South African companies taking part in the Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have identified several business opportunities in the different sectors, in Lubumbashi. The companies have been in the DRC since last Sunday and have participated in the business seminars, business to business meetings, mini exhibitions, sector round tables as well as visits to the different sites.

The delegation visited African Milling in Lubumbashi, a milling company which produces maize meal for Katanga province. The plant which has been operating since March 2015 and employs local contractors of a maximum of 250 workers depending on the operation as their produce is seasonal, processes and packages 360 tons of maize a day to supply to the different retailers in Lubumbashi and the region

According to Virginia Morule, the Managing Director of Agro Tractor, which assembles tractors and supplies agro-processing equipment from Johannesburg, African Milling is one of the potential clients who could be supplied with machinery and equipment for planting and storage.

“There are so many opportunities available here which as an agricultural company we could tap into, such as providing training for the farmers which will enable them to produce high quality maize in the process of skills transfer,” said Morule.

She added that she would be in contact with the company to discuss how they could work together to ensure that there was increased supply to the market as the current supply is still very low to meet the needs of the population and to increase employment.

A Business Developer and Director of Glow Africa, dti Ntsako Garrine who visited Luano City, a metropolis within Lubumbashi, said this development would provide a lot of opportunities for companies in the built environment. The metropolis which is being built on 220ha of land will include a shopping mall, industrial park and residential area.

“I have noticed that a lot of material can be supplied by South African companies here, particularly steel and cement – at a much cheaper rate than is being currently supplied. The Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI) has built the bridge for us, it is now up to us to cross it,” said Garrine.

He added that Forum Properties which had already started with the construction of Luano city was a good company to associate with because they were already established in the DRC.