Projects and construction within the Coega Development Corporation’s Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has received positive feedback after a visit from several local and regional government officials which took place earlier today.
Sakhumzi Somyo, MEC for the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT), and the Nelson Mandela Bay Deputy Mayor Bicks Ndoni were pleased with the progress of investor growth and infrastructure construction in the IDZ.
“I am very much pleased to see how Coega is doing currently knowing the challenges of investment attraction as a result of global dynamics and other challenges,” said Somyo.
Somyo also added that Dedisa will contribute positively to the current energy crisis.
“The Dedisa project is a huge investment and will improve South African energy security. The plant will bring security to current and future investors.”
Somyo also said Coega and the Port of Ngqura are critical projects and enabling facilities for existing and future investors.
He added that any investment unlocks further economic growth, social and skills development for the regional economy, citing Dedisa and FAW as examples.
“With investments like Dedisa, DCD Wind Towers and First Automotive Works (FAW) specialised skills are needed.
“Any investment requires training and skills development for capacity and capability. Therefore, it is important to link with SETAs and organisations like Coega, which will guarantee skills acquisition and skills placement,” said Somyo.
The purpose of the visit to the Coega IDZ was to show how CDC and investors have impacted the social and economic landscape of the Eastern Cape economy.
Delegates visited various businesses within the energy, automotive and chemical sectors of the IDZ.
Ndoni said he was impressed with the progress made at the Dedisa Peaking Power Plant.
“We are all aware of the pressure cities are under, and there is a need for alternative energy. The progress at the plant (Dedisa) is impressive. The power they will produce will go a long way and will also assist Coega to approach investors,” said Ndoni.
He also added saying that even though temporary jobs were created during construction and permanent placements once the investors started operation he was overall impressed with Coega’s job figures.
“Families benefit from the jobs created in the IDZ,” said Ndoni.
While the CDC is aware of the multiple challenges facing the country such as the triple challenge of inequality, poverty and unemployment, the organisation has worked tirelessly in ensuring that all CDC projects provide job opportunities for local labour.
The CDC in the past Financial Year (FY) 2014/15 contributed 14 623 direct jobs to the South African economy and 96 776 direct jobs since inception.
Furthermore, the organisation understands the importance of training and skills development. In excess of 8 000 people were enrolled in various trainings and skills programmes designed and delivered by the CDC in the FY2014/15, while 71 445 people benefitted from programmes at CDC since inception.
The Coega IDZ boasts 29 operating investors with an investment value in excess of R2.7 billion.
CDC in the last financial year 2014/15 signed 19 investors valued at R1.8 billion.
Author: Shaanaaz Loggenberg
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