climate. With this in mind, one has to consider the financial attributes of any project, structure or equipment. Life-cycle costing is therefore an invaluable tool that takes into consideration the initial material cost, fabrication costs, maintenance and refurbishment costs, lost production costs due to downtime and possible replacement cost over a defined product’s lifespan. Stainless steels generally have higher input cost compared to some competing materials, yet they are proving to be the most cost-effective long-term choice. The case study related to coal rail wagons in the South African market clearly illustrates these principles.

but these only lasted 8-12 years, with refurbishment required after five years. Over the years, inspections of these coal wagons have been conducted after 27 years of service. Such a study was done in 2012. The wall thickness of these coal wagons was measured using accurate ultrasonic measurement equipment. The mild-steel wagons recorded corrosion-abrasion wear loss of 160 micrometres per annum (160μ/yr). This is attributed to the surface rust or iron oxide being removed, exposing fresh steel. The fresh steel in an oxidising environment reverts back to its natural iron-oxide state, forming a continuous corrosion cycle. Compared to mild steel, stainless steel forms a very thin, tenacious oxide layer which gives it its characteristic corrosion resistance. The metal loss of 10μ/yr was recorded for 3CR12 wagons in this application. From these measurements, 3CR12 coal wagons in this environment have a predicted total life of 65 years. Mild-steel wagons would have to be replaced eight times in this time period, increasing costs and potential lost production time. As the country grapples for sustainable infrastructure development for the future in energy, water and sanitation, transport, digital infrastructure, human settlements, agriculture and agroprocessing, stainless steel is the material of choice due to its durability, low maintenance and sustainability. Columbus Stainless is proud to have contributed to the development of this material over five decades and will continue to do so as Africa and the world continues to grow. Indeed, the future of manufacturing is Stainless. ■

Case study: coal wagons In 1985, trial coal wagons were manufactured out of 3CR12 material in the hot rolled and annealed (HRA) surface finish. These wagons are used to transport coal between Ermelo and Richards Bay. They have a payload of 80 tons and make the journey roughly five times a week. Before 3CR12, the wagons were made from Cor-Ten,




Transport and logistics Mpumalanga is the country’s busiest rail province.


here is more freight rail traffic in Mpumalanga than in any other province. This is principally because of the transport of coal, but there are also large volumes of chrome, ferrochrome, forestry products, chemicals, liquid fuels and general freight. The Balfour North to Volksrust section of the Gauteng to Durban mainline carries the largest volumes, most of which is long-haul freight passing through the province. The busiest internal provincial Transnet Freight Rail section is the Maputo Corridor which runs west to east from Pretoria to Maputo. Despite these high rail volumes, a huge amount of mineral product (mainly coal) is transported by truck around and out of the province. This puts immense pressure on Mpumalanga’s roads network, particularly in the Gert Sibande District and the Nkangala District. Road improvement plans aim to simultaneously fix rural roads and make better connections between rural and urban areas. The statistics relating to coal haulage in Mpumalanga are stupendous. In one 12-hour period, 34 198 tons of general freight were recorded for the section of the N4 highway between Nelspruit and Komatipoort. On the R50, Leandra to Standerton, the volume was 25 615 tons (Mpumalanga Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport). Mactransco’s website states that its trucks serving Tshikondeni Coal Mine travel 3.7-million kilometres per year, working MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2020/21


Sector Insight Coal haulage companies truck vast quantities every day. all day for six days a week. The fleet of ABF Legend Logistics, a Super Group company, contains more than 200 superlink coal haulage trucks while another company in the group, SG Coal, claims to have one of the biggest fleets of coal haulage trucks in Africa. Coal Tipper Resources operates out of Bethal. The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has presented its long-term vision, Horizon 2030, as part of its contribution to the National

OVERVIEW D evelopment Plan 2030. Road improvements which have boosted the transport infrastructure of Mpumalanga include the upgrades to the R570 (linking Malelane on the N4 to Swaziland), the N11 (Hendrina-Middelburg) and part of the vital R573 Moloto Road, which carries huge volumes of traffic to Gauteng and Limpopo. Sanral’s three-year plan for the R573 allocates R1-billion to the project. A clause in Sanral’s contract ensures that small companies are involved. Raubex Construction has formed a joint venture with Biz Afrika, Khuluphala Tradings and Themolo Business Enterprise. The R573 forms part of the Moloto Corridor, which connects the province with Gauteng Province. The longterm aim is to create a coordinated road and rail corridor including rapid rail facilities. With about 50 000 motor vehicles using the route every day, it is one of the busiest parts of South Africa’s road network. The plan to upgrade the corridor is one of 18 national Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPs). The first phase of the Moloto Corridor Development Programme, which involves the upgrading of road infrastructure is nearly complete. Accidents have been reduced as a result of the R3.7-billion first phase. A new flight has been added to SA Airlink’s connections between Limpopo and Cape Town. In addition to the regular early-morning flights out of Nelspruit Kruger

Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) with a late-afternoon return flight, an early morning Saturday flight has been added. This leaves Nelspruit KMIA at 7h40 and arrives in Cape Town at 10h05 and is targeted at the leisure traveller. Nelspruit KMIA is the province’s main airport, serving both the capital and being a convenient entry point to the southern part of Kruger National Park. Airlink has direct flights to and from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Livingstone in Zimbabwe. Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport is a popular destination for travellers on their way to private game lodges and is also near the Orpen Gate of Kruger Park. Middelburg Airfield is one of the larger alternate airports in the province, boasting a 1.9km runway that can accommodate a 737. The annual Middelburg Air Show is held in June. Many game lodges have airstrips and helipads. SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service operates out of the old Nelspruit airport just south of the city. The Maputo Development Corridor is Africa’s most advanced spatial development initiative (SDI) comprising road and rail infrastructure, border posts, and port and terminal facilities. Run by the Maputo Development Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI), the corridor runs from just outside Pretoria in Gauteng, through Witbank, Middelburg and Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, and on to Maputo in Mozambique.

Rail An infrastructural development that should boost trade is Transnet’s planned Swaziland Rail Link (SwaziLink) project. A 146km railway line between Lothair in Mpumalanga and Sidvokodvo in Swaziland will allow for better movement of freight between the countries and provide an alternative route for freight to Richards Bay. Transnet Freight Rail is the main operator and the chief freight movements are coal, fuel, chemicals, timber, iron and chrome ore, fruit, maize, animal feed, wholesale and retail goods, steel, building supplies, fertiliser and consumer goods. The port of Maputo in Mozambique is an attractive option for freight. The coal terminal at Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal receives the majority of the coal that is mined in the province. Private rail operators Sheltam service the coal mining and ferrochrome-metal industries from regional headquarters in Witbank. The company runs systems, hauls raw materials and rebuilds and refurbishes locomotives. ■

Online Resources Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport: Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative: Middelburg Airfield: Railroad Association of South Africa: South African National Roads Agency Ltd:




Tourism Tourism makes up 7% of provincial GDP. Sector Insight Andover Nature Reserve is at the centre of a Game Triangle.

Kruger National Park. Image: Wikipedia


he importance of tourism to the economy of Mpumalanga cannot be overstated. It makes up approximately 7% of provincial gross domestic product (GDP) and is a major source of employment. The effect of the Covid-19 epidemic will be strongly felt. The total number of international tourists increased by about 100 000 between 2017 and 2018 (to 1.6-million). The key source countries were Mozambique, eSwatini, the USA, Germany and the United Kingdom. Domestic tourism did even better in 2018, rising to 2.9-million, compared to 2.2-million in 2017. The Kruger National Park is Mpumalanga’s most famous tourism asset and it falls under South African National Parks (SANParks). Other notable landmarks include God’s Window and the Blyde River Canyon but there are several noteworthy sites run by the provincial government. Among these provincial assets is Andover Nature Reserve, which is tucked into a game triangle with Timbavati and Thornybush reserves nearby to the north, Sabi Sands to the south and the Orpen Gate to the east leading to the mid-section of the Kruger Park. The Manyeleti Game Reserve, another provincial park, is 15km away within the Kruger Park. Andover Nature Reserve is a bushveld conservancy. It has all the MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2020/21


plains game but no elephants or big cats. Self-catering lodges and caravan sites are available. The province’s newest asset is in fact ancient. A three-billionyear-old micro-fossil found in the Makhonjwa Mountains near Barberton and the border with Swaziland is thought to be the oldest sign of life on the planet. The Makhonjwa Mountains, themselves somewhere between 3.2-billion and 3.6-billion years old, have been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational‚ Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The tourist area in the vicinity of Barberton is now the Genesis Route. This brings to 10 the number of World Heritage Sites in South Africa and opens up the possibility of a new type of niche tourism for Mpumalanga. Funds for conservation of the area will be made available from the World Heritage Fund. Although the province already caters for motor-rally enthusiasts, cyclists, runners, walkers, fishers, horse-riders, treegliders, abseilers, white-water rafters and rock climbers, there is still potential for more investment in the ecotourism and adventure tourism subsectors.

OVERVIEW Thebe Tourism has three projects in the province, the Kruger Shalati (a luxury train on the Selati Bridge), the Blyde Canyon Community Project and a proposed development for Lisbon Estate which is adjacent to Kruger Park. The Lisbon development will comprise two hotels, retail, hospitality and dining facilities and staff housing. At Blyde Canyon, Thebe has signed an agreement with local communities with land claims in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve which will involve them as shareholders in the new developments. God’s Window is to receive a Skywalk, the facilities at Bourke’s Luck Potholes will be rejuvenated, a cable car project is planned for Three Rondavels and another hotel is planned to boost accommodation options in the area. The Provincial Government of Mpumalanga is looking for more private partners to invest in a range of ambitious projects to boost an already active sector that has several superb tourism assets, ranging from

about 70 parks and reserves to bird-watching, music festivals, motor-car rallies and casinos. The provincial investment agency, MEGA, has packaged many tourism investment opportunities. The underlying principle is a form of public-private partnership where the agency would assist in getting land-use and other legal requirements, and perhaps in seeing that basic infrastructure was laid on, then the developer would build and manage a tourism facility. Protea Hotels by Marriott has three properties in Mpumalanga, including Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, Nelspruit and Hazyview. At White River, Premier Hotel The Winkler is 20 minutes’ drive from the Numbi Gate of the Kruger National Park. Tsogo Sun has six hotels in the province, ranging from two StayEasys to Southern Sun The Ridge, which is attached to the Ridge Casino in Witbank (eMalahleni). Tsogo runs a further two resorts in Hazyview (Sabi River Sun Resort) and White River (Pine Lake Resort). Forever Resorts has a big presence in the province, catering to many caravans and campers and holiday-makers wanting to stay in chalets. There is also a four-star Forever Resorts Mount Sheba. The Graceland Hotel Casino and Country Club is a Peermont resort in Secunda.

Training A graduation ceremony in early 2020 saw 289 young people complete a year-long hospitality learnership with an NQF Level 3 CATHSSETAaccredited National Certificate in Fast Food Services. These were members of Mpumalanga Hospitality Youth Training Programme (HYTP), a programme that opens up career opportunities within the local tourism sector in fields such as catering, hotel and accommodation management, restaurateur and other food services, general tourism and guide services, adventure and leisure facilities and local cultural and heritage tours. The Hazyview Project is an offshoot of the Travel and Tourism Excellence Academy. The programme is jointly sponsored by Amadeus, a travel technology company, Economic Development Solutions and the Thebe Tourism Group. Hazyview is near the Kruger National Park and the students are expected to be employed at a new hotel at Skukuza when they graduate. The Good Work Foundation (GWF) is running the programme at its Hazyview Digital Campus, in partnership with the South Africa College of Tourism. ■

Online Resources

Kudu at Andover NR

Mpumalanga Gaming Board: Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency: South African National Parks: South African Tourism: South African Tourism Services Association:




Banking and financial services Banking customers are being offered more choice.


ll of the big retail banks (Nedbank, Absa, Standard Bank, Capitec and First National Bank) are present in the province’s major towns. Agriculture is an important focus area for banks, and most have specialised divisions such as Nedbank Agribusiness. TWK Agri offers financing and insurance together with the usual suite of agricultural services. Afgri, one of the country’s biggest agricultural companies, offers financial services (financing and insurance) under the brand Unigro. Another source of funding for farmers is the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank), a development-finance institution that falls under the Ministry of Finance. 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 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 lowerincome 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 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 set up 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 lowand 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.

Online Resources Financial Sector Conduct Authority: Public Investment Corporation: South African Reserve Bank:



Sector Insight African Bank is competing for new customers. eMbalenhle has a new Ubank branch. Situated at the Mall@Emba, the branch will serve customers from Secunda and other areas such as those that used to bank at a branch at the Kinross mine, which has been closed.

Ubank, eMbalenhle In line with modern trends towards digital banking, the new Ubank branch has internal and external facing digital walls. The screens promote new products and campaigns, give customers information and provide financial education. A feature that is designed to support local artists is the Feature Wall. Banks are working hard to offer products to the previously unbank ed. Nedbank has partnerships with shops such as Boxer Stores and Pick n Pay where customers can have access to financial services in previously unserviced areas. ■


Education and training Robotics and Coding are now part of teacher training. Sector Insight

Image: Sasol Foundation

R40-million has been allocated to the Youth Development Fund.


group of Mpumalanga teachers has had the opportunity to train as master teachers for Robotics and Coding, courtesy of Sasol. The Sasol Foundation has also donated multimedia resources for teachers and pupils in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). An amount of R40-million was allocated by the Mpumalanga Provincial Government for the 2020/21 financial year in support of the Youth Development Fund, which was seeded the previous year with funding of R10-million. The Mpumalanga Regional Training Trust (MRTT) is a Section 21 company with several sites in the province, including a Hospitality and Tourism Academy at Karino outside Nelspruit. The trust’s constructiontraining facility is accredited as a Construction Centre of Excellence. The Southern African Wildlife College is located near the Orpen Gate on the edge of the Kruger National Park. A public-private partnership, MRTT intends increasing graduate numbers and is aiming for 50 000 young people to be trained in courses such as plumbing, painting, electrical, bricklaying and plastering in the three years to 2023. A provincial bursary scheme has assisted more than 3 334 students who are studying in fields such as medicine, veterinary science, information technology, aviation, education and engineering. The artisan development programme in partnership with Hydra Arc is progressing well, with Sasol having committed to taking on all qualified

Online Resources Mpumalanga Department of Education: Sasol bursaries: Southern African Wildlife College: University of Mpumalanga:


apprentices from the academy in Secunda. The University of Mpumalanga enrolled 3 220 students in 2019, a marked increase on quiet beginnings in 2014 when the university started life with 167 students. The university has added bachelor’s degrees in arts and commerce to its initial offering of academic courses in education and agriculture and a diploma in hospitality. Geology will soon be offered as part of a BSc. The main campus is at Mbombela with satellites at Siyabuswa (a former education college) and KaNyamazane, which hosts hospitality studies. Mpumalanga has three Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges, with an enrolment of over 36 000. UNISA, the Tshwane University of Technology and the Vaal University of Technology also have satellite campuses in the province. A sixth rural boarding school, Thaba Chweu Boarding School in the Ehlanzeni District, has opened and a further six are due for construction. These schools make access to education easier for rural children who would otherwise have to travel long distances. ■ MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2020/21


Development finance and SMME support Entrepreneurship training is offered at new youth centres.


ntrepreneurship Development is one of the subjects on offer at 90 Youth Development Centres which are being established throughout Mpumalanga. Other courses include accredited training in computer skills and life skills, with workshops on job preparedness and career guidance. The centres are part of Mpumalanga’s response to the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention Programme. The Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) is the implementing agent of the provincial government’s SMME support policy. An agreement has been Image: Seda signed by Standard Bank and MEGA to launch an SME Fund with a capitalisation of R500million. MEGA has also overseen the rehabilitation of industrial premises in former homelands and formed partnerships with financial institutions for funding. Examples of township businesses supported by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDET) are an agreement with Sumitomo Rubber SA to promote local tyre enterprises and financial support for the commissioning of a sanitary towel plant by the Ntirhisano Sanitary Worker Co-operative in Bushbuckridge (and support for business development and access to market). Research done by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) shows that a high percentage of SMMEs in Mpumalanga are in the trade and accommodation sector. Whereas the national figure is about 43%, in Mpumalanga it is closer to 50%. Seda supports several incubators in the province: Furntech, furniture manufacturing, White River; Mobile Agri-Skills Development & Training (MASDT ), agricultural training, Nelspruit; Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative (MSI), stainless steel processing, Middelburg (with Columbus Stainless); Timbali, floriculture,

Online Resources Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency: Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative: National Department of Small Business Development: Small Enterprise Development Agency:



Sector Insight Trade and accommodation are leaders in SMME employment. Nelspruit; Ehlanzeni TVET College Rapid Incubator Renewable Technologies, Nelspruit. Seda is a subsidiary of the National Department of Small Business Development (DSBD). Seda is not a financial agency, focussing rather on training and administrative support, although the agency will help SMMEs get in touch with financial bodies. Assistance by Seda with a business plan was the spur that helped Renabo Plastics Moulders and Furniture (pictured) get access to financing which led to growth in turnover and the addition of three new staff members. Sappi’s long-term Ngodwana mill project will spend more than R600-million on procuring goods and supplies from broad-basedblack-economic-empowered companies, of which R51-million will go to SMMEs. Other companies supporting SMMEs through their buying chain include Woolworths and Anglo American. Woolworths funds TechnoServe to ensure that small tomato growers can grow produce that will meet the demanding standards of the retailer, and to help them expand production. Anglo American’s Zimele runs four enterprise development and investment funds. Zimele runs hubs related to the supply chains of platinum, thermal coal and, with Mondi, forestry. ■


Mpumalanga Local Government A guide to district and local municipalities in Mpumalanga. EHLANZENI DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY Physical address: 8 Van Niekerk Street, Nelspruit 1201 Postal address: PO Box 3333, Nelspruit 1200 Tel: +27 13 004 0291 | Fax: +27 13 759 8539 Website:

Mkhondo Local Municipality Tel: +27 87 630 0180 | Fax: +27 17 826 3129 Website: Msukaligwa Local Municipality Tel: +27 17 801 3500 | Fax: +27 17 801 3851 Website:

Bushbuckridge Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 004 0291 | Fax: +27 13 799 1865 Website:

Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality Tel: +27 17 734 6100 | Fax: 086 630 2209

City of Mbombela Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 759 9111 | Fax: +27 13 759 2070 Website:

NKANGALA DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY Physical address: 2A Walter Sisulu Street, Middelburg 1055 Postal address: PO Box 437, Middelburg 1050 Tel: +27 13 249 2000 | Fax: +27 13 249 2056 Website:

Nkomazi Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 790 0245 | Fax: +27 13 790 0886 Website:

Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 973 1101 | Fax: +27 13 973 0974 Website:

Thaba Chweu Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 235 7300 | Fax: +27 13 235 1108 Website:

Emakhazeni Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 253 7600 | Fax: +27 13 253 2440 Website:

GERT SIBANDE DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY Physical address: Cnr Joubert and Oosthuise streets, Ermelo 2350 Postal address: PO Box 1748, Ermelo 2350 Tel: +27 17 801 7000 | Fax: +27 17 811 1207 Website:

eMalahleni Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 690 6911 | Fax: +27 13 690 6207 Website: Steve Tshwete Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 249 7000 | Fax: +27 13 243 2550 Website:

Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality Tel: +27 17 843 4000 | Fax: +27 17 843 4001 Website:

Thembisile Hani Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 986 9100 | Fax: +27 13 986 0995 Website:

Dipaleseng Local Municipality Tel: +27 17 773 0055 | Fax: +27 17 773 0169 Website:

Victor Khanye Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 665 6000 | Fax: +27 13 665 2913 Website:

Govan Mbeki Local Municipality Tel: +27 17 620 6000 | Fax: +27 17 634 8019 Website: Lekwa Local Municipality Tel: +27 17 712 9600 | Fax: +27 17 712 6808 Website:




INDEX Africa Biomass Company (ABC) ...................................................................................................................... 3, 9 Columbus Stainless ..............................................................................................................................................5, 30 Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency ….....................................................................24 Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism (KLCBT) …..................................................IBC MTN....................................................................................................................................................................................IFC Nedbank .................................................................................................................................................................. 12-15 SA Airlink...................................................................................................................................................................... OBC




ger Lowveld Chamber Kruger Lowveld Chamber Chamber Kruger Lowveld usiness and Tourism of Business and Tourism of Business and Tourism


of business in Ehlanzeni. The voice of business in Ehlanzeni.

The voice of business in Ehlanzeni.


s the official representative body of business and tourism the official representative body of business and tourism in in (Ehlanzeni our and maintourism mandates s the Kruger official Lowveld representative bodyDistrict), of business in he Kruger Lowveld (Ehlanzeni District), mandates are to promote the regionour as amain tourism and investment the Kruger Lowveld (Ehlanzeni District), our main mandates e to promote the region aregion tourism and investment destination, tothe provide aasdiverse suite ofinvestment networkingdesand are to promoteas a tourism and opportunities for our members, and to representand and marspeak tination, provide asuite diverse of networking and estination,marketing to provide atodiverse ofsuite networking keting opportunities for our and to represent and speak on behalf of the business andmembers, tourism community of our area. We do pportunities for our members, and tomeaningful represent and on of the business and tourism community of ourspeak area. We thisbehalf by building and maintaining relationships withdoall this by building and maintaining with f the business and tourism community of ourrelationships area. We do spheres of government as well as meaningful like-minded organisations, andallby spheres of government as well as like-minded organisations, and acting as liaison between these entities and the business community. ding and maintaining meaningful relationships with all by acting liaison between thesePilane entities and the business community. KLCBT’saspresident is Mr Oupa (pictured). government as well as like-minded and by KLCBT’s president is Mr Oupa Pilaneorganisations, (pictured). ison between these entities and the business community. ofofoperation Area operation sident is MrArea Oupa Pilane (pictured). The The Kruger Kruger Lowveld Lowveld covers coversthe theEhlanzeni EhlanzeniDistrict DistrictofofMpumalanga, Mpumalanga, including including the the following followinglocal localmunicipalities: municipalities:City CityofofMbombela, Mbombela,Thaba Thaba Chweu, Nkomazi and and Bushbuckridge, Bushbuckridge,as aswell wellasasthe thesouthern southernpart partof Chweu, Nkomazi of Kruger National Park and the surrounding private nature reserves. Kruger National Park and the surrounding private nature reserves.

on large shopping chains, engaging large chains to buy local and to spend their CSI Promote home-grown businesses budgets locally. through education processes, rebenefits Lowveld Member covers the Ehlanzeni District of Mpumalanga, search, maintaining a database, Local Economic DevelopMember benefits lobbying for stricter regulations he following local municipalities: City of Mbombela, Thaba ment: We are assisting with Listing on website, Pay-to-Play participation in various marketing on large shopping chains, engagincubation in seven main and projects,as weekly newsletter, invitationspart to allof KLCBT omazi and services Bushbuckridge, well as the southern Listing on website, Pay-to-Play participation in various marketing services ing large chains buy local and corridors, mainlytoadding addievents, advocacy and representations made by KLCBT on behalf of onal Park and the surrounding private nature reserves. Promote home-grown businesses and projects, weeklytonewsletter, invitations to all KLCBT events, advocacy and to spend their CSI budgets locally. tional tourism products. members, access preferential arrangements negotiated by KLCBT representations made by KLCBT on behalf of members, access to preferential Local Economic Development: education processes, rewith service providers, brochure display at Crossing Centre office,through arrangements negotiated by KLCBT with service providers, brochure We display at AntiWe arecorruption: assisting with incubation veral various sponsorship options, access to tender information. aresearch, maintaining aS edatabase, Crossing Centre office, various sponsorship options,campaigns: access to tender information. successful in seven main corridors, mainly initiatives reduced actively involved in the following advocacy lobbying stricter regulations addingfor additional tourism roadside corruption. We are actively involved in the following advocacy campaigns: on large products. Service delivery: shopping chains, engagServiceparticipation delivery: Public in various where government A n t i - cBulk-water o r r u p t i osupply n : S efaces veral Water: Public in participation various forums whereforums government engages ebsite, Pay-to-Play participation regarding in various marketing services ing large chains to buyreduced local and engages with stakeholders budgets, planning legislation. asuccessful initiatives future crisis and lobbying for with stakeholders regarding budgets, planning andand legislation. weekly newsletter, invitations tobusinesses all KLCBTthrough events, education advocacyprocesses, and to spend their budgets locally. roadside corruption. the increase ofCSI storage capacity Promote home-grown Water: Bulk-water supply faces a CONTACT is beginning to show success. lobbying regulationsLocal ns made byresearch, KLCBT maintaining onDETAILS behalf ofa database, members, accessfortostricter preferential Economic Development: future crisis and lobbying for the s negotiatedContact by KLCBT with service brochure at We are assisting with incubation Physical address: KLCBT providers, House, Crossing Centre,display Nelspruit details Roads and attractions: increase ofpublic storage capacity is Postal address: Private Bagaccess X 11326, Nelspruit 1200 tre office, various sponsorship options, to tender information. in seven main corridors, R e q u i r e u p g r a d e s d beginning to show success.a nmainly Physical address: KLCBT House, Crossing Centre, Nelspruit Tel: +27 13 755 1988 investment. Postal address: Private Bag X 11326, Nelspruit 1200 Roads and public attractions: adding additional tourism Fax:+27 +271313755 7531988. 2986Fax: +27 13 753 2986 Tel: Require upgrades and investment. Email: and vely involved in the following advocacy campaigns: products. Email: and Safety Safety and andsecurity: security:AAconcern concern Website: very: PublicWebsite: participation in various forums where government A n tfor i -all c regions o r r u in p tSA. i o■n : S e v e r a l for all regions in SA.



h stakeholders regarding budgets, planning and legislation.



successful initiatives reduced MPUMALANGA MPUMALANGA BUSINESS BUSINESS2019/20 2017/18 roadside corruption. Water: Bulk-water supply faces a future crisis and lobbying for the


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