PRELIMINARY results for the Coega Development Corporation (CDC)’s 2012/13 financial year show that the organisation is building on solid growth over the past three years, attracting investment, project managing infrastructure projects provincially and creating jobs and training opportunities as a result.
The CDC exceeded its corporate performance targets in 2012/13 to create 13 596 direct and indirect jobs, train 13 607 people, attract a total of eight new investors and increase self-generated revue through external projects and services to the tune of R290-million.
“It has indeed been a good year for the organisation,” said Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communications. “Of course, we tend to want to aim higher and not risk complacency, but it is good to celebrate and our performance results are notable, considering rising electrical costs and persistent global economic instability.”
The CDC is mandated to develop the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ).
Meanwhile, construction on-site at First Automobile Works’ (FAW) truck assembly plant is proceeding at a pace, with August set to be the “month of milestones” according to lead contractor, WBHO Construction’s Eastern Cape managing director, Arnie van Jaarsveldt.
“The pits are almost complete – a milestone which will allow for the casting of the concrete floors after the installation of the plant machinery,” said van Jaarsveldt. “Also our municipal connections are in the pipeline, with permanent water and sewers already connected and power due to come online in late-August.
“Probably the most exciting two milestones, however, are the arrival of two of the seven overhead cranes, which will be installed inside the plant; and the fact that by mid-August the top structures will be complete and the shell of the building will be completely enclosed.”
A 50-strong installation crew will also arrive from China in August for the installation of the plant machinery to the pits followed by the testing and commissioning phase.
GETTING THERE: The top structures of the FAW plant in Zone 2 of the Coega IDZ are well underway and the building will be fully enclosed by end August.
The Chinese vehicle manufacturer, which has invested R600-million into its new plant, is the first foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Coega IDZ and it is hoped both by FAW and the CDC that other international and national first, second and third tier suppliers will follow suite and invest in the Coega IDZ’s automotive and logistics cluster.
The CDC is also focusing on key CSI interventions to drive its corporate agenda for socio-economic development. Its CSI initiatives are geared to meet certain strategic shortfalls in the Eastern Cape by focusing on skills, education, training and human development specifically.
“Our sustainability focus enables us to ensure CSI rolls through the organisation in job creation (the intern programme), environmental protection, heritage and culture alignment, training and skills development, business partnerships, enterprise development and engagement with communities,” said Vilakazi, adding that the flagship projects included driver training, the Coega Maths and Science Academy, the Coega Youth Development Academy, the people with disabilities development programme, scholarships and bursaries and other initiatives such as chess development.