KwaZulu-Natal Acting Premier, Mr Sihle Zikalala has welcomed Sappi Limited’s enormous R7 billion planned investments that are expected to have a massive positive impact on the economy on the province.
Sappi Limited, a leading global producer of dissolving wood pulp, specialities and packaging papers, printing and writing papers and biomaterials, today announced major planned upgrades at its Saiccor Mill in Umkomaas, south of Durban. The investments include a R2,7 billion capacity expansion project and a planned R5 billion over five years in various continuous improvement initiatives and upgrade projects.
Mr Zikalala said it was heartening that more and more business organizations such as Sappi continue to express, through actions, their commitment and loyalty to the provincial economy. The massive investments currently being poured into different parts of KwaZulu-Natal by big conglomerates are a major vote of confidence in our province’s resolve to grow its economy for the benefit of all its citizens, Zikalala added.
According to Zikalala the increased and expanded investment reaffirms Sappi’s commitment to KwaZulu-Natal. Major investments have also taken place in our special economic zones in the recent past. “We will continue to sell our province as a destination for quality investments. Working with the central government, we will also continue to create an environment which is conducive for businesses to thrive.”
The provincial government also commended Sappi for its recently launched Skills Centre near Saiccor Mill, which has created training and up-skilling opportunities for the workforce and for local youth. KwaZulu-Natal would engage other conglomerates to invest more on skills development to assist in reducing unemployment, Zikalala said.
The acting premier said the provincial government has been assured that Sappi would work swiftly and seamlessly to obtain necessary authorisations to make the company’s planned investment a reality. Zikalala said KwaZulu-Natal was supportive of President Ramaphosa’s efforts to spur the country towards the growth trajectory under the banner of Operation Thuma Mina which encourages corporate South Africa to begin to invest in the economy.