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KwaZulu-Natal Business 2020-21 edition

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The 2020/21 edition of KwaZulu-Natal Business is the 12th issue of this unique publication that, since its launch in 2008, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the KwaZulu-Natal Province. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there is a special feature on the vital role played by ports in the province, from the coal exported from Richards Bay to the new cruise liner terminal addition to the Port of Durban. The 10th anniversary of the 2010 FIFA World Cup coincides with the birthday of the Moses Mabhida Stadium, an iconic design that has become a standard feature on the KwaZulu-Natal sporting and events calendar. Likewise the Durban ICC which continues to burnish the province’s reputation as meetings and convention centre.

OVERVIEW Mining Titanium

OVERVIEW Mining Titanium dioxide is made from minerals mined in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The crisis affecting South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, is causing South32, the Australian owners of the Hillside aluminium smelter, to rethink their operations there. Some analysts have suggested that part of the reason that Eskom is in crisis is the bad pricing arrangements that were signed with the previous owners of the smelter. If the advantageous rates that used to apply are not repeated when the price is negotiated again in 2020, the business model will have to change. In 2019 about 400 workers took early retirement or voluntary retrenchment packages. Images: RBM Mines Most of the product from the smelter (high-quality primary aluminium ingot) is exported but some liquid metal form is sent to Isizinda Aluminium which supplies Hulamin, a company that has had a rolling mill in Pietermaritzburg since 1949. Hulamin is the only major aluminium rolling operator in the region and it makes rolled products and extrusions. Other processing facilities in the province include the steel plant owned by ArcelorMittal in Newcastle and Safa Steel’s metal-coating factory in Cato Manor. RBM mines the minerals sands of the northern KwaZulu-Natal coast and operates out of Richards Bay. The main products of the RBM mine are zircon, rutile, titania slag, titanium dioxide feedstock and high-purity iron. Tata Steel KZN’s high-carbon ferrochrome plant at Richards Bay went into business rescue and then liquidation before being bought by Luxembourg-based Traxys Africa in the middle of 2016, after a court ruled in its favour. Traxys has chrome mines in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. Tata Steel did not have its own mines. Online Resources Geological Sciences, University of KZN: www.geology.ukzn.ac.za Minerals Council South Africa: www.mineralscouncil.org.za National Department of Mineral Resources: www.dmr.gov.za Sector Insight The Hillside aluminium smelter is grappling with electricity issues. The KZN Sands mineral sands operation comprises a central processing complex in Empangeni and the Fairbreeze Mine. Expenditure over several years (which started in 2016) is expected to rise to R5-billion as it expands. Tronox, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is the major shareholder in KZN Sands. Some of the coalfields of the province have been revived. Petmin’s Somkhele Anthracite Mine, north of Richards Bay, has one of the biggest reserves of open-pit anthracite in South Africa, with measured and indicated reserves of more than 51-million tons across its four areas. Finnish company Metso is spending about R53-million on building a second furnace at its Isithebe foundry in the iLembe District Municipality. This is in response to increased demand for large crusher wear parts. The KwaZulu-Natal foundry is one of five foundries the company runs on four continents. ■ KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2020/21 32

Engineering The engineering sector needs a reliable supply of steel. One of the largest independent wire manufacturers in the country, Hendok Group, is steadily increasing its exports to other African countries. With more than 1 000 employees at the factory in the Phoenix Industrial Park in Durban, the company makes a wide variety of wires and is the country’s biggest producer of nails. ArcelorMittalSA is Africa’s biggest steelmaker and it has a plant at Newcastle, but tough times in the steel business have meant that the company has shut down some of its facilities. The first to be shuttered was Saldanha in the Western Cape and an analysis of the profitability of other centres is underway. Western Aqueduct project. Image: WK Construction Marine repair and engineering form a significant sector in the province, with established companies such as EBH South Africa offering comprehensive services at the ports of Durban and Richards Bay. Both ports are expanding and will continue to attract engineers. Dormac, which is headquartered in the Bayhead area of the Port of Durban, is best known for its marine engineering but it offers specialised services to the sugar industry and provides machinery for industrial giants like Toyota and Defy. A big project that has created a lot of work for engineers is the multiyear Western Aqueduct project to bring fresh water to greater Durban. The Western Aqueduct Joint Venture comprising three companies, Knight Piésold Consulting, Naidu Consulting and Royal Haskoning DHV, acted as agents for eThekwini Water and Sanitation. Stefanutti Online Resources Consulting Engineers South Africa: www.cesa.co.za Engineering Council of South Africa: www.ecsa.co.za Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering: www.saiie.co.za South African Wire Association: www.sawa.co.za OVERVIEW Sector Insight The School of Engineering at UKZN offers great variety. Stocks Pipelines played a big role, and there were opportunities for excellence and innovations in areas such as break-pressure tanks which were designed by Royal Haskoning DHV and built by ICON Construction. All of the province’s biggest industries require sophisticated engineering skills: aluminium smelters in Richards Bay and steel works in Newcastle, Richards Bay and Cato Ridge. There are also chemicals and plastics production plants, and large automotive works. The Transnet Engineering (TE) plant in the Port of Durban houses six business units and has 3 555 employees. The Coach unit upgrades coaches and the Auxiliary business is the main supplier of rail wagon tarpaulins to Transnet Freight Rail. The Port Equipment Maintenance unit and units specialising in wheels and locomotive overhaul are other entities. The School of Engineering at the University of KwaZulu- Natal offers a variety of degree options, ranging from undergraduate qualifications to doctorates. The School offers eight areas of specialisation including Bioresources, Electronic and Computer Engineering and Land Surveying. ■ 33 KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2020/21

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