Southern Africa's premier logistics platform
Tag: Southern Africa, Southern Africa platform
Summary: Located between the two largest sea ports in the southern hemisphere - Durban and Richards Bay - the Dube Trade Port has huge potential to boost economic growth and job creation in the province.
In 2003, South Africa decided to relocate the old Durban International Airport to La Mercy and to establish the Dube Trade Port, incorporating the new King Shaka International Airport. The airport was completed ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Located between the two largest sea ports in the southern hemisphere - Durban and Richards Bay - the Dube Trade Port has huge potential to boost economic growth and job creation in the province.
Officially launching the Dube Trade Port on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma said he was impressed by the development at the massive facility.
"The focus on agriculture and food security in this airport city is a very progressive step," Zuma said. "The advantage of the agrizone is the use of limited growing space for the production of high volumes of high quality produce.
"As this project demonstrates, there is real scope for growth and finding new markets for the produce, including exports. Other than improving food security, agriculture is an important source of exports," Zuma added.
The Dube Trade Port Corporation - a state-owned enterprise - is now in a strong position to boost economic development and job creation in the province and the country. The construction phase alone has generated close to 20000 jobs in each of the past two years.
SA Express has concluded an agreement with the Dube Trade Port Corporation, which will see a connection being established between King Shaka International and the region, especially to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique.
There are also plans for SA Express to expand into countries such as Namibia, Malawi, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"There can only be positive results from this strategic move," Zuma said. "You will recall ... that there is a major African Union move to develop a continental free trade zone.
"Three regions alone - SADC, the East African Community and Comesa - bring together about 600-million people. Added to this, Africa provides a market of one-billion people. The focus on our continent is therefore a step in the right direction in terms of the country's strategic goals," Zuma said.
"The Trade Port is also set to be southern Africa's premier logistics platform, given that the Port of Durban provides connectivity to 53 international destinations and access to local distribution networks."
The President said King Shaka International had to market itself aggressively as a key entry point for international routes by attracting international carriers to Durban via bilateral air service agreements.