East London IDZ

Set up in 2002 as a response to the need for a robust catalyst for economic development and industrial diversification in the country, the ELIDZ is a State Owned Corporation set up by government through the South African Industrial Development Zones Programme (now the South African Special Economic Zones Programme) to develop, operate and maintain modern infrastructure and to complementary attract strategic investments for the region.

Website: East London Industrial Development Zone 

Why invest in the East London Industrial Development Zone?

Complete Investor Solutions

Airport on the IDZ’s door step

The city’s airport, two kilometres from the EL IDZ handles domestic flights to all major destinations in South Africa. The airport is serviced by a cargo freight carrier daily from Johannesburg. International airfreight is easily accommodated with routing through South Africa’s largest airport, OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg or alternatively via Cape Town International Airport. Freight can also be routed through to the new King Shaka International Airport and the Dube Free Trade Port.

Road network

East London’s roads are part of South Africa’s national road network which covers some 7,200km, with about 20, 000km of primary roads planned in the future. The coastal national N2 stretches from Cape Town through East London to Durban. The N6 provides access to the Eastern Cape interior, stretching from East London to Bloemfontein.


Buffalo City is part of the national rail grid operated and run by Transnet Freight Services which allows for the transportation of goods, container services as well as metropolitan and long distance passengers. Specialised wagons for the conveyance of high risk, high value freight are available.

Efficient port

The EL IDZ is situated 6km from the city’s port, the country’s only river port. Buffalo City’s strategic position on Africa’s south-eastern coastline allows it to service markets with sea freight to the East and West through scheduled shipments to Australia, Africa, Asia and Europe. The 160 year old port is one of the most efficient in the country and offers services comparative to a best practice global port.

East London is also the only port in South Africa to offer a state of the-art motor vehicle terminal, a container terminal, as well as a bulk terminal (grain elevator) and dry dock. It is ideally suited for ships which have crane facilities. Some of its efficiencies include:
• Docking on arrival
• Readily available capacity for increased port movements
• Quick turnaround time (removal of containers on the same day)
• Flexible and efficient harbour services
• Competitive tariffs
• Proven logistics track record

The car terminal has a storage capacity of up to 5000 vehicles (2,880 undercover bays, 1000 quayside bays as well as a further 1000 open parking bays). The port has 2 dedicated bays for car carriers at the terminal. Depending on turnaround, the car terminal can handle up to 100,000 vehicles per year. The port is able to process a motor vehicle every 30 seconds.


Investors in the EL IDZ have access to various grants and incentives from the government through the Department of Trade and Industry. Some of the incentives include:

  • Enterprise Investment Programme (EIP) Manufacturing programme - a cash grant for locally based industries wishing to establish a new production facility, expand an existing facility or upgrade an existing facility in manufacturing industries. 
  • Foreign Investment Grant - compensates qualifying foreign investors for the cost of moving qualifying new machinery and equipment from abroad to South Africa.
  • Export Market Investment Assistance scheme (EMIA) – which partially compensates exporter activities aimed at developing export markets for South African products and services. Assistance is provided in the form of air travel expenses, subsistence allowances, freight forwarding of display materials and exhibition space and booth rental costs.
  • Critical Infrastructure Programme – a cash grant for projects designed to improve critical infrastructure in South Africa such as transport systems, electricity transmission and distribution systems, telecommunication networks, water storage, disposal and treatment systems and fuel supply systems. 
  • Automotive Production and Development Programme - aims to boost local motor vehicle production. It comprises of 4 key elements:

- Tariff reduction freeze from 2013 -2020
- Local assembly allowance
- Production incentives
- Automotive investment allowance

East London IDZ - Location
ELIDZ Corporate video

Get In Touch

We’re available Monday to Friday, business hours Eastern time.