Construction has officially begun on two projects at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) in the Eastern Cape.
Earlier this year, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) said three projects were ready for implementation at the industrial zone, which amounted to more than R1 billion. One of these includes MM Engineering’s R350 million gas cylinder plant in zone 3. The plant once in full operation will create over 70 sustainable jobs with a focus on young graduates. Production is said to include over 1.5 million gas cylinders.
Another project under construction is Kenako Concrete, a R78 million ready mix concrete manufacturer in zone 5. The plant once in full operation will create over 59 sustainable jobs.
“Progress on site is satisfactory, though early days, everything is continuing as planned and we envision we should meet our targets quite comfortably,” said Bruno Ponzo, CDC senior project manager.
Sadick Davids, CDC business development manager at Metal and Manufacturing said: “We are highly pleased with the inflow of investments in the metals and manufacturing industrial sector of the Coega IDZ. We look forward to the start of construction on the third investor, a R650 million cement grinding plant.”
The CDC said it finalised packages worth over R22million for SMME’s to participate in the construction of MM Engineering’s project. This package exceeded its target by 3% with 39.16% awarded to SMME’s.
“Kenako Concrete is a 100% black owned SMME company and one of the first black industrialists in the Eastern Cape,” Unathi Maholwana, CDC SMME programme manager said.
Regarding employment in the surrounding communities, the CDC also said it would ensure the local environment benefits directly from investments through job creation.
“As a result of the construction taking place at both sites, over 90 people from the Nelson Mandela Bay’s most impoverished communities are benefiting directly,” the CDC said.
Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC unit head of marketing and communications said this meant that over 90 families who have family members involved in the process of construction on these plants directly benefit through withdrawing salaries on a monthly basis. “To us, that is what matters the most.”