South Africa’s aquaculture production is still relatively low estimated at 3 500 tons in 2006, with a market value of R218 million with approximately 1 800 direct (on-farm) jobs. This can be increased to 90 000 tons and a market value of R 2, 4 billion with job potential of 44 000 direct (on farm) jobs over a 10-15 year period.

The ELIDZ located within the province of the Eastern Cape continues to position itself as a prime location for aqua-culture investment and one of the main contributors within the sector. The zone has a production capacity of between 7000 and 10 000 tons of fish per annum and existing government authorisation for activities such as hatcheries and grow-out facilities for local marine species and a centralised fish processing establishment. In the 2013/14 the ELIDZ board approved 3 new investors for the zone’s aquaculture sector.

All of these investors are looking at farming kob. Additionally, as part of its investment facilitation value offering, the ELIDZ was able to secure over R33 million for one of these investors from the Department of Trade and Industry SEZ fund to assist in putting up a building structure for the enterprise on condition that the investor would secure its own funding for equipment and stock. This is critical in growing this under-developed sector in the region. As part of its efforts to grow this sector, the ELIDZ has finalised its Tilapia bio plan. The plan will allow the ELIDZ to venture into the fresh-water environment and attract interested investors in this regard. The ELIDZ has also concluded its plan for an aquaculture business incubator. The plan is aimed at eradicating the likelihood of failure in new enterprises which will in turn increase the availability of relevant skills and bring predictability to investors. The ELIDZ is in close proximity to a world class best practice research facility (Rhodes University).


  • –  The establishment of marine fin fish hatcheries
  • –  The establishment of marine fin fish grow out facilities
  • –  The establishment of research facility for the development and propagation of new species for farming
  • –  The establishment of a research facility for the development of alternative supplies of fishmeal for marine.