SA Government optimistic about investor growth at Coega

Pretoria – There is a lot of potential for investor growth at the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) in the Eastern Cape, says Deputy Minister of Energy Thembisile Majola.

The Coega Development Corporation has in the 2014/15 financial year contributed 14 623 direct jobs to the South African economy and boasts 29 operating investors with an investment value in excess of R2.7 billion.

Speaking at a briefing regarding the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) incentive scheme to support the creation of large and competitive black industrialists, Deputy Minister Majola said the money could spill over to fund other projects.

“Even though there is no allocation as to where the money will be spent in the country, what the Eastern Cape receives from this scheme will depend on how many entrepreneurs can be developed,” said Deputy Minister Majola on Monday.

The Deputy Minister said the Eastern Cape presents a lot of potential while there is also a need for skills development like the skills development conducted by Coega in training artisans, welders and electricians.

“The approach is not just about employment creation but to see where there is a gap in the industry and create opportunities for others,” said Deputy Minister Majola.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Mayor Danny Jordaan said he was happy with empowerment and skills development that was on track within the Coega IDZ.

“We’ve also visited the skills development centre in Coega and it was interesting that people outside the metro and from rural areas were receiving training. Shareholding of existing investors and also the management expressing the need to deal with historical imbalances of ownership is especially encouraging,” said Jordaan.

Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo said there is high-growth and interest in energy projects within the IDZ energy cluster.

He told delegates to visit DCD Wind Turbines saying that the Eastern Cape was equally positioned to other wind turbine manufacturers in the market.

“The manufacturing capability of wind turbine stands guarantees South Africa’s relevance into the energy mix. The renewable energy mix provided by Coega can create the need for technology and related infrastructure,” he said.

Delegates toured the Coega IDZ and visited various businesses within the energy sector and Coega’s Human Capital Solutions (HCS) skills centre.

The officials also visited DCD Wind Towers, which is already operating in its 23 000m² wind tower manufacturing facility.

Gerry Klos, Executive Director of the DCD Wind Towers group, said the factory was at a phase where the production output was in line with the plant’s capacity.

“Currently, DCD employs 150 people and there are plans to add additional shift systems to maximise plant’s capability. This will mean new staff will be trained,” said Klos.

The CDC has built momentum on energy projects in both conventional energy and renewable energy so as to attract and sustain its investment projects.

The current energy projects under construction include the Dedisa Peaking Power Plant, which is estimated to start operating in the second half of 2015 and consists of two open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) able to produce 342MW. -