Economic development

Hammarsdale revival

After going through some hard times, the Hammarsdale area outside Durban in KwaZulu-Natal is undergoing a bit of a revival.

Hammarsdale was the hub of the provinces’ textile industry until the early 1980s, when cheap Chinese clothing imports killed thousands of jobs. Then in 2017 dumped chicken imports resulted in RCL Foods halving production at its Rainbow Chicken plant and selling off poultry farms. More than 1 000 jobs were lost and the wider impact was reported as “the death of a town”.

Now, partly due to master plans in the textile and poultry sectors, things are looking better in Hammarsdale. The textile business is picking up, and the master plan will encourage RCL investment in Hammarsdale, where Rainbow was founded.

Jobs are being created by other industries, too. Kerry Foods, a world leader in taste and nutrition products, has opened what is billed as “the most advanced taste manufacturing facility on the African continent”.

Kerry has invested R650 million in creating its new Hammarsdale facility, which employs some 230 people, and plans further expansion.

Clearly Hammarsdale is coming alive again.

Image credit: Kerry.