The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) Chief Executive, Mr. Pepi Silinga has been appointed to the Gauteng Premier’s Economic Advisory Panel for the next two years. Pepi Silinga’s appointment was announced by the Gauteng Premier – David Makhura on 20 February 2017 during the State of the Province Address.
“The panel will advise the Premier and the Gauteng Provincial Government on implementing strategies to realise our objectives of increasing employment, empowerment, exports and inclusive growth in line with the vision set out in the National Development Plan and our Provincial Economic Plan,” said David Makhura.
This appointment comes at a time when the CDC is at the height of implementation of its economic development programmes in the Coega IDZ and infrastructure programmes in the Eastern Cape and country at large, led by its Chief Executive.
The CDC has achieved never seen before success by any IDZ in the developing countries of the world, with a staggering 61 new investment projects signed in the past 5 years’ worth R35,8 billion. Some of these investment projects would become operational in the next few years since it takes on average no less than 3 years to execute mega projects given the difficult milestones that need to be reached.
“I’ve been to many developing countries and industrial development zones in the world, the Coega IDZ is by far the best of them all,” said Dr LI Yuanchao, Vice President of The People’s Republic of China during his State visit to South Africa in November 2016. His sentiments were supported by Sakhumzi Somyo, MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs, and Tourism when he said “the Coega IDZ is the best performing and has done very well to win national awards in South Africa, we are very proud of this institution.”
The same views were echoed by Lionel October, Director General of the Department of Trade and Industry, during his visit to the Coega IDZ in December 2016, where he stated that “Coega is a flagship programme we are very proud of. It’s effectively the best functioning and most successful IDZ in the country and also has world class management and corporate governance systems.”
“We have a commitment as the province of the Eastern Cape to, once developed, nurture, and retain the skills we have in the Province in order to improve the lives of our people through economic development programmes, such as the Coega IDZ,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi. Currently, the CDC has 36 operational investors in the Coega IDZ, with an accumulated investment value of approximately R6.609 billion. Notably, amongst the operational investors are WNS (SA) and Discovery Health leaders in the Business Process Outsourcing, Famous Brands, Coega Dairy Cheese, Dedisa Power Peaking Station, FAW (SA), to name but a few. The CDC is commendable for its achievements for creating 18 366 jobs specifically in the Coega IDZ. However, since inception in 1999, the organization has successfully created in total, through all its economic and industrial development programmes, more than 96 776 job opportunities and trained more than 85 886 people.
In line with the roll out of mega economic and infrastructure development projects in South Africa, particularly renewable energy logistics, the CDC has also made enormous contribution in this regard. The CDC supports the NDP and IPAP Gas-based industrialization, leveraging natural gas as both a source of power generation and a driver of industrial diversification, as one of the spines of the country’s industrial strategy. In the process of diversification of energy towards greater contribution of clean energy and energy mix, in this instance Wind Energy, the Coega IDZ provides a platform to localise the manufacturing of industrial components. In so doing, the organisation has been effecting the structural changes in the economy through breaking out of commodity dependence and moving towards a diversified, knowledge economy in which increasing value-addition and export intensity is paramount.
Therefore, creation of local manufacturing capacity, such as DCD Wind Tower factory in the Coega IDZ, assists in the reduction of costs input and thus the final product, leading to reduced final prices for the consumer due to a lower cost in addition to creation of skilled jobs, technology transfer and increased mobility of skilled personnel of related industries.
Furthermore, government plans to add 1.667MW new renewable energy capacity, with a net impact on GDP as high as R1.071-billion a year as articulated in the White Paper. The target was to achieve 10 000GWh renewable energy contribution to final energy consumption and the South Africa Wind Energy Programme (SAWEP) by 2013.
In pursuance of the aforementioned industrial policy and Renewable Energy Programme, the Coega IDZ has been identified as one of the two locations for the gas-to-power programme, a 1000 MW of the power facility, with an estimated budget of R25 billion. In addition, the CDC has completed the 342 MW Dedisa Power Peaking Plant, an investment worth R3.5 billion, which became operational in 2015. Finally, Thyspunt, which is 80 km from the Coega IDZ, is earmarked as a likely location for the first nuclear fleet of the planned 9.6 GW Nuclear Power Programme. The Coega IDZ will support the nuclear programme through manufacturing in general, Nuclear Component Manufacturing, Fuel Fabrication in Zone 12 –Coega IDZ, Skills Development, Stakeholder engagement linked to Public Awareness, General cooperation on other technologies.
As regards the logistics sector in Zone 1 of the Coega IDZ, a Customs Control Area (CCA) has become an attractive zone and proposition for the logistics industry, enabling these companies access to incentives, such as customs duty and VAT incentives. To this end, the CDC has five CCA zone operations and secured no less than six (6) qualifying logistics companies within the zone.
With 16 years’ experience in economic and industrial development of the 11500ha of the Coega IDZ, and tough economic environment, the organisation has had to diversify its offering. Government departments requiring assistance with infrastructure development in the country have benefited from the organisation’s expertise in infrastructure development and project management.
Therefore, as an enabler of economic development, the CDC has been implementing infrastructure programmes for government departments; providing expertise, resources, and project management solutions in the fast and efficient delivery of mega infrastructure projects in South Africa, through the implementation of ISO certified efficient and effective supply chain management systems and processes, ICT governance, and matured project methodology and reporting that delivers customer and shareholder value.
Some of our clients include the Department of Human Settlements, Department of Education, Department of Basic Education, Department of Health, National Department of Public Works, Department of Social Development, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
Therefore, the appointment of Pepi Silinga to the new Premier’s Economic Advisory 14 (fourteen) member Panel would indeed be a worthy addition to the Gauteng Provincial Government on the roll out of social and economic infrastructure projects planned for the next two years. We have no doubt he will utilize his skills on the economic and infrastructure development with rigor and the required discipline of execution.
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