Coega walks the talk

Spe­cial eco­nomic zone in Eastern Cape plays pi­o­neer­ing role to boost black in­dus­tri­al­ists

Afro Voice (Western Cape) - - Business - BERNARD SATHEKGE bernards@the­

THE Coega spe­cial eco­nomic zone (SEZ) in the Eastern Cape is walk­ing the talk in fast­track­ing black in­dus­tri­al­ists into key role play­ers of the econ­omy.

It now counts 41 in­vestors and the first of many in­dus­tri­al­ists in the pipe­line with a R71m con­crete man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity in Zone 5 of the Coega SEZ.

The in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment zone (IDZ), which was estab­lished in 1999 and cov­ers 115km² of land, is fast be­com­ing a cash cow for the province and the coun­try as it pumps bil­lions of rands into the econ­omy.

All multi­bil­lion­rand projects that flooded to the IDZ in the past decade are start­ing to make big prof­its, de­spite the tough eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment.

The Coega De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (CDC) yes­ter­day said it con­tin­ues to be a pioneer in the gov­ern­ment­led black in­dus­tri­al­ists pro­gramme and is proud to wel­come its 41st such op­er­a­tional in­vestor.

Ke­nako Con­crete, a R71m con­crete man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity, is the first black in­dus­try in Port El­iz­a­beth to be funded by the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (DTI) to­gether with the In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (IDC).

“The CDC is at the fore­front of im­ple­ment­ing the black in­dus­tri­al­ist pro­gramme and rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion,” CDC busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager in metal and man­u­fac­tur­ing Sadick Davids said.

Ke­nako Con­crete is a state of the art fa­cil­ity with the ca­pac­ity to pro­duce six cu­bic me­tres of con­crete in just four min­utes. Its abil­ity to pro­duce 150m³ an hour is a game changer in the ready­mix con­crete in­dus­try.

Jerome Per­ils, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ke­nako Con­crete, said the pro­ject as a whole was a year and a half in the mak­ing.

“There was a lot of hard work, but we man­aged to get onto the DTI’s black in­dus­tri­al­ist pro­gramme and the IDC along with the Trea­sury.

“It is very sat­is­fy­ing to see the plant up and run­ning. This has re­sulted in 46 per­ma­nent jobs for peo­ple from poor com­mu­ni­ties of Port El­iz­a­beth,” he said.

The plant also boast a fur­ther fleet of at least 16 spe­cialised con­crete trans­port­ing trucks while more 90 jobs were cre­ated dur­ing the con­struc­tion of the fa­cil­ity.

Re­cently, busi­ness lobby group, the Black Busi­ness Coun­cil, stressed that it vowed to fight for the sup­port of rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion and the re­al­i­sa­tion of black in­dus­tri­al­ists in the coun­try.

To date the DTI has ap­proved R577m in grants for 27 black in­dus­tri­al­ists projects in part­ner­ship with the IDC, the NEF, the Public In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion and the Land Bank.

A tar­get of cre­at­ing 100 black in­dus­tri­al­ists an­nounced by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in 2014 has been ex­tended to the end of this fi­nan­cial year.

An­other shin­ing ex­am­ple of a true black in­dus­tri­al­ists in­clude the multi­bil­lion­rand black con­trolled en­ter­prise, Ke­nako Med­i­cal, which will be man­u­fac­tur­ing sy­ringes and al­ready the NEF has in­vested R177m in the pro­ject which prom­ises to take the South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion by storm.

The lo­ca­tion of the plant is also go­ing to be the Coega SEZ.

Philisiwe Mthethwa, the NEF CEO, said most im­por­tantly about the pro­gramme of black in­dus­tri­al­ists is the fact that they are ex­pect­ing to see the cre­ation of new job op­por­tu­ni­ties through this pol­icy, as well as the own­er­ship and man­age­ment of pro­duc­tive busi­nesses by black peo­ple.

PI­O­NEER­ING: The Black In­dus­tri­al­ist Pro­gramme is ad­dress­ing eco­nomic in­equal­ity.

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