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Coega Enriches Lives of EC Indigenous People - published 15 Aug 2019

EMPOWERING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT FOR THE EC REGION: Workers of Ikhono Construction: (from left to right) - Thandaza Baartman (37), Lawrence Dylon (25) and Sarah Baartman (44)

Coega Enriches Lives of EC Indigenous People

Port Elizabeth, 15 August 2019: The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) today announced it has exceeded 120 000 jobs created through its programmes across the country, which have enriched the livelihood of many indigenous people.

According to Sarah Baartman (44), from Colchester, a general worker at the Ikhono construction site, the job opportunity, “has helped me provide for myself as well as my children.” 

These are also sentiments highlighted by Lawrence Dylon (25), from Bethelsdorp, who is currently plowing his trade as a general worker on the same site. “I value the skills I have obtained during my employment on this project, it does not only limit me here but also allows me to access other opportunities outside of Coega.”

Whilst, celebrating women, during the month of August, Thandaza Baartman (37), who is working as a safety representative at the Ikhono construction site, highlighted how the job has enhanced her career ambitions: “I had been unemployed for a long time, when this opportunity came, I took it with both hands.”

“The sentiments echoed are a testimony of many workers currently plowing their trade on Coega projects.” says Dr. Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC’s Head of Marketing, Brand and Communications.

Coega continues to serve as the leading pioneer for socio-economic development through groundbreaking efforts that ensure standards of sustainable growth are met. Projects within the CDC have facilitated economic growth through job creation, particularly for the youth of this region.

“By year-end 2019/20, the CDC is projecting an increase in the number of operational investors in the Coega SEZ at fifty (50), making Coega the most successful and leading SEZ in Africa,” highlights Dr. Vilakazi.

Tackling the unemployment challenge: More than 7 815 people go to the Coega SEZ every day to work thus contributing towards the economic development of the Eastern Cape. Coega is currently the Employer of Choice for two years in a row 2018 and 2019, said the Top Employer SA.


The CDC, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019 and a total of 120 990 jobs have been created through the Coega project (from 112 974 last year) since establishment in 1999.

“Many indigenous people of the Eastern Cape have felt the impact. We have also provided training to more than 100 000 people, most of whom are women and youth,” highlights Dr. Vilakazi.

With 45 operational investors/tenants in the Coega SEZ who have made Coega a success and contributed to job creation, the SEZ remains the top achiever in South Africa, not to mention the achieved R9.53 Billion in Foreign Direct Investment and more than R280 billion in the pipeline including the R40 billion 1000MW LNG project.

The top investors with the highest number of operational jobs created since establishment include, amongst others, Dynamics Commodities (858 jobs), Discovery (1148 jobs), WNS (592 jobs) and Coega Dairy (305 jobs).

For more information: www.coega.com

What Stakeholders say about Coega

“I’ve been to many developing countries and industrial development zones, the Coega IDZ is one of the best,” said Dr. LI Yuanchao, former Vice President of the People’s Republic of China in his recent visit to Coega SEZ.

“I’m particularly pleased by the number of investors who have taken advantage of this amazing economic zone and made a great success of their investments,” said the British High Commissioner to South Africa, Nigel Casey
in his recent visit to Coega SEZ.

As a result of the organisations achievements, the CDC has won numerous prestigious awards in the country including the Top Performing Public Service Organisation award at the Oscars of South African Business in Johannesburg in November 2018 and the Top Investor award at the Department of Trade and Industry (dti’s) Premier Business Awards in Sandton in March 2019. Coega is the only SEZ in Southern Africa to win more than 15 prestigious business awards within a short timeframe of 4 years.

Coega’s external services programme has also contributed to job creation.  The CDC is a Programme Implementing Agent (PIA) for government departments throughout the country, across six provinces, as demonstrated in the figure below.

The CDC employs skilled and specialist engineers, project managers and multidisciplinary resources, which it has placed at the disposal of government to provide project management and engineering services. It aims to be the Programme Implementing Agent of choice in the country given its expertise that has been developed and nurtured over the past 20 years.

Coega’s project - La Mercy MST Academy in KwaZulu-Natal

The programme promotes shared value for all our stakeholders through efficient & effective systems and processes, which include procurement, Information Communications Technology (ICT), financial, and governance, all of which comply with international standards in project management. It enables the delivery of infrastructure throughout South Africa in line with the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP).

Coega promotes women participation and development on all of its projects.

Some of Coega’s clients are listed below:

The CDC has extended its external services to other countries in the continent, which include Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Nigeria, focusing on consulting services and mainly on SEZ development as well as concessions to build, operate and maintain dry ports.

The new Coega Africa Programme (CAP) is in line with the Presidential pledge to promote the development and economic integration of the African Continent: “Our experience on the African continent confirms that the most effective way of addressing challenges of economic growth and social development is through cooperation across borders. This approach lies at the heart of the efforts to promote greater economic integration across the continent.” President Cyril Ramaphosa, at the Commonwealth Business Forum Banquet, 17 April 2018.

The CAP is in line with the Eastern Cape Premier, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane’s pledge to promote the development and economic integration of the African continent: “We are therefore very keen on contributing to a better Africa and the world. To this end, we are looking forward to embarking on intra-Africa trade, which has been made possible by the signing of the Free Trade Agreement by African countries.” - EC Premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, at the State of the Province Address (SOPA), June 2019.

The CAP is in line with the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) and Trade Invest Africa (TIA) initiative by the dti: “TIA is meant to create a closer working relationship between SA Government and the private sector to take advantage of export and investment opportunities on the African continent. It is mandated to contribute to increasing the levels of intra-Africa trade and facilitate for SA business the necessary services related to trade and investment on the continent” (the dti website, 2017). SA ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

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