KZN is at the forefront of leading a multibillion Rand renewable energy project that will bring huge economic impacts and job creation to the region. Last night, partners to the development, of which eThekwini Municipality is one, signed a terms of reference that firmed up their commitment to the project. More than R2bn in private investment is expected to be pumped into the project.
 
The project will provide support for the energy Industry in KwaZulu-Natal based on renewable
 
sources and will establish the platform for the Renewable Energy Industry in the Province with an impact in the Southern African Region.
 
The Renewable Energy Development Hub (RED Hub) is a partnership between the Provincial government, eThekwini Municipality, Ilembe District Municipality and a consortium of local and foreign German and Korean firms who plan to build and operate a renewable energy technology innovation hub. The initiative was created through partnership with the eThekwini Municipality and supported by the KwaZulu-Natal Government.
 
The Terms of Reference( TORS) outlines the role, responsibilities and commitments of the RED Hub-KZN Task Team to support RED HUB-KZN Private Investment Initiative so that it can be successfully implemented.
 
MEC of Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Michael Mabuyakulu confirmed their commitment to transforming the economy into a greener and more sustainable economy. He said, “This is an exciting project for a developing country. We can now become a global player as this hub will be an example of service excellence and cutting edge technology”. He added that this project will expand into the rest of Africa and eventually onto international shores.
 
Municipal Mayor, Cllr James Nxumalo, supported the initiative and said that the project breaks new ground. “The recent socio-economic assessment of the RED-Hub indicated that there is significant employment potential with the development. This project will help create approximately 4000 jobs and within 9 months we expect Phase 1 to be up and running.”
 
The project is expected to bring in R400m in private investment, to start with. R2bn investment from local and international companies is also expected. The construction and implementation phase in the first five years is estimated to create approximately 10 000 jobs. Thereafter the employment is attributable to the sustained impact of the RED Hub, at just below 4 000 jobs in year 6, growing steadily to over 6000 jobs in year 11. There is also a large estimated impact on GDP, concluding at an approximate increase in GDP of R1.8 billion in year 5. Thereafter the normal operating of the RED Hub results in an approximate increase in GDP R1.5 billion in year 11.
 
Phase one of the project will include an International Academy for Renewable Energy, Research and Development (R&D), Education, and Technology Transfer that will be an international partnership between Durban University of Technology (DUT) and IKD-International
 
The second component is a technology park that is split into two separate elements. The first is a renewable energy technology hub for research and development (R&D), laboratories, manufacturing and pilot projects. This includes a business development centre and incubator, for finance, training and capacity building. The second is a hub for manufacturing and services for the renewable energy industry worldwide, including a renewable energy conference and exhibition centre, a factory sales outlet and consulting facility, a technical service centre and a supporting manufacturing training centre for artisans and technicians in the renewable energy industry.
 
The third main component is renewable energy power generation of up to 260MW until 2020.
 
Apart from the core elements of the RED Hub, the plans for the preferred site include various other developments, such as development of a nature conservancy/game park, biodiversity areas, retail and residential space, and sustainable agriculture.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality, Communications Unit. Contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820 or email thabo1.mofokeng@durban.gov.za
For further information contact Sohana Singh on 031 311 4805 or email Sohana.singh@durban.gov.za