The Coega Development Corporation (CDC), developer and operator of the 9003ha Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has been hard at work with the relaxation of the government regulations on SARS-COV-2 pandemic, allowing construction activity to commence under Alert Level 3.
The Coega SEZ saw several SEZ projects worth billions of rands coming to a grinding halt in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent correct actions declaring a national lockdown by the South African government.
“We can’t express enough the need to resume economic activity in the SEZs throughout the country as the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had a devastating effect across the entire economic value chain,” says Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC Unit Head of Marketing & Communications.
The CDC welcomes two significant construction projects that have resumed construction. This has brought the much needed economic activity to the SEZ and Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) economy.
Two construction projects at the Coega SEZ are the Multi-User Facility phase 2 (R60 million investment & 280 construction jobs) and the Fruit Terminal Facility (R244 million & 157 construction jobs), valued at R304 million accumulatively, highlights Dr Vilakazi.
The recommencement of these construction activities at the SEZ has created in excess of 437 construction jobs, lessening undue hardship that has been caused by the pandemic and/or national lockdown and the subsequent slowdown of economic activity.
Workers have expressed their relief regarding return to work; one of those includes Wendy Fredericks (36) who highlighted that “being part of the project has played a huge role in my life ‘the skills I am gaining during my employment in the project has afforded me an opportunity to grow and be able to provide for myself and my family who solely depend on me for their livelihood.”
Her sentiments were also shared by Chelsea Fortuin (23), a recent B-Tech Construction Management graduate who is excited at the opportunity of working; “this project has provided me with an opportunity to learn more on the practical part of my career. I am gaining experience and exposure to what I have theoretically learnt from school.”
Further highlighting that, “I am grateful to be part of such a big project and to have secured this job in such difficult times of high unemployment.”
Lastly, John Wentzel (54), who works as a general assistant is proud to have secured a job for himself & his family.
“I would have been sitting at home without a job. I am grateful that I can now be able to provide for my family and most importantly, going to work every day gives a purpose in my life.”
EMPOWERING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE REGION: Workers at the Fruit Terminal Facility construction site (from left-to right) – Chelsea Fortuin (23); John Wentzel (54); and Wendy Fredericks (36).