Coega reacts to MEC Somyo's Eastern Cape Budget

MARCH 8, 2016

Following from the Minister of Finance budget speech on the 24th of February 2016, the CDC expected MEC Sakhumzi Somyo to walk a tight rope in tabling his budget speech given the austerity measures to reduce government expenditure.

“The provincial government plays an important role in stimulating the EC local economy, especially through the budget expenditure. This year’s provincial budget, delivered by the MEC Somyo on 4 March 2016, highlighted a number of important strategic deliverables for the EC province, amongst others being education and health sectors,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC unit head of marketing and communications.

Budget impact on CDC Projects

The following were some of the MEC’s comments on:

(a)   Nuclear Energy Sector:

As an alternative energy source for the country. Tysspunt in Koukamma Municipality has passed all EIA tests as a potential site for nuclear energy and we are working together with Coega to ready ourselves for such a prospective investment.

“The CDC has been in the forefront for localisation of the nuclear build programme, especially with the expected first nuclear plant to be located at Thyspunt. The CDC has been proactive in the strategic development of human capacity and infrastructure development through Coega Human Capital Solution, in providing training and development of artisans, engineers and semi-skilled workers,” said Sandisiwe Ncemane, CDC business development manager (energy).

“In addition, CDC intends to establish advanced manufacturing capabilities for Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) components and Nuclear Fuel cycle (NFC) related components,” added Ncemane.

(b)   Agro-processing and Aquaculture:

As government, we are currently rolling out a number of Agri-parks across the province.

The CDC has established a 440ha land-based aquaculture development zone (ADZ) in Zone 10 of the Coega IDZ, adjacent to the coastal zone. Land-based operations have been successfully developed for abalone and seaweed farming in the country; South Africa has a well-established fishery sector and is currently a net exporter of fishery products.

(c)    Ocean Economy:

Port of Port Elizabeth represent the first realisation of government’s Operation Phakisa and a positive step towards a thriving boat building and marine maintenance industry for the city.

“As part of the Operations Phakisa, a national programme on maximising the opportunities of the SA’s ocean economy, the CDC has been identified as the site that could play an important role in the aquaculture development in the Eastern Cape and South Africa at large,” said Dr Keith du Plessis, CDC business development manager (Agro-Processing).

(d)   Auto Sector:

The bedrock of our economy is still predominantly the Auto Sector. When tough economic times arrive, the auto manufactures in our province do not resort to retrenchments as a first and only option to survive. They work with us to find better solutions of keeping our brothers and sisters in their employ, hence we do not hesitate to partner with them on skills development initiatives such as the Mercedes Benz Learning Academy and VW Eastern Cape Skills Development Project.

“The automotive sector is already one of the key focus sectors of the Coega IDZ. The automotive hub is located in Zone 2 in the Coega IDZ.  It is a highly strategic sector for the Eastern Cape Province and an important contributor to the economy of Nelson Mandela Bay,” said Gustav Meyer, CDC Senior Manager: International Markets (Transport Industries).  There are many projects in the pipeline to stimulate the automotive sector and to increase investors in the Coega IDZ, Zone 2.

“About 35% of the SA automotive components industry is located in the NMB area. The catalysts are the presence of General Motors SA, Volkswagen (VW), the Ford Engine Plant and First Automotive Works (FAW) in NMB,” added Meyer.