Johannesburg – Government needs to reverse its neglect of investment in the Eastern Cape, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday.
“The Port of Ngqura [Coega] represents the first strategic anchor investment in the Eastern Cape made by the South African government in its entire history,” Gigaba said in Port Alfred.
“This points both to the historical neglect of the region and the need to focus our attention to address this neglect.”
Gigaba said in a speech prepared for delivery at an investor conference there were many possible infrastructure projects that could contribute to the development of the Eastern Cape.
These included projects that would enhance the Port Elizabeth, Coega and East London industrial development zones (IDZs) as an economic corridor, he said.
“First and foremost, we need to unlock Ngqura’s potential as a major trans-shipment hub as a matter of urgency.
“Major shipping lines have invested in feeder ports in both the west and the east coast of Africa, which will create efficient logistics chains between Ngqura and growing African middle class consumer and industrial markets.
“This will give South Africa a unique competitive advantage in accessing these economies,” he said.
Ngqura’s IDC would