Coega IDZ leads to jobs

The Coega In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Zone is cre­at­ing jobs and grow­ing the East­ern Cape econ­omy

Public Sector Manager - - Contents: -

The Coega In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Zone (Coega IDZ), lo­cated near Nel­son Man­dela Bay Metropoli­tan Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the East­ern Cape, is a multi-bil­lion rand project geared to drive lo­cal and for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment into ex­port in­dus­tries and po­si­tion South Africa as the hub for south­ern African trade.

De­vel­oped and man­aged by the Coega De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (CDC), the IDZ was re­cently given the IDC Job Cre­ation and Best Provider of Ser­vice to Ex­porters award at the Ex­porters Awards in Port El­iz­a­beth.

The de­vel­op­ment zone offers global com­pet­i­tive­ness through tax in­cen­tives, re­bates and a duty-free zone, and con­sists of 11 000 hectares of land that's di­vided into dif­fer­ent zones.

In­vestors cre­ate jobs

Ac­cord­ing to Coega's Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Man­ager Vuyokazi Gwabeni the value of pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment in the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year was R6.996 bil­lion.

Gwabeni said the CDC and the Nel­son Man­dela Bay Lo­gis­tics Park (NMBLP) pro­vides in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vices to the au­to­mo­tive manufacturing in­dus­try and has at­tracted 40 op­er­a­tional in­vestors, of which 24 are South African com­pa­nies.

At the end of the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year the CDC had cre­ated over

7 243 op­er­a­tional jobs within the Coega Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone (SEZ).

Chi­nese Com­pany FAW has been op­er­at­ing in the IDZ since 2014.

During the con­struc­tion pe­riod FAW South Africa cre­ated 300 work op­por­tu­ni­ties for the lo­cal com­mu­nity and has cre­ated 240 per­ma­nent jobs since for­mal pro­duc­tion com­menced.

About 90 per­cent of the em­ploy­ees work­ing at the plant are South African.

FAW Ve­hi­cle Man­u­fac­ture SA As­sis­tant CEO and Plant Man­ager PE Louis Liu said the main prod­ucts pro­duced at the plant range from medium to ex­tra heavy ve­hi­cles in­clud­ing trac­tors, tip­pers, ce­ment mix­ers and con­struc­tion ve­hi­cles.

“Our to­tal in­vest­ment for the project was 80 mil­lion US dol­lars and the ac­cu­mu­lated pro­duc­tion in the plant has been over 3 000 trucks,” he said.

“Our prod­ucts have been ac­cepted grad­u­ally by our cus­tomers in South Africa.They are also sold to other African coun­tries,” said Liu.

Dis­cov­ery Health Med­i­cal Scheme's call cen­tre is lo­cated in Zone 4. Walk­ing through the open plan of­fice one can feel the en­ergy of youth at the cen­tre.

The call cen­tre, which started with a team of 50 agents in July 2011, has grown its team to about 1 000 peo­ple.

“Our call cen­tre makes up about 60 to 70 per­cent of our work­force. We also have a col­lec­tions team, which is re­spon­si­ble for the col­lec­tion of pre­mi­ums; cor­re­spon­dents team; busi­ness teams and re­la­tion­ship teams,” said Dis­cov­ery Ser­vice Ex­ec­u­tive Ernie van Staden.

Dis­cov­ery's cap­i­tal in­vest­ment for the fa­cil­ity was about R20 mil­lion.

Em­ploy­ees at the call cen­tre have no ex­cuses for not be­ing phys­i­cally fit, as their build­ing has been fit­ted with a gym.They can also re­ceive mas­sages and are pam­pered at a beauty salon which does their hair and nails.

Van Staden said the com­pany will re­cruit 140 peo­ple over the next four months.

Progress in 2016/17

Some of the sec­tors in the IDZ in­clude chem­i­cals, lo­gis­tics, au­to­mo­tive, ser­vices, agro-pro­cess­ing and en­ergy.

Gwabeni said in the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year, the Coega IDZ achieved 38 per­cent SMME par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“We trained about 6 697 peo­ple and to date we have cre­ated 9 626 con­struc­tion jobs in the IDZ. Since 1999, we have cre­ated 102 794 jobs and 92 583 peo­ple have been trained since in­cep­tion,” she said.

In ad­di­tion, 16 in­vestors were se­cured, with a to­tal value of R11.685 bil­lion, in the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year.

The state-owned en­tity also has a youth de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme for learn­ers who did not pass maths and sci­ence in Grade 12. In the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year, 48 learn­ers com­pleted the maths and sci­ence pro­gramme.

Other cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity pro­grammes im­ple­mented and funded by the CDC in­clude a driver train­ing pro­gramme, bur­sary scheme for chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing post­grad­u­ates, in­tern­ship pro­gramme and a youth lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme.

Muf­fin Con­sult­ing con­ducted a so­cio-eco­nomic im­pact study which showed that 66 per­cent of staff are pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged.

Sixty-nine per­cent of com­pa­nies in­creased their work­force in the IDZ, which is an in­di­ca­tion that busi­nesses in the SEZ are likely to suc­ceed.

The find­ings of the study are sup­ported by Coega's recog­ni­tion of its ded­i­ca­tion to job cre­ation ini­tia­tives and ex­cel­lent ser­vices to ex­por­to­ri­ented in­vestors.

Writer: Nosihle Shelembe

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