15 October 2012
Potential investors have been given a boost by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in the Eastern Cape, which is offering discounted rates, electricity and services for companies that bring new investments to Port Elizabeth.
“The municipality’s relatively new investment incentive policy means new or expanding businesses could also benefit from rental subsidies, or a discounted rate for the use of municipal land and buildings,” the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) said in a statement last week.
The incentives were announced by Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile, who handed over a RI-million cheque to the Discovery Health Port Elizabeth office last week to reward the company for investing in the city and creating 336 jobs.
Discovery was subjected to a strict criteria evaluation, which meant it had to have created a minimum of 50 jobs and brought capital investment of at least R10-million to the Bay. The company will receive an additional R2-million over the next two years, according to the CDC.
Discovery Holdings executive director Ayanda Ntsaluba said it hoped to use the money for staff training and other ventures in partnership with the municipality.
Wayile hailed the investment, saying it was a shining example of what could be achieved when government and the private sector worked together towards the same objective.
“In spite of the many challenges that continue to confront us, government has the responsibility to create an enabling environment for business to thrive, while the private sector is expected to help create jobs,” Wayile said.
“This means that there needs to be a strong partnership between government and the private sector when dealing with unemployment challenges. In seeking to regulate such partnerships, the municipality adopted an incentives policy. The policy focuses specifically on attracting additional investments from new and existing investors by offering predetermined incentives.”
Wayile said investment incentives were mainly aimed at lowering the costs of setting up business in the Bay, thus creating an attractive trade and investment environment.
“The incentives form part of a larger package of investment tools which are used by the municipality to positively influence the local economy, and to generate and enhance municipal revenue,” he said.
Some of the other incentives include: joint funding of feasibility studies and business plan development; a rebate on municipal building plan approval costs for approved investments; and skills development and training to employees of new investments.
The metro’s trade and investment director, Anele Qaba, said that after studying the municipality’s budget, the maximum discount they could offer on rates, electricity and services was R1-million. “The discount depends on the multitude of investments brought to the metro. But we have capped the discount at R1-million,” he said.