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Coega Development Corporation
Coega Special Economic Zone
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Our History and Name


CDC is a development agency enabling sustainable socio-economic development in South Africa, through investment, infrastructure development, SMME development, mentorship, and facilitating skills transfer.


Coega has a range of pronunciations that reflect the economic, environmental and social diversity of Nelson Mandela Bay. Coega is widely pronounced as ’Koo-gha’ with a guttural sound forming the last syllable. Coega is derived from the ancient Khoi-San word for ’ground river’ which aptly describes the arid environment of the area with its vast artesian groundwater resources. The Khoi-San were the original inhabitants of the Bay, and their rich click filled language, has influenced many other languages throughout Africa. Seventy percent of Khoi-San words start with a click, and only one language outside of Africa uses clicks (Damin, a ritual vocabulary of the Lardil in Australia).

The Xhosa word for Coega is Ngqura, the variation used for the Port adjacent to the SEZ. The deep-water Port of Ngqura adds to the Coega Special Economic Zone’s value proposition as being the preferred investment destination in Africa. To pronounce Ngqura correctly requires an ability to sound the click as used in the isiXhosa language. To successfully achieve this, will likely require you to travel to this most spectacular part of South Africa, where you are welcome to ask one of the many friendly Xhosa people to instruct you.

Of course, there are so many other reasons to visit Coega as well, which will become more and more apparent as you travel through other parts of this website, reading Our Story - Our Journey - Our Achievements.

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