The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has reported the creation of more than 280 jobs from the phase 2 of the Multi-User Facility currently being constructed at the Coega SEZ in Port Elizabeth. This is in addition to the 8 016 construction jobs created last year.
The R60-million phase two Multi-User Facility located in Zone 3 of the Coega SEZ is currently under construction. The Multi User Facility is a replica model of the phase one (1), which is now fully occupied.
It seeks to provide affordable industrial space for many small-to-medium companies, especially entrepreneurs wishing to grow their business.
The facility would also create an increase in employment opportunities to the Nelson Mandela Bay area. This is in line with the CDC’s vision of championing socio economic development.
“Over the past year, the CDC has been approached by numerous companies that want to start operating from within the Coega SEZ, due to its favourable location, incentives, and modern infrastructure.
Since the establishment of the multi-user facility, it has provided local people with employment in the construction industry.
EMPOWERING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE REGION – Workers at the construction of the plant (from left-to right) -Siphokazi Xakana (33); Ntombizodwa Hem (35); Nelisiwe Madlodlongi (27) and Edgard Fransman (29).
According to Siphokazi Xakana (33), a building student from the Coega Skills Centre and who is currently a brick layer at the construction site, “the skills I have obtained during my employment on this project has provided me with many opportunities to grow as a young female in a male dominated industry.
“I can now provide for myself and my family and I am grateful to Coega for this opportunity.”
Edgard Fransman (29) from the Northern Areas who is currently a General Worker on the project, agrees. He highlighted how getting a job has seriously enhanced his career ambitions.
“The experience and exposure I have obtained from the multi-user facility construction particularly in steels structure has enhanced my skills set.”
Ntombizodwa Hem (35), from Wells Estate who works as an Administration Assistant on the site is excited for the Coega opportunity.
“I am gaining a lot, every day I learn something new, which is good for my career. I value the opportunity granted to me and the chance of being able to provide at home.”
Coega continues to serve as a leading pioneer and game changer in the region through its socio-economic development focus.
Projects within the CDC have facilitated economic growth and job creation, particularly for the young people in the region.
Marketing, Brand and Communication Unit Head, Dr Ayanda Vilakazi commended the Coega SEZ for being a pioneer, innovator, and bringing hope to the local people.
The multi-user facility will provide a home for start-ups and small to medium size businesses, who are looking for scale and are steadfast in building successful businesses.
Coega is constantly at the forefront of new development projects that facilitates economic growth and create new opportunities for small businesses as well as create employment opportunities for communities.
The Coega SEZ objectives are aligned with the country’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), which outlines the country’s industrial development path and priority industries and value chains.
The IPAP highlights the importance of the country’s investment attraction efforts to primarily focus on those investments that will advance and enhance the country’s industrialization agenda, and also create jobs. In line with the IPAP priorities, the main investment attraction drives of special economic zones focus mainly on the following: mineral beneficiation, advanced manufacturing, marine industries (the ocean economy), and agro-processing, to mention but a few.
This drive for growth and development has made Coega not only one of the most successful Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the country and Number 1 SEZ on the African Continent, but an attractive and ideal investment destination for domestic and foreign investors. To this end, Statistics South Africa reported that the Coega SEZ investors have performed well when comparing 2015 and 2018.
The results indicates a substantial increase in the number of operational investors over the past four years, recording an 8 percent average growth rate between 2015 and 2018.
Such an achievement is important for the SEZ given a challenging operating and investment environment. Total income of the Coega SEZ Tenants improved by 22% over the comparative period indicating an increase contribution of tax returns from the Tenants.
The Coega SEZ Tenants also improved greatly on the net Profit before Tax, recording a R506 million in 2018. Number of jobs increased by 17.3% on average per year. Coega SEZ contributed to the economy of the region by creating decent jobs with an average salary of R222, 000 improving from R218, 000 per employee in 2015; Coega has outperformed the East London SEZ on many key performance indicators and is assisting the other SEZ’s in the country to chat-up for the benefit of South Africa.
The government investment in Coega and the department of trade and industry’s commitment to the SEZ programme has contributed significantly towards strengthening Coega’s investment promotion, exports promotion, job opportunities, and SMME development.