Considered the economic hub of the KZN South Coast, Port Shepstone is set for a revival with the recent announcement that Marine Drive (the P395) will get a multi-million-rand upgrade. This news has been welcomed by South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) with Port Shepstone now able to attract further investment to the region.
“This much-welcome infrastructure upgrade will serve to improve the region while facilitating more movement into and out of Port Shepstone,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of SCTIE. “This is great news for those looking to invest on the KZN South Coast, particularly as Port Shepstone has developed into the area’s economic and cultural hub.
MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka, officiated the launch of the R580 million rehabilitation of the P395 (Marine Drive) in Port Shepstone. According to the KZN Department of Transport, more than 25km of the road would be rehabilitated between Southbroom and Port Shepstone over 30 months. The project is set to create almost 200 jobs with 36.75% of the contract value allocated to local emerging contractors.
MEC Hlomuka was reported as saying: "The project has been welcomed by the communities of South Coast who attended the officiation and expressed optimism that this project would help revive the business and tourism sector, thereby creating job opportunities. It is important for us to focus on places such as the South Coast that have a high attraction for tourists. Good roads and generally well-maintained infrastructure assist in drawing tourists, thus boosting the economy.”
Port Shepstone, which is found between the coastal towns of Hibberdene and Margate just an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Durban, has emerged as the area’s administrative, educational, distribution and commercial centre. Because of this, the area has key business-driving services including the major banks, government departments, and South African Revenue Service (SARS) offices. Port Shepstone is also the seat for both Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality and Ugu District Municipality, with many businesses using the town as a base for their head offices.
The road upgrade comes a few months after construction was completed on the highly anticipated Margate Airport located a mere 20 minutes away from Port Shepstone. This R11-million upgrade has also improved the region’s accessibility, thereby improving prospects for local businesses as well as facilitating investment opportunities from outside the region.
Port Shepstone is already a well-established tourism destination with its fantastic beaches, ocean-facing golf course, great restaurants, and the iconic Port Shepstone Lighthouse. With great accommodation and facilities, the region is also a growing MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences and events) destination, with businesses able to enjoy unique teambuilding experiences from here, including scuba diving, shark cage diving, hinterland excursions, and extreme sports.
Investment opportunities extend from quality coastal real estate through to agriculture and manufacturing, with textile and furniture manufacturers located nearby. The Ocean Economy also boasts several investment opportunities, from tourism to renewable energy production, sustainable fisheries, and maritime transport. Port Shepstone’s location also creates access to the Eastern Seaboard Development, a broad and multifaceted vision to develop a new smart city and to bring innovative developments across KZN and the Eastern Cape.