The East London Industrial Development Zone was one of the first IDZs in South Africa to be awarded a provision operator’s licence in September 2002.  The zone has come a long way since that very first milestone.  Not only has it overcome various institutional and programme challenges to be where it is today, but it has, as the first operational IDZ in South Africa, helped to inform the South African government’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ)  programme make up and policy framework.

Some of the zone’s Key Development Milestones include the following:

  • Formation of the East London Industrial Development Zone Corporation – a section 21 entity entrusted with the development of an IDZ for East London.
  • DTI designates an IDZ for East London
  • ELIDZ granted a provisional operator’s licence to development and Industrial Development Zone in Buffalo City Municipality.
  • First international external audit for ISO 14001 certification
  • Start of the ELIDZ construction phase through the awarding of the first bulk infrastructure contract
  • ELIDZ transforms a greenfield site into a prime industrial land.
  • Launch of Leaches Bay Electrical sub-station
  • The ELIDZ completed its infrastructure development phase
  • The ELIDZ officially kicked off its investment settlement phase with the announcement of the first three investors with an investment value of R188 million.
  • Sod-turning of the Automotive Supplier Park
  • Announcement of ASP investors
  • Announcement of four new investors: Molan Pino, Big Foot Express, Murray & Roberts, Feltex Caravelle
  • In November 2007, the ELIDZ became the first IDZ in South Africa to be awarded a permanent operator permit by the Department of Trade and Industry.
  • ELIDZ investors hit double digits with the announcement of 7 new investors in April 2007 taking the investment value to R1.15 billion. Despite this period being the start of the global economic crisis, the ELIDZ increased its secured investors from 15 to 22.
  • The ELIDZ trebles its value of the secured private sector investment from R1.2 billion to R3.4 billion in 12 months, signaling the highest year-on-year growth in secured investment since inception.
  • 30 Investors had been secured with 22 of these already operational in the zone. R928 million worth of contracts to BBBEE enterprises and R281 million worth to qualifying SMMEs.
  • First IDZ in South Africa to pilot and operationalize the key incentive for the SA IDZs, the Customs Controlled Area (CCA) Incentive.
  • Launch of ELIDZ STP, to accelerate economic development in the province
  • Twerly Street light – uses Vertical Axis Wind Turbine and solar panel to power itself.
  • Heat Raider – turns waste energy into steam and converts to electricity and hot water.
  • Safe Pass™ gives drivers a clear view of the road ahead of a slow moving obstructive vehicle
  • Hot spot is a geyser sleeve manufactured from EPVC/SPVC plastisol that is fitted over any geyser heating element to transfer hot water from the bottom of the geyser to the top using the thermosyphon principle.
  • SEZ Transition, ELIDZ the first to receive notice of Gazetting by DTI Minister
  • ELIDZ, a testing ground for SEZ new policy tools
  • 4 new investors attracted with an investment value of over R1bn. The industries from which these investments emanate include Pharmaceuticals, Advanced Manufacturing and ICT.
  • Annualized increase in employment by over 35%
  • 9 (nine) new investor facilities and further extended three existing facilities for existing investors who had acquired additional business
  • The ELIDZ only has 138,99 hectares (29,9%) of designated area available for further transaction remaining for additional development
  • 40 operational investors, R7,7 billion worth of private sector investment into the ELIDZ since inception
  • 142 skills development beneficiaries trained in the ELIDZ STP.