Andries Botha’s new Dube is unveiled by President Zuma today (8 March 2012)

From Times Live website:

Launch of Dube Trade Port in KwaZulu Natal: iLIVE

Ndabezinhle Sibiya, Spokesperson for the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal | 08 March, 2012 16:10

Dr Zweli Mkhize has paid tribute to the President of the Republic J.G Zuma for having pioneered the construction of the Dube Trade Port and King Shaka International Airport during his heydays as the provincial MEC for Economic Development.

“Today is a culmination of years of hard work and perseverance by different former provincial premiers and MECs.  His Excellency, J.G Zuma was at the forefront of the establishment of this facility when he was the MEC. Despite mounting opposition to the idea he showed visionary leadership by bringing together stakeholders who had different views but he united them behind a common goal.  We are happy today to announce that investments into the construction of the King Shaka International Airport have resulted in this province being a prefered destination for conferencing, tourism and leisure. The airport recorded more than 5 million passengers between January and December 2011.”

“The new Dube Trade Port will greatly expand the capacity of KwaZulu-Natal to import and export goods. The principal component of the Dube Trade Port is a new international passenger and cargo airport, but it is the new facility’s proximity to the harbours of Durban and Richards Bay that give it the edge as a transport and logistics hub. Rail and road links up and down the coast to these two major seaports will make it easy to switch cargo between different modes of transport. Large quantities that arrive by sea can be dispersed in disaggregated volumes at speed by air.”

“In an increasingly globalised world, the role of airports as attractors for investment and growth is increasing. This concept, known as the aerotropolis, airport region, or airport city, essentially recognises the role of airports as drivers for growth.”

“This intervention needs to provide a framework that assists to direct national, provincial and local government spending to maximise growth opportunities; attract foreign direct investment to grow the manufacturing, logistics, commercial, industrial, transport and tourist sectors; attract national and local investment through growth of new business rather than relocation of existing business and provide a framework that encourages and facilitates co-ordinated, aligned and sustainable regional growth.”

“Being a Greenfield Site surrounded by a largely undeveloped area creates the opportunity to put in place a plan that responds and capitalises on the location of the airport. It is believed that airports will shape business location and urban development in the 21st century, just as highways did in the 20th century. A city growing around an airport will connect workers, suppliers, executives and goods to the global market place.”

“Dube Trade Port will serve a wide catchment area and will contribute to some key economic objectives including creating an operating business environment conducive to growth and development, and reinforcing the potential of local businesses in identified growth sectors, to rapidly increase their profile of high-value manufactured exports and attract new investors to the region as part of the global manufacturing platform.”

“Closely linked to the Dube Trade Port is the proposed King Shaka Airport Rail link, a rail development project. A feasibility study will be undertaken this year by PRASA, Dube Trade Port to establish the most feasible airport link to the existing network, including the possibility of a total new light rail system, linking King Shaka through the Cornubia development area and the North Coast hotel belt, to the Durban CBD.”

“As I indicated recently that “due to large scale developments in areas like Dube Trade Port, Umhlanga and Ballito, the north has rapidly developed as a major commercial and retail hub, firmly establishing itself as a major investment area.”

“As development continues in this area, a northwards investment direction is evident, with estimates indicating public transport trip generation of over 80 000 trips in the peak hours along this corridor.

 “As we are busy with the feasibility study for the rail link to King Shaka International Airport, I have agreed with PRASA that they should urgently consider an interim solution where a station on existing rail line closer to the airport is constructed and a bus service is introduced. We have a commitment from the leadership of PRASA that this will be pursued with vigour in the coming months.”