Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN)



Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) was established in 2001 after a merger between KwaZulu-Natal Marketing Initiative, which was under Ithala, and the KwaZulu-Natal Economic Council, which was more research focused. The merger resulted in TIKZN which is an investment promotion agency for the province and an entity of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA).

“TIKZN focuses on two areas; attraction of foreign direct investment and the facilitation of local investment. The second component being export trade,” explains Neville Matijie, CEO TIKZN. “On export trade we have two parts, the development side as well as the product promotion side.”


“We would never have been as successful as we are if we did not have political support. Our provincial government has really been the anchor at departmental level through EDTEA,” explains Neville.

TIKZN’s competent board of directors is appointed by EDTEA and comprises skills from industry, government as well as role players who have previously participated in the government sphere. The leadership then cascades to the executive management team who drive the business of the organisation, namely investment promotion, export promotion, corporate services and knowledge management.


“Although there are various departments, the teams operate in a cross functional manner. All employees have some knowledge across all units. We support and interact with each other and share knowledge and information for the better of the organisation,” says Sihle Ngcamu, Executive Manager Investment Promotion.

“The heartbeat of the organisation are our people,” Neville. TIKZN invests a lot in capacitating its people ensuring that they continue to study is very important  knowledge partner in business, TIKZN’s employees need to constantly update themselves in ensuring that they up to speed with what is happening in the marketplace well as in how business is evolving. There is a big drive on the development side wherein TIKZN partners with key institutions to bring interns into institution, to develop an understanding of the investment promotion and export business. In addition, TIKZN works with the University of KwaZulu-Natal to impart knowledge as well as acquire academic expertise.


“When investors come into KwaZulu-Natal, they need know that they have an entry point and someone can talk to. They have an organisation that will hold hand and that they can trust the market intelligence we give them,” says Neville. “This includes where to locate their projects, and how these projects will be supported by other industries and agencies linked to their sectors. We have been able to deal with the issue of destination marketing and investment generation through creating an awareness of KwaZulu-Natal in a global platform.”

The Export Development and Promotion Unit of TIKZN, helps exporters and facilitates market access for KwaZulu-Natal exporters. Their activities include the facilitation of trade missions, planning for exhibitions, implementation of training programmes and responding to various enquiries.

“We focus a lot on the awareness part of exporting and develop confidence of companies to become exporters There is a strong drive to providing skills, especially to understand how to do exports. We have also introduced mentorship programmes for emerging exporters. Seasoned exporters can sharpen their skills as well.” says, Claude Moodley export promotion manager.


The support that TIKZN has from its strategic partners in KZN has helped to assist in growing the economy of the province. KwaZulu-Natal is the only South African province to provide project brokering and goes all out to link clients and investors. TIKZN produced an investment booklet in 2018, which was showcased by President Ramaphosa at SONA. The 23 packaged programmes are ready for investment with the potential of creating 280000 jobs. “We are excited that some of the projects are already getting traction, says Sihle.

The One Stop Shop has been established at Trade & Investment House to promote the ease of doing business in the province and to help facilitate investment. You are now able to go to one window to access most of the relevant government agencies such as South African Revenue Services, the departments of Labour, Home Affairs, Trade and Industry and CIPC.

Part of TIKZN’s celebration of successes has been in celebrating the successes from investors and exporters. Export Week is an annual programme and 2019 will mark the 8th year of this event. The programme was developed to recognise, promote and assist with the growing of KwaZulu-Natal’s export businesses and industries. One of the highlights of Export Week is the KZN Exporter of the Year Awards Banquet, which showcases emerging and established exporters of a wide range of goods and services.

“Last year TIKZN started an anchor programme of celebrating the success of women in business, which is a good flagship programme for us because we need to celebrate these investments,” says Queen Mkhize. This year TIKZN is planning a youth summit as well as an investment conference. “We really want to acknowledge our investors and people who have been continually investing in province.”


One of the sectors that TIKZN is trying to champion is oceans economy. Through having 600 km of coastline TIKZN is not only looking at tourism projects but to use the ocean to create an economy. Consequently, companies in KZN are being assisted to set up aquaculture industries and to position these into a global market.

Adding to that is boat and ship building, which is a sector for KZN having two of South Africa’s largest ports. “TIKZN is characterised by “reduction in poverty”. type of investors that we bring in create jobs for people so that our people who are hungry can buy food for family. Our exporters will grow their business and create more jobs,” concluded Neville.