Zuma said it was hoped the IDZ would make R5.6 billion for the country’s Gross Domestic Product by 2060.
By that time it was hoped the IDZ, located next to Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, would generate 150,000 jobs.
“The Dube tradeport industrial development zone has already attracted over R900 million in private sector investments,” Zuma said.
The IDZ would automatically receive Special Economic Zone status once the Special Economic Zone Act became operational.
Companies operating in the IDZ would receive numerous economic benefits such as a 15 percent corporate tax rate, a building tax allowance and an employment tax incentive.
“We are determined to create an environment that is investor friendly. We will continue to improve support measures both through the special economic zones and other development tools,” Zuma said.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at a media briefing after the formal ceremonies that the Dube Tradeport IDZ was aimed at “high tech, high value industries that use the airport”.
He said conditions had been put in place to prevent the simple migration of existing businesses to the IDZ in a bid to take advantage of the lower tax rates.
Brigette Gasa, chairwoman of the Dube Tradeport Corporation, said government had provided R8 billion in funding in the Dube Tradeport to get it up and running.
She said that with the investment deals signed and those expected, the IDZ should be come self-sustaining.
Asked about the lack of international flights into the King Shaka International Airport — which was opened shortly before the 2010 Soccer World Cup — economic development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu said that while he could not reveal details there were negotiations under way to attract more international airlines to the airport.
“We are in discussions with airlines. Watch this space,” he said.
Currently the only international destinations served by the airport are Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Lusaka in Zambia, and the Zimbabwean capital Harare.