Mpumalanga Business 2020-21 edition

The 2020/21 edition of Mpumalanga Business is the 11th issue of this essential publication that since its launch in 2008 has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the province. Updated overviews of each of the key economic sectors of the province are included, with references to the latest investments by companies across multiple sectors. These include Sappi, Sasol and Sonae Arauco, which is expanding its White River factory. Afrimat is considering investment in the mining sector, while Exxaro Resources, South32 and Pan African Resources are among the mining companies spending on extending the life of existing mines. A useful article on what incentives are available to investors from various departments and agencies is provided. Mpumalanga has several investment and business opportunities in a wide range of sectors.

The 2020/21 edition of Mpumalanga Business is the 11th issue of this essential publication that since its launch in 2008 has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the province. Updated overviews of each of the key economic sectors of the province are included, with references to the latest investments by companies across multiple sectors. These include Sappi, Sasol and Sonae Arauco, which is expanding its White River factory. Afrimat is considering investment in the mining sector, while Exxaro Resources, South32 and Pan African Resources are among the mining companies spending on extending the life of existing mines. A useful article on what incentives are available to investors from various departments and agencies is provided. Mpumalanga has several investment and business opportunities in a wide range of sectors.


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Mpumalanga Business 2020/21 Edition


Foreword 4

A unique guide to business and investment in Mpumalanga.

Special features

A regional overview of Mpumalanga 6

New technologies and new priorities are set to

reshape the economy of Mpumalanga.

Investment incentives 10

A range of incentives are available to investors,

companies, entrepreneurs and co-operatives.

Economic sectors

Agriculture and agri-processing 18

New agricultural sites are planned for defunct mines.

Forestry and paper 20

Sonae Arauco has expanded its White River factory.

Oil and gas 22

Gas finds off the coast of Mozambique could be significant.

Water 23

National department steps in with tanks and trucks.

Mining 26

Afrimat is looking to expand into Mpumalanga.

Manufacturing 28

Mpumalanga’s natural resources support

a diverse manufacturing sector.



Transport and logistics 32

Mpumalanga is the country’s busiest rail province.

Tourism 34

Tourism makes up 7% of provincial GDP.

Banking and financial services 36

Banking customers are being offered more choice.

Education and training 37

Robotics and Coding are now part of teacher training.

Development finance and SMME support 38

Entrepreneurship training is offered at new youth centres.


Sector contents 16

Local government listings 39

Index 40


The Two Rivers platinum mine is on the

southern part of the eastern limb of the

Bushveld Igneous Complex, south-west

of Burgersfort. Two Rivers is a joint

venture between African Rainbow

Minerals (54%) and Implats (46%).

Image: Implats.



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Mpumalanga Area Manager: Christian de Wet

078 683 4209 | cdewet@abc.co.za


Mpumalanga Business

A unique guide to business and investment in Mpumalanga.


Publisher: Chris Whales

Publishing director:

Robert Arendse

Editor: John Young

Managing director: Clive During

Online editor: Christoff Scholtz

Art director: Brent Meder

Designer: Simon Lewis

Production: Lizel Olivier

Ad sales:

Gavin van der Merwe

Sam Oliver

Jeremy Petersen

Gabriel Venter

Vanessa Wallace

Shiko Diala

Administration & accounts:

Charlene Steynberg

and Natalie Koopman

Printing: FA Print

The 2020/21 edition of Mpumalanga Business is the 11th issue

of this successful publication that since its launch in 2008

has established itself as the premier business and investment

guide for the province.

Updated overviews of each of the key economic sectors of the

province are included, with references to the latest investments by

companies across multiple sectors. These include Sappi, Sasol and

Sonae Arauco, which is expanding its White River factory. Afrimat is

considering investment in the mining sector, while Exxaro Resources,

South32 and Pan African Resources are among the mining

companies spending on extending the life of existing mines. A useful

article on what incentives are available to investors from various

departments and agencies is provided. Mpumalanga has several

investment and business opportunities in a wide range of sectors.

To complement the extensive local, national and international distribution

of the print edition, the full content can also be viewed online

at www.globalafricanetwork.com. Updated information on Mpumalanga

is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you

can subscribe to online at www.gan.co.za, 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: chris@gan.co.za


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.

Member of the Audit Bureau

of Circulations


Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd

Company Registration No: 2004/004982/07

Directors: Clive During, Chris Whales

Physical address: 28 Main Road, Rondebosch 7700

Postal address: PO Box 292, Newlands 7701

Tel: +27 21 657 6200 | Fax: +27 21 674 6943

Email: info@gan.co.za | Website: www.gan.co.za

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.

PHOTO CREDITS | Pics courtesy Andover NR, Anglo American, Columbus

Stainless, Eco Log Homes, Implats, KLCBT, Laeveld Agrochem, Likweti

Bushveld Farm Estate, Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, Nafasi


Water, Pexels, Pixabay, Transnet, Sasol, Sasol Foundation, Seda, Singita

Sabora Tented Camp, Ubank, Wikipedia


DISCLAIMER | While the publisher, Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd, has used

all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information contained in Mpumalanga

Business is accurate and up-to-date, the publishers make no representations as to

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.



A regional overview

of Mpumalanga

By John Young

New technologies and new priorities are set to reshape

the economy of Mpumalanga.

Coal has been the engine of the

Mpumalanga economy for many years.

Most of South Africa’s power comes from

coal, and most of those power stations are

in Mpumalanga. More than 80% of South Africa’s

coal is currently sourced in Mpumalanga, with the

town of eMalahleni (Witbank) being the centre of

the industry. Other minerals found in the province

include gold, platinum-group minerals, chromite,

zinc, cobalt, copper, iron and manganese.

Confronting South Africa’s reliance on coal is

not something that seems to be on the agenda

at the moment, with a good deal of thought

and effort going into find ways to get coal to

Mpumalanga’s power stations from the next big

coal region, the Waterberg. A new railway line is

mooted. The lives of a number of Mpumalanga

coal mines are being extended and Sasol launched

the third of its replacement mines in 2019.

The most popular renewable energy

technologies, wind and solar, have little purchase

in Mpumalanga but a game-changer could come

to the provincial economy in the form of gas. This

would allow the province to retain its position

as an energy provider and to start moving away

from coal. Vast new fields of natural gas have been

found off the coast of Mozambique and the large

and sophisticated infrastructure that Sasol has

built up over the years make it well-placed to fire

up a gas-based economy.

Sasol (pictured above), an integrated oil, gas

and chemicals company with more than 30 000

employees and operations in 31 countries, runs

several plants at Secunda. Products manufactured

at the complex include synthetic fuel, petroleum,

paraffin, jet fuel, creosote, bitumen, diesel and

lubricants. The primary feedstock for synthetic-fuel

production is coal, and the plant is in the heart of




Mpumalanga’s coalfields. Sasol regularly spends

tens of millions on upgrades and improvements at

the Secunda complex. The Sasol Synfuels refinery

is the only commercial coal-to-liquid fuel plant

in the world and constitutes a key component in

South Africa’s oil and gas sector.

On a smaller scale, the provincial government is

looking beyond coal towards a renewable energy

future, especially where projects can be tackled by

small businesses. There might be opportunities in

micro-hydro or rooftop solar projects that will help

to reduce dependence on the national grid while

simultaneously promoting SMMEs.

The other big new reality that Mpumalanga

has to face is the fact that travel and tourism will

not be a priority for people around the world any

time soon. The effect of the Covid-19 epidemic is

likely to be keenly felt by the hotels, lodges and

game reserves of Mpumalanga. It is possible that

visits to game reserves and nature reserves will be

allowed (even encouraged perhaps) sooner than

other sectors of the tourism sector because of the

big distances between cars and people that can

be achieved. But the turnover from restaurants

will be absent for some considerable time and in a

province where 7% of GDP is derived from tourism,

this is bad news.

In 2018, tourists spent R13.1-billion in the

province. Numbers were rising for both international

tourist arrivals and domestic tourists as

a result of a strong marketing campaign by the

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA).

The Kruger National Park remains the province’s

most visited asset but the decision by UNESCO to

afford World Heritage Site status to the Makhonjwa

Mountains near Barberton will boost geological

tourism to the province and supports the efforts

of the province to diversify its offering.

Major projects to improve tourist experiences

are underway at the Graskop Gorge (where a

transparent lift takes tourists into the depths of the

gorge), a skywalk is to be built at God’s Window

and a cable car is planned for Three Rondavels.

The international body’s decision has also

had the effect of expanding the curriculum at the

relatively new University of Mpumalanga. On the

basis of the UNESCO ruling, UMP is offering geology

as part of a BSc degree, to supplement existing

courses in education, agriculture and hospitality.

Several infrastructure investment projects in

the tourism sector have been put forward by the

Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA).

There is a special focus on BRICS countries and

provincial authorities are investigating a tourism airlift

route between Moscow and Mpumalanga.

The TRILAND partnership with Eswatini

and Mozambique is another avenue, as is the

collaboration with KwaZulu-Natal, Eswatini,

Mozambique and the Seychelles. The latter project

is called east3ROUTE Tourism Initiative and proclaims

“Experience, Adventure, Scenery and Trade” between

the participating provinces and countries.

A major concern for provincial planners

is to diversify the economy and to grow the

manufacturing sector. The Mpumalanga Economic

Growth and Development Path (MEGDP)

identifies beneficiation, agri-processing and the

development of value chains as priorities.

Various industrial parks are planned which

will focus on agriculture and forestry, mining

and metals and petrochemicals. An International

Fresh Produce Market in Nelspruit and the planned

Nkomazi Special Economic Zone (SEZ) are

other priorities.

Steel and associated manufacturing remains

one of the province’s strong suits and Mpumalanga

has rich and varied mineral resources and fertile

soil that support diverse farming operations, agriprocessing

and forestry.

The province also hosts large companies in

the manufacturing sector. Columbus Stainless in

Middelburg is a major producer of stainless steel,

while Middelburg Ferrochrome, Thos Begbie and

the Nelspruit-based Manganese Metal Company are

among other important heavy industrial companies.

The province’s rich agricultural produce is used

by companies such as McCain, Nestlé and PepsiCo

and there are also pulp and paper plants (Sappi and

Mondi), fertiliser facilities and textile manufacturing

concerns. The decision by Sappi to start producing

dissolving wood pulp at its Ngodwana Mill has

significantly increased the manufacturing capacity

of the province. York Timbers is a leading forestry

company and the sugar mills and refinery of RCL

Foods (formerly TSB Sugar) are large contributors to

the provincial economy.



The southern half of the eastern limb of the

platinum-rich Bushveld Igneous Complex runs

south towards the towns of Lydenburg and

Machadodorp. Deposits of chromite, magnetite

and vanadium in this area are the basis of the

ferro-alloy complex in Witbank-Middelburg and



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.

Ehlanzeni District Municipality

Towns: Mbombela, Malelane, Hazyview, White

River, Sabie, Lydenburg, Barberton

Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) is the

capital city of Mpumalanga province

and the main town of the Mbombela

Local Municipality within the Ehlanzeni

District Municipality.The new University

of Mpumalanga has its headquarters in

Mbombela. The Lowveld Show and the

InniBos Arts Festival are major events

that showcase Mbombela’s diversity and

importance as a regional hub.

The fertile Crocodile River Valley

ensures good fruit crops in a typically

subtropical climate. Mangoes, litchis and

avocados are among the crops grown

most profitably and the town is at the

centre of the regional citrus sector. The

Lowveld Botanical Gardens contain

many rare species.The urban centres are





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nodes of manufacturing in Govan Mbeki Local Municipality the municipality. Dr About JS Moroka Local one-million Municipality people LISTING


Tel: +27 17 620 6000 | Fax: +27 17 634 8019

this region, which is also at the heart of Mpumalanga’s

tourism offering. The Kruger Tel: National +27 17 17620 6000 Park, | Fax: +27 17 17634 8019

headquarters are Tel: in +27 Ermelo.

13 13973 1101 | Fax: +27 13 13973 0974

Website: Lekwa Local www.govanmbeki.gov.za


Website: Emakhazeni www.moroka.gov.za

Local Municipality

in the Gert Sibande

Tel: +27 13


973 1101 | Fax: +27


13 973



Govan municipal

Website: Mbeki www.govanmbeki.gov.za

Local Municipality

Dr Website: JS JS Moroka www.moroka.gov.za

Local Municipality

the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes,

Tel: +27 17 712 9600 | Fax: +27 17 712 6808

Tel: +27 13 253 7600

God’s Window and other attractions Lekwa Website: make Local www.lekwalm.gov.za


this a Nkangala District Emakhazeni Fax: +27 13 253 Local 2440Municipality

highly desirable place to visit. Citrus,

Tel: +27 17 17


712 9600 | and

Fax: +27 17 17712 6808

Towns: Middelburg,

Tel: Website: +27 13 13


253 Delmas,


Kriel, eMalahleni

Website: Mkhondo www.lekwalm.gov.za

Local Municipality

eMalahleni Fax: +27 13 13253 Local 2440


forestry are the major agricultural Tel: products, +27 17 826 8100 | Fax: all +27 17 826 3129 (Witbank), eMakhazeni Website: Tel: +27 13 www.emakhazeni.gov.za

690 6911 (Belfast), | Fax: +27 13 690 6207 Dullstroom,

Mkhondo being major contributors to export Website: earnings. www.mkhondo.gov.za

Local Municipality

eMalahleni The eMgwenya (Waterval Website: www.emalahleni.gov.za

Local Municipality


Tel: +27 17 17826 8100 | Fax: +27 17 17826 3129

Tel: +27 13 13690 6911 | Fax: +27 13 13690 6207

Sappi paper mill at Ngodwana is one Website: Msukaligwa of the www.mkhondo.gov.za

Local biggest Municipality This area straddles Website: Steve Tshwete www.emalahleni.gov.za

the Local north-west. Municipality Rural and

of its kind while RCL Foods operates Tel: two 086 116 large 7852 | Fax: mills +27 17 801 3851 traditional in the north-west Tel: +27 13 249 7000 where the King of the

Msukaligwa Website: www.msukaligwa.gov.za

Local Municipality

Steve Fax: +27 Tshwete 13 243 2550 Local Municipality

in the east. The population is about 1.7-million.

Tel: 086 116 7852 | Fax: +27 17 801 3851

Ndebele is still revered,


there is a concentration

Website: +27 13 13


249 7000

Website: Pixley Ka www.msukaligwa.gov.za

Isaka Seme Local Municipality of coal mining Fax: and +27 13 13243 steel 2550

production in the

Tel: +27 17 734 6100 | Fax: 086 630 2209

Website: Thembisile www.stlm.gov.za

Hani Local Municipality

Gert Sibande District Municipality Pixley industrial centre. Proximity to Gauteng brings

Website: Ka www.pixleykaseme.gov.za

Isaka Seme Local Municipality

Tel: +27 13 986 9100 | Fax: +27 13 986 0995

Towns: Bethal, Secunda, Standerton, 17 Ermelo,

Tel: +27 17 734 6100 | Fax: 086 630 2209 economic opportunity Thembisile Website: www.thembisilehanilm.gov.za

Hani and Local Municipality the area is rich in

Website: NKANGALA www.pixleykaseme.gov.za


Tel: +27 13 13986 9100 | Fax: +27 13 13986 0995

Volksrust, Mkhondo (Piet Retief ), Carolina

minerals. The District Municipality’s headquarters

Physical address: 2A Walter Sisulu Street, Middleburg 1055

Website: Victor Khanye www.thembisilehanilm.gov.za

Local Municipality

Power stations abound in this NKANGALA region Postal address: PO which


1050 are in Middelburg. Tel: +27 The 13 665 6000 north-east | Fax: +27 13 665 2913 hosts a lively

stretches across the southern half of Tel: the +27 13 249 province

2000 | Fax: +27 13 249 2056

Physical address: 2A Walter Sisulu Street, Middleburg 1055


trout-fishing sector Email: munadmin@delmasmuni.co.za

Khanye Local Municipality

that includes hatcheries

Postal Website: address: www.nkangaladm.org.za

PO Box 437, Middleburg 1050

Tel: Website: +27 13 13


665 6000 | Fax: +27 13 13665 2913

and it is the home of the giant Sasol Tel: +27 facilities 13 13249 2000 | Fax: at +27 13 13249 2056

and accommodation Email: munadmin@delmasmuni.co.za

for tourists. Approximately

Secunda. The area makes up the northern

Website: www.nkangaladm.org.za

tip of 1.4-million people




in the district. ■


South Africa’s maize triangle.

Agriculture and food processing MUNICIPALITIES IN MPUMALANGA Limpopo


are well-developed sectors.

Dr JS Moroka




Thaba Chweu

North West

Sheep, chicken, sunflower and


Dr JS Moroka

Dr JS Thembisile Moroka

Thaba Chweu

sorghum are among the area’s

Thaba Chweu

North West




Thembisile Nkangala Emakhazeni


many agricultural products.



Steve Tshwete Emakhazeni

eMalahleni Nkangala Emakhazeni


Nestlé has a processing





Victor Khanye

Chief Albert Luthuli

Steve Tshwete

plant at Standerton, as does

eMalahleni Steve Tshwete




Victor Khanye

Victor Khanye

Chief Albert Luthuli

Govan Mbeki

Chief Albert Luthuli

Astral Foods. Mondi runs a



pulp and paper facility in the


Dipaleseng Govan Mbeki

Govan Mbeki Gert Sibande Msukaligwa



south-east. Major highways



Gert Sibande


Gert Sibande Mkhondo

Metropolitan/District Municipality Boundary

Pixley Ka Seme

connecting Gauteng with the



Local Municipality Boundary

Free State


District Municipality


Mkhondo Metropolitan/District Municipality Boundary

Metropolitan/District Local Municipality Municipality Boundary uMlalazi

coastal regions pass through

Pixley Ka Seme

Pixley Ka Seme

Local Municipality Boundary

Free State

Local Municipality Boundary

District Municipality

District Municipality

Local Municipality

Local Municipality










South African

investment incentives

The South African government, particularly the Department of Trade, Industry

and Competition, has a range of incentives available to investors, existing

companies, entrepreneurs and co-operatives across many sectors.

Zindoga Trading and Projects.

Image: Seda

South 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-

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).




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 R30-

million. 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


• 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-

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: www.investmentincentives.co.za



see money differently





Loderick Lubisi, Nedbank’s Provincial

General Manager for Limpopo and

Mpumalanga, explains how new brand

values built on the bank’s expertise can

benefit Nedbank clients, especially in what is

now ‘the new normal’.

'Nedbank has continued to deliver on its

brand promise, which is to use our financial

expertise to do good for individuals, families,

businesses and communities in which we

operate. Our client-centred strategy has

enabled us to reach out to our individual and

business clients in times of need during the

Covid-19 national lockdown,' he says.

The Nedbank Contact Centre and advanced

digital innovation, including the awardwinning

Nedbank Money app, enabled the

bank to continue serving clients in the

comfort of their homes. It brought

convenience to clients and helped them to

comply with lockdown regulations.

Lubisi says that for small- and mediumbusiness

clients, Nedbank continues to

deliver end-to-end solutions through a

dedicated business manager. ‘Our business

managers are supported by a team of

experts across the bank to deliver seamless

Our client-centred strategy

has enabled us to reach out

to our individual and business

clients in times of need …

banking solutions. Our bigger-picture

business approach ensures that we are able

to take a holistic view of the business by

understanding the vision, cashflow cycle,

and transactional and capital expenditure

needs of the business. This way, we become

trusted advisors to the business owners who

strive to grow their business.’

‘We encourage you to see money differently

with the bigger-picture approach offered

by Nedbank Business Banking, and to take

advantage of our one-stop banking service

in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and beyond,’

Lubisi says.

To take your business to the next level or

for more information about Nedbank’s

specialised service offering, email

Loderick Lubisi at loderickl@nedbank.co.za

or visit www.nedbank.co.za/business.


see money differently





Nedbank is committed to delivering

easy and innovative banking

solutions to government,

municipalities and state-owned enterprises

throughout South Africa.

Monei Seleho, Nedbank's Provincial

Manager for the Public Sector in Limpopo

and Mpumalanga, says that given the

strategic importance of the public sector to

the economy and the country at large,

Nedbank has a dedicated public sector team

to provide financial solutions that enable the

broader mandate of service delivery. ‘We

understand that the various spheres of

government and their agencies face unique

challenges, and are ready and able to draw

on the bank’s innovative, seamless and

hassle-free products to help build a greater


With an enduring belief in the value of

strong partnerships in facilitating business

growth, effective community development

and environmental conservation, Seleho’s

team boasts extensive experience in

provincial and local government, stateowned

entities and educational institutions.

‘Our services are tailored specifically for the

needs of the public sector and include

We understand that

the various spheres of

government and their

agencies face unique

challenges …

extensive transactional banking solutions,

short to long term funding, financial

products and services for public servants

and value-added services.’

In addition, Nedbank supports its public

sector clients on their transformation

journey through the implementation of

various enterprise development initiatives.

‘The focus to grow small and medium

enterprises is a business imperative for

economic sustainability as well as for

ensuring a thriving, vibrant social and

economic future,’ says Seleho.

To find out more about how Nedbank can

partner with your organisation togrowa

greater South Africa, please email

Monei Seleho at moneis@nedbank.co.za or

visit www.nedbank.co.za/business


see money differently




Claude Keena, Nedbank Provincial Sales Manager for Limpopo

and Mpumalanga, says that a deep connection with the

community is what underlies his team's personal and

professional values.

Based in each community, our teams

have a thorough understanding of the

local economy and a genuine interest

in the success of each client. We believe that

our role goes beyond providing banking

solutions and we play an active role in

empowering the communities in which we


Keena says that, as money experts who do

good, Nedbank strives to empower the

workplace employees who drive the

Limpopo & Mpumalanga economy by saving

them time and money, as well as helping

them manage their money better through

the Workplace Banking solution.

'We assist clients to save time by providing

onsite assistance from our dedicated teams,

and we help them save money through our

preferential banking packages and our

award-winning Financial Fitness and

Consumer Education programmes. These

interventions assist clients in managing their

money better by providing budgeting and

money management training, equipping

their staff to better deal with everyday

money management challenges'

And the innovative banking journey

continues, ensuring greater value for clients.

We assist clients to save time

by providing onsite assistance

from our dedicated teams …

Our market-leading Money app allows clients

to manage accounts and investments, make

payments and set savings goals and

budgets from their smartphone.

Keena adds that working with communities

is entrenched in the bank’s values through

community development, skills development,

education and job creation, as well

as environmental conservation. ‘These play

a vital role in building a sustainable economy

and vibrant society. We believe our fastgrowing

presence in communities goes a long

way in enabling greater financial inclusion

while contributing towards economic growth,'

he says.

If you are interested in taking your business

to the next level through our workplace

banking solution and would like more

information about Nedbank’s specialised

service offering, please contact

Claude Keena at claudek@nedbank.co.za or

visit www.nedbank.co.za.


see money differently




According to the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz),

South Africa’s agricultural sector is not expected to be hit as

hard by the Covid-19 pandemic as the global agricultural sector.

In fact, thanks to bumper grain and fruit

harvests, we could see a 10% year-onyear

recovery in GDP in the sector for

2020. The current maize harvest is up 38%

from the 2018/19 harvest, and is the secondlargest

harvest on record, which means

that South Africa remain a net exporter of

maize and could also export maize beyond

the African continent.

While this is good news for an economy

entering what’s expected to be the deepest

recession on record, the agriculture value

chain faces a daunting task: to increase food

production by 70% to meet the demands of a

global population that is expected to reach

nine billion by 2050. As with many economic

sectors, it is becoming clear that technology

and innovation are the drivers in the

establishment of more efficient, productive

and sustainable agriculture.

Ivor Meeding, Nedbank Regional Manager

Agriculture for Mpumalanga, says that

Nedbank has created innovative funding

solutions designed to support farmers with

sustainable farming interventions where the

commodity produced or infrastructure itself

is used as security. ‘For example, with

drought a perpetual threat that South

Nedbank has created innovative

funding solutions designed to

support farmers with sustainable

farming interventions …

Africa faces, our funding solutions range

from water-efficiency innovations and

cutting-edge irrigation to shade-netting,

which improves the yield of underperforming

crops, protects them from natural hazards

and reduces water use.’

Nedbank's purpose is to help clients 'see

money differently' and we do this by

applying our bigger-picture business

banking approach to understand each

client’s business and the specific challenges

and opportunities they face. This enables us

to provide the banking solutions they need,

ranging from the innovations mentioned

above to short- and long-term financial

support,’ he says.

If you would like to see how our specialist

teams can assist you,orwantmore

information, please send email Ivor Meeding

at ivorm@nedbank.co.za or visit


Nedbank Ltd Reg No 1951/000009/06. Authorised financial

services and registered credit provider (NCRCP16).


Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit. Pic: Wikipedia



Overviews of the main economic sectors of Mpumalanga

Agriculture 18

Forestry and paper 20

Oil and gas 22

Water 23

Mining 26

Manufacturing 28

Transport and logistics 32

Tourism 34

Banking and financial services 36

Education and training 37

Development finance

and SMME support 38



Agriculture and agri-processing

New agricultural sites are planned for defunct mines.

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. A number of off-take agreements

have been signed between commercial and emerging farmers and

wholesalers and distributers in Oman.

A provincial programme called Phezukomkhono Mlimi is providing

mechanisation and input support to subsistence and emerging famers

and households which are engaged in agriculture. Farmers receiving

support from government are expected to enrol on courses offered

by the AgriSETA. The Fortune 40 programme has a specific focus on

developing young entrepreneurs in farming. Twelve of the Fortune 40

farms have been linked to retailers such as Spar, Shoprite and Boxer

and with wholesalers and agri-hubs.

The goal is to have an agri-hub in each of the province’s three

districts. Small-scale farmers and co-operatives are being given

a chance to connect to the formal economy via the hubs which

will also provide advice and equipment. The Mkhuhlu agri-hub in

Bushbuckridge, which forms part of the Provincial Government

Nutrition Programme, is operational.

The Mkhondo agri-hub in Gert Sibande District is completed and

partially operational. The plan is for it become fully operational in

the next financial year. A feasibility study is underway relating to the

establishment of a hub in the Nkomazi Municipality. A budget of R15-

million has been agreed for the first phase and the creation of a packhouse.

An International Fresh Produce Market is planned as a means of

stimulating agricultural production, but the project has stalled.

Other interventions include the re-commissioning of

the Bushbuckridge poultry abattoir and support for soya and maize

farmers to supply the Lekwa Oilseed Crushing Plant in Standerton.

Agriculture is responsible for about 3.4% of Mpumalanga’s Gross

Domestic Product (GDP).

Sector Insight

The Sultanate of Oman

will purchase Mpumalanga



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 a liqueur that

has done well on the international


Macadamia nuts have grown

in popularity exponentially.

About 4 000 hectares of new

trees is added each year across

Macadamia orchard.

Image: Likweti Bushveld

Farm Estate




Credit: Laeveld Agrochem

South Africa, with most of that in

Mpumalanga and neighbouring

Limpopo. The vast majority

of the nuts are exported, with

about 40% going to China.

There are about 450 farmers

growing the nuts and there are

14 cracking factories in South

Africa. The sector employs about

4 500 people, of which 1 500

are permanent employees.

Barberton and Hazyview are two

prime areas for the nut.

Mpumalanga produces

one-million tons of maize from

291 788ha. About 53 000 tons

of wheat and 33 000 tons of

sorghum are produced annually.

Soya bean is another major crop:

more than half of South Africa’s

soya bean crop is produced in

Mpumalanga’s Highveld areas.

Cotton is grown mostly

under dryland conditions in

Marble Hall. The province has

1 500ha of dryland under

cotton. Much of South Africa’s

total annual production of

about 34-million kilograms

of tobacco, especially Virginia

tobacco, takes place in the

north-western parts of Mpumalanga,

and in neighbouring

Limpopo. Other crops produced for export in Mpumalanga include

cut flowers, pot plants and nursery plants.

Mpumalanga has the second-biggest sugar industry in South

Africa, after KwaZulu-Natal. TSB Sugar runs three mills in the Lowveld

region, two of which have refining capacity, and employs about 4 700

people. More than 1 400 farmers (commercial and small-scale) deliver

sugar cane to the company. TSB brands are Selati (sugar) and Molatek

(animal feed).


Astral Foods runs a poultry processing plant in Standerton which has

2 425 employees. Fresh fruit and nut supplier Halls cultivates 375ha of

its own land and has another 1 400ha under management. Its crops

include avocados and litchis.

Westfalia is a diversified agricultural group which runs extensive

operations in the province. Umbhaba Estates is one of the biggest

banana growers in the province. The drier Highveld region with its

cold winters supports crops such as cereals, legumes and nuts. There

is extensive irrigation in the Loskop Dam area. Ermelo is one of South

Africa’s main centres of sheep farming and wool production.

Subtropical fruit flourishes in the Lowveld with the town of

Nelspruit being a major citrus producer. Mixed farming and potatoes,

sweet potatoes and beans are mostly found in the southern and

western parts of the province. ■

Online Resources

Citrus Growers Association: www.cga.co.za

Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum: www.fpef.co.za

Macadamias South Africa: www.samac.org.za

South African Cane Growers’ Association: www.sacanegrowers.co.za

South African Subtropical Growers’ Association: www.subtrop.net



Forestry and paper

Sonae Arauco has expanded its White River factory.

Timber frame house. Image: Eco Log Homes

The White River plant of Sonae Arauco now offers more decorative

solutions because of the installation in 2019 of a Dieffenbacher

melamine press. The company’s aim is to make the site

a uniquely integrated facility.

Among the new offerings as a result of the R200-million expansion

are a woodgrain named for and inspired by the Chobe River and Grigio,

a “marbled fantasy décor”. The company produces particleboard and

fibreboard, melamine-faced boards and finishes. The invitation to the

launch of the factory extension claimed that the factory is the “most

efficient in Africa”. The company has another plant at Panbult between

Ermelo and Mkhondo (Piet Retief ).

Sawmilling South Africa (SSA) and the Institute for Timber

Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) made an offer during the Covid-19

lockdown to share with the South African government their skills and

expertise. Sawmilling South Africa is an industry association which

represents the majority of sawmillers in South Africa. By building

alternative housing (with wood), it was felt that this could contribute

to thinning out densely populated informal settlements to slow the

spread of the virus.

Sector Insight

An Agriculture and Forestry

Technology Park is planned.

Mpumalanga has the ideal

climate and topography for

forests. Sabie and Graskop

represent the hub of the industry,

but commercial forests are also

found to the east and south

along the Swaziland border.

About 11% of the land mass is

forested, with 4% of that being

natural forest. The province is the

national leader in total hectares

under forest (514 000ha) and in

export earnings.

Forestry accounts for about

8% of Mpumalanga’s gross




domestic product. The sector

comprises logging, saw-milling,

wood product and pulp and

paper manufacture. Pulp and

paper are the main exports,

along with sawn lumber, wood

chips and wattle extract. Most

sawn timber in South Africa is

used in the construction sector.

The Provincial Government

of Mpumalanga plans to

develop an Agriculture and

Forestry Technology Park. The

Mpumalanga Economic Growth

and Development Path (MEGDP)

intends to expand the industrial

base of the provincial economy

with a focus on beneficiation,

agri-processing and the

development of value chains.


Sustainability is the modern

watchword but finding a way to

use resources for people is also

popular. The MTO Group, which

has 39 900ha of plantation under

management in the Lowveld,

has teamed up with mountainbike

enthusiasts of White River

and Nelspruit to develop a set of

trails through the hilly landscape

of the area.

One of the biggest

operations in the forestry and

paper sector in Mpumalanga is

Sappi’s Ngodwana Mill. The mill

produces 330 000 tons of paper

pulp for its own consumption,

250 000 tons of dissolving wood

pulp (DWP) and 380 000 tons

of paper (newsprint and kraft

linerboard used for packaging)

annually. Exports account for

70% of the mill’s product.

Ongoing investment at

Ngodwana Mill will contribute

R13-billion to the provincial economy over 20 years. Sappi’s other

large facility in the province, the Lomati Sawmill in Barberton, produces

kiln-dried Southern African pine lumber from sawlogs supplied by

Sappi Forests.

The mill generates its own energy through co-generation

(steam and electricity from renewable and other sources). Sappi has

recently built a sugar-extraction demonstration plant at Ngodwana.

Findings from the experiment will help to improve the process of

extracting bio-renewable chemicals. Sappi is partnering with Valmet,

a Finnish company.

Other forestry companies are looking into energy generation,

including AFCOL. Mpumalanga has 40% of South Africa’s forestry

resources. This fact presents an opportunity to exploit the sector’s

byproducts in the biomass-to-energy field.

The Zebra Pellets plant in Sabie is to be converted by national utility

Eskom into a torrified pellet plant. The wood will be provided to the

plant (owned by the Industrial Development Corporation) and then

heated without the use of oxygen (torrified) which creates a coal-like

product without the carbon.

York Timbers owns and operates five processing plants, including

the including the largest sawmill and plywood plants in South Africa

and it has 60 470 planted hectares. The company is considering

investing in biomass energy generation. The Industrial Development

Corporation (IDC) has a stake in York Timbers and a 42.6% share in Hans

Merensky Holdings, a company with timber and processing interests in

three provinces. Merensky is responsible for 20% of South Africa’s sawn

pine lumber.

The Mondi Group has extensive forestry holdings in the province

and has been working on introducing a higher degree of mechanisation

in its operations. Mondi has also instituted an ecosystem management

plan throughout its forestry operations with the intention of better

managing the impact its work has on the environment.

Although local demand is dwindling, the export market for pulp

and paper is strong. Pulp production figures have been on the rise for

several years and companies like Mondi are increasingly focusing on

pulp export because of better margins.

PG Bison has a board plant in Piet Retief. Komatiland Forests, a

100% owned subsidiary of state company SAFCOL, has big plantations

in several districts. TWK is a R6-billion agricultural company with its

headquarters in Mkhondo. ■

Online Resources

Forestry South Africa: www.forestry.co.za

Institute for Timber Construction South Africa:

www. itc-sa.org

Sawmilling South Africa: www.timber.co.za

Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry of

South Africa: www.tappi.org



Oil and gas

Gas finds off the coast of Mozambique could be significant.

Sector Insight

Gas-to-power forms part of

a national masterplan.

Sasol at night. Image: Sasol

Massive natural gas finds in Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin

could have a big impact on Mpumalanga’s economy.

The province is already equipped with energy and fuel

infrastructure and expertise.

The Liquefied Natural Gas Independent Power Producer Procurement

Programme (LNG IPPPP) is part of the broader programme of

the National Department of Mineral Resources and Energy which

encourages private investment in renewable energy, namely the

Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement

Programme (REIPPPP). The total allocated to gas-to-power in the

national power plan is 3 726MW, of which 3 000MW is for LNG.

The new gas from Mozambique could be shipped as liquefied

natural gas (LNG) to Maputo and continue from there to the Sasol

plant at Secunda via the existing Rompco pipeline.

The promoters of the Nkomazi Special Economic Zone believe

that the fact that the pipeline passes through the SEZ is a big selling

point. An alternative would be for the LNG to be shipped to Richards

Bay before being piped north.

Many of the big mining and manufacturing concerns in

Mpumalanga have long-term contracts for the supply of gas with big

gas companies. Afrox and Air Liquide are two of the biggest, with the

latter having 3 500 national customers, which include Sappi and Sasol.

International chemicals and energy company Sasol has several large

plants in Mpumalanga and plays a major role in the economy of

Mpumalanga. Sasol Gas is one of the four Sasol operations at Secunda,

Online Resources

Independent Power Producers Programme: www.ipp-projects.co.za

Petroleum Agency SA: www.petroleumagency.co.za

PetroSA: www.petrosa.co.za

supplying natural gas to Sasol

Synfuels and buying Sasol

Synfuels’ methane-rich pipeline

gas to sell to customers in

Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

Sasol and the provincial government

have commissioned a

technical feasibility study for a

Petrochemical Technology Park

to be located in the province.

Sasol will be a key player

when national government

finalises policy on biofuels. Sasol

is already making 285 000kl of

absolute alcohol in ethanol from

sugar fermentation annually.

About 60-million litres of liquid

fuel is produced each day at

the coal-to-liquid plant run at

Secunda. Sasol has finished its

mine replacement programme

and feedstock is secure until the

year 2050.

Another part of the REIPPPP

covers the conversion of

biomass to energy. At Sappi’s

Ngodwana mill, a 25MW project

is underway.

Transnet Pipelines runs a

3 800km network of underground,

high-pressure petroleum

and gas pipelines

throughout the eastern parts

of South Africa. The company’s

sophisticated multi-product

pipeline (NMPP) between the

coast and Gauteng transports a

range of liquid products. ■




National department steps in with tanks and trucks.


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. Rapid growth

in the Ehlanzeni District Municipality has persuaded the

Provincial Government of Mpumalanga to build a new

dam on the Crocodile River in the City of Mbombela.

Citizens of the Thembisile Hani Municipality will get

more immediate relief from water shortages with the

construction of a treatment plant on the Moses River.

Acting on a disturbing report published by the Centre

for Environmental Rights on the way some mining

companies are using water, a provincial Environmental

Management Committee has been appointed to

conduct environmental impact analysis and assess

climate change threats.

NuWater was contracted to reduce waste at the

water treatment plant for eMalahleni Municipality. An

ultra-filtration technology was used to reduce waste from 20Ml/day.

A total of 327 water 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 has

taken over the operations of the Bushbuckridge Water Board.

A joint project with Eskom related to rain-water harvesting will

also create jobs. The Siyasebenza Job Creation Initiative is intended to

Online Resources

Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency:


Komati Basin Water Authority: www.kobwa.co.za

National Department of Water and Sanitation: www.dwa.gov.za

Water Research Commission: www.wrc.org.za

Image: Nafasi Water

Sector Insight

Nafasi Water is a recent

purchase for Infinity


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.

The Komati Basin Water

Authority (KOBWA) is an

important agency in controlling

water resources in the region.

Formed out of a cooperation

agreement between South

African and Swaziland, the

agency has built two large

dams and is responsible for their

upkeep. ■



Ensuring water for all

in Inkomati-Usuthu

The Green Scorpions protect the environment.

The Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management

Agency is responsible for several

functions related to water resources in the

Mpumalanga Province.

These include:

• Water resource planning

and operations.

• Real-time river operations.

• Adaptive operational

water resource management


• Water resource protection.

• Water resource utilisation. DR Thomas Gyedu-

• Public participation.

Ababio, CEO

The Green Scorpions explained

The Environmental Management Inspectorate

(EMI), commonly known to the public as the Green

Scorpions, are government officials (from national,

provincial and local government, including

the parks authorities and relevant government

entities) who are responsible for compliance

and enforcement activities with environmental

legislation. Simply put, the Green Scorpions

represent the environmental compliance and

enforcement capacity in respect of the National

Environment Management Act (NEMA) and

the Specific Environmental Management Acts.

According to the Department of Environment,

Forestry and Fisheries, the EMI must see to it that

environmental legislation is followed and enforced.

The EMIs have the powers to:

Investigate: question witnesses, inspect and

remove articles, take photographs and audiovisual

recordings, take samples and remove waste.

Inspect: enter premises to ascertain whether

legislation is being followed and seize evidence of

criminal activity.

Enforce: search premises, containers, vessels,

vehicles, aircraft and pack animals; seize evidence

and contraband; establish roadblocks and make


Administer: issue compliance notices and

admission of guilt fines.

The EMIs are not empowered to prosecute cases

in court. All cases continue to be handed over

to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for

prosecution. The EMIs therefore work closely with

prosecutors country-wide to ensure the successful

prosecution of offenders.

The South African Police Service

The South African Police Service continues to

play a crucial role in enforcing environmental

legislation and EMIs work closely with the SAPS in

the investigation of environmental crimes. In terms

of the National Environment Management Act, all

police officers have the powers of an EMI.



Companies and the EMI

The biggest exposure most companies have is

from technical non-compliances with conditions

imposed in an Environmental Authorisation

(often called RoDs) issued in terms of NEMA or

similar permit conditions, such as the conditions

contained in a Waste Management Licence

issued in terms of the National Environmental

Management, Waste Act, 2008 and others.

For this reason, it is important to carefully

design an environmental management

programme to ensure awareness and ongoing

compliance with each of the conditions in any

authorisation which the company has. A further

exposure is undertaking a listed activity without an

environmental authorisation.

There have been a number of changes to the

activities which are listed over the years and it is

important for companies to keep up to date with

these changes and re-examine their operations

from time to time, especially when undertaking

any sort of expansion of an existing activity.

Issue of a Directive

The DEA also has empowered EMIs to issue

directives. Unlike a compliance notice, the

authorities may only issue a directive if they

believe that actions by the company are causing

pollution or other damage or degradation to the

environment. The obligation in the statutes is to

take reasonable measures to avoid such pollution

or damage. ■

Issue of a Compliance Notice

Where a company is failing to comply with a

permit condition or with some other provisions

of an environmental statute, a non-compliance

notice may be issued by the DEA. When issuing

a non-compliance notice, the DEA does not

have to believe there is any actual harm to the

environment from the transgression but simply

that there is non-compliance with a technical,

legally-binding requirement.

Contact details

Postal address: PO Box X11214, Nelspruit 1200

Physical address: MAXSA Building, 13 Streak

Street, Nelspruit. Tel: +27 13 753 9000

Email: information@iucma.co.za

Website: www.iucma.co.za




Afrimat is looking to expand into Mpumalanga.

Sector Insight

New investor Menar

has two coal mines

in the province.

Image: Anglo American Plc

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 south-eastern corner of the province,

has proven resources of 8.7-million tons and upwards of 400 jobs

were created over the last two years. Local communities have a 16.1%

stake in the relaunched mine and the Mpumalanga Economic Growth

Agency (MEGA) holds 34%.

The private investment and management company Menar, which

is headquartered in Luxembourg, controls and manages two assets

in Mpumalanga through Canyon Coal and Sitatunga Resources.

Extension projects are underway or planned at Phalanndwa colliery

and De Wittekrans.

Other companies engaged in expansion of life-of-mine projects are

Pan African Resources and Evander (Elikhulu tailings), Exxaro Resources

(Leeuwpan) and South32, which is spending about R4.3-billion

at Klipspruit.

Mpumalanga accounts for 83% of South Africa’s coal production

and is the third-largest coal-exporting region in the world. Although

renewable energy is catching

on in South Africa, there is no

prospect of Mpumalanga’s

coal-fired power stations being

mothballed soon.

Mining’s contribution to

provincial GDP is 25.9% and the

sector employs 53 000 people.

Most of the province’s mining

companies are involved in

training. The Colliery Training

College (CTC) in Emalahleni

is owned by a consortium of

companies: Exxaro, Glencore,

Kanga Coal, South32 and

Izimbiwa Coal. The centre offers

a broad range of artisan training,

including auto electrician, fitting

and turning and millwrights. CTC

has been recognised as a leader

in artisan training by the National

Skills Authority.

Coal giant Exxaro, which

runs five mines in the province,

has committed R3.8-billion to

its Belfast project, an investment

that will create 1 160 jobs

and have an impact on the GDP

(over the life of the mine) of


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 2019 of

Sasol’s Impumelelo Colliery

south-west of Secunda was the

final phase of an investment in

new coal mines to replace three

coal mines that had reached the

end of their lives. Sasol produces

40-million tons of coal annually.

Impumelelo, which will produce

8.5-million tons per year, cost

R5.6-billion to build.

Anglo American has sold its

thermal coal operations to Seriti,

which is therefore the secondlargest

provider of thermal coal

to Eskom, supplying almost a

quarter of the utility’s annual coal


State coal company AEMFC

(African Exploration Mining &

Finance Corporation) runs a

colliery at Vlakfontein near Ogies

and is planning to develop

other projects. South32 has four

collieries and three processing

plants in the province. The

company has 4 860 full-time

employees and 4 400 contractors.

ArmCoal is a black-owned coal

company that arose out of a

deal between Xstrata Coal SA

and African Rainbow Minerals

Limited (51%).

Rich resources

Coal, platinum, gold and nickel

are the province’s major mineral

resources and all are still in

demand. South Africa produces

75% of the world’s platinum,

80% of its manganese, 73% of its

chrome and 45% of its vanadium.

Deposits of chromite, magnetite and vanadium are the basis of the

ferro-alloy complex in Witbank-Middelburg (in the District Municipality

of Nkangala) and Lydenburg (Mashishing).

Nkomati Mine was South Africa’s only pure-nickel operation before

it was decided to place it on care and maintenance in preparation of

closure. The underground mine was closed in 2015 and the open-pit

operation will close in 2020.

Stillwater Sibanye is the new owner of the Burnstone gold mine

near Balfour. Stonewall Resources runs the TGME Project, near the

towns of Pilgrim’s Rest and Sabie. Stonewall has ambitious targets of

going beyond production of 40 000 ounces from this and other historic

mines in the area.

Having taken full control of its Barberton mines, Pan African

improved its BEE position (Shanduka Gold is a 23.8% shareholder) and

set about increasing its annual gold output to 100 000 ounces. Platinum

is an important mineral for the modern economy. Two Rivers is a joint

venture between Implats (46%) and African Rainbow Minerals.

Northam Platinum, which

has assets on both limbs of the

Bushveld Igneous Complex, has

purchased the Everest mine

from Aquarius Platinum. Everest

is adjacent to Northam’s existing

Booysendal mine.

Jubilee Platinum has sold its

Smelting and Refining business

in Middelburg to Siyanda

Resources. Sylvania Platinum

now has seven PGM recovery

plants that extract chrome from

tailings on both sides of the

Bushveld Igneous Complex.

Lydenburg is home to the Lion ferrochrome smelter that is a joint

venture between Glencore and Merafe Resources. Assmang, the joint

venture between ARM Ferrous and the JSE-listed Assore, operates a

chrome mine (Dwarsrivier) and a ferrochrome plant where chrome

alloys are made.

The Manganese Metal Company (MMC) in Nelspruit is the largest

producer of pure electrolytic manganese in the world. MMC is owned

by Samancor (51%) and Bilston Investments owns the balance. ■

Online Resources

Colliery Training College: www.ctctraining.org

Minerals Council South Africa: www.mineralscouncil.org.za

National Department of Mineral Resources and Energy:


South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy:





Mpumalanga’s natural resources support a diverse manufacturing sector.

Columbus Stainless’ factory. Image: Columbus Stainless


rom steel to chemicals, petroleum and stainless steel to paper

and fruit juice, Mpumalanga makes a wide variety of products.

There is a distinct geographical divide. Fuel, petroleum and

chemical production occurs in the southern Highveld region

clustered around Sasol’s plants. The Sasol chemicals and liquid fluids

complex at Secunda is a vital component of Mpumalanga’s manufacturing

sector. The company has two propylene manufacturing plants

and recently completed two major investments aimed at improving

flows and expanding production.

Propylene is an input for polypropylene which is used in packaging,

automotive components and textiles. The market is growing in South

Africa at 4% per annum, roughly the same rate as the global market.

The northern Highveld area, including Middleburg and eMalahleni

(Witbank), is home to ferro alloy, steel and stainless-steel concerns.

In the Lowveld, agricultural and forestry products are processed

while Sappi’s giant mill is close to the company’s forests south-west of

the provincial capital, Mbombela.

Standerton has textile-manufacturing capacity in the form of

Standerton Mills. It is also home to several plants that use local raw

materials: Nestlé has an infant-cereal manufacturing plant, RCL runs

farms in the Carolina district and Early Bird is prominent. McCain and

Sector Insight

Food and forestry provide

the most jobs in the

manufacturing sector.

PepsiCo (Simba) have plants

that use the province’s plentiful

potato crop.

TSB Sugar runs two large

mills and produces fruit juices

through a subsidiary company.

Nelspruit is the centre of the

province’s food-processing

cluster. Approximately 70% of

jobs in the manufacturing sector

are in food and forestry.

A Social Enterprise Development

Programme has been

designed by the Provincial

Government of Mpumalanga




to assist township and rural

manufacturing businesses in

the steel fabrication sector. This

will include manufacturers of

finished products such as door

frames, window frames and

concrete products like paving

bricks, building bricks and blocks.

A key objective of the provincial

government’s Mpumalanga

Economic Growth and Development

Path (MEGDP) is to

expand the industrial base of the

provincial economy. To do this,

policy-makers are focusing on

beneficiation, agri-processing

and value chain development.

A large agri-processing fruit

hub is planned for the province.

Located in the Nkomazi Special

Economic Zone, the proposed

hub, with an estimated value of

R10-billion, would deal with the

whole value chain from growing

fruit through to processing,

marketing and logistics. Having

manufacturing facilities at the

core of the hub will enable

a variety of businesses to be

established, both upstream

(to supply the plant) and

downstream (to deal with the

products of the plant).


Middelburg-based Columbus

Stainless is a major supplier of

stainless-steel products to the

domestic and international

market. About 25% of the

company’s production is sold

domestically. The South African

steel industry has endured tough

times. According to the South

African Iron and Steel Institute

(SAISI), the sector has shown

virtually no growth since 2013.

The country produces about six-million tons annually, but costs are

high and domestic demand is low. The industry has important strategic

value and has about 190 000 employees. Creative thinking kicked in

when Highveld Steel’s troubles reached a tipping point in 2015. Aside

from the business rescue process, the 1 000ha property has been repurposed

as a multi-purpose site for industry and commerce. Called

the Highveld Industrial Park, the project promotes a wide range of

manufacturing enterprises.

Stockpiles of coal and vanadium are being sold off, but two iron

plants and a steel plant offer fully-equipped metallurgical and steelmaking

facilities, supported by environmental monitoring services and

metallurgical and chemical laboratories.

The structural mill of Evraz Highveld Steel in Witbank was officially

relaunched in June 2017 after ArcelorMittal South Africa signed a

contract to supply blooms and slabs for the mill to make into heavy

structural steel. The two-year contract had an option to renew

but ArcelorMittal took the alternative option in July 2019 when it

announced its intention to buy the mill.

Samancor Chrome (which runs Ferrometals) is the second-largest

ferrochrome producer in the world with three plants, two of which are

in Mpumalanga: eMalahleni (Witbank) and Middelburg.

Metals and machinery

The presence of Ferrometals (a Samancor company) in eMalahleni

means that Mpumalanga is an important place for metals and

machinery manufacturing. It produces charge chrome and is one

of the largest ferrochome plants in the world. Joint ventures such as

Crometals, Poschrome and Elkem Ferroveld operate from the site.

In the course of an upgrade, FLSmidth has also doubled the size of

its Delmas Supercentre to 10 500m². The company makes equipment

for materials handling and mineral processing. The centre also hosts a

training facility and handles repairs for customers.

In Middelburg, Thos Begbie makes a variety of products at its

heavy engineering works. Graphite Freezeline Solutions opened a new

graphite facility within the Begbie property in 2018. Thos Begbie has

announced an expansion into Zambia, where it will service and repair

furnace components.

The Manganese Metal Company in Nelspruit is the largest producer

of pure electrolytic manganese metal in the world. Delta EMD, in the

same town, is one of the biggest producers of electrolytic manganese

dioxide, a material used in the manufacture of alkaline batteries. ■

Online Resources

Highveld Industrial Park: www.highveldindustrialpark.co.za

Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency: www.mega.gov.za

South African Iron and Steel Institute: www.saisi.co.za



Columbus Stainless

The future of manufacturing.

Columbus Stainless, a member of the Spanish

based Acerinox SA Group of Companies,

is South Africa’s and Africa’s only

producer of stainless-steel flat products.

Founded in 1966, Columbus Stainless is the only

fully integrated, technologically advanced, single

site stainless-steel producer in Africa. The plant

based in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, produces a

wide range of Austenitic, Ferritic, Utility and Duplex

grades of stainless steel suitable for most applications

and has melting capacity of 1 000 000 tons

per annum to supply stainless-steel flat products

(coils, plates and sheets) to various final customers,

distributors, engineering shops and mines globally

(in Africa, Europe, the United States, Asia, etc).

The company supports the livelihoods of

1 300 employees and 600 contractors. Through its

BBBEE programme, Columbus Stainless actively

promotes doing business with small, medium and

micro enterprises (SMMEs) owned or controlled by

black entrepreneurs who are able to supply quality

products and services in a timely and competitive

manner. These businesses have created more than

100 sustainable jobs in the last five years.

Columbus produces many grades of stainless

steel, which include the three main families of

stainless-steel grades:

Columbus Stainless’ factory.

• Austenitic Grades: Popular grades include

304 and 316 which are used in applications

demanding high hygienic and cleanability

properties such as equipment used in dairy

processing and meat-handling, water storage

tanks; catering and hospitality (cooking utensils,

food processing equipment, cold storage) and

healthcare industries.

• Duplex Grades: These include 2304 and 2205

which are used in the chemical, petrochemical

and mining industries due to their excellent

corrosion resistance properties in very harsh

conditions for various types of processing

equipment and holding tanks.

• Ferritic Grades: Popular grades include 430

and 441 which are used in general kitchenware

and catering applications as well as automotive

applications, ranging from exhaust systems to

highly visible trim. The ferritic grades also include

the very versatile and popular 3CR12®.

3CR12® is a low-cost utility ferritic stainless

steel developed by Columbus Stainless and

used widely throughout the South African

mining industry as a cost-effective solution to

mild corrosion environments in a wide range

of structural applications. It offers excellent

properties in sliding wet-abrasion conditions due

to its superior corrosion resistance and slideability

characteristics when compared to carbon steels.

Applications are widespread and include materials

handling environments in mines and coal wash

plants. It is used for applications such as ore cars

and wagons, chutes and launders as well as shaft



steel work, chimney stacks, ducting, roofing and

cladding (most commonly poultry and piggery

buildings), walkways including grating, hand rails,

stairs, electrical boxes and security fencing. It is

also widely used in sewage processing plants and

municipal water storage tanks.

Mpumalanga boasts a wide variety of large

industries, including power generation, mining,

farming and manufacturing. To support these

diverse industries throughout South Africa, the

steel industry lies at the helm. Stainless steel has

proven itself as a multi-functional and adaptable

metal of choice and has proven successful and

offers great value to the manufacturing industry.

The manufacturing industry as a whole is under

great strain, especially in this tough economic

climate. With this in mind, one has to consider the

financial attributes of any project, structure or

equipment. Life-cycle costing is therefore an

invaluable tool that takes into consideration the

initial material cost, fabrication costs, maintenance

and refurbishment costs, lost production costs

due to downtime and possible replacement cost

over a defined product’s lifespan. Stainless steels

generally have higher input cost compared to

some competing materials, yet they are proving to

be the most cost-effective long-term choice. The

case study related to coal rail wagons in the South

African market clearly illustrates these principles.

Case study: coal wagons

In 1985, trial coal wagons were manufactured out

of 3CR12 material in the hot rolled and annealed

(HRA) surface finish. These wagons are used to

transport coal between Ermelo and Richards

Bay. They have a payload of 80 tons and make

the journey roughly five times a week. Before

3CR12, the wagons were made from Cor-Ten,

but these only lasted 8-12 years, with refurbishment

required after five years.

Over the years, inspections of these coal wagons

have been conducted after 27 years of service.

Such a study was done in 2012. The wall thickness

of these coal wagons was measured using accurate

ultrasonic measurement equipment. The mild-steel

wagons recorded corrosion-abrasion wear loss of

160 micrometres per annum (160μ/yr). This is

attributed to the surface rust or iron oxide being

removed, exposing fresh steel. The fresh steel in an

oxidising environment reverts back to its natural

iron-oxide state, forming a continuous corrosion

cycle. Compared to mild steel, stainless steel forms

a very thin, tenacious oxide layer which gives it its

characteristic corrosion resistance. The metal loss

of 10μ/yr was recorded for 3CR12 wagons in this

application. From these measurements, 3CR12 coal

wagons in this environment have a predicted total

life of 65 years. Mild-steel wagons would have to be

replaced eight times in this time period, increasing

costs and potential lost production time.

As the country grapples for sustainable

infrastructure development for the future in

energy, water and sanitation, transport, digital

infrastructure, human settlements, agriculture and

agroprocessing, stainless steel is the material of

choice due to its durability, low maintenance and


Columbus Stainless is proud to have contributed

to the development of this material over five

decades and will continue to do so as Africa and

the world continues to grow. Indeed, the future of

manufacturing is Stainless. ■



Transport and logistics

Mpumalanga is the country’s busiest rail province.

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.

The Balfour North to Volksrust section of the Gauteng to Durban

mainline carries the largest volumes, most of which is long-haul

freight passing through the province. The busiest internal provincial

Transnet Freight Rail section is the Maputo Corridor which runs west

to east from Pretoria to Maputo.

Despite these high rail volumes, a huge amount of mineral

product (mainly coal) is transported by truck around and out of

the province. This puts immense pressure on Mpumalanga’s roads

network, particularly in the Gert Sibande District and the Nkangala

District. Road improvement plans aim to simultaneously fix rural

roads and make better connections between rural and urban areas.

The statistics relating to coal haulage in Mpumalanga are

stupendous. In one 12-hour period, 34 198 tons of general freight

were recorded for the section of the N4 highway between Nelspruit

and Komatipoort. On the R50, Leandra to Standerton, the volume

was 25 615 tons (Mpumalanga Department of Public Works, Roads

and Transport). Mactransco’s website states that its trucks serving

Tshikondeni Coal Mine travel 3.7-million kilometres per year, working

Sector Insight

Coal haulage companies

truck vast quantities

every day.

all day for six days a week.

The fleet of ABF Legend Logistics,

a Super Group company,

contains more than 200 superlink

coal haulage trucks while

another company in the group,

SG Coal, claims to have one

of the biggest fleets of coal

haulage trucks in Africa. Coal

Tipper Resources operates out

of Bethal.

The South African National

Roads Agency (Sanral) has

presented its long-term vision,

Horizon 2030, as part of its

contribution to the National




Development Plan 2030.

Road improvements which

have boosted the transport

infrastructure of Mpumalanga

include the upgrades to the

R570 (linking Malelane on

the N4 to Swaziland), the N11

(Hendrina-Middelburg) and part

of the vital R573 Moloto Road,

which carries huge volumes of

traffic to Gauteng and Limpopo.

Sanral’s three-year plan for the

R573 allocates R1-billion to

the project.

A clause in Sanral’s contract

ensures that small companies

are involved. Raubex Construction

has formed a joint venture

with Biz Afrika, Khuluphala

Tradings and Themolo Business


The R573 forms part of

the Moloto Corridor, which

connects the province with

Gauteng Province. The longterm

aim is to create a coordinated

road and rail corridor

including rapid rail facilities. With

about 50 000 motor vehicles

using the route every day, it is

one of the busiest parts of South

Africa’s road network. The plan to

upgrade the corridor is one of 18

national Strategic Infrastructure

Projects (SIPs).

The first phase of the

Moloto Corridor Development

Programme, which involves the

upgrading of road infrastructure

is nearly complete. Accidents

have been reduced as a result of

the R3.7-billion first phase.

A new flight has been

added to SA Airlink’s connections

between Limpopo and

Cape Town. In addition to

the regular early-morning

flights out of Nelspruit Kruger

Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) with a late-afternoon

return flight, an early morning Saturday flight has been added. This

leaves Nelspruit KMIA at 7h40 and arrives in Cape Town at 10h05

and is targeted at the leisure traveller.

Nelspruit KMIA is the province’s main airport, serving both

the capital and being a convenient entry point to the southern

part of Kruger National Park. Airlink has direct flights to and from

Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Livingstone in Zimbabwe.

Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport is a popular destination for travellers

on their way to private game lodges and is also near the Orpen Gate of

Kruger Park. Middelburg Airfield is one of the larger alternate airports in

the province, boasting a 1.9km runway that can accommodate a 737.

The annual Middelburg Air Show is held in June. Many game lodges

have airstrips and helipads. SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service operates

out of the old Nelspruit airport just south of the city.

The Maputo Development Corridor is Africa’s most advanced

spatial development initiative (SDI) comprising road and rail

infrastructure, border posts, and port and terminal facilities. Run

by the Maputo Development Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI),

the corridor runs from just outside Pretoria in Gauteng, through

Witbank, Middelburg and Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, and on to

Maputo in Mozambique.


An infrastructural development that should boost trade is Transnet’s

planned Swaziland Rail Link (SwaziLink) project. A 146km railway line

between Lothair in Mpumalanga and Sidvokodvo in Swaziland will

allow for better movement of freight between the countries and

provide an alternative route for freight to Richards Bay.

Transnet Freight Rail is the main operator and the chief freight

movements are coal, fuel, chemicals, timber, iron and chrome ore,

fruit, maize, animal feed, wholesale and retail goods, steel, building

supplies, fertiliser and consumer goods. The port of Maputo in

Mozambique is an attractive option for freight. The coal terminal at

Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal receives the majority of the coal that is

mined in the province.

Private rail operators Sheltam service the coal mining and

ferrochrome-metal industries from regional headquarters in Witbank.

The company runs systems, hauls raw materials and rebuilds and

refurbishes locomotives. ■

Online Resources

Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport: www.kmiairport.co.za

Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative: www.mcli.co.za

Middelburg Airfield: http://middelburgaeroclub.com

Railroad Association of South Africa: www.rra.co.za

South African National Roads Agency Ltd: www.sanral.co.za




Tourism makes up 7% of provincial GDP.

Sector Insight

Andover Nature Reserve

is at the centre of a Game


Kruger National Park. Image: Wikipedia

The importance of tourism to the economy of Mpumalanga

cannot be overstated. It makes up approximately 7% of provincial

gross domestic product (GDP) and is a major source

of employment. The effect of the Covid-19 epidemic will be

strongly felt. The total number of international tourists increased by

about 100 000 between 2017 and 2018 (to 1.6-million). The key source

countries were Mozambique, eSwatini, the USA, Germany and the

United Kingdom. Domestic tourism did even better in 2018, rising to

2.9-million, compared to 2.2-million in 2017.

The Kruger National Park is Mpumalanga’s most famous tourism

asset and it falls under South African National Parks (SANParks).

Other notable landmarks include God’s Window and the Blyde

River Canyon but there are several noteworthy sites run by the

provincial government.

Among these provincial assets is Andover Nature Reserve, which is

tucked into a game triangle with Timbavati and Thornybush reserves

nearby to the north, Sabi Sands to the south and the Orpen Gate to the

east leading to the mid-section of the Kruger Park. The Manyeleti Game

Reserve, another provincial park, is 15km away within the Kruger Park.

Andover Nature Reserve is a bushveld conservancy. It has all the

plains game but no elephants or

big cats. Self-catering lodges and

caravan sites are available.

The province’s newest asset

is in fact ancient. A three-billionyear-old

micro-fossil found in

the Makhonjwa Mountains near

Barberton and the border with

Swaziland is thought to be the

oldest sign of life on the planet.

The Makhonjwa Mountains,

themselves somewhere between

3.2-billion and 3.6-billion years

old, have been declared a World

Heritage Site by the United

Nations Educational‚ Scientific

and Cultural Organisation

(UNESCO). The tourist area in

the vicinity of Barberton is now

the Genesis Route.

This brings to 10 the number

of World Heritage Sites in

South Africa and opens up the

possibility of a new type of niche

tourism for Mpumalanga. Funds

for conservation of the area will

be made available from the

World Heritage Fund.

Although the province

already caters for motor-rally

enthusiasts, cyclists, runners,

walkers, fishers, horse-riders, treegliders,

abseilers, white-water

rafters and rock climbers, there is

still potential for more investment

in the ecotourism and adventure

tourism subsectors.




Thebe Tourism has three

projects in the province, the

Kruger Shalati (a luxury train

on the Selati Bridge), the Blyde

Canyon Community Project and

a proposed development for

Lisbon Estate which is adjacent

to Kruger Park. The Lisbon

development will comprise two

hotels, retail, hospitality and

dining facilities and staff housing.

At Blyde Canyon, Thebe has

signed an agreement with local

communities with land claims in

the Blyde River Canyon Nature

Reserve which will involve them

as shareholders in the new

developments. God’s Window is

to receive a Skywalk, the facilities

at Bourke’s Luck Potholes will be

rejuvenated, a cable car project

is planned for Three Rondavels

and another hotel is planned to

boost accommodation options

in the area.

The Provincial Government

of Mpumalanga is looking for

more private partners to invest

in a range of ambitious projects

to boost an already active

sector that has several superb

tourism assets, ranging from

Kudu at Andover NR

about 70 parks and reserves to bird-watching, music festivals,

motor-car rallies and casinos.

The provincial investment agency, MEGA, has packaged many

tourism investment opportunities. The underlying principle is a form

of public-private partnership where the agency would assist in getting

land-use and other legal requirements, and perhaps in seeing that

basic infrastructure was laid on, then the developer would build and

manage a tourism facility.

Protea Hotels by Marriott has three properties in Mpumalanga,

including Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, Nelspruit and Hazyview. At White

River, Premier Hotel The Winkler is 20 minutes’ drive from the Numbi

Gate of the Kruger National Park.

Tsogo Sun has six hotels in the province, ranging from two

StayEasys to Southern Sun The Ridge, which is attached to the Ridge

Casino in Witbank (eMalahleni). Tsogo runs a further two resorts in

Hazyview (Sabi River Sun Resort) and White River (Pine Lake Resort).

Forever Resorts has a big presence in the province, catering to many

caravans and campers and holiday-makers wanting to stay in chalets.

There is also a four-star Forever Resorts Mount Sheba. The Graceland

Hotel Casino and Country Club is a Peermont resort in Secunda.


A graduation ceremony in early 2020 saw 289 young people complete

a year-long hospitality learnership with an NQF Level 3 CATHSSETAaccredited

National Certificate in Fast Food Services.

These were members of Mpumalanga Hospitality Youth Training

Programme (HYTP), a programme that opens up career opportunities

within the local tourism sector in fields such as catering, hotel

and accommodation management, restaurateur and other food

services, general tourism and guide services, adventure and leisure

facilities and local cultural and heritage tours.

The Hazyview Project is an offshoot of the Travel and Tourism

Excellence Academy. The programme is jointly sponsored by Amadeus,

a travel technology company, Economic Development Solutions and

the Thebe Tourism Group.

Hazyview is near the Kruger National Park and the students

are expected to be employed at a new hotel at Skukuza when they

graduate. The Good Work Foundation (GWF) is running the programme

at its Hazyview Digital Campus, in partnership with the South Africa

College of Tourism. ■

Online Resources

Mpumalanga Gaming Board: www.mgb.org.za

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency: www.mtpa.co.za

South African National Parks: www.sanparks.co.za

South African Tourism: www.southafrica.net

South African Tourism Services Association: www.satsa.com



Banking and financial services

Banking customers are being offered more choice.

All of the big retail banks (Nedbank, Absa, Standard Bank, Capitec

and First National Bank) are present in the province’s major

towns. Agriculture is an important focus area for banks, and

most have specialised divisions such as Nedbank Agribusiness.

TWK Agri offers financing and insurance together with the usual

suite of agricultural services. Afgri, one of the country’s biggest

agricultural companies, offers financial services (financing and

insurance) under the brand Unigro.

Another source of funding for farmers is the Land and Agricultural

Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank), a development-finance

institution that falls under the Ministry of Finance.

In 2017 Tyme Digital received a licence to run a bank. By early 2019,

TymeBank was available in 500 Pick n Pay and Boxer stores and more

than 50 000 customers around South Africa had an account. Tyme

stands for Take Your Money Everywhere and refers to the fact that the

bank does not have a branch network. The bank is targeting the lowerincome

segment and promises speedy transaction and approval times.

Second to market among the country’s new banks was Discovery

Bank, which officially launched in March 2019. Discovery Bank applies

the behavioural model it uses in its health business to reward good

financial behaviour.

The revitalised African Bank, which was put under curatorship in

2014 by the Reserve Bank, is making a play for new customers with an

interesting offering that does not rely so much on digital wizardry as

on presenting the customer with enhanced banking facilities.

African Bank has created an account that allows up to five

additional accounts to be set up in the name of the main account. Fees

are only charged for drawing cash or at the time of a transaction. There

are no monthly fees for any of the accounts which can be either for

saving or transactional. Each user has his or her own card and monies

can be moved between accounts, ideal for families.

Sanlam has entered two partnerships in the insurance market.

African Rainbow Life has launched life cover policies in the lowand

middle-income market, in association with Sanlam and African

Rainbow Capital. Sanlam is also in a venture with Capitec. In 2019

Financial Mail quoted Capitec CEO Gerrie Fourie saying that the bank

was selling 3 000 funeral policies a day.

Online Resources

Financial Sector Conduct Authority: www.fsca.co.za

Public Investment Corporation: www.pic.gov.za

South African Reserve Bank: www.resbank.co.za

Sector Insight

African Bank is competing

for new customers.

eMbalenhle has a new

Ubank branch. Situated at the

Mall@Emba, the branch will

serve customers from Secunda

and other areas such as those

that used to bank at a branch

at the Kinross mine, which has

been closed.

Ubank, eMbalenhle

In line with modern trends

towards digital banking, the new

Ubank branch has internal and

external facing digital walls. The

screens promote new products

and campaigns, give customers

information and provide

financial education. A feature

that is designed to support local

artists is the Feature Wall.

Banks are working hard to

offer products to the previously

unbanked. Nedbank has

partnerships with shops such

as Boxer Stores and Pick n Pay

where customers can have

access to financial services in

previously unserviced areas. ■



Education and training

Robotics and Coding are now part of teacher training.


Image: Sasol Foundation

Agroup of Mpumalanga teachers has had the opportunity to

train as master teachers for Robotics and Coding, courtesy

of Sasol. The Sasol Foundation has also donated multimedia

resources for teachers and pupils in Science, Technology,

Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

An amount of R40-million was allocated by the Mpumalanga

Provincial Government for the 2020/21 financial year in support of the

Youth Development Fund, which was seeded the previous year with

funding of R10-million.

The Mpumalanga Regional Training Trust (MRTT) is a Section 21

company with several sites in the province, including a Hospitality and

Tourism Academy at Karino outside Nelspruit. The trust’s constructiontraining

facility is accredited as a Construction Centre of Excellence. The

Southern African Wildlife College is located near the Orpen Gate on the

edge of the Kruger National Park.

A public-private partnership, MRTT intends increasing graduate

numbers and is aiming for 50 000 young people to be trained

in courses such as plumbing, painting, electrical, bricklaying and

plastering in the three years to 2023.

A provincial bursary scheme has assisted more than 3 334 students

who are studying in fields such as medicine, veterinary science,

information technology, aviation, education and engineering. The

artisan development programme in partnership with Hydra Arc is

progressing well, with Sasol having committed to taking on all qualified

Online Resources

Mpumalanga Department of Education:


Sasol bursaries: www.sasolbursaries.com

Southern African Wildlife College: www.wildlifecollege.org.za

University of Mpumalanga: www.ump.ac.za

Sector Insight

R40-million has been

allocated to the Youth

Development Fund.

apprentices from the academy

in Secunda.

The University of Mpumalanga

enrolled 3 220 students

in 2019, a marked increase on

quiet beginnings in 2014 when

the university started life with

167 students. The university has

added bachelor’s degrees in

arts and commerce to its initial

offering of academic courses

in education and agriculture

and a diploma in hospitality.

Geology will soon be offered as

part of a BSc. The main campus

is at Mbombela with satellites at

Siyabuswa (a former education

college) and KaNyamazane,

which hosts hospitality studies.

Mpumalanga has three

Technical and Vocational

Education and Training (TVET)

Colleges, with an enrolment of

over 36 000. UNISA, the Tshwane

University of Technology and the

Vaal University of Technology

also have satellite campuses in

the province.

A sixth rural boarding school,

Thaba Chweu Boarding School

in the Ehlanzeni District, has

opened and a further six are due

for construction. These schools

make access to education easier

for rural children who would

otherwise have to travel long

distances. ■



Development finance

and SMME support

Entrepreneurship training is offered at new youth centres.

Entrepreneurship Development is one of the subjects on offer

at 90 Youth Development Centres which are being established

throughout Mpumalanga. Other courses include accredited training

in computer skills and life skills, with workshops on job preparedness

and career guidance. The centres are part of Mpumalanga’s response

to the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention Programme.

The Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) is the

implementing agent of the provincial government’s SMME support

Image: Seda

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.

Examples of township businesses

supported by the Department of Economic Development

and Tourism (DEDET) are an agreement with Sumitomo Rubber

SA to promote local tyre enterprises and financial support for the

commissioning of a sanitary towel plant by the Ntirhisano Sanitary

Worker Co-operative in Bushbuckridge (and support for business

development and access to market).

Research done by the Small Enterprise Development Agency

(Seda) shows that a high percentage of SMMEs in Mpumalanga are in

the trade and accommodation sector. Whereas the national figure is

about 43%, in Mpumalanga it is closer to 50%.

Seda supports several incubators in the province: Furntech,

furniture manufacturing, White River; Mobile Agri-Skills Development

& Training (MASDT), agricultural training, Nelspruit;

Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative (MSI), stainless steel processing,

Middelburg (with Columbus Stainless); Timbali, floriculture,

Online Resources

Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency: www.mega.gov.za

Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative: www.mpstainless.co.za

National Department of Small Business Development:


Small Enterprise Development Agency: www.seda.org.za

Sector Insight

Trade and accommodation

are leaders in SMME


Nelspruit; Ehlanzeni TVET College

Rapid Incubator Renewable

Technologies, Nelspruit.

Seda is a subsidiary of

the National Department of

Small Business Development

(DSBD). Seda is not a financial

agency, focussing rather on

training and administrative

support, although the agency

will help SMMEs get in touch

with financial bodies. Assistance

by Seda with a business plan

was the spur that helped Renabo

Plastics Moulders and Furniture

(pictured) get access to financing

which led to growth in turnover

and the addition of three new

staff members.

Sappi’s long-term Ngodwana

mill project will spend more than

R600-million on procuring goods

and supplies from broad-basedblack-economic-empowered

companies, of which R51-million

will go to SMMEs.

Other companies supporting

SMMEs through their buying

chain include Woolworths and

Anglo American. Woolworths

funds TechnoServe to ensure

that small tomato growers can

grow produce that will meet

the demanding standards of the

retailer, and to help them expand


Anglo American’s Zimele

runs four enterprise development

and investment funds.

Zimele runs hubs related

to the supply chains of platinum,

thermal coal and, with

Mondi, forestry. ■



Mpumalanga Local


A guide to district and local municipalities in Mpumalanga.



Physical address: 8 Van Niekerk Street,

Nelspruit 1201

Postal address: PO Box 3333, Nelspruit 1200

Tel: +27 13 004 0291 | Fax: +27 13 759 8539

Website: www.ehlanzeni.gov.za

Bushbuckridge Local Municipality

Tel: +27 13 004 0291 | Fax: +27 13 799 1865

Website: www.bushbuckridge.gov.za

City of Mbombela Local Municipality

Tel: +27 13 759 9111 | Fax: +27 13 759 2070

Website: www.mbombela.gov.za

Nkomazi Local Municipality

Tel: +27 13 790 0245 | Fax: +27 13 790 0886

Website: www.nkomazi.gov.za

Thaba Chweu Local Municipality

Tel: +27 13 235 7300 | Fax: +27 13 235 1108

Website: www.tclm.co.za


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: www.gsibande.gov.za

Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality

Tel: +27 17 843 4000 | Fax: +27 17 843 4001

Website: www.albertluthuli.gov.za

Dipaleseng Local Municipality

Tel: +27 17 773 0055 | Fax: +27 17 773 0169

Website: www.dipaleseng.gov.za

Govan Mbeki Local Municipality

Tel: +27 17 620 6000 | Fax: +27 17 634 8019

Website: www.govanmbeki.gov.za

Lekwa Local Municipality

Tel: +27 17 712 9600 | Fax: +27 17 712 6808

Website: www.lekwalm.gov.za

Mkhondo Local Municipality

Tel: +27 87 630 0180 | Fax: +27 17 826 3129

Website: www.mkhondo.gov.za

Msukaligwa Local Municipality

Tel: +27 17 801 3500 | Fax: +27 17 801 3851

Website: www.msukaligwa.gov.za

Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality

Tel: +27 17 734 6100 | Fax: 086 630 2209


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: www.nkangala.gov.za

Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality

Tel: +27 13 973 1101 | Fax: +27 13 973 0974

Website: www.moroka.gov.za

Emakhazeni Local Municipality

Tel: +27 13 253 7600 | Fax: +27 13 253 2440

Website: www.emakhazeni.gov.za

eMalahleni Local Municipality

Tel: +27 13 690 6911 | Fax: +27 13 690 6207

Website: www.emalahleni.gov.za

Steve Tshwete Local Municipality

Tel: +27 13 249 7000 | Fax: +27 13 243 2550

Website: www.stlm.gov.za

Thembisile Hani Local Municipality

Tel: +27 13 986 9100 | Fax: +27 13 986 0995

Website: www.thembisilehanilm.gov.za

Victor Khanye Local Municipality

Tel: +27 13 665 6000 | Fax: +27 13 665 2913

Website: www.victorkhanyelm.gov.za




Africa Biomass Company (ABC) ...................................................................................................................... 3, 9

Columbus Stainless ..............................................................................................................................................5, 30

Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency ….....................................................................24

Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism (KLCBT) …..................................................IBC


Nedbank .................................................................................................................................................................. 12-15

SA Airlink...................................................................................................................................................................... OBC



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53 roadside MPUMALANGA corruption. BUSINESS 2019/20 2017/18


Water: Bulk-water supply faces a

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