With the Reopening of Margate Airport the Sky is the Limit for Investment on the KZN South Coast
With construction complete on the highly anticipated Margate Airport, businesses on the KZN South Coast are gearing up for increased interest as lucrative investment opportunities open up. On Saturday, 26 November, the MEC for the Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), Siboniso Duma, officially opened the airport following its R11-million upgrade.
“Improving accessibility to the KZN South Coast is not only a priority for increasing the number of tourists to our destination, but also to position the region to attract investors,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE). “The renovation of Margate Airport creates great prospects for businesses based here, as well as those located beyond the Margate borders, while also opening up the logistics sector.”
The upgrade was undertaken in partnership with Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, the Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), and the private sector. This forms part of EDTEA’s commitment to modernising small airports, such as this one, for an easy flow of passengers, while also making attractive destinations for future investments.
The municipal-owned Margate Airport has undergone extensive refurbishment, upgrading the airport to a Category 4. This elevated position allows for two scheduled flights daily – morning and afternoon – (except Saturdays) with an aircraft capacity of 47 passengers. This renovation focus was more on the land side of the airport which included an infrastructure upgrade and extension of the terminal building, the restrooms, parking areas and the commercial precinct.
The total investment created 800 temporary jobs with the potential to create hundreds more permanent jobs. The regional airport now boasts investment opportunities in the form of aviation schools, hangars, restaurants and hotels, as well as car hire agencies.
In terms of accessibility, the KZN South Coast is incredibly well positioned, with the N2 connecting the region with the provincial economic hub, Durban, as well as King Shaka International Airport just 190km south for access to the international market. This is also facilitated through Durban Port, the country’s second-largest port and the busiest port in Africa.
Port Shepstone, just an hour-and-a-half south of Durban, has grown to become the economic hub on the KZN South Coast. With the proximity of the airport, this is an ideal base for those seeking investment opportunities in the transport sector, whether road, air or sea. Its location also makes it a gateway to the Eastern Cape, connecting the economies of these regions.
“The Margate Airport also improves inter-provincial leisure travel opportunities, bringing our local communities into mainstream tourism. This inclusive growth within the tourism sector is a national drive which SCTIE is committed to achieving through projects such as these,” continued Mangcu.