Capitalise on huge investment in the manufacturing sector

The future for manufacturing in the KwaZulu-Natal region is looking especially bright, with a number of substantial recently completed projects and newly announced projects seeing a large cash injection from well-known companies.

In mid-April, the second phase of the upgrade and expansion to Sumitomo Rubber South Africa’s Dunlop tyre manufacturing facility in Ladysmith commenced. The expansion project represents an investment of R2-billion and will create approximately 420 jobs over the next few years. Later in April, heavy minerals mining company Tronox officially opened its new R3.3-billion Fairbreeze mine in Empangeni and Nestlé’s Estcourt-based instant coffee plant was inaugurated. This is the final part of a five-year plan by Nestlé which saw R2.9-billion invested by the company in South Africa.

On 18 May MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu announced that the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government had acquired a 1 000 ha tract of land on the banks of the Illovo River, to become the future home of the province’s first automotive supplier park. This news was followed less than a week later by the opening of the Toyota manufacturing plant in Prospecton by President Jacob Zuma. The Toyota plant is part of the company’s investment of R6.1-billion into the South African automobile industry.

Local industrial technology companies need to capitalise on these projects as well as future planned endeavours that operate under the auspices of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), according to Charlene Hefer, Portfolio Director at Specialised Exhibitions.

“This is extremely positive and encouraging news for the industrial technology sector in KwaZulu-Natal and we urge companies to start marketing their products and services in order to benefit from ongoing incentives and initiatives,” she says.

A targeted way of promoting brands to the local market is through KZN’s leading sector exhibition – the KwaZulu-Natal Industrial Technology Exhibition (KITE). Not only does KITE have a history that stretches back over three decades, but the exhibition has proved that it has the ability to encourage lively interaction between exhibitors and its niche visitor base. KITE 2017 is being held once again at the Durban Exhibition Centre, from 26 to 28 July 2017.

Ongoing market research ensures that KITE remains current on industry demands in terms of educational content and other visitor attractions. “Part of our strategy to promote sustainability for our exhibitors, is to ensure that we provide a holistic event for industry professionals. This has resulted in not only the development of a seminar programme driven by knowledgeable speakers, but furthermore in the introduction of new visitor attractions. In 2017, visitors can look forward to interacting with exhibitors from the packaging, food processing, plastics, printing & labelling industries at the Propak Pavilion. In addition, we are looking at possibly launching an industrial conference to complement and enhance our current educational programme,” says Hefer.

No other exhibition in KwaZulu-Natal covers such a wide array of industrial technological development, including displays and information on construction equipment and material; electronic components, energy solutions; environmental solutions; heavy machinery; hygiene products and services; industrial equipment and components; IT and telecommunications manufacturing equipment; materials handling; monitoring, process control and sensors; security equipment; workwear and protective equipment; plant and facility equipment; safety equipment and machinery; tools; and industrial services.

To book a stand or discuss a sponsorship package at KITE, contact Loftie Eaton or Mark Anderson on +27 41 585 8274 or +27 10 003 3063 or email or For more information on KITE 2017, visit the website at