Ricochet News

Coega SEZ a beacon for the future of FDI in Southern Africa

Nov 9, 2018
Coega SEZ a beacon for the future of FDI in Southern Africa

Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) seems evenly spread than ever before, this is according to a report issued by Ernst & Young - Africa’s competitiveness in attracting Foreign Direct Investment.

The report goes to say the East, West, North and Southern Africa hold an almost equal share of the continent’s FDI projects.

With a focus on seven hundred and eighteen (718) Foreign Direct Investment projects in Africa for the year 2017, the report highlights an increase of 6% when compared to 2016. This is because of an increase in FDI aided by a continuing shift from extractive to sustainable investment.

The long-term approach taken regarding investment in Africa has exploited the temporary nature of low growth rates. This has further encouraged companies seeking to benefit from the sluggish growth environment by investing while currencies are weak and thus, gain a cost advantage.

Moreover, given the positive growth outlook until 2020, investors are willing to invest more.

Aligned with the prospects of a positive growth in FDI projects within the Sub-Saharan region, is the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with its continuing efforts in ensuring that South Africa remains a beneficiary of sustainable economic growth initiatives.

The Coega SEZ is currently poised with 43 operational investors and boasts an investment portfolio in excess of R7-billion with R5.9 billion accounted for by Foreign Direct Investors (FDI). 

“Demonstrating the concentration of activity of FDI, within the Coega SEZ, various projects are currently under construction totaling a combined value of over R12 billion,” says Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC unit head brand, marketing & communications.

“The CDC’s vast array of sectors make it easy for potential investors to make the SEZ their home. Currently, the SEZ is occupied with new projects under construction, resulting from a diverse range of sectors, including steel/metals – Osho Cement (R600 million investment), pharmaceuticals - Akacia Medical (R100 million) and automotive – HELLA (R53 million),” adds Dr Vilakazi.

Consequently, the Coega SEZ is at the forefront of new investment, it has become home to some of the major FDI projects in the African continent, including the R11 billion BAIC investment (China), which is also under construction. Complemented by existing two operational flagship projects mainly - the 342 MW Dedisa Power Peaking Plant (France) a R3.5 billion investment and another R600 million investment by First Automotive Works (FAW).

“Whilst the Coega SEZ is home to a number of companies, which have contributed towards socio economic development of the Eastern Cape.

"It is only just the tip of the bigger vision, which is ideally to strategically place the entire continent at the heart of strong and leading economies of the world, this can be achieved through aggressive FDI attraction”, concludes Dr Vilakazi.

VOTE OF CONFIDENCE AT COEGA: cranes going up at the HELLA site in Zone 2 of the Coega SEZ currently creating over 24 construction jobs. In the background is another Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth R600 million First Automotive Works (FAW) from China.

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