Coega IDZ Performs Beyond Expectation

Coega Development Zone in Port Elizabeth

THE Coega Development Corporation (CDC) went ‘beyond expectations’ in seven of eight key performance indicators, growing its revenue by just over R70-million in the 2012/2013 financial year and securing R1.2-billion in investment.

The company’s annual results for the financial year, officially released on Thursday [14 Nov] at a meeting of the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs and Tourism’s parliamentary portfolio committee in the Eastern Cape legislature, showed “excellent achievements and results” the organisation’s chief finance officer, Bongeka Jojo, said.

This is largely a result of the CDC’s “unrelenting investment attraction path and established credibility and service excellence” as an implementation agent on various infrastructure developments in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

“Our sustained upward path – in spite of mercurial global economic fluctuations – has led to us achieving our best ever performance across the board in 2012/13. The life- and economy-changing aspects of the Coega IDZ are really being felt across the region. With the support of our investors, we are creating hope for South Africa and the real prospect of a better life for South Africans. There is no doubt that jobs, training, opportunities, quality infrastructure and a robust economy are evolving because of Coega’s work,” said Jojo.

“There is much cause to celebrate the magnitude of our impact. A continued investment upswing over 2012/13 financial year saw the attraction of eight new investors, driving over R1.2-billion into the local and national economy, generating jobs and helping thousands of families put food on the table,” said Jojo.

“Moreover, there is growing acceptance of the CDC as a trustworthy service provider. We have developed a secure client base because of our ability to go over and beyond in delivering on major infrastructure and other projects by creating value for our customers – meaning a record revenue stream of R290-million this year.”

With socio-economic development strongly in mind the CDC also trained a record high of 13 607 people during the course of 2012/13. Artisans and small businesses were the main beneficiaries of the CDC’s expanding training initiatives, developed specifically to assist the province in growing its human capital base and effective small businesses,” Jojo said, adding that 124 interns also benefited from mentored training pushing up the number of experienced young graduates entering the job market.

The CDC’s driver training programme also showed mammoth growth coupled with a proportionate increase in the number of people who passed their drivers licences over 2012/13.

“A total of 398 people could call themselves drivers for the first time – a tenfold increase on last year’s figures,” said Jojo. “We look forward to seeing these new drivers employed in decent jobs because of their newly acquired skill – and thereby improving the lives of their families.”

People living close to the Coega IDZ continued to benefit from job opportunities as the CDC maintained its commitment to local labour placements on construction and other projects. The CDC employs up to 86% of people from the Nelson Mandela Bay labour pool.

The CDC also ensured that a record high of 13 569 jobs were created in 2012/13. “This figure has major implications for Eastern Cape communities proving that Coega, through both IDZ and external activities, is a leading catalyst for socio-economic growth,” said Jojo.

Heeding Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s call in the medium-term budget for faster and more inclusive growth through “greater cooperation and better alignment between labour, business, government and other actors” the CDC has cemented growing relations with small business on a range of its projects. Small businesses benefited from a 41% overall share of the CDC’s procurement on both IDZ and external projects.

Looking forward, CDC Chief Executive Pepi Silinga said a new five year strategy would inform future decision-making and projected developments planned for the next five years to 2019/20 “will have a major positive and lasting impact” on the region and the country.

Major projects include at least one ferro-manganese smelter and one biofuels plant, the planned new berths in the Port of Ngqura, a South African Merchant Marine, a return effluent scheme and Project Mthombo.

Silinga says the main rail connection upgrade to the Eastern Cape in support of manganese exports, container logistics and other rail freight “will have a national impact”.

Coega/Ngqura, he says, “will become the logistics hub for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality with full road, rail and sea connectivity”. “A lot of hard work lies ahead to ensure that the Eastern Cape catches up and maintains its relevance on a national, and indeed international scale, with Foreign Direct Investment continuing to be a significant part of investments in the IDZ.”

The CDC has also been recognised for its performance after it scooped the hefty prize of top performing parastatal of the year at the annual National Business Awards in Johannesburg on Friday [15 Nov]. The award recognises state owned enterprises that demonstrate a high level of efficiency and effectiveness by working within allocated budgets, ensuring environmental and sustainable development, contribution to the economy, innovation and excellence in fulfilling their service delivery mandate and generally making the greatest impact through their key performance indicators.

Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communications said: “This accolade clearly demonstrates the ascent of Coega and the rise of the Eastern Cape at a national level. The acknowledgement from the business community is an incredible achievement of which we are very proud. We hope to take this award, and others, again in the years to come.

“We have committed ourselves to leading by example across our business, from working within allocated budgets to remaining aware of and protecting both the environment and sustainable development objectives whilst contributing to the economy. We also pride ourselves on innovation and excellence and the achievement of key performance indicators.”

“The CDC is equally committed to giving back to the communities in which we operate and our corporate social investment strategy includes the landmark Coega Driver Training Programme and various initiatives that focus on education, training and skills development,” added Vilakazi.

“The CDC’s annual report 2012/13 is testament to our success, and it is gratifying that the independent captains of industry seem to agree.”