Before the discontinuation of the incentive driven industrial decentralisation strategy, there were about 115 factory industries operating in Butterworth as recent as in 1989. The incentives terminated altogether in the mid-nineties leading to a huge exodus of these industries from Butterworth.
Some of these industries included the South African Breweries, Premier Milling, Tramatex all leaving in quick succession in 1997 leading to huge job losses.
Subsequently, most of these factory buildings lied empty for a long time and most are now in a state of ruin. In recent times, the demand for factory space has improved dramatically and supply exceeds the demand for both commercial and industrial space due to locals who venture into business and distance between the area and CBD. ECDC is currently drafting a master plan for the Butterworth industrial park in order for Mnquma Local Municipality to qualify for the fund allocation