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Coega continues to be the beacon of hope - published 14 Oct 2021

Coega continues to be the beacon of hope for the advancement of inclusive growth and development in the country

Gqeberha, 14 October 2021 – As an innovative and continuous improvement purpose-led brand, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has announced that it is working around the clock, amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, to advance the inclusive growth and socio-economic development of the country in line with its vision, to be the leading catalyst for championing of the socio-economic development, says Dr. Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC’s Head of Marketing and Communications.

A year ago, the Eastern Cape (EC) MEC for Finance and Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Honourable Mlungisi Mvoko launched the 100-hectare Aquaculture Development Zone (ADZ) in Zone 10 of the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to signify the beginning of the much-anticipated infrastructure development programme in the EC. Phase 1 construction started in September last year and is anticipated to be completed by November 2021. This massive created 500 construction jobs and is expected to create a further 5,600 operational jobs.

The Coega Aquaculture Development Zone – located in Zone 10, it is a catalyst for unlocking EC’s
aquaculture value chain and is expected to be one of the enablers for job creation in the region

Additionally, the CDC is making good progress, as an Implementing Agent of Choice in the development of the 226-hectare Wild Coast Industrial Park in the Eastern side of the Eastern Cape, near Mthatha Airport. The completion of land and topographic surveys, the appointment of the bulk and top infrastructure consultants, and appointment of a fencing contractor have been concluded in addition to obtaining Industrial Park designation by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic).

The Park aims to (a) grow the agro-processing sector; (b) promote beneficiation and further value addition to the region’s agricultural resources, and the development of solid manufacturing capability to enhance the economic competitiveness; and lastly, (c) revitalise Mthatha and its surrounds as a key industrial node. The estimated value of projects is R1.7 billion. The forecast is that these projects will create a total of 865 operational jobs and that during construction, a further 600 jobs will be created. The investment in dairy and related agricultural production will be the base for agro-processing investment in the Wild Coast Industrial Park.

Over the years, the CDC conducted extensive work to position the Coega SEZ as one of the preferred locations for energy related projects. We welcomed the news earlier this year that Coega is one of the preferred bidders of the Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), namely the Karpowership at Coega, and Mulilo Total Coega Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) projects with a combined output of 640 MW. This includes the existing 340 MW from Dedisa Peaking Power Plant already established in Zone 13 of the Coega SEZ. Moreover, the Coega precinct will have almost 1,000 MW of implemented power by 2022/23, which should improve the confidence of investors wishing to locate at the Coega SEZ.

These milestones will go a long way to boosting investor confidence in the economy of the country. They will create jobs and small business opportunities in the value chain during construction and operations to benefit particularly the youth, women, and persons with disabilities.

The SEZs, such as Coega, are a catalyst for employment, transformation, socio-economic development, and industry growth. Therefore, working together with our stakeholders, we can advance the socio-economic development of the country and fast-track sustainable inclusive growth in line with the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, remarks Dr. Vilakazi.

The CDC is the developer and an interim operator of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ). The project, which was recently reported to be on track, and it is anticipated to be completed in September next year. Currently, there is still a process of installing equipment, but production has already started. Linked to the work that is being with the national government, Transnet and the government of the Eastern Cape, including Coega, to ensure that there’s facilitation in the expansion of the railway network to be able to export the bulk of vehicles to be produced from the plant. The project, which has a target of 45 percent SMME component, with about R4 billion spend in less than 24 months. Ford Motor Company has clients in 143 countries to receive the Ford Ranger manufactured from the TASEZ by June 2022. The DPW is the lead infrastructure department together with CIDB. Importantly, for the TASEZ project, government has invested R3.3 billion unlocking R4.33 billion investment by suppliers and a further R15.8 billion investment announced by Ford Motor Company.

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