Mpumalanga Business 2021-22

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2021/22 EDITION



2018/19 EDITION










Sasol has partnered with the government of Mpumalanga in a massive vaccination drive. Since the start of 2020, Sasol, together with many other companies, sectors and communities across the world, has been facing the countless challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. This global pandemic continues to have a profound impact on our businesses, lives and livelihoods. From school disruptions to devastated industries and millions of jobs losses, the social and economic costs of the pandemic are many and varied. Since the arrival of the pandemic in late 2019, society as we know it not only had to make major adjustments in the manner in which business is conducted, a complete change in the way we interacted with one another also had to take place. Stay home, work from home and don’t gather with loved ones or others, are all methods of social distancing, which has become the main tool in reducing transmission of the Covid-19 virus. As an example, workspaces had to be rearranged according to specific requirements in order to ensure minimal contact between people. As far as practicable, there must be a minimum of one and a half metres between individuals at their workstations. Digital conferencing, virtual meetings and online sessions are now the norm. At the end of March 2020, when our country went into an alert level 5 national lockdown due to the pandemic, we at Sasol quickly realised that events, conferences and meetings had to be executed very differently than before. Physical meetings shifted to digital platforms, face-to-face discussions became screen-to-screen camera discussions and conferencing moved to online and pre-recorded sessions. The remainder of 2021, and a good part of 2022, will be a critical time worldwide. It is a test of our resolve to curb the spread of Covid-19 and our commitment to addressing its long-term impact. One of the biggest challenges we face as we continue to battle with this pandemic is to acknowledge and understand that Covid-19 is not only a threat to people’s health and livelihoods today. For many years to come, even possibly decades, Covid-19 will continue to threaten society’s way of operating, especially in the world’s most vulnerable communities. At Sasol, we have proved that we do not simply fold our arms and tiptoe around the pandemic. All required preventative measures have been taken very seriously since the start of this pandemic.


Simon Baloyi (Senior Vice-President: Regional Operations and Asset Services) leads by example and takes the covid-19 vaccine

For more information visit

Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane addresses those who turned up for the vaccine

Sasol leadersip with Government officials during the Sasol Shutdown 2021 Vaccination Drive Launch

Our role in society To this end, Sasol, in a significant partnership with the government of Mpumalanga, launched a massive Covid-19 vaccination drive in July 2021 for our employees and service providers. This is a partnership that has allowed the Provincial Government of Mpumalanga, through its Health Department, to make available important resources such as professionally-trained personnel and more than enough vaccines to support this large-scale vaccination drive. This means that going into 2022, while focusing our efforts on meeting our strategic corporate objectives, we shall equally illustrate as a company with our heritage firmly established in South Africa, our commitment to curbing the spread of the coronavirus. This is due to the fact that we believe that government and corporate business jointly strengthen our role in society as well as assist us to continue playing a critical role in protecting livelihoods, fuelling the sustainability of the vast sector we serve and ultimately reviving the South African economy. It is clear that out of this pandemic a new normal has emerged, one with a strong emphasis on social responsibility. We should not underestimate the power of social responsibility in drastically reducing the spread of the virus and we need everyone on-board for it to work. Therefore, Sasol urges everyone to mask up, wash up and sign up to get vaccinated. Be part of the solution and of a global community that is actively curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Item


Sanitiser Distribution

R 11,185,908

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

R 650,000

Community Education and Awareness

R 235,021.71

Equipment (mobile units and cold storage elements)

R 4,534,111

Vaccination Drive (employees and service providers)

R 3,500,000

Quarantine facilities for employees

R 1,122,282.06

Learner Support (e-learning programmes, catch-up classes and extra tuition) Other (incl SANDF and SAPS support, community testing campaign, etc)

R 1,600,000


R23 177 764,89

R 350,442.12

*Data is an estimation of Sasol’s contribution between March 2020 - August 2021






Tel: +27 (0) 13 755 6328 Fax: 013 755 1756 E-mail: eMail:

Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency



Tel: +27 (0) 13 755 6328

MPUMALANGA OPEN FOR BUSINESS The Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA), is the official Economic Development Agency for The provincial economy is highly diverse signicant activity growth in mining, the Mpumalanga Provincial Government. MEGA striveswith to foster the sustainable and development agriculture, stainless-steel production, petrochemicals, and paper, of Mpumalanga’s economy through the operational activities ofpulp Trade and Investment Promotion, Development Funding,and Equity Investments and Property position and Infrastructure Development. manufacturing tourism. Mpumalanga's and resources make it a The Mpumalanga provincial economy is highly diverse, with significant activity in mining, agriculture, valuable transport and logistics hub. stainless-steel production, petrochemicals, pulp and paper, manufacturing and tourism. Mpumalanga’s position and resources make it a valuable transport and logistics hub. The Maputo Development Corridor In addition to good infrastructure, abundant natural resources and fertile soils, the (MDC) is South Africa’s leading Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) linking Mpumalanga Province, Gauteng province also boasts great scenic beauty, making it a desirable place in which to live Province and the Nkomazi Special Economic Zone with the deep-water Port of Maputo in Mozambique. In andtowork. Mpumalanga Economic (MEGA) facilitates addition goodThe infrastructure, abundant natural Growth resourcesAgency and fertile soils, the provinceinvestment also boasts great in the province and is always keen to talk to potential investors. scenic beauty, making it a desirable place in which to live and work. The Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) facilitates investment in the province and is always keen to talk to potential investors.

Maputo Development Corridor Special Economic Zone Investment Opportunities The recently designated Nkomazi Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is the first SEZ to be established in The town Nkomazi Special Economic Zone (SEZ)a ismultiThe Maputo Development Corridor (MDC) isina the border Mpumalanga Province. Strategically positioned of Komatipoort the SEZ offers positioned the Maputo Development Initiative Gauteng, sectorSpatial base of operations along thelinking Maputo Development Corridor on which providesDevelopment exporters with good Corridor in thethe border town of Komatipoort the Nkomazi SEZexport and the Port of South accessMpumalanga, through Maputo Port to the markets East Africa, Indian Ocean Rim and Far East (which straddles Mpumalanga Province and of Maputo in SEZ Mozambique. MDC incor­ Asia. The Nkomazi will targetThe investment from the agriculture, agro-processing, nutraceuticals, fertilizer poratesasroad, SEZ, focus borderon posts, port and tradeMozambique). production wellrail, as athe strong logistics services. and terminal facilities along one of the mostMarket (MIFPM), a modern fresh produce market and agroThe Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce TheMIFPM’ SEZ covers numerous opportunities for as well industrialised strips inbeing Southern Africa. by MEGA. The processing site, is currently establishmed s location will attract international those with export-oriented businesses as the large domestic food retailers as a key processing and distribution point for Mpumalanga, Swaziland and bonded warehouse, distribution centre, The longest of the corridor runs throughin the regional Mozambique and part secures Mpumalanga’ s position export market for fresh produce. container yard, truck stop and petrol depot. Mpumalanga Province. Infrastructure along the Mpumalanga Province is one of South Africa’s most productive and important agricultural regions and corridor has been upgraded and it provides plays a key role in the export profile of South African. The MIFPM therefore offers excellent investment Other identified opportunities in the SEZ investors and exporters with good access to opportunities for international companies in the food industry. include mining services, mineral beneficiation, the markets of East Africa, the Indian Ocean rim agro-processing (which could leverage the and East Asia. The MDC forms part of a greater MEGA services provincial citrus and sugar industries) and transport axis that seeks to link the Atlantic We welcome potential in our province of ourrelating way totomake thedistribution process of and starting a activities import, and Indian oceans investors via Southern Africa and a and go out business easy. of MEGA offersexists services in:region. local manufacture of automobiles. SEZs are a network corridors in the initiative of the South African government • Foreign trade promotion | Investment promotion | key Funding | Property management and infrastrucand the needs Department of Tradeinnovative and Industry ture development. | MEGA is focussed on customer and provides solutions (the dti) is making a package with a high level of service. We look forward to meeting you.of tax incentives available to qualifying companies located in approved SEZs.













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CONTENTS Mpumalanga Business 2021/22 Edition

Introduction Foreword 7 Mpumalanga’s unique guide to business and investment.

Special features A regional overview of Mpumalanga


What are the implications of changing from coal?


Mining and timber are attracting large investments as provincial planners aim for diversification. A future beyond coal is now being contemplated by the country’s prime producer of the mineral.

The so-called “just transition” in energy is going to require creative thinking.

Economic sectors Agriculture and agro-processing


Barberton has a new and unusual blueberry farm.

Mining 32 The revival of Matla coal mine will cost R3.3-billion.

Forestry and paper


Oil and gas


PB Bison will spend R560-million at its Mkhondo plant. Permits to explore for natural gas have been awarded. MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22


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Transport and logistics




The N4 Toll Route will receive a R1.5-billion upgrade. Tsogo Sun Hotels has taken over the Protea Hotel Hazyview.

Manufacturing 44 Furniture is in the spotlight.

Water 45 Several plants are being upgraded in the province.

Development finance and SMME support 48 Companies are supporting training and start-ups.

Banking and financial services


New banks are entering the market.

References Key sector contents




Overviews of the main economic sectors of Mpumalanga.

Mpumalanga Local Government

A guide to Mpumalanga’s district and local municipalities.


ABOUT THE COVER: Credit: Sasol. Sasol is an international integrated chemicals and energy company whose Secunda site forms a vital part of Mpumalanga’s manufacturing economy. The site is host to the following entities: Sasol Mining, Secunda Synfuels Operations, Secunda Chemicals Operations, Sasol Energy and Group Technology.




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

Credits Publishing director: Chris Whales Editor: John Young Managing director: Clive During Online editor: Christoff Scholtz Designer: Tyra Martin Production: Aneeqah Solomon Ad sales: Gavin van der Merwe Sam Oliver Jeremy Petersen Gabriel Venter Vanessa Wallace Shiko Diala Administration & accounts: Charlene Steynberg Kathy Wootton Printing: FA Print


he 2021/22 edition of Mpumalanga Business is the 12th 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. The question of a just transition away from coal as an energy source is one that is starting to be addressed, and an article references the beginning of a national debate that will have a big impact on Mpumalanga. Several big investments are being made in the mining and forestry sectors, major components of the regional economy. Exxaro is engaged in life-of-mine extensions and PG Bison is upgrading and building new capacity in Mkhondo. 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 Tel: +27 21 657 6200 | Fax: +27 21 674 6943 Email: | Website:

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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.

Raubex, Sasol, Senso/Brand SA, Tony Ferrar/UNESCO, Tsogo Sun Hotels, Vladimir Patkachakov on Unsplash. 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 the accuracy, quality, timeliness, or completeness of the information. Global Africa Network will not accept responsibility for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or any reliance placed on such information.

PHOTO CREDITS | Buckler’s African Lodge, Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash, Chris Kirchoff/Brand SA, Columbus Stainless, Exxaro, Furntech White River, Implats, Ludwig Sevenster/Sawmilling SA, Nelson Gono on Unsplash, Petroleum Agency SA, Primocane Capital, Rand Water,




MPUMALANGA PROVINCE Blueberries are a popular fruit in supermarkets and farming them provides many employment opportunities. Pan African Resources has invested in a farm near Barberton as part of its community programme. The farm is managed by Primocane Capital. Credit: Primocane Capital

Mining and timber are attracting large investments as provincial planners aim for diversification. A future beyond coal is being contemplated by the country’s prime producer of the mineral. By John Young


for warehousing and manufacturing in Emalahleni. More than 80% of South Africa’s coal is currently sourced in Mpumalanga, and it is the third-largest coal-producing region in the world. 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. However, violent uprisings in the Cabo Delgado province have caused French company Total to suspend work on its massive $20-billion LNG project and to evacuate all its staff. Eni is continuing operations and there is a hope that the huge resource will prove a boon to all African economies, including Mpumalanga’s, but it is clearly not going to be an easy road.

ational utilit y Esk om has put a date to the closure of several of M p um al an g a’s c oa l - f ired power stations. Coal will remain part of the province’s economy for some time to come, but Eskom’s announcement – and the creation of a Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission – is a significant milestone on the path to a different future. Ten coal plants are due to be closed by 2040, with four Mpumalanga plants (Hendrina, Grootvlei, Camden and Komati) first in line. Eskom is undertaking studies to assess the potential impact on local communities of these closures. Options to get these plants producing energy again include gas, biomass and hydrogen but it is possible they might be used for something quite different. Eskom wants to be a net-zero company by 2050. Lessons on repurposing could be learnt from the case of the steel-producing facility that has become an industrial park. The Highveld Industrial Park (pictured) is now a fully-serviced 650ha rental space



SPECIAL FEATURE 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 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

Sasol, 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 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 town of eMalahleni (Witbank) is the centre of the coal industry. Other minerals found in the province include gold, platinum-group minerals, chromite, zinc, cobalt, copper, iron and manganese. Spending for the future Emalahleni is getting new infrastructure in the form of a new tertiary hospital. The local municipality has made land available for the construction of the facility. Another development in the Nkangala District Municipality is the public-private partnership that is due to deliver a hotel and conference centre in the neighbouring Steve Tshwete Local Municipality, in the town of Middelburg. It may seem ironic that R350-million is to be spent on a Radisson-branded hotel in the time of Covid-19 but conferences and tourism will return. Middelburg is home to Columbus Stainless, South Africa’s only producer of stainless steel, and several big engineering works. It is about 130km from Pretoria and less than three hours’ drive from the Malelane Gate of the Kruger National Park. The effect of the Covid-19 epidemic is likely to be keenly felt by the hotels, lodges and game reserves of Mpumalanga. Visits to game reserves and nature reserves have shown signs of recovery but the turnover from restaurants will be absent for



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 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. ■

Credit: Buckler’s African Lodge Tourism Initiative and proclaims “Experience, Adventure, Scenery and Trade” between the participating provinces and countries. Elsewhere mining and timber companies are making large investments in increased production or in extending the life of mines. 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, agro-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 SEZ (Special Economic Zone) 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, agro-processing and forestry. The province also hosts large companies in the manufacturing sector such as Middelburg Ferrochrome and the Manganese Metal Company. 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), with PG Bison set to start producing more than 1000m³/d per annum at its Mkhondo particleboard plant after two investment injections of R600-million (on a press and forming line) and R560-million (this year; on a front-end dryer). York Timbers is another forestry company and the sugar mills and refinery of RCL Foods (formerly TSB Sugar) along with fertiliser facilities and textile manufacturing concerns are all contributors to the provincial economy. 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 MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22


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MTN drives digital growth and improved access R350-million invested in network for Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West.

Kagiso Moncho, General Manager, MTN Limpopo and Mpumalanga


TN is making significant headway in ensuring more people in South Africa benefit from the modern, connected world. The planned network investment in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and North West for the 2021 financial year of R350-million is aimed at modernising, upgrading, building new sites and transmission links. “ We want to br idge the digital divide and create exciting opportunities for communities, businesses and individual users. Our investment is therefore far more than achieving market-share growth in the region – it is about bringing the benefits of the digital world to more people through a stable, secure and innovative


network experience,” says Kagiso Moncho, MTN General Manager for the Northern Region. “We are already seeing active data users and traffic increase as more consumers seek affordable, innovative and reliable digital services and solutions. The key for us is to deliver network excellence and an enterprise turnaround. This will be underpinned by modernisation and rollout of 5G, together with price competitiveness,” says Moncho. Maintaining network quality remains the key objective despite challenges like battery theft. MTN is making strides with its fifth-generation (5G) technology rollout strategy. We have already activated 5G in greater Polokwane and Witbank, and intend to expand the 5G coverage footprint further across the region, into areas such as Nelspruit and Middelburg. Added to this is that 93% of towers in the Northern Region have LTE. “We are committed to ensuring our network coverage and quality is maintained and expanded so our customers stay connected. This is even more critical in the face of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown: connectivity is essential for medical emergencies as well as for learners and individuals working from home,” says Moncho. While battery theft and vandalism remain a challenge, MTN has earmarked part of the investment for battery replacement and security programmes in the Northern Region. “Vandalism of the network infrastructure remains a pain point and hinders the great progress we have made in stabilising and improving network availability. These vandalism incidents affect the economy negatively and the interruptions due to network outages hinder emergency and security ser vices. Unfor tunately, Limpopo province is one of the hotspots. “We plead with the members of the


community to report any vandalism incidents that they might witness to the nearest SAPS branches. Our efforts are directed towards building and maintaining a resilient infrastructure amidst adversities. We remain committed to proving a modern connected digital life for all,” says Moncho. M T N ’s w o r k in these provinces also includes programmes to help the most vulnerable particularly in the deep rural villages. Key stakeholder partnerships with government and municipalities will see ongoing support for learners and education facilities. Food parcel support is also a key part of the initiatives being rolled out by MTN Foundation as Covid-19 hit lives and livelihoods. The strides being made to help people and communities on the ground across South Africa is also reflected in recent n e t wo r k s u c c e s s e s a c h i e ve d by MT N , which has been named South Africa’s best network for three years in succession based on P3 Communications (2019-2021). The benchmarking Network Quality score results are indicative that MTN provides its customers with optimum upload and super

faster download speeds as well as uninterrupted streaming, surfing and the best in voice calling when compared to other mobile operators. “ We are working tirelessly to ensure our customers enjoy their experience on our Bozza network, and our commitment to serving our customers with distinction will always be at the core of what we do,” concludes Moncho. MTN strives to ensure customers remain connected to the digital world and also have the delight of sharing moments and memories with friends and family through their social platforms. ■

About the MTN Group Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging-market operator with a clear vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to our customers. We are inspired by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code “MTN”. Our strategy, Ambition 2025, is anchored on building the largest and most valuable platform business, with a clear focus on Africa. Twitter: Twitter @MTNza Website: or



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: Credit: Seda Roger Bosch/Brand SA


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-


14 10

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.

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 • Co-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.

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-

PG Bison are investing heavily in expanding manufacturing capacity. Credit: PG Bison Gladtidings Interiors CC. Image: Seda ed to promote the growth of these businesses. These include: • Small 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.

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:

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Standard Bank helps Mpumalanga realise dreams Africa is our home, we drive her growth.

Blessed with an abundance of minerals and natural resources, Mpumalanga is a nature-lover’s dream. The province also holds the promise of strong economic growth thanks to a burgeoning agriculture sector and a well-established mining sector. This, together with the opportunities that exist here, fuel many of our people’s dreams.

A vision for the future Our vision is to be the leading financial services organisation in, for and across Africa, delivering exceptional client experiences and superior value.

At Standard Bank we are in the business of making dreams come true. We have a long and storied history in the province which dates to the late 1870s.

Africa is our home, we drive her growth, and we do this by being a catalyst for inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and by making life better for our fellow Africans by doing business the right way.

Today, Standard Bank continues to serve the people of Mpumalanga by providing comprehensive business and personal banking services.

We have set some significant goals. We are courageously organising our business into the new world thinking of one group, one

Julian Felix Head Sector Specialist, Mpumalanga

Fuad Choonara Provincial Manager, Enterprise Direct, Mpumalanga

Morgan Mbhele Head Business Clients, Highveld North

Image by Caspar Camille Ruben on Unsplash

Business Leadership Team, Mpumalanga

aspiration, one purpose and one vision, all centred around our clients. Technology has changed clients’ expectations of financial services. They’re not just looking for a single product or service, but for a complete solution. We want to fulfil dreams, help people take steps in life and organise and execute our strategies at the right time, on the right channels, making our contribution to humanity. This means evolving to being a platform business. We don’t only want to be the shop; we want to be the mall. Client centricity places our clients at the centre of everything we do and reinforces the competitive advantages of our scale, scope and expertise. Standard Bank’s business activities have social, economic and environmental (SEE) impact in the economies and communities in which we operate. There are seven specific areas in which we can best drive Africa’s growth: Financial inclusion; Job creation and enterprise development; Infrastructure; Africa trade and investment; Climate

change and sustainable finance; Education and skills development; Health. Dreams matter We are in the business of inspiring hope and enabling dreams. We believe that dreams matter because they fuel our growth. This belief, encapsulated in our tagline ‘It Can Be’, has shaped our approach to meeting the rapidly changing needs of our customers and clients in a new digitally enabled world. We are well on our way to being the most successful banking, insurance and asset management business on the continent. Soon we will be the most truly digital, the most truly human, the most competitive, the most profitable, and the most purpose-driven services group in the history of Africa. Standard Bank is highly invested in Mpumalanga and committed to driving her growth. We strive to create value for our clients through our regional knowledge and industry expertise. It’s about more than just banking. It’s about being a trusted partner, understanding your business and creating value. We have been here for over 150 years and we look forward to being here for many more years to come – helping our clients realise their dreams. ■

Business Leadership Team, Mpumalanga

Yaseen Guman Head Client Coverage, Mpumalanga Business

Busisiwe Sithole Head Business Clients, Lowveld

Anton Janse van Rensburg Head Business Clients, Highveld South


Standard Bank is helping teachers and care-givers learn new skills.


n Mpumalanga we express our commitment to the people of the province through our corporate social investment work.

The power of education to drive change in South Africa remains undeniable. Unfortunately, many in our country, because of their personal circumstances, still struggle to access a quality education. Standard Bank takes an active role in helping these young people realise their dreams through financial support and training initiatives. We believe that all South Africans deserve a quality education and as such Standard Bank invests in improved educational outcomes and skills development in multiple ways. We prioritise education in our corporate social investment (CSI) programmes and invest in work readiness programmes, through our internal learnership and graduate programmes. In 2019, following an in-depth review of our impact and effectiveness over a five-year period, we developed a refreshed CSI strategy, which focuses MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22


specifically on Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Foundation Phase education. This is based on extensive empirical research which demonstrates that developmental stimulation during the early years of childhood, well before a child enters the formal schooling system, are critical to future intellectual, emotional and physical wellbeing. We have seen the positive impacts of such interventions first-hand, through Standard Bank-sponsored ECD and Foundation Phase programmes. The aim of our ECD strategy is to contribute to social and economic transformation in South Africa, through supporting the development of future-fit children who are ready for a new world of work. We do this through the upskilling of ECD practitioners and Foundation Phase teachers, empowering primary care-givers to play an active role in early learning, and by supporting programmes to incorporate future skills in ECD and Foundation Phase curricula. In this way, we hope to help mitigate the risk of the fourth industrial revolution further exacerbating the extreme inequality that characterises South African society.


In 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic we supported our existing ECD partners, helping them to adapt to the lockdown ECD eco-system through the supplying of educational materials and child nutritional support and we worked closely with NGO partners identified by the National Department of Basic Education to support moves to a blended platform of learning. Training educators and revamping libraries In the last five years we have donated R11.6-million to Ntataise Lowveld to train 300 ECD students and practitioners from rural communities across the province. The practitioners undergo an 18-month training programme. The programme is accredited by the Sector and Education Training Authority (SETA) and carries a National Qualifications Framework level four. By supporting this programme, we are helping to make more people in the province employable and laying

the foundation for better and more fulfilling lives for children by stimulating them from an early age. In 2016 we were responsible for the revamp of libraries at Lamile Primary School and Bongumkhwanazi Primary School. In 2018 we revamped the libraries at Davel Combined Primary School, Matsamo Primary School and Khangela Primary School. In 2019 the list of libraries which were refurbished included Magashule Primary School and Warburton Primary School. In 2020 we revamped libraries at Hendrina Primary School and Schulzendal Primary School. As part of the library programme Standard Bank employees volunteer their time to refurbish libraries at various primary schools around the province. This includes repairing walls, ceilings and roofs as well as painting walls, installing carpets, and repairing damaged shelves. ■


What are the implications of changing from coal? The so-called “just transition” in energy is going to require creative thinking.


ormer cabinet minister Valli Moosa is Deputy Chairperson of South Africa’s Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission (PCCCC). President Ramaphosa is the Chairperson but much of the work will fall to the man whose ministerial responsibilities in the early days of South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy included constitutional development and the environment. The commission wants to create a framework within which sensible policy decisions that promote a just transition can be made. This will go beyond simply looking after workers who lose jobs and will look at the implications of climate change on populated areas. As the country tries to wean itself off coal, making the transition to cleaner energy in an equitable way will be complicated and creative thinking will be needed. Simply stating that renewable energy will provide jobs is not going to be enough. The debate in Mpumalanga, a province that derives a massive percentage of its economic activity from the mining, transport and burning of coal, has begun. Minister of Mineral and Energy Resources Gwede Mantashe worked at a colliery in Emalahleni (formerly Witbank) when he chaired the local branch of the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM). He has been resistant to moves to allow private companies to generate more power from renewable sources but President Ramaphosa declared in 2021 that companies would be allowed to generate up to 100MW without going through restrictive licensing procedures.


Credit: Chris Kirchoff/Brand SA Pan African Resources is making a start in Mpumalanga with the building of a 10MW solar photovoltaic plant at its Evander mine. Expected to cost R140-million and come on stream in the second half of 2021, the plant will provide about 30% of the power needed at the company’s tailings retreatment plant. Two embedded 10MW solar PV facilities are to be constructed by private operators at Sasol’s Secunda and Sasolburg operations as part of the eventual procurement of 600MW of renewable energy by the energy giant. The idea of eight Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZ) was first gazetted by national government in 2018. Others have since been added, with the CSIR noting that renewable energy projects that could be developed in these REDZ have the potential to make significant contributions to mine rehabilitation and to support a just energy transition in the specified areas, including where 12GW of existing coal power stations are planned to be decommissioned by 2030. Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo, who has served as president of the Minerals Council SA, has long argued that land around mines should be utilised for agriculture. Potassium nitrate has value and its extraction from acid coal mine water might help to pay for the process of cleaning the water. There is a technique to convert by-products such as this into material used in fertiliser. ■


Expanding local value chains and increasing opportunities for skills transfer


Mercia Grimbeek, ENERTRAG South Africa’s Director of Project Development, evaluates the prospects for renewable energy in Mpumalanga. What is ENERTRAG’S involvement in Mpumalanga? ENERTRAG is a developer of wind, solar and hybrid renewable energy projects actively pursuing opportunities in Mpumalanga province. What are the key challenges and opportunities? Regulatory hurdles are still one of the key challenges facing renewable energy deployment. A close working synergy between the renewable and mining sectors is crucial to maximising opportunities in Mpumalanga. A more streamlined permitting process would encourage the increase of renewable deployment. Many opportunities are available to develop renewable facilities with the added advantage of already existing grid infrastructure.

Mercia Grimbeek

BIOGRAPHY Mercia has worked in the renewable energy industry since 2010 and recently joined ENERTRAG South Africa as the Director of Project Development. She has extensive experience developing projects from greenfield to constructionready status and has consulted to various Independent Power Producers on socio- economic and economic de velopment projects. Mercia is the chairperson of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and has been a board member since 2018.

Does ENERTRAG have a role in creating a just transition from the fossilfuel economy? Absolutely. ENERTRAG is fully committed to a just energy transition. Through the development, construction and operation of renewable facilities we remain supportive of all efforts to expand local value chains and increase opportunities for skills transfer and training initiatives, thereby creating meaningful job opportunities. Please explain renewable energy development zones (REDZs). REDZs were designed to not only fast-track the deployment of renewable technologies but also to align the location of these technologies to areas where grid infrastructure is available. ENERTRAG has tried to locate as many of its developments in REDZs and is looking forward to further REDZs being gazetted or the expansion of REDZs to include wind technology. What experience does the company have in working with partners in coal-producing regions? The company draws off experiences from its offices in Germany where such collaborations are further advanced. Here ENERTRAG takes learnings from initiatives that have been successful and investigates how it can be adapted to local conditions. This synergy extends also to industries that are large carbon emitters. Please detail the company’s involvement with hydrogen-based power plants. ENERTRAG has been generating green hydrogen from renewable sources at its Head Office in Dauerthal in Germany since 2011. The company has a deep understanding of the engineering and optimisation of these plants, which can provide solutions such as clean fuel for the transport industry and heating solutions, enabling a move away from fossil-based fuels and enhancing a reduction in carbon emissions. ■


Helping small business become viable and more competitive Seda Mpumalanga Provincial Manager Mashiba Kgole explains how targeted interventions and specific support programmes help SMMEs grow.

Provincial Manager Mashiba Kgole

BIOGRAPHY Mashiba Kgole has more than 17 years experience in the SMME development sector. He holds a National Diploma and BTech Degree in Chemical Engineering, certificates in Change Leadership Management, Outcomes Based and Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as an international best-practice exposure programme on SMME development from SMEA in Taiwan. MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22

Please tell us about the Seda Mpumalanga network. Seda Mpumalanga is one of the nine provincial structures that are responsible for the delivery of Seda programmes, products and services. The provincial network is made up of a Provincial Office and five branches. The Provincial Office has the responsibility to manage, coordinate and support the entire network in the province and the branches are the delivery points where small enterprises can access Seda’s services. In addition to the branches, Seda is co-locating with partners in those areas where we currently do not have offices. The establishment of co-location points ensures that Seda has a presence in all the municipalities in the province. Currently, the province has 13 sites with various partners in different local municipalities. These points improve service provision in townships and rural areas where we have no offices. How is Seda improving SMME and co-operative growth in Mpumalanga? Seda supports the development and growth of SMMEs and cooperatives through an assortment of business development services (BDS). These services aim to provide solutions related to various business functions. We provide small businesses with the following services: business-related information, advice, consultancy, training and mentorship support. Through the Seda Technology Programme, Seda provides technology transfer, business and technology incubation services, as well as incentives for management systems implementation (such as ISO9001, ISO14001, OHSAS 18001), product testing and certification. What is Seda’s role in ensuring business competitiveness and viability? Seda is playing a key role in the delivery of business development interventions to support small businesses to improve their competitiveness and viability. Seda aims to establish a long-term relationship with clients. Prior to embarking on any intervention, a Seda practitioner assesses the needs of the client. Based on the assessment results the client, together with the Seda practitioner, drafts a development plan with specific development interventions. These services are delivered to



Development (LED) offices to deliver services to SMMEs at a local and district level. This will result in more competitive and sustainable businesses that contribute to the economic growth of the district and the country.

the client either by Seda’s practitioner(s) or through business development service providers. Some of Seda interventions involve assisting SMMEs with business and financial management training, legal compliance, bookkeeping support, mentorship support, implementation of quality management systems, product development and certification, to name a few.

Are there any programmes which promote township and rural economies? The Department of Small Business Development (dsbd) together with its agencies, Seda and Sefa, continues implementing Township and Rural Entrepreneurship Programme (TREP). This is a dedicated programme to provide financial and/ or non-financial support to the township and rural enterprises with an emphasis on enterprises owned and managed by designated groups, women, youth and persons with disabilities, in order to increase their capacity to access economic opportunities and enhance their competitiveness. The following are some of the programmes: • Spaza shop support programme • Automotive aftermarket support programme (panel-beaters, motor mechanics, auto spares and auto fitment) • Clothing, leather and textile support programme • Bakeries and confectionaries support programme • Personal care programme (hair and beauty salons, barber shops, massage parlours) • Butcheries support programme • Tshisanyama and cooked food support programme • Fruit and vegetable vendors support programme.

How is Seda Mpumalanga facilitating business development through ecosystem support? Seda supports a “team” approach to entrepreneurship promotion and development, which involves working with other stakeholders in the business development services ecosystem. We agree to be part of a team approach and play a specific role to contribute to the improvement of small businesses in the province. Our role is to develop, support and promote small businesses and co-operatives, ensuring their growth and sustainability in co-ordination and partnership with various other public and private entities to advance more support to small businesses with additional resources from our partners.

How does the Seda District Ecosystem Facilitation (DEF) model fit into the government District Delivery Model with respect to facilitating BDS? The District Delivery Model, approved by the government, seeks to improve the planning and accelerate the implementation of service delivery programmes to communities, including the development of SMMEs through ensuring that all the three spheres of government work together. Through the DDM, Seda will ensure that development needs and opportunities for SMMEs and co-operatives within each district are taken into account. Seda will work closely with municipalities Seda Client in the Automotive aftermarket support programme (panel-beaters, motor mechanics, auto spares and auto fitment) through the Local Economic




Supporting communities and customers through tough times The Provincial General Manager for Old Mutual (Retail Mass Market) Limpopo and Mpumalanga, Thabane Thuso Maja, reflects on the impact of Covid-19 in the province. How many branches do you have in Mpumalanga? We have 18, comprising 16 field branches and two in-house branches. How can customers stay in touch with Old Mutual in the time of Covid? We can now engage with our customers remotely through MS Teams, Zoom and via mobile. We also have the capability to process our claims through digital platforms, WhatsApp and via USSD.

Thabane Thuso Maja

BIOGRAPHY Thabane Thuso Maja has extensive experience in financial services, having previously worked at Old Mutual Personal Finance, Capitec, Old Mutual Finance and Metropolitan, where he was a Provincial General Manager. He has extensive industry skills and knowledge in stakeholder relationships and management and channel strategy execution. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated true leadership qualities and has experience in developing and turning businesses around to perform at the highest levels. MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22

How has business been affected by Covid-19? Some of our key stakeholders have been significantly affected and have had to retrench many of their employees. This has resulted in a number of cancelled or lapsed policy payments and increased the unemployment rate in the province, which has reduced household incomes. As Old Mutual, we have been supporting the companies we serve with the rollout of financial education workshops, helping companies and customers cope with financial challenges. What are your main offerings to customers? We offer an integrated financial services basket to meet our customers’ broad needs - including: Life Cover, Illness and Disability Cover, Funeral Cover, retirement annunities, savings and education plans and investments. The Old Mutual Money Account is an affordable transactional product with a linked unit trust. The Old Mutual Rewards programme is also available for free (no membership fees) to anyone, not just Old Mutual customers. Please describe some of the CSI projects of Old Mutual Mpumalanga. We support our communities through staff community builder projects and initiatives, where our provincial sales staff members are encouraged to participate in projects while contributing to improving and growing small businesses in Mpumalanga. We have sponsored schools with borehole installations and have invested in improving building structures in early childhood development schools. We continue to support small businesses through various channels. We have collaborated with the Department of Education in running sanitary towel drives, delivered school shoes to schools located in impoverished areas and supported pupils from 28 schools with hygiene packs. We also partnered with the Department of Education to donate water tanks to schools to assist in tackling Covid-19. ■


Thuso Maja Provincial Manager, Mpumalanga | Email: In-House Branch Staff: Maditaba Mofokeng and Happy Rakoma Sbongile Mkhonto Area Manager, Mpumalanga lowveld area Email:

Maxwell Dhlamini Area Manager, Mpumalanga highveld area Email:

Branch Managers, Mpumalanga lowveld area

Branch Managers, Mpumalanga highveld area

Gracious Chavane

Sokesimbone Methula

Jabulani Msiza

Sifiso Sukazi

Nomthandazo Lubisi

Mandla Mtshweni

Nkosinathi Njaphaa

Nurse Thomo

Jennifer Wankya

Nelisiwe Mnisi Mpote Moretsele

Mpumalanga Province branches Shop 33, Acornhoek Mall, Acornhoek 1360 Shop 26, Bushbuckridge Twin City Complex, Bushbuckridge 1280 Shop 19, 50A De Jager Street, Ermelo Mall, Ermelo 2351 Shop 306, Lowveld Mall, Hazyview 1242 Shop 1, Erf 15, Lorenco Street, Malelane 1320 Shop 12, 25 Church Street, Pick n Pay Centre, Middelburg 1055 Riverside Office Park, 1 Aqua Street, Block1, 2nd Floor, Nelspruit 1200 Old Mutual Finance, Site 2, Main Road, Nhlazatshe, Elukwatini 1192 Shop 21B, Moloto Road, Kwaggafontein Mall, Nkangala 0458 Shop 12, Mkhondo Mall, Piet Retief 2380 Office E, 1st Floor, Secunda Town Centre, Secunda 2302 19C Kerk Street, Ground Floor, OM Building, Standerton 2430 Office 2, River Crescent, Mandela Drive, Witbank 1035

Vezinhlanhla Mahlobo

Provincial Office Riverside Office Park, 1 Aqua Street, Block 1, 2nd Floor, Nelspruit 1200 Mobile: 082 497 2483 Area offices Mpumalanga lowveld area: Shop 306, Lowveld Mall, Hazyview 1242 Tel: 079 506 2288 Mpumalanga highveld area: Office E, 1st Floor, Secunda Town Centre, Secunda 2302 Tel: 072 577 1062

KEY SECTORS Overviews of the main economic sectors of Mpumalanga Agriculture 28 Mining 32 Forestry and paper 38 Oil and gas 40 Transport and logistics 41 Tourism 42 Manufacturing 44 Water 45 Development finance and SMME support 48 Banking and financial services 54

A new front-end dryer is being installed at PG Bison’s plant in Mkhondo (Piet Retief ). Other investments at the plant will take the total spent on increasing capacity beyond R2-billion. To date, 500 tons of fabrication and the subsequent installation has been done in-house. PG Bison is a Proudly South African business, with operations in four provinces, ranging from forestry to the manufacturing of sophisticated, world-class medium-density fibreboard (MDF), particleboard and value-added products. Credit: PG Bison


Agriculture and agro-processing Barberton has a new and unusual blueberry farm.

Credit: Primocane Capital


ining company Pan African Resources is getting into the blueberry business in an effort to help uplift the community in which it operates near Barberton. The 15ha farm (pictured) has created 80 jobs with a further 400 seasonal jobs expected for a five-month period. In the second phase of the project, which is being run by Primocane Capital, about 1 000 jobs are expected. The first harvest is expected in 2022. According to a report in Business Times, the miner’s investment into the first phase has so far amounted to R40-million. A provincial government assistance programme called Phezukomkhono Mlimi is providing mechanisation and input support to small-scale and new farmers. Those who receive help are also offered training courses offered by the AgriSETA. An agro-processing facility is planned for the area near the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) and private investors are being approached. Progress has been made in the construction of the Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market and the main market is expected to be ready in the course of 2021. With 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. 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 agro-hubs.



SECTOR INSIGHT Subsistence farmers are getting assistance. The goal is to have an agrohub 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 agro-hub in Bushbuckridge, which for ms par t of the Provincial Government Nutrition Programme, is operational. The Mkhondo agro-hub in Gert Sibande District is completed and partially operational. A feasibility study is underway relating to the establishment of a hub in the Nkomazi Municipality. A budget of R15-million has been agreed for the first phase and the creation of a pack-house. Other interventions

OVERVIEW 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).

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. Hazyview is an important source of bananas, with 20% of South Africa’s production originating there. Deciduous fruits are 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 an internationally-known liqueur. Macadamia nuts have grown in popularity. About 4 000 hectares of new trees is added each year across 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

ONLINE RESOURCES Citrus Growers Association: Macadamias South Africa: South African Cane Growers’ Association: South African Subtropical Growers’ Association:


include cut flowers, pot plants and nursery plants. M pumalanga has the second-biggest sugar industry in South Africa, after KwaZuluNatal. 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 smallscale) deliver sugar cane to the company. TSB brands are Selati (sugar) and Molatek (animal feed).

Companies 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. ■ MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22

Agriculture and mining drive growth in Mpumalanga


tandard Bank Mpumalanga has invested deeply in expertise, knowledge and infrastructure in various sectors within the province.

We deliver financial solutions for the varied needs of individuals and businesses along the agribusiness supply chain through the experience and deeprooted expertise of our teams.

Mining is a significant contributor to the growth of Mpumalanga. There are 127 mining projects owned by 47 mining companies in the region, and both international and local mining houses have an established footprint here.

Agriculture is a specialised sector with more than 30 sub-sectors requiring vast knowledge, skill and experience for in depth understanding of its complexities and integrated cycles. The industry is highly dependent on us understanding the agribusiness value chain and providing appropriate solutions to ensure the success of our clients.

We understand that mining is a specialised sector that needs specific banking solutions. We have the expertise to cater for banking needs across the mining value chain, whether your business is a producer, minerals processor or service provider to the mining industry. Our Johannesburg-based team of sector specialists provides support and in-depth mining sector insight to our dedicated Relationship Managers across the country, including Mpumalanga. From securing asset finance for mine development to managing your daily working capital needs – with us as your financial partner, you are assured that you are engaging with experts who have insight into what matters most. Food production As one of the most productive agricultural regions in South Africa, Mpumalanga plays a key role in food production for consumption and in the country’s agricultural export industry.

The funding required in agribusiness includes property finance to fund land acquisition, production finance for planting and growing annual and longterm crops and working capital for financing vehicles and equipment, irrigation systems and packing facilities for fruit. Many agri sub-sectors, like the nut industry, export products overseas and require the correct Foreign Exchange and International Payment solutions. This includes the ability to guarantee payments and hedge foreign exchange variances. We don’t believe in simply selling a product to our clients. What is important for us is to understand the unique business needs and match the appropriate solution so as to create value for our clients. ■

Photo by Vladimir Patkachakov on Unsplash

Standard Bank offers specific banking solutions in specialised sectors.


Mining The revival of Matla coal mine will cost R3.3-billion.


ining contributes 25.9% of the province’s gross domestic product and employs more than 53 000 people. Expansion projects by several miners are underway, including South32, Exxaro Resources, Pan African Resources and Canyon Coal. 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. National utility Eskom will spend R3.3-billion on the revival of the Matla coal mine. The mine was put on care and maintenance in 2016 but expectations are that it should be able to produce more than 10-million tons per annum by the second half of 2024. Exxaro Resources will manage the project and do the mining while major companies such as DRA, Worley, Sandvik and WBHO will also be involved. 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. Menar, which has several operations in Mpumalanga via Canyon Coal and Kangra, will spend about R600-million the first phase of its De Wittekrans asset near Hendrina, the open-cast operation. The second phase would entail going underground to dig for coal. Kangra intends reopening the Savmore/Maquasa coal mine which was closed because of the global lockdown in 2020. The sod-turning ceremony of another new mine at Mabola in the Wakkerstroom area was supposed to happen in March



Credit: Implats

SECTOR INSIGHT A court order has stopped a proposed new coal mine in the Wakkerstroom area. 2021, but an urgent court order put a stop to Uthaka Energy’s plans. Environmentalists have argued that the province should not have revoked the area’s protected status as important wetlands stand to be affected. The multi-year legal battle looks set to contiue. Uthaka Energy was previously known as AthaAfrica Ventures, a local subsidiary of the India-based Atha Group. Arnot coal mine has signed a contract for underground mining services with Boipelo M ining Contrac tors wor th R3.2-billion. Boipelo comprises Middelburg-based Amandla TM (51%) and Murray & Roberts Cementation (49%). South32 sold its South African Energy Coal (SAEC) business to black-owned Seriti

OVERVIEW Resources in 2019 but in 2021 also agreed to make $250-million available to enable Seriti to restructure some of the coal assets and to rehabilitate others. Afrimat 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 southeastern 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 re-launched mine and the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) holds 34%.

Platinum Platinum is an important mineral for the modern economy. Two Rivers is a joint venture between Implats (46%) and African Rainbow Minerals which is located on the southern part of the eastern limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, 35km south-west of Burgersfort in Mpumalanga. 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.

Training Most of the province’s mining companies are involved in training. The Colliery Training College (CTC) in Emalahleni is owned by

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


a consortium of companies: Exxaro, Glencore, Kangra 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. The mine thus becomes South Africa’s first majority workerowned mine. Wescoal is the other shareholder and operator of the mine. The opening in April 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. 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. ■ MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22


Finding new ways of reducing and reusing carbon Council for Geoscience CEO, Mosa Mabuza, is excited about new research on carbon capture and is intent on expanding his organisation’s relevance to the South African economy.

Mosa Mabuza, CEO

BIOGRAPHY After qualifying as a geologist from Wits University, Mosa held various positions at De Beers and Anglo American and worked in jurisdictions as varied as West Africa and Canada. From his appointment as the Director of Mineral Economics in the former Department of Minerals and Energy, he was promoted to Deputy Director-General of Mineral Policies and (Investment) Promotion in 2012. He has been CEO of CGS since 2017. MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22

How will the Council for Geoscience (CGS) carbon capture and the storage project in Mpumalanga expand South Africa’s energy mix and decrease the country’s carbon footprint? We abbreviated the project to CCUS: Carbon Capture for the two Cs, U for utilisation, storage as the last stage. Once the carbon is captured it has numerous applications. Not only would you be able to reduce the carbon content that is emitted into our climate, but you can also apply it in fertiliser manufacturing and in a number of other applications. We see it as a scientific intervention that gets us as a country to breathe life into the climate mitigation measures, in terms of the international climate protocol that we have committed to. If the science is proven, not only will South Africa meet but it will go far beyond the minimum commitments that we have made as a country. But we’ve got to let the science take place, we’ve got to let the pilot project prove that indeed, it is a sensible scientific intervention, that the economics make sense, that science and the intentions are met. Only once we have proven all of those three attributes, would we be confident enough to say that, indeed, we can continue. We think that, if it is proven, then coal can continue to play a critical role in our energy mix. Is this pilot at one site or is it multiple sites? The first one is on one site. We have chosen a pilot very close to the major emission sites in Mpumalanga where there is a higher concentration of power stations, as well as the Sasol plant. If we get that right we can have our contribution to carbon pollution reduced by between 60% and 80%. What are the other priorities of the CGS in Mpumalanga? The CGS mandate is that we are the custodians of geoscientific information and knowledge in the country so we have quite a number of programmes in Mpumalanga. One of them which is really very exciting and is at an advanced stage of development is the passive treatment of polluted water. This is getting groundwater that has been polluted to be cleaned up using natural processes without using any chemicals. We are piloting this exercise at a site in Middelburg. The early results are indicating that the ranges of acidity are being drastically reduced. At level one, water is very acidic and if you get to a pH of seven, then that’s normal water and if you go beyond seven then it’s


What role is the CGS playing in the debate over the just transition? We will not be driving the whole debate but the carbon capture utilisation and storage is a scientific inter vention that asks the fundamental question – does transition necessarily mean transition from coal or does the transition mean we are making a commitment to transition from high carbon to low carbon? Over many years we have developed the capacity to generate our baseload from coal. We still have huge resources of coal in South Africa and we have installed generation infrastructure. On the other hand, we have correctly made commitments to be part of climate change protocols. There is no debate on the contribution of carbon in accelerating the climate change, there’s absolutely no debate there. But if there are scientific interventions that can allow for that transition to enable us to move from high to low carbon and continue to burn the coal, then that is something worth considering. If human beings could send a man to the moon in the 1960s, I don’t see why we cannot find the appropriate technology to use so that coal is part of our just transitioning journey. As the Council for Geoscience, our contribution in the main is limited to the science. We must also play a prominent and critical role as a leader in mobilising society around a particular position that takes into account South Africa’s specific societal circumstances.

becoming too alkaline for consumption or industrial use. This passive treatment has increased the pH level from 2.8, which could not be consumed by human beings, to around 6.8. That is exciting. That is almost getting to a textbook measure of pH. The water coming out of our taps is not anywhere close to 6.8. If we can replicate that, imagine all of that water that has been contaminated by coal mining over the years in the Mpumalanga area that could be sorted out? We haven’t done the economic studies yet but if we get it right, it should be highly costefficient. The cost should not be an issue if and when we get it right. What other priority projects are you pursuing? We are looking at mineral development projects in Mpumalanga and others. We are excited about the prospects that lie ahead. We are confirming the extension of the Wits Basin beyond the previously known areas. The result is that – over and above coal mining – we think that gold mining in Mpumalanga may just have a much longer future than we thought before.

CGS passive mine water remediation pilot plant, Carolina.



INTERVIEW Are you working on better ways of mining? Our contribution to better mining can only be limited to characterising the rocks that will be mined. In the debate around data mining technology, there have been three primary questions that have been asked. The first one is, how can we mine more with less energy? How can we mine with less or no water as we are a water-scarce country? The third one is how do we minimise the environmental footprint? Our contribution lies in characterising those rocks where mining will take place, allowing mining professionals to be very clear of that distinction and they can then design the appropriate technology that takes into account the types of rocks that they have.

There was a time some years ago when a lot of noise was created in South Africa about acid-mine water. Part of the reason for that noise dissipating is because of the work that we have been doing behind the scenes, and we continue to do that work. It is a huge task with limited resources but our scientists have really done a sterling job and they continue to do so. I have every confidence that in the next couple of years we will be making major announcements.

What role does the CGS play in assisting with land-use planning? In early August a tremor was felt between Johannesburg and Alberton. These seismic events are sometimes due to mining and some are natural seismic events. It is the responsibility of the Council for Geoscience to record those events, to study them, communicate them to the public, to indicate the risks and also to work closely with the National Disaster Management Committee. Areas which have a proliferation of dolomite rocks have a direct bearing on infrastructure and our role is to advise the state on risks. Certain areas in Mpumalanga have large areas of subsidence. Now that the state has adopted the District Development Model, they are placing us at the centre of working with the District Municipalities in assisting them with the optimisation of land use. Was the International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage productive? This is something that is very, very important in the South African context. We know that there are many nations, including developed nations, that are battling with the acid mine water drainage problem, particularly those countries that have a long history of mining. We have found common space with the Americans, the Germans, the Polish and the British and realised that what we thought was a major problem for us is actually very small relative to those countries. The size of the problem is irrelevant; however, what is important is that we have to find solutions to this problem to the greater benefit of humanity. MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22

A sealed ownerless mine entrance, near Sabie.


INTERVIEW Please describe any staff development programmes. Our biggest competitive advantage is our human capital. We intend to create at least 10 A-rated geoscientists on the global scale in the next five to 10 years because once you have created a capable institution then all these other things become very easy. Anything and everything is possible when you have competent, agile, committed world-class rated scientists. Do you have a bursary programme? We do. We have just concluded collaborations with many of our universities that have geosciences units. We want to expand that. We have collaborations with the United States geological survey and we are looking at the BRGM of the French and the Swedish and at some of the institutions in the East as well as on the African continent. These things create room beyond the bursary programmes for those who are upcoming and for those who are already in the system to have much greater exposure. One of the things that looks impossible in the world right now is to predict earthquakes. We have been collecting a lot of data and there are huge amounts of data from countries that are prone to earthquakes. We are marrying data that we have collected with multi-disciplinary geoscience functions and subjecting it to big-data processing. The ultimate goal is to try to develop the capability to predict earthquakes, not only for us in South Africa but for greater applications in humanity. Imagine if we crack that as the geoscientific community working together?

It is my deep conviction that our world-class rated geoscientists will arise from those kinds of platforms. What are your targets in terms of staff development? Currently, 37% of our scientific staff has Master’s degrees and doctorates. We have a very ambitious target of 60%. If you have quality staff you will have a quality institution. Do you have mining-specific research projects? We have in the past year been asked to refocus on research related to derelict and ownerless mines. In relation to asbestos and its product, our scientists have installed equipment that detects and quantifies articulate substance in the air. In some areas we have been able to correlate the abundance of asbestos particulate matter in the air with a particular type of sickness within that community. We continue to track the closure procedures of mines. There has been a substantial decline in the amount of fibre in the air and we have seen how that has reduced a particular type of sickness in that community and enhanced general health. Those are some of the results that get us very, very excited: we scientists are just too modest! ■

CGS geologists undertaking integrated mapping, Makhonjwa Mountains.


Forestry and paper PB Bison will spend R560-million at its Mkhondo plant.

Credit: Ludwig Sevenster


G Bison, a subsidiary of KAP Industrial Holdings, is investing R560-million in a new front-end dryer for its particleboard plant in Mkhondo (Piet Retief ). The company is also building a new medium-density fibreboard (MDF) plant at its Mpumalanga plant, to complement its existing factory at Boksburg in Gauteng. The latter facility will start producing board in 2023. 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 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. Many in the timber industry are advocating for timber to be used much more in construction, arguing that it is a sustainable and renewable resource. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies forests to ensure that they are sustainable. The average felled tree is replaced by two saplings and only 6% of South Africa’s current plantation area is harvested in a year.



SECTOR INSIGHT York Timbers has started growing citrus trees. York Timbers, which has 60 470 hectares of plantation, has planted out 40ha in high-value crops as the first phase of a diversification strategy. The company expects its soft citrus investment to turn to profit by 2024. Sales of lumber suffered b e c a u s e o f t h e Cov i d - 1 9 lockdown and the accompanying slowdown in the construction industry but plywood sales rose and full production was resumed in July 2020. York sells solid wood and products such as doors. Forestry South Africa (FSA) and national government are engaged in a court action about the desirability of switching from


plantations of pine to eucalyptus. FSA says that the calculations about how much extra water will be needed by the latter type of tree are incorrect, and that if government regulations about the reduced size of plantations is implemented, it will have a negative impact on the sector. 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. 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, agro-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 mountain-bike 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 320 000 tons of paper pulp for its own consumption, 255 000 tons of dissolving pulp 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.

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:


Fo re s t r y c o m p a n i e s are look ing into energy generation, including Sappi and 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 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 forestr y 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 expor t 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 p u lp ex p or t b ecau se of better margins. 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. ■ MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22


Oil and gas Permits to explore for natural gas have been awarded. SECTOR INSIGHT Sasol has sold some of its share in the Romco pipeline.

Credit: PASA


asol announced in 2021 that it was to sell 30% of its stake in the Romco natural gas pipeline that links Mozambique and South Africa. As part of a global sell-off of assets to reduce debt, Sasol expects to earn more than R5-billion from the transaction. The company will continue to be the pipeline’s operator and maintains a 20% stake in the venture. The Romco pipeline could carry far more gas in the future as there have been big finds of new gas off the coast off Mozambique which could be shipped as liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Maputo and continue from there to the Sasol plant at Secunda. 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. Three natural gas exploration permits have been awarded to Tosaco Energy for the sandstone-rich area between Amersfoort and Balfour in the western part of the province by Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA). PASA regulates exploration and production activities, and acts as the custodian of the national petroleum exploration and production database. Tosaco Holdings has a 25% stake in Total SA. Two methane-gas exploration rights have been granted to Highland Exploration in the Evander area.

ONLINE RESOURCES Independent Power Producers Programme: Petroleum Agency SA: PetroSA:



T h e p r o m o te r s o f t h e Nkomazi Sp e cial 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 manufac turing 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 50 0 national cus tomers, including Sappi and Sasol. International chemicals and energy company Sasol has several large plants in Mpumalanga. Sasol Gas is one of the four operations at Secunda, supplying natural gas to Sasol Synfuels and buying Sasol Synfuels’ methane-rich pipeline gas to sell to customers in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. 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. ■


Transport and logistics The N4 Toll Route will receive a R1.5-billion upgrade. SECTOR INSIGHT A three-year road scheme will benefit small contractors in Nelspruit.


he N4 Toll Road began its life in 2000 as a 30-year concession to be run by Trans African Concessions ( TRAC ) in a private -public par tnership with the governments of South Africa and Mozambique. The next three years will see about R1.5-billion spent on the route, which provides a vital link between the landlocked provinces of Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga with the Port of Maputo, with new interchanges, road repairs and road widening forming part of the brief. The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has announced a three-year project which will provide work for small contractors in and around the City of Mbombela. More than R26-million has been allocated to subcontracting which will cover things like litter and minor works, minor maintenance, vegetation and bush clearing. 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. 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. There 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.

ONLINE RESOURCES Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport: Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative: Railroad Association of South Africa: South African National Roads Agency Ltd:


Th e B a l fo u r N o r t h to Volksr u st sec t ion of t he Gauteng to Durban mainline carries the largest volumes, most of which is long-haul freight passing through the province. Despite these high rail volumes, a huge amount of mineral product 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. The statistics relating to coal haulage in Mpumalanga are stupendous. In one 12hour period, 34 198 tons of general freight were recorded for the section of the N4 highway between Nelspruit and Komatipoort. M a c t r a n s c o’s w e b s i t e states that its trucks serving Tshikondeni Coal Mine travel 3.7-million kilometres per year, working all day for six days a week. The fleet of ABF Legend Logistics, a Super Group company, contains more than 200 super-link 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. ■ MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22


Tourism Tsogo Sun Hotels has taken over the Protea Hotel Hazyview. SECTOR INSIGHT A new hotel and conference is going up in Middelburg.


Credit: Tsogo Sun Hotels

he announcement by Marriott International that it was closing some South African hotels in June 2020 was quickly followed by another statement, this time by Tsogo Sun Hotels, that it would be taking them over. Among these properties is what is now the Hazyview Sun. Tsogo Sun Hotels owned a controlling stake in all three hotels through its subsidiary, Hospitality Property Fund, and stated that it believed in the future of the Hazyview property, which is close to the Kruger National Park. A R350-million four-star hotel and conference centre is to be built in Middelburg in the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality. A publicprivate partnership began with a call for bids, which was won by Akani Properties, a black-owned property development company which will partner with the Raddison Hotel Group to deliver a 150-bed hotel and a convention centre. 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, car rallies and casinos. 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 and the Makhonjwa Mountains, which have been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational‚ Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

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



Although the province already caters for motor-rally enthusiasts, cyclists, runners, walkers, fishers, horse-riders, tree-gliders, abseilers, white-water rafters and rock climbers, there is still potential for more investment in the ecotourism and adventure tourism subsectors. Tsogo Sun has nine properties in the province, ranging from two StayEasys to Southern Sun The Ridge, which is attached to the Ridge Casino in Witbank (eMalahleni) and the Southern Sun Emnotweni in Nelspruit. Tsogo runs the Pine Lake Resort in White River and a further two resorts in Hazyview, the newly acquired Hazyview Sun and the Sabi River Sun Resort, which is undergoing refurbishments to its chalets and golf course in anticipation of the return of local and international travellers. Protea Hotels by Marriott has two properties in Mpumalanga, Protea Hotel Kruger Gate and Nelspruit. At White River, Premier Hotel The Winkler is 20 minutes’ drive from the Numbi Gate of the Kruger National Park. Forever Resorts has a big presence in the province, catering to caravanners, 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. ■

Out with the archaic, in with the innovative In a watershed decision, National Treasury has opened RT15 2021 up to the four primary telco service providers, ending five years of exclusivity for the telco awarded RT15 2016. This now offers the public sector and stateowned enterprises a choice in terms of where they want to spend their communication and data budgets.


his new RT15 2021 transversal contract now brings with it competition and the expectation of service delivery. “The responsibility now rests on the service provider, organs of the state and state-owned enterprises,” says Nic Chauke, MTN’s head of Sales and RT15. “The directive from National Treasury to the public sector is that when they engage with service providers, delivery is vital. “Appointment of a service provider is now entirely left to the individual organ of state, which can select the provider based on merit, such as the support structure to execute well. A state entity that wants to secure services has to visit the National Treasury website and opt in, indicating their intention to procure the services through this transversal. A letter will be issued by Treasury indicating that they have opted in.” While RT15 2021 is a five-year term, there is flexibility for organs of state to take contracts out for periods that suit them. This means that only if service providers do a `phenomenal job’ by having the quality and scale of network and a dedicated team focused on the

execution of service, will contracts be renewed. “It also means that we need to keep moving on infrastructure issues, especially power, alternative power, roads and addressing theft of equipment,” continues Chauke. “Covid-19 has highlighted some of the limitations of broadband, such as the cost of data. In education, for example, this is inhibited by the lack of devices and steep data prices. This is one of the areas we need to align our offering to. “Last year started a huge drive for us in universities and there were instances where we provided reverse bill apps and helped institutions, such as Unisa, to foot the bill. “Covid-19 meant the industry had to work hard to introduce innovation, but this has been a fantastic thing.” MTN Business takes its hat off to National Treasury for what it has crafted to provide competition and enable government to have access to uncapped data. This means that state employees can have unlimited access to work apps without incurring personal costs. The biggest factor to

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For more information, please visit: Exclusive to Government departments that opt in to RT15-2021

Nic Chauke, Head of Sales and RT15 at MTN Business

mention is the cost containment, which means that government spend can be deployed elsewhere such as healthcare and infrastructure. By implication, these benefits filter directly through to citizens. “The value proposition now moves away from the archaic way communications was offered in the past. National Treasury has driven the industry to become even more innovative and flexible. We can now offer uncapped data, voice and closed user group minutes, SMS and closed user group SMS at the aggressively competitive rates government has negotiated with us. “The public sector has responded so positively to this and it is really encouraging to see the channels of communication opening up. “Since this contract became effective, we have been engaging with a number of government departments on a daily basis. It has also opened up the horizon to engage with government to work closely with rural communities and partner with small entities, something we are very excited about,” he concludes.


Manufacturing Furniture is in the spotlight.


ith timber being one of Mpumalanga’s primary products, any initiative to boost the furniture sector must be welcomed by manufacturers. A first national Furniture Sector Forum has been held, where government incentives and ideas about how to reduce the cost of expensive machinery through co-ownership and partnerships were shared. The forum was co-hosted by the South African Furniture Initiative (SAFI), Proudly South African, PG Bison and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic). The dtic’s Agro Processing Support Scheme (APSS) includes furniture manufacture as a core sector for future growth and support. Other efforts to get government departments to buy locally were explained. Average employment per manufacturer is 13 people per facility. Furntech White River is a part of the Seda Technology Programme of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda). Among the goals of the programme are to develop business and production skills through skills development and the demonstration of technology. 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, agro-processing and value-chain development. From 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. 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

ONLINE RESOURCES Highveld Industrial Park: Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency: South African Iron and Steel Institute:



SECTOR INSIGHT The province wants to expand its industrial base.

Credit: Furntech White River/Seda

while Sappi’s giant mill is close to the company’s forests south-west of the provincial capital, Mbombela. TSB Sugar runs two large mills and produces fruit juices through a subsidiary company. Nelspruit is the centre of the province’s foodprocessing cluster. Approximately 70% of jobs in the manufacturing sector are in food and forestry. Steelmaking is a key strategic industry for South Africa, representing 1.5% of the country’s GDP and accounting for about 190 000 jobs. According to the South African Iron and Steel Institute (SAISI), the South African steel industry value chain multiplies the value of local iron ore by a factor of four. The country produces about six-million tons annually, but costs are high and domestic demand is low. Middelburg-based Columbus Stainless is South Africa’s only p ro du cer o f s t ainl e ss- s te e l products. A significant portion of sales are domestic and export volumes are flexible, depending on local demand. ■


Water Several plants are being upgraded in the province. SECTOR INSIGHT The treatment of acid-mine water is a vital capability.


Credit: Rand Water

he Malvajan wastewater treatment works is underway, with the suppor t of the National Depar tment of Water and Sanitation. The Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant is being used to fix the Embalenhle Bulk Sewer line. The grant will be used to supply the treatment plant at Weltevreden and to accelerate the link from the Loskop Dam to the communities living in Thembisile Hani Local Municipality. Progress towards the selection of a site for a City of Mbombela Dam is being made. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, the National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) delivered 500 water tanks and 56 water trucks to several Mpumalanga municipalities. This was to ensure that residents had a reliable supply of water to wash their hands and for drinking. The Operations and Maintenance Division of Nafasi Water is responsible for large water treatments plants at Middelburg and eMalahleni. Nafasi is a rebranding of Aveng Water which was purchased by Infinity Partners for R95-million in 2019. Infinity is owned by the former Aveng Water CEO Suzie Nkambule and E-Squared Investments. The Middelburg Water Reclamation Plant (MWRP) produces no brine and avoids energy-intensive methods, a world first for a mine water treatment plant. Phase 2 of the eMalahleni project produces drinking water after treating mine water from one of the collieries of Anglo American Thermal Coal. 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.

ONLINE RESOURCES Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency: Komati Basin Water Authority: National Department of Water and Sanitation: Water Research Commission:


NuWater was contrac ted to reduce waste at the water treatment plant for Emalahleni Municipality. An ultra-filtration technology was used to reduce waste from 20Ml/day. A t o t a l o f 327 w a t e r infrastructure projects benefiting 350 259 households have been completed, with a further 165 sanitation projects finalised. A bulk water supply system connecting villages within the Bushbuckridge area has been completed. Rand Water is responsible for water provision in the area. A joint project with Eskom related to rain-water harvesting will also create jobs. The Siyasebenza Job Creation Initiative is intended to create 900 jobs in the Nkangala District Municipality. The Imkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency covers Mpumalanga, parts of Limpopo and part of the Kingdom of Swaziland and is responsible for water usage issues relating to the following river catchment areas: Sabie-Sand, Crocodile, Komati, Nwaswitsontso and Nwanedzi. T he Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) is an important agenc y in controlling water resources in the region. Formed out of a cooperation agreement bet ween South African and Swaziland, the agency has built two large dams and is responsible for their upkeep. ■ MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22


a (1993 to 1998) and Maguga m in Eswatini (1998 to 2003). two dams were constructed nly to provide assurance of er supply to the irrigators in h member states. ourism is one of the spinof the development of the koppies and Maguga dams. e has been an increase in eational activities in both dams.

Driekoppies Dam offers tranquillity and wide-open spaces FOCUSKomati Basin Water Authority has upgraded facilities at the dam to make it the The perfect venue for anything from picnics to events.

Driekoppies Dam is the s tourism slowly venue opens up from perfect event


and weddings. This is because of its spacious entertainment area which overlooks the exquisite the massive and profound impact dam. A boat cruise has now been added to the of the Covid-19 pandemic which The Komati Basin Water Authority makes the dam available for events, entertainment experience the venue offers. imposes some unique and harsh sports tournaments and recreational use. Regulars are young entrepreneurs from areas effects on mankind, the Driekoppies Dam in surrounding the dam who host Sunday Sessions Schoemansdal, Mpumalanga, managed by the and the Food Market. Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) offers The venue also offers the perfect setup for some tranquillity through its stunning beauty. traditional authorities wishing to host cultural KOBWA has converted the dam into a suitable activities and traditional meetings. Bike rallies and site for commercial and private recreational use fishing tournaments by various associations are also where the public can explore and discover the held at the dam. scenic beauty and entertainment attractions of the As a trans-boundary organisation, KOBWA uses Driekoppies Dam at very low cost. the edutainment approach by hosting educational The Driekoppies Dam is a popular venue tours around the dam and sports tournaments. In for music shows and private events such as that way, people are educated about KOBWA in a picnics, braais, family fun days, baby showers relaxed, enabling environment. More so now during the Covid-19 pandemic, KOBWA puts safety at the forefront of all planning. There is an implementable Emergency Preparedness Plan involving every relevant aspect of safety put in place for all segments of society from government agencies to traditional MALANGA MALANGA BUSINESS BUSINESS 2019/20 2019/20 authorities at community level. This ensures that


he stunning beauty of the Driekoppies Dam and its Here, people can be educated surrounds has made it possible for the Komati Basin about KOBWA in a relaxed, Water Authority (KOBWA) to convert the dam into a46enabling environment and MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22 suitable site for commercial and private recreational this is accommodated at the use. This means that at a very low fee, the public can explore Driekoppies Dam. and discover the scenic beauty and entertainment attractions The Driekoppies Dam is a of the Driekoppies Dam. popular venue for music shows



Driekoppies Dam is the perfect event venue

About KOBWA entertainment and all activities at the dam are safe The Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) is a and risk-free. bi-national company formed in 1992 through The Driekoppies Dam is readily available to the Treaty of the Development and Utilisation of young people who live in the Nkomazi area as a way Thepromote Komati Basin Water Authority makes the dam available the Water Resources of the Komati River Basin. to entrepreneurship among the youth.for events, sportsso tournaments and recreational do, especially The treaty was signed by the Government of With many interesting things the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Government of on weekends, the Driekoppies Dam is the perfect the Republic of South Africa. The authority was destination for any event. tasked with designing, constructing, operating and maintaining two dams and associated infrastructure. This resulted in the construction of Driekoppies Dam in Schoemansdal South Africa (1993 to 1998) and Maguga Dam in Eswatini (1998 to 2003). The two dams were constructed mainly to provide assurance of water supply to the irrigators in both member states. Tourism is one of the spin-offs of the development of the Driekoppies and Maguga dams. There has been an increase in recreational activities in both dams.

CONTACT DETAILS Physical address: Komati Basin Water Authority, Driekoppies Dam Tel: +27 13 591 2633 Email: Website:


he stunning beauty of the Driekoppies Dam and its surrounds has made it possible for the Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) to convert the dam into a suitable site for commercial and private recreational use. This means that at a very low fee, the public can explore

Here, MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 47 people can be educated about KOBWA in a relaxed, enabling environment and this is accommodated at the Driekoppies Dam.



Development finance and SMME support Companies are supporting training and start-ups. SECTOR INSIGHT The African Development Bank is funding entrepreneurship.

Equipment purchased by Stenda Trading. Credit: Exxaro


he Ger t Sibande Centre for Entrepreneurship in Evander hosts a Rapid Incubator in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda). The aim is to promote and develop young entrepreneurs in the province. The Incubator offers a variety of services, including mentorship and coaching, training, advice on business compliance, network and linkages as well as facilitating access to marketing and funding opportunities. Infrastructure support is available in terms of office space and boardroom, telephone and Internet connections and printing services. The Centre was established in 2015 through a partnership between the Gert Sibande TVET College and National Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) and the University of Johannesburg. The college has five other campuses across the Gert Sibande District Municipality. A new national programme to boost employment has received a funding boost from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The dtic has received a R23.6-million grant to pursue four programmes, one of which is focussed on encouraging enterprise development in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges. The hope is that graduates will leave colleges with qualifications and fully-functioning businesses that can start employing staff. The college’s workshops will be open to local entrepreneurs to develop and produce products that can be sold. Entrepreneurship Development is one of the subjects on offer at 90 Youth Development Centres which are being established throughout MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22


Mpumalanga. Other courses include accredited training in computer skills and life skills, with workshops on job preparedness and career guidance. The centres are par t 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 signed by Standard Bank and MEGA to launch an SME Fund with a capitalisation of R500-million. MEGA has also overseen the rehabilitation of industrial premises in former homelands and formed partnerships with financial institutions for funding. E x a m p l e s o f to w n s h i p businesses supported by the D e p a r t m e nt o f Eco n o m i c 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 Cooperative in Bushbuckridge (and support for business development and access to market).


MTN drives diversity and transformation Previously disadvantaged individuals are taking charge of their own stores.

Simphiwe Mdlalose


TN’s transfor mation and optimisation of its retail store footprint is creating jobs, growth and driving gender diversity. In a major development, more and more previously disadvantaged individuals are now the proud owner-operators of stores nationwide. MTN continues the journey of repositioning and creating more opportunities to transform its retail channel. “Parallel to this, we have selected new dealers who represent the aspirations of this transformation and have proven themselves to be astute owner-operators who understand our brand and are committed to

the business values we hold,” says Kagiso Moncho, General Manager, MTN Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In Limpopo, Simphiwe Mdlalose joins a group who recently made the move to being fully-fledged MTN store owners. The appointment follows a successful application through MTN’s transformative Branded Retail Channel programme, which was initiated in 2019. Mdlalose will take over two stores based in Polokwane. O wner, self-star ter, leader and marketer of note, Simphiwe is a familiar face and an admired and respected entrepreneur, author, inspirational speaker and strategist who has been in the media, marketing and communications space for over 23 years. Over the years he has kept an eye on mobile and digital telephony and identified gaps in key areas. These include government sales, business to business and strategic partnerships within the industry. These gaps were tackled by his company, Conecta Mobile. MTN’s phased transformation strategy is intended to transform the channel by driving BBBEE in the telecommunications industry. This is to be done by lowering the barrier to entry and placing more stores in the hands of black owners and women, thus repositioning MTN’s portfolio and delivering on the goals of national government. “Economic opportunity and digital transformation are key to our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of the modern, connected life and our retail store transformation programme achieves this by not only driving inclusion, but also enhancing and regionalising our national store footprint,” explains Kagiso. “MTN looks for ward to work ing with Simphiwe Mdlalose in support of his ventures and is encouraged to continue building on this ownership model that speaks to the demographics of our country and bettering lives while providing an exciting employee value proposition,” concludes Kagiso.



OVERVIEW Research done by 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 is a subsidiary of the National Department of Small Business Development. 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. Seda supports several incubators in the province: Furntech, furniture manufacturing, White River; Mobile Agro-Skills Development & Training (MASDT), agricultural training, Nelspruit; Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative (MSI), stainlesssteel processing, Middelburg (with Columbus Stainless); Timbali f loriculture, Nelspruit; Ehlanzeni T VE T College Rapid Incubator Renewable Technologies, Nelspruit.

Private companies

The Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative helps SMMEs develop products. Credit: MSI

In her 2021 State of the Province address, Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane paid tribute to private companies for providing employment opportunities to local people and for continuing to support small and emerging businesses. Bursary programmes and training programmes were also acknowledged. The companies mentioned were Sasol, Exxaro, Eskom, Sappi, Columbus Stainless, South32, Samancor, RCL foods, Mondi, Safcol, Glencore, Standard Bank, Absa Bank, Nedbank and First National Bank. At Exxaro’s Matla Mine, a black– and woman-owned business has grown in leaps and bounds with support from the mining company’s Enterprise and Supplier Development unit. Stenda Trading won contracts to do underground civil and underground cleaning services at the mine. This included building containment and explosion-proof walls, installing black brattices, reinforced brattices and air crossings, building refuge bays, concrete work and installing specialised doors. Exxaro extended a R9.2-million interestfree loan to the enterprise to purchase equipment, vehicles and a mobile office.

ONLINE RESOURCES Gert Sibande TVET College: Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency: Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative: Small Enterprise Development Agency:



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. ■

Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism The voice of business in Ehlanzeni.


s the official representative body of business and tourism in the Kruger Lowveld (Ehlanzeni District), our main mandates are to promote the region as a tourism and investment destination, to provide a diverse suite of networking and marketing opportunities for our members, and to represent and speak on behalf of the business and tourism community of our area. We do this by building and maintaining meaningful relationships with all spheres of government as well as like-minded organisations, and by acting as liaison between these entities and the business community. KLCBT’s president is Ms Sandra Jacobs (pictured).

Area of operation The Kruger Lowveld covers the Ehlanzeni District of Mpumalanga, including the following local municipalities: City of Mbombela, Thaba Chweu, Nkomazi and Bushbuckridge, as well as the southern part of Kruger National Park and the surrounding private nature reserves.

Member benefits Listing on website, Pay-to-Play participation in various marketing services and projects, weekly newsletter, invitations to all KLCBT events, advocacy and representations made by KLCBT on behalf of members, access to preferential arrangements negotiated by KLCBT with service providers, brochure display at Crossing Centre office, various sponsorship options, access to tender information. We are actively involved in the following advocacy campaigns: Service delivery: Public participation in various forums where government engages with stakeholders regarding budgets, planning and legislation. Promote home-grown businesses through education processes, research, maintaining a database, lobbying for stricter regulations

Contact details Physical address: KLCBT House, Crossing Centre, Nelspruit Postal address: Private Bag X 11326, Nelspruit 1200 Tel: +27 13 755 1988. Fax: +27 13 753 2986 Email: and Website:


Sandra Jacobs on large shopping chains, engaging large chains to buy local and to spend their CSI budgets locally. Local Economic Development: We are assisting with incubation in seven main corridors, mainly adding additional tourism products. Anti- corruption: S e veral successful initiatives reduced roadside corruption. Water: Bulk-water supply faces a future crisis and lobbying for the increase of storage capacity is beginning to show success. Roads and public attractions: Require upgrades and investment. Safety and security: A concern for all regions in SA. ■ MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22


Steel products company powers ahead after Seda boost Mboshini Engineering has gained new markets and is making new products as a result of partnering with Seda.


busiso Sibuyi started Mboshini Engineering Steel (Pty) Ltd in 2016 after the company he worked for in Lillydale closed its doors. The company belonged to his father and manufactured trailers, dumpers and burglar gates. Sbusiso bought the company from his father and hired him as a manager. With the skills he had acquired, he started manufacturing burglar doors and gates for the local community and the Kruger National Park. When the demand for burglar doors and gates increased, Sbusiso expanded his product range to steel window frames, door frames, trailers, steel structures, bull bars, aluminium frames and palisades. Few businesses were offering these products at that time in the local community and neighbouring villages. The business has increased its business assets by buying a tipper truck and a tracker-loaderbackhoe (TLB). Mboshini Engineering Steel operates from a warehouse in Lillydale in the Ehlanzeni District Municipality and employs three people (the owner included).

• • • • • • •

Seda’s interventions benefited the client in the following ways: • The business created one permanent job, leading to a staff complement of four and sustained three jobs. • Turnover increased by 55%. • The business secured sub-tenders from the Department of Education. • Increase in client number and sales to such an extent that the company has had to open a business bank account and hire an accountant. • Submitted a business plan to ABSA Bank and received significant funding. The money was used to buy a TLB. • Accessed funding from the NYDA. • Received a sub-tender from the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality for the leasing of a watertank truck.

Challenges Lack of funding to develop the business • No business plan to access finance • Lack of marketing tools • The business lacked adequate business management skills or systems •

Sbusiso Sibuyi says of the work done by Seda Mpumalanga in assisting him gain access to funding and to create the conditions for the growth of his business, “Seda is doing wonderful work in assisting even rural entrepreneurs.”

Interventions and solutions The client started working with Seda in September 2017 and the following interventions were commissioned:


Business management skills training A bankable business plan was developed to enable the business to gain access to funding Financial management training was facilitated by First National Bank Seda facilitated the development of signage to advertise, promote and increase business visibility Referral to ABSA Bank for funding Advised to use digital marketing to market the company’s products and services The client attended a five-day Empretec training course.


Seda offices Seda contacts


Provincial Office MPUMALANGA MANAGEMENT Koenie Slabbert - Provincial Manager Mopani Branch Seda Limpopo Provincial Tel: Office +27 15 287 2940 (located in Tzaneen) Fax: +27 15 297 4022 Ms Maseje Nchabeleng: Branch Mr Koenie Slabbert: Provincial Provincial Manager: Mr Mashiba Kgole Email: Manager Manager Physical address: 16 Building, Brander73 Street, Bi-Water 2nd Floor Suite 6, Maneo Biccard Street, Polokwane 0700 Tel: +27 15 306 6400 Tel: Suite +27 Suite 15 2940 Building, 102, Nelspruit Postnet 32 287 Private Bag X 93071200 Polokwane 0700

Fax: +27755 15 297 4022 Tel: (013) 8730

Fax: +27 15 307 2233

Hazyview 1242 0699


Fax: +27 15 290 8736 Tel: (017) 634 4339

Tel: +27 15 492 9600

Seda Vhembe Branch Email: Email: Email: Mr Marcus Mukumela Manager Mr Kgole Physical address:- Branch 2nd Floor Tel:Branch +27 15 960 8700 Carol Matsheka Physical address: 2nd Floor Nictus Manager: Building Fax: 086 634 8964 Physical address: Shop ABSA Building 68 Hans van Rensburg Street21, Simunye Email: Shopping Centre, 1263 Arend Street, 13 DanieRoad, Joubert Street 7950 Polokwane Old Mutual Building, Old Group Scheme Offices, Mphephu Thohoyandou

Tel: Capricorn (013) 799 Branch 5340 0850 Seda Ms Matsheka Capricorn Branch MrEmail: Peter Maredi - Branch Manager Tel: (located +27 15 290 8720 Waterberg Branch in Polokwane) Branch Florence Mathebula(located in Mokopane) Fax: +27Peter 15Manager: 290 8736 Branch Mr. Maredi: Manager Email: Physical South Wing, Govan Mbeki Mr Steve Botha: Branch Manager Tel: +27address: 15 290 8720 1stBuilding, Floor Pharmarama Building, 68 Hans2302 van Rensburg Street, Polokwane 0699 Lurgi Square, Secunda Fax: +27 15 491 7361 Email: Seda Waterberg Branch Ms Mathebula Email: Email: Physical address: Floor Mr Steve Botha - Branch1st Manager Physical address: Old Nedbank Tel: Nictus +27 15 Building 492 9600 Branch Manager: Ishmael Mmabadi Fax:68 +27 15 491 Building Hans van7361 Rensburg Street Physical address: 16 Brander Street, Bi-Water Email: 40 Retief Street Polokwane 103,40Nelspruit 1200 OldBuilding, NedbankSuite Building, Retief Street, MokopaneMokopane 0699

Tel: (013) 754 4380


Mr Mmbadi Email: Seda Mopani Branch Vhembe Branch Martin Rafferty - Acting Branch Manager Sekhukhune Branch (located in Thohoyandou) Tel:Branch +27 15 Manager: 306 6400 Manase Netshisaulu (located in Groblersdal) Mr Branch Fax: +27Marcus 15 address: 307Mukumela: 2233156 Lorenco Physical Email: Manager Street, Rotunda Circle, Malelane 1320 Mr Sabelo Ntshangase 27Tel: Peace Street, 1st Floor, 0850 Tel: +27 13 262 9430 Tel:(013) +27 15 960 8700Prosperitas Building, Tzaneen 790 1183

Fax: +27 15 962 4285 Email:

Mr Netshisaulu Fax: +27 13 262

Seda Sekhukhune Branch Email: Email: Mr Sabelo Ntshangase - Branch Manager Physical address: PhysicalManager: address: Bindulavhathu Branch Philiswa Mnguni Tel: +27 13 262 9430 Mutual Building Office Building Physical address: 1st floor, Level 2–1A, Email: Shop 4 and Office 10, 12 0407 3rdMall, Floor Saveways Shopping Corner Mandela Bareki Shop No. 20B,Centre, Cnr Chris Wild and Van Riebeek Street, Groblersdal

Road and OR Tambo Street, Witbank 1035 Hereford Street Thohoyandou Tel: (013) 655 6970 Groblersdal Mr Mnguni 0950 Email: 0470

We have built a strong team in the province made up of 16 Business Advisors, two Regional Facilitators and five Information Officers who have the responsibility of making measurable differences in the businesses that they assist. This team of Business Advisors works closely with a team of carefully selected service providers who possesses expert knowledge in different functional areas of business and industry sectors.

For more moreinformation informationcontact contactususat:at:015 013287 7552940 8730ororvisit visitour ourwebsite: For



Banking and finance New banks are entering the market. SECTOR INSIGHT Agricultural companies offer financing.


yme Digital went from acquiring a licence to running TymeBank with services available in more than 500 Pick n Pay and Boxer stores in less than two years. Tyme reported in October 2020 that it had 2.4-million customers, up from 1.4-million at the end of March. A 400% increase in the use of services such as airtime and electricity purchases was also noted. Second to market among the country’s new banks was Discovery Bank, which officially launched in 2019 and is experiencing rapid growth with retail deposits at the end of 2020 of R5.7-billion. Discovery Bank is applying the behavioural model it uses in its health business to reward good financial behaviour. The Discovery group is already a giant on the JSE with a market value of R83-billion and access to millions of customers. The appetite for mutual banks is strong, given the nature of the South African market. The Young Women in Business Network (YWBN) intends applying for a mutual bank licence and Bank Zero will use the mutual model. South Africa’s four big retail banks (Nedbank, Absa, Standard Bank and First National Bank) have a solid presence in the major towns in the province. Standard Bank’s agricultural specialists cater to all aspects of the value chain and make facilities available to exporters, including

ONLINE RESOURCES Financial Sector Conduct Authority: Public Investment Corporation: South African Reserve Bank:



foreign exchange and hedging fluctuating foreign currencies. Capitec is rapidly moving towards being part of a Big Five and it has announced that it will partner with Centriq Life to enter the insurance market. Agriculture is an important focus area for banks, and most have specialised divisions. Piet Retief-based 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. African Bank has created an account that allows up to five additional accounts to be created in the name of the main account. Fees are only charged for drawing cash or at the time of a transaction. There are no monthly fees for any of the accounts which can be either for saving or transactional. Each user has his or her own card and monies can be moved between accounts, ideal for families. ■


INDEX Council for Geoscience ................................................................................................................................... 34-37 Enertrag ............................................................................................................................................................................21 Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) ............................................................................................... 46-47 Komati Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism (KLCBT)..........................................................51 Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA)....................................................................2-3, OBC MTN..................................................................................................................................................5, 11, 12-13, 43, 49 Old Mutual .............................................................................................................................................................. 24-25 Sasol ..................................................................................................................................................................................IFC Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) ................................................................ 22-23, 52-53 Standard Bank................................................................................................................................. 16-19, 30-31, 55



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 13 759 8500 | Fax: +27 13 759 8539 Website: Bushbuckridge Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 004 0291 | Fax: +27 13 799 1865 Website: City of Mbombela Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 759 9111 | Fax: +27 13 759 2070 Website: Nkomazi Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 790 0245 | Fax: +27 13 790 0886 Website: Thaba Chweu Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 235 7300 | Fax: +27 13 235 1108 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: Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality Tel: +27 17 843 4000 | Fax: +27 17 843 4001 Website: Dipaleseng Local Municipality Tel: +27 17 773 0055 | Fax: +27 17 773 0169 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:

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: Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality Tel: +27 17 734 6100 | Fax: 086 630 2209 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: Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 973 1101 | Fax: +27 13 973 0974 Website: Emakhazeni Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 253 7600 | Fax: +27 13 253 2440 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: Thembisile Hani Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 986 9100 | Fax: +27 13 986 0995 Website: Victor Khanye Local Municipality Tel: +27 13 665 6000 | Fax: +27 13 665 2913 Website:

Articles from Mpumalanga Business 2021-22