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Coega Commentary on the State of the Nation 2020 - published 17 Feb 2020

Coega Commentary on the State of the Nation Address 2020

 

 

Port Elizabeth, 17 February 2020 – The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) welcomes the speech delivered by the President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Ramaphosa at the State of the Nation Address.

 

The President outlining the programme for the country, at a time where the economy’s performance is facing continued low growth patterns and compounded by constrained energy supply.

 

The CDC is however encouraged by the number of interventions outlined by the President, with a view of unlocking development and placing our economy on a path of inclusive growth.

Energy 


Reliable Energy is critical to drive increased industrialisation, stimulating inclusive socio - economic growth. The CDC welcomes the implementation of Energy supply measures which will fundamentally change the trajectory of energy generation in our country. “The section 34 Ministerial determination to give effect to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019, enabling the development of additional grid capacity from renewable energy, natural gas, hydro power, battery storage and coal.” The IRP 2019 allocates an additional 1000 MW gas driven generation into the national grid by 2024. Furthermore, the existing 342 MW diesel-driven Dedisa Peaking Power Plant is ready for conversion to be gas –driven for increased capacity to up to 500 MW.

 

The CDC energy focus complements the national outlook as it prioritises the realisation of SA’s initial Liquified Natural Gas Hub at Coega. The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has been identified as the locations for the gas-to-power programme, a 1000 MW of the power facility, with an estimated budget of R25 billion. The availability of gas would improve the energy crunch as well as build downstream industries. In medium term Coega will be a location of choice for energy intensive (gas) industries.

Skills Development and Training

The CDC welcomes government’s devotion towards skills development and training which is crucial for the growth of economy through ensuring a consistent & appropriate skilled labour force. On unemployment, the CDC welcomes the six priority actions to be taken over the next five years to reduce youth unemployment and the initiatives lead by the government to set aside 1% of the budget to deal with high levels of youth unemployment.

 

As the CDC, the organisation prioritized job creation in the region and has to date created more than 120 000 jobs and trained 7406 people since inception. In the 2019/20 financial year the CDC has afforded in excess of over 70 young graduates with opportunities of workplace experience through the 18 months internship programme and offered training to over 390 people.


Infrastructure

CDC as an Implementing Agent (IA) choice for infrastructure programmes with a proven track of delivering complex & mega projects, welcomes progress undertaken by the infrastructure fund team which have initiated project pipeline with potential investments of over R700 billion in the next decade including both government and non-government contributions.

 

The CDC, has been the IA of choice in projecting managing the implementation of eleven (11) in the Eastern Cape. This has led to proper health care services bring brought to the rural areas of the Eastern Cape as part of the Programme by the Dept. Of Health. 
 
Investment

With the efforts undertaken by the 6th administration of making SA the preferred investment destination, CDC commends the work in progress of the investment drive which raised R660 billion in investment commitments against a five-year target of R1.2 trillion.  

 

The Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ), SA’s foremost investment hotspot for industries with global perspective is a hub to the most successful Fortune 500 companies like FAW, BAIC SA , HELLA SA etc. the SEZ and the Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park has seen the SEZ become the preferred location for companies looking to expand to the rest of the African continent.

 

Forthermore, in diversifying the economy of the EC, the CDC has identified 440 ha in its Zone 10 as a location for establishing an Aquaculture Development Zone (ADZ), making it one of the largest aquaculture zones on one single geographical location in South Africa. The implementation of the project will see in excess of 5000 jobs created, including medium to lower skilled job opportunities for communities within the close proximity to Coega. Phase 1 of the project will unlock 1000 jobs through abalone forms and salmon grow-out facility.

 

The CDC welcomes the plans to attract more investors through identifying bankable projects and the creation of investment books. The CDC continues to be a prime investment destination with a plug and play environment for potential investors.
 
African Trade

Coega welcomes the focus on African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) with tariff lines that will be reduced to zero over the next five years, and the service sectors that will be opened up across the continental.

 

The CDC in its years of experience has expanded its expertise to the African continent following the call made by the President of promoting development and economic integration of the continent.

 

The CDC client portfolio within the content expands to the SADAC region & beyond.

 

Lastly, CDC welcomes the announcement made by the president to host an extraordinary AU summit in May this year to finalise the modalities of Free Trade Agreement before its implementation on 1 July 2020.
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