Green and innovation company, Ikusasa Green, which makes high-end cooler boxes which retain ice for up to seven days for household brands such as Massmart’s Camp Master label was introduced on Friday as the latest tenant at the Dimbaza Industrial Park (84kms from East London) by the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environment Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT).
The company has already attracted R21 million in public and private sector investment since inception in 2013. DEDEAT has invested R9 million into the company while Massmart has invested a further R12 million.
Ikusasa’s move to the 12 000 square metre facility in Dimbaza is part of government’s broader strategy of revitalising industrial parks which were once hubs of economic activity across the Eastern Cape. Government has already re-opened the Vulindlela Industrial Park in Mthatha and the iKomani Industrial Park in Queenstown. The Dimbaza Industrial Park revitalisation Master Plan drawn up by development financier the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) is in its final stages of approval by the Provincial cabinet.
“We are delighted that we have been able to attract an innovative and purely Eastern Cape company in Ikusasa Green to drive our plan of attracting high quality investments and companies into the Dimbaza Industrial Park to drive economic activity and employment. Ikusasa develops a product with a unique value proposition in South Africa and we are proud as a Province it has attracted interest and investments running into millions of rands from retailers such as Massmart.
In particular, our focus for the Dimbaza Industrial is in attracting companies and investments in the agro-processing space as well as innovative concerns in general manufacturing. ECDC as the province’s economic development agency which owns the Dimbaza Industrial Park which currently has 107 stands on behalf of government, will be the main driver of the revitalisation process of industrial parks across the Eastern Cape. Dimbaza currently has 24 tenants in sectors such as textiles and manufacturing,” says MEC for Economic Development, Environment Affairs and Tourism the Honourable Sakhumzi Somyo.
Ikusasa Green managing director Thami Gxowa says the company’s star attraction is its inhouse high end rotational moulding Romer cooler boxes made strong and robust for African conditions.
“The Romer cooler boxes can preserve ice for up to seven days. Our only competition is cooler boxes from Australia and the United States which are not cost competitive. They come in 40 litre game drive black which is designed to fit under game drive viewing vehicles. Our latest range includes the 45 and 60 litre cooler boxes as well as the econo range of 25 litres and 40 litres. Prices range between R900 and R1,500. These are available at Agrinet stores countrywide as well as takealot.com.
We are particularly pleased that Massmart also commissioned us to produce these high-end cooler boxes under their private Safari Camp Master label in 45 and 60 litres. Massmart has invested R12 million capital outlay into Ikusasa and in Dimbaza we are manufacturing for them the more affordable 50 litre injection moulded Camp Master cooler box as well as a 30 and 12 litre family pack with better ice retention. In Dimbaza we are also making for Massmart the ammocrate storage box for camping,” Gxowa explains.
The company already employs 35 people at its Stutterheim plant and plans are to employ a further 40 in Dimbaza. All these were previously unemployed people.
Gxowa says DEDEAT has been involved in the company’s growth and development since its inception in 2013 where it provided an initial capital injection of R3 million to help source equipment for its rotational moulding plant in Stutterheim. In Ikusasa’s growth stage, DEDEAT invested another R3 million to boost plant capacity. DEDEAT invested a further R3 million to rehabilitate the Dimbaza facility.
“This allowed Ikusasa to attract quality clients such as Massmart who saw the quality of our high-end cooler boxes and asked us to develop them for their flagship Camp Master label. The relationship grew because of the quality of our products which gave us the opportunity to expand our product line into injection moulded cooler boxes for Massmart in Dimbaza. Massmart invested into tooling the Dimbaza plant as part of its supplier development programme.
Our continued success is a product of multiple strategic partmerships with the likes of DEDEAT, ECDC, Massmart, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Buffalo City Metro and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) among others,” Gxowa says.
ECDC chief executive officer Ndzondelelo Dlulane says its support of tenants such as Ikusasa Green at its Dimbaza Industrial Park is part of a broader industrial park revitalisation strategy in areas such as Butterworth, Vulindlela in Mthatha, iKomani and Fort Jackson in Mdantsane outside East London.
“All this work is concerned with the revival of industrial and economic activity in these areas. Dimbaza was once an industrial hub for King William’s Town generating significant employment opportunities. Supported by partners such as the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA) and the Buffalo City Metro among others, Government has made it a priority to revitalise economic activity in Dimbaza.
“We are mobilising potential anchor tenants who will occupy the park and negotiations with local entrepreneurs are ongoing. We are specifically targeting business in the agro-processing, renewable energy and general manufacturing sectors,” says Dlulane.