“Casting my eyes on the year, one which I must admit hasn’t been easy, has triggered emotions of reflection on the progress the CDC has made in impacting the lives of many South Africans across the footprint of the country,” wries Ayanda Vilakazi. The CDC, through various projects in the industrial development zone or project management where CDC is an implementing agent on government infrastructure development programme has made a welcomed impact and touched the lives of more than 5.6 million people (approximately 10.6% of total SA’s population). This means that the CDC has indeed become a beacon of hope for many SA’s, especially those residing in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, among others.
When the project of the Coega IDZ was mooted many years ago, 1998 to be exact, critics felt it was a pipe dream, an illusion only possible in the minds of those who were void of pragmatism. Many people didn’t believe that the country was ready for an Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) better yet, one situated in the Eastern Cape (EC).
“Those of us, who dared to dream, dreamt of a reality that would not only contribute towards the growth of the province but one filled with possibilities. As we started to fertilize the soil planting the seed with the understanding that hard work, thinking out of the box and dedication, we foresaw cryptic environments with both small and colossal outcomes. Though, we knew our labour will likely bear fruit, pass our period at the helm, we pushed on nonetheless,” said Pepi Silinga, Chief Executive of the CDC.
Fast forward 16 years later, the Coega IDZ is regarded as THE leading IDZ’s in investor attraction in Southern Africa (arguably in the rest of Africa). For many investors, both local and international, it is the premier destination of choice, having signed a cumulative of 29 new investors in a two-year period, 2013/14 and 2014/15FY (62 since inception in 1999). Attaining such validation from both local and international private sector investors has resulted in flexible approaches overtime, despite a low growth, poor production capacity utilisation, Eastern Cape business confidence index that has fallen sharply in 15Q4, and weak fixed investment (source: Bureau for Economic Research, 2015), said CDC’s Head of Marketing Communications, Dr Ayanda Vilakazi. Our strategies have oscillated from the earlier year’s modus operandi focus on anchor client approach to a more evolved value proposition congruent with the needs and types of static and mobile investment projects, said Pepi Silinga, Chief Executive of the CDC.
In addition, the expertise accumulated over the years in the development of the IDZ has provided the CDC with a bank of expertise and skills in project management of infrastructure programmes, which is now a commercial offering for complex minor and mega projects.
Looking at the CDC’s achievements for the period 2014/15 FY, the organisations results show a consistent upward performance trend in all areas of priority in pursuit of the CDC’s vision as being the leading catalyst for championing of socio-economic development. This includes children who now have access to quality education through the provision of school infrastructure including early childhood centres; communities who now have access to a better quality of life through hospital upgrades; to name but a few.
The organisation has managed to generate income growth from R383.5-million to R441.8-million which is a 115% increase. In addition, the CDC had 31 operational investors with a combined investment value of R6.44-billion as at 31 March 2015 (6 more operational investors to be added in the next 12 months to December 2016). The CDC signed 19 new investors in 1 (one) financial year (10 new investors signed in the previous financial year) totalling 29 new investors signed in a short space of 2 years. Staying true to our socio economic development goals, the CDC trained 8147 people (over 85 886 people trained since inception). Furthermore, the CDC created 14 765 direct jobs through various projects in the Coega IDZ for the 2014/2015 FY. Our efforts as an implementing agent for various government departments have assisted with fast tracking government infrastructure development programmes in various provinces, project managing a total of R2,8 billion infrastructure programmes.
Understanding the importance of small business and the role they play in growing the economy, the CDC increased procurement expenditure on Small Micro Medium Enterprise (SMME) achieving 46.17% procurement spend at the end of the 2014/2015 FY. We further increased youth economic participation and development through the enrolment of 185 interns in the Coega 18 month’s internship programme. Additionally, the CDC created opportunities of employment for over 1249 people whose lives have been changed by acquiring drivers’ licenses through CDC’s Driver Training Programme.
In conclusion, the CDC is projecting 37 operational investors by December 2016. The year ahead is also projected to achieve another 13 new investors worth R 2,230-billion
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