Executive Mayor of Buffalo City Cllr. Princess Faku was in the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) on Wednesday, 20 March 2024 as part of the ministerial visit to the zone.

Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana’s objective of the visit was to explore opportunities that seek to diversify the economy through fostering sustainable collaborations between government and non-government partners. Also, the visit by the deputy minister was an oversight monitoring on implementation of catalytic economic and infrastructure projects. It was also to establish the needed government interventions of sustained growth and job creation.


On her opening remarks, Mayor Faku said: "BCMM recognises the East London IDZ as a catalyst for the economic advancement of both Buffalo City and the broader Eastern Cape region."

“The Buffalo City Metro acknowledges and appreciates the significant contribution of the East London IDZ in attracting investments to our city. Presently, the ELIDZ boasts over 41 operational investors across sectors, with investments totalling above R9 billion, illustrating its pivotal role in driving economic growth."

“Furthermore, the government's allocation of budget for the expansion of the Port of East London, including the deepening and strengthening of N Berth, underscores our commitment to enhancing logistical infrastructure, which is integral to facilitating trade and investment,” she said.


Mayor Faku said the visit by the deputy minister aligns perfectly with the city's focus on supporting and uplifting small businesses, with the East London IDZ poised to play a crucial role in incubating such enterprises.

“Moreover, we are steadfast in our resolve to ensure that the beneficiation and supply value chain extends its benefits to the informal sector, thereby fostering inclusivity and equitable growth. As a city, we are dedicated to creating a conducive environment for government entities like the ELIDZ to generate job opportunities and bolster the local economy,” she said.


The executive mayor further said that BCMM has identified several mega LED projects that hold huge potential to change the face of the beachfront.

“I want to appeal for your assistance for funding project preparation and project packaging. The City’s Development Agency is the implementing agency.”

Mayor Faku also said BCMM was doing good as the water quality has improved. “That alone is the plus for us, our water quality has improved and we are number one in the province when it comes to water quality.”


Deputy Minister Kekana touched on a number of issues like how BCMM must ready itself for economic development and growth and the deepening of the East London Port must also be a focus. “We should look at the East London Port deepening and BCMM should position itself to be the manufacturing hub, you are a key pillar and a game changer. I am glad that the Metro is so responsive to this,” said Kekana.

She said in order for things to happen, we need creative thinkers. “We need creating people to move this and we also need to attract investments. BCMM must drive this process to the expansion of the IDZ.”


The deputy minister was intergovernmental engagement was critical. ELIDZ CEO Simphiwe Kondlo said they were excited by the strides being done by BCMM mayor Faku. “We are happy with the ongoing support the executive mayor is giving us and the way she has done things, look how clean is our city now. To BCMDA, you are our partners in development, the work you do to make our city beautiful is invaluable,” he said.

Kondlo said clean administration and proper legislative foundations are some of the pillars that have made ELIDZ a success story. He also spoke of black industrialists that need to be supported so that they cannot fail. “They need to be systematically supported for them to access the markets. Black industrialists need support.”