SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Coega Pulls R4 Billion in New Investments

South Africa's Coega industrial development zone (IDZ) raked in R4.1-billion in new investments in 2011-12, exceeding its targeted number of new investors, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) says in its annual report.

"The current value of operating investments and those in the pipeline now exceeds R15-billion, the bulk of which comprises alternative energy (R6.4-billion), downstream metals (R4-billion), and automotive manufacturing and components (R3-billion)," the state-owned company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Coega IDZ is located adjacent South Africa's new deep-water Port of Ngqura, near Port Elizabeth, which falls under the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.

The CDC, tasked with attracting investors and tenants to the IDZ and the Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park, has signed 36 lease agreements with investors since its inception. The IDZ and logistics park had 21 operating investors as of 2011-12.

Tabling the CDC's annual report in the Bhisho legislature in the Eastern Cape earlier this month, chief executive Pepi Silinga said the National Treasury's budget allocations to the CDC had been reduced from R626-million in 2010-11 to R336-million in 2011-12 as the organisation moved to generate income outside of the government's grant.

"Starting with self-generated revenue of less than R10-million in 2004, last year the CDC generated just over R220-million, which represents about 70% of the grant funding received from government and is a major achievement in the light of South Africa's continuing power crisis and the ongoing global economic turmoil."

The CDC's revenue totalled R579-million for 2011-12 (compared to R773-million in 2010-11), while total assets as of 31 March 2012 were R3.88-billion (R3.7-billion in 2010-11).

Silinga said that 8 898 jobs had been created in the course of the financial year, made up of 7 258 jobs in provincial and IDZ construction activities, and 1 640 direct operational jobs in IDZ and logistics park investment projects.

The CDC had also stimulated growth for small businesses in the Eastern Cape, which had benefited from a 31% overall share of the company's procurement.

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