Leading Global Supplier of Smart Electricity Meters Conlog invests in a factory at Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone
27 November 2019
Conlog Pty Ltd, a Durban-based electronics manufacturing company, has invested R110 million in a smart electricity meter manufacturing plant within Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone (DTP SEZ). The 12 000 m2 development, located at the now fully-subscribed Dube TradeZone 1, is a major expansion of Conlog’s operation which were previously located in Overport, Durban.
A member of JSE-listed Consolidated Infrastructure Group Limited (CIG), Conlog is the world’s largest installer of prepaid electricity systems, with a footprint spanning 4 continents and 20 countries. Over 70 utilities make use of Conlog metering solutions and thousands of Conlog vending units have been installed around the world, reaching millions of users who access the prepaid systems in English, Arabic, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Over 400 Conlog revenue management systems are also in operation both locally and internationally.
The official opening of the new Conlog head office and manufacturing plant on 27 November 2019, was officiated by the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ms Nomusa Dube-Ncube and attended by a number of dignitaries including representatives of Invest SA and the Department of Trade and Industry; KwaDukuza Acting Mayor Cllr Dolly Govender and hosts Mr Hamish Erskine, CEO of Dube TradePort Corporation as well as Dr. Bridgette Gasa, Dube TradePort Corporation Board Chairperson.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel applauded Conlog on their investment into Dube TradePort and further added that the investment will not only result in the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility which boosts improved engineering processes using advanced technologies but will create a centre of manufacturing excellence in South Africa and the region.
The innovation, monitoring and management capabilities of the plant will further reduce process defects making the product and process more competitive. The installation of two new automated surface mount assembly lines enhances the plants capacity for producing electronic circuit boards from 150k to 550 thousand units per month, which leads to process efficiencies gains for the country, enhancing its competitiveness as a global player.
Speaking at the launch, MEC Dube-Ncube said: “On behalf of the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal, I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the shareholders, management and staff of Conlog on this momentous expansion project. It is extremely encouraging to witness the inspirational business growth trajectory of a KwaZulu-Natal business that has not only gone on to become a leading player in global trade, but one that is re-investing locally, stimulating the local economy and contributing to job creation for our people.”
“It is precisely for this reason that the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone was established. As an operator of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Dube TradePort Corporation is mandated to develop and manage the province’s largest infrastructural developments – and this forms part of South Africa’s National Development Plan. It is designed to enhance South Africa’s manufacturing and export capabilities, as well as to attract both domestic and foreign direct investment,” Dube-Ncube added.
“Through the incentives available to both foreign and local investors located within the Special Economic Zone, we are able to facilitate a seamless and commercially-viable business operating environment that is conducive for the private sector to partner with government in growing the economy and creating employment. I am extremely encouraged by Conlog’s commitment to job creation and localisation. We understand that 70% of all production inputs are from local suppliers and that all non-production items including packaging, office requirements, computers, vehicles and PPE clothing are being sourced locally. These are key objectives of South Africa’s IPAP (Industrial Policy Action Plan) and certainly bodes well for stimulating socio-economic development”, Dube-Ncube said.
The circuit-boards used in Conlog’s prepaid meters are also designed in Durban and the manufacture of the prepaid meters and vending systems for revenue management, all maintenance, after-sales support and training, are located at the Dube TradePort plant. The highly automated Conlog production line currently produces up to 150 000 units a month with growth at the new plant expected to reach 520 000 units per month. The company currently employs 263 employees and plans to grow this by at least 100 more over the next 5 years.
Conlog CEO, Logan Moodley, said: “Our new facility will allow us to improve our product and service offering to our growing local and international customer base. Our decision to relocate to the Dube TradePort SEZ was cemented by the attractive incentives available by being located within the Special Economic Zone and within a Controlled Customs Area precinct. Currently, 80% of our production is for export. The location of Dube TradeZone 1, adjacent to the Dube Cargo Terminal, also improves access for growing our exports into Africa, South America, South-East Asia and other target markets.
Dr Bridgette Gasa, Chairperson of the Board of Dube TradePort, commented: “The Board of Dube TradePort welcomes the arrival of Conlog within Dube TradeZone. We are extremely proud that a leading, global electronics manufacturer which has its roots firmly in KwaZulu-Natal has chosen Dube TradeZone to be its new home.”
“Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone is deemed to be one of South Africa's top 10 investment opportunities and the electronics and electrical component manufacturing and assembly are amongst key industries that have been identified for investment. To date, Dube TradePort has attracted private sector investment of R3,2 billion, and the recent announcement of Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone being awarded two prestigious international awards – the coveted United Nations Award for “Excellence in promoting sustainable investment in special economic zones” and the 2019 FEMOZA (World Free & Special Economic Zones Federation) award for “Best Practice in Free & Special Economic Zones” – signals Dube TradePort’s growing reputation as a world-class industrial and commercial precinct,” added Gasa.
Giving further insight into the plans for Dube TradeZone 2, Dube TradePort CEO Hamish Erskine said: “With phase one of Dube TradeZone now fully occupied, the site platforms have been completed on the 45 hectares of land for Dube TradeZone 2 , and the sites are open for applications.”
“Dube TradeZone 1 currently accommodates 40 operational business enterprises with an investment value of R1.8 billion and sustains over 3500 direct jobs. Through Dube TradeZone 2, and still-to-follow Dube TradeZone 3, we are aiming to attract R18 billion worth of investment over the next five years, primarily targeting investors in the electronics and pharmaceutical sectors,” says Erskine.