He said the idea behind the meeting would be to capacitate members of the indigenous business community on the numerous opportunities available in the soon-to-be-completed multi-billion emalangeni Sikhuphe Airport.
Dlamini said the event would be held at The George Hotel and invited all members as well as non-members to participate so that they get to know of the business opportunities that would come with the airport.
“It’s imperative for locals to know of the numerous business opportunities that are available at Sikhuphe so that they take advantage of these. SWACAA want only locals to grab these opportunities and we encourage our business people to consider forming joint ventures with each other so as to seize these opportunities,” he said.
Dlamini said typical of any establishments of this nature business opportunities would be en masse as SWACAA had decided to outsource them. He said for an airport of this nature to fully function, there must be certain services which would be outsourced to local businesspeople. He said SWACAA would rent out the premises to entrepreneurs.
“At the meeting we will be highlighting present facilities and opportunities. Then again on June 20, there will be another summit where agencies like the Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) as well as Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce (FSE&CC) will be invited. We soon shall send letters of invitation to these,” he said.
Adding, he said the second meeting would be held at Esibayeni Lodge. Dlamini said businesses to be established at Sikhuphe would have access to available markets in Swaziland, South Africa and the rest of the world.
He said the country’s main investment, Sikhuphe would bring massive development in its periphery and more jobs would be created. Dlamini said there would be a commercial city around the airport as well as the Swazi City.
Airlines already waiting for Sikhuphe completion
A number of airlines are patiently waiting for the completion of Sikhuphe International Airport so that they start operating, says Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) Marketing and Corporate Affairs Director Sabelo Dlamini.
He said the local aviation authority had been engaged in the roll-out of Sikhuphe’s external marketing plan and they had approached a number of airlines. However, Dlamini could not name the airlines to use Sikhuphe as he said they preferred confidentiality for now.
“The response we get from airlines is positive and we are excited that the airport will be completed soon. It will be delivered in seven packages and six are already complete except for only one, the staff housing which is still under construction. Various skilled people were engaged to bring about the multi-billion emalangeni development at the airport,” he said.
Dlamini said Swaziland and Sikhuphe were also complying with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.
He said since September 2011, there had been a lot of demands put by the ICAO on member states to regulate airports using specific acceptable standards.
Dlamini said Sikhuphe would be able to despatch and receive traffic whatever the circumstances would be.
Meanwhile, he said they were working in so much cooperation with their neighbouring counterparts. Dlamini said part of the training received by SWACAA personnel was from South Africa and Mozambique.
“We cannot run such an airport in our own island, there must be cooperation between the three countries; South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique to make operations possible. We are also in discussions with our counterparts on how to supervise traffic passing through the three countries,” he said.
Dlamini said SWACAA’s aim would complement South Africa and Mozambique airports and never to compete with them.
He said there was no way Swaziland would compete with its neighbours. Dlamini said they had also engaged their counterparts in trade and tourism for the region.