In what has been seen as a move to beef up its skills and experience base ahead of the multibillion-rand West Rand Mega Park project commencement, black-owned construction company Afribiz Invest has announced the appointment of a new board comprising seven non-executive directors, three being independent.
Afribiz Invest executive chairperson Collen Mashawana said the new board, taking over the reins from previous directors whose terms expired, bring to the business a variety of skills in infrastructure development and other interests in which the company has set a focus for future growth.
New board members include Simphiwe Ndamase, Rudzani Rasikhinya, Mathew Mohlasedi, Thulani Ncube, George Mothema, Naushina Aboo, Livingstone Chilwane, Nomfundo Fakudze and Tladi Ditshego, with Mashawana describing his new team as “seasoned professionals in the various industries they operate in, having served on a number of boards”.
Driving an economic boost in Gauteng’s West Rand, for years dominated by mining, Maximum Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd, through its special purpose vehicle Protea Agri Park (Pty) Ltd, in April announced a partnership with Afribiz Developments, a subsidiary of Afribiz Invest, to develop a R20 billion West Rand Mega Park (WRMP).
To be situated at the intersection of R558 and N12 highway – at the entrance to Soweto and Protea Glen – the five-year development project will comprise an agri-processing hub, industrial park, fresh produce market, restaurants, fast food outlets, meat, seafood markets and a children’s recreational area.
Afribiz Invest has concluded the acquisition of a 50% shareholding in Protea Agri Park – the project development company for the West Rand Mega Park – set on 302.6 hectares of industrial-zoned land.
According to Protea Agri Park director Slaven Gajovich and Mashawana the development will also include a container and truck stop depot, a logistic hub and a solar farm. It is expected to create 50,000 permanent and over 7,500 temporary jobs.
Gajovich and Mashawana are confident the project will be a major economic and social boost for Soweto, Lenasia and Randfontein areas.
With Gauteng Premier David Makhura having expressed support for driving the special economic zone (SEZ) process for the nomination of the West Rand Mega Park, he said the project would be a catalyst for the development of the West Rand with SEZ status to be a catalyst for investment and development.
The West Rand is one of the five development corridors in the Gauteng city region earmarked for new industries and economic opportunities.
Also supporting the project are the West Rand district municipality, the West Rand Development Agency and the Gauteng Infrastructure Funding Agency.
Gajovich and Mashawana said they looked forward to a partnership with the government and other stakeholders to promote economic growth, part of the Growing Gauteng 2030 Plan.