Mandeni Mayor Discusses Plan to Revitalize Isithebe Industrial Area

1 & 2– Delegation during the meeting, seen are officials from Metso, Finnish Ambassador to South Africa, Kari Alanko and Mandeni Local Municipality Officials with His worship the Mayor Sphesihle Zulu.




Mandeni Local Municipality Mayor His worship, Sphesihle Zulu engaged in fruitful discussions with Finnish Ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency Kari Alanko on 28 November 2018.

The core of the meeting was to discuss plans to revitalize Isithebe Industrial Area for the greater benefit of the people of Mandeni and surroundings. Speaking at the meeting, Zulu highlighted the significant of inclusive investments where locals will not only benefit through employment opportunities but through being contributors during construction phases, maintenance and day to day operations of the firms. Adding to that, Zulu also emphasized on the importance of good working relations between big corporations, the Municipality and the community at large.

“We need to have a project that will assist all people who want to secure business contracts at Isithebe. This should not target big businesses, it should target for example, people who want to cut grass, painting and day to day maintenance of business premises at Isithebe. We need to find a way to capacitate them, teach them about the processes that need to be followed in order to secure business deals. Let’s create room for small businesses to benefit from Isithebe Industrial Area” said Zulu.

Bringing stability and making Isithebe an investor friendly zone was among the issues that were discussed on the day. Isithebe Industrial Area has over the years been clouded with violent protests thus causing a lot of big firms to vacate premises and take their operations elsewhere.

“We need to encourage our people to raise issues, we have to also create a platform for engagements between the companies currently operating at Isithebe, the community and the Municipality. The same platform can be used to educate our people about the importance of these investors, if we continue destroying infrastructure, companies will disinvest, causing more unemployment. In Mandeni, if you employ one person, at an average you have helped about nine more other people. If one person loses a job, nine more other people get dragged below poverty line”

Senior Officials from Metso (One of the largest companies currently housed at Isithebe) also formed part of the discussions, the meeting yielded positive results.


Furthermore; Zulu also urged the companies within Isithebe to support social courses within our community, prioritize locals for subcontracts and employment opportunities.