PORT SHEPSTONE TO GROW OCEANSIDE ECONOMY
Port Shepstone is fast becoming an economic hub along the hub on the KZN South Coast with significant investment opportunities.
Located just an hour-and-a-half south of Durban, the once small seaside town has a lot to offer when it comes to the so-called oceanside economy, explains Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE).
“Port Shepstone has always been a popular tourism destination, but the past few years have seen the town developing into a strategic economic and cultural hub, boasting a wide variety of investment opportunities across all sectors. Our role is to connect potential investors with the many opportunities found here, while facilitating all processes to make doing business on the KZN South Coast as inviting as possible,” she says.
As the official economic development arm of the region, SCTIE was formed when two entities, Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) and Ugu South Coast Development Agency (USCDA), amalgamated this year. This combined both experience and resources that will enable the team to identify and unlock the area’s full potential.
SCTIE has also partnered with Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) to establish a One Stop Shop office in the KZN South Coast. This aims to improve the efficiency of doing business through fast tracking the approval process whilst, at the same time, ensuring that investors have access to municipal incentives in the district.
Because it is located between the coastal towns of Hibberdene and Margate, Port Shepstone is well positioned to be the area’s the administrative, educational, distribution and commercial centre. As such, it is home to well established services, including major banks, government departments and South African Revenue Service (SARS) offices. Port Shepstone is also the seat for both the Ray Nkonyeni and Ugu District municipalities. Many businesses use the town as a base for their regional head offices.
When it comes to events, from business conferences through to sports, Port Shepstone is considered a prime destination. The area offers a wide variety of accommodation, conferencing and banqueting venues, as well as quality dining options.
The area has a year-round subtropical climate and nutrient-rich soil which creates the perfect conditions for agriculture – a fact which is made evident by the surrounding farmlands. The women-owned BBS Farm is a great example of the agricultural and agritourism opportunities in Port Shepstone and surrounds. The tomatoes and macadamias grown here are sold internationally and the farm is also one of the stops on the popular Agri-CULTURE Tours offering.
The area’s manufacturing potential is significant with the textile industry in Marburg and successful furniture manufacturing in the region good indicators of future potential. The town’s industries also include Illovo Sugar’s Umzimkhulu Sugar Mill, a lime works and a marble quarry. Additionally, timber, wattle bark and sub-tropical fruit are produced in the district
With Port Shepstone situated on the N2 within easy reach of King Shaka International Airport and Durban Harbour, the potential for a thriving logistics industry is another important opportunity for investment. The location of the KZN South Coast means it’s also a gateway to the Eastern Cape connecting the economies of these two coastal regions.
The ocean economy adjacent to Port Shepstone also boasts a number of investment opportunities, extending from the established tourism economy through to renewable energy production, sustainable fisheries and even maritime transport.
In addition, considering the growing trend of coastal estates as primary residential investment options, Port Shepstone is a valuable real estate asset. Recent reports indicate that the KZN South Coast is becoming more in demand as people consider ‘semigration’ living, whereby they retain jobs inland and work remotely from the coast.
Considering the cost-effectiveness of KZN South Coast properties compared with other coastal regions, alongside the attractive lifestyle and climate, the demand is only set to grow.
“Port Shepstone is really the gateway to the KZN South Coast. It’s really just a matter of who gets in first. We’re ready to assist investors, both locally and internationally, who are looking for a low-risk opportunity that promises massive return on investment,” Mangu concludes.