Ricochet News

Coega CEO one of the few most successful CEO’s in South Africa

Aug 11, 2016
Coega CEO one of the few most successful CEO’s in South Africa

The Coega Development Corporation (CDC), operator of the 11 500 hectors of the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), which is adjacent to the deep water Port of Ngqura has in the past 16 years shown great success and progress.

The milestones achieved by the CDC have been a true reflection of its vision to become a leading catalyst for championing of socio-economic development in the Eastern Cape and country the country at large.

CDC’s growth is attributable largely to its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pepi Silinga together with a sound and able Board of Directors with extensive experience and collective insight into the industry. It is through the CDC‘s leadership vision that has delivered excellent not seen before in Southern Africa as shown below.


The CDC has achieved not seen before numbers by any other IDZ in Southern Africa; where in the last four years the organisation has attained 38 operational investors with a combined value of R4.94-billion. Furthermore, signed 54 new investors in the last four years, creating over 56 000 jobs and trained over 42 000 people and an average SMME expenditure of 40.43% on CDC projects.

Furthermore, the CDC has developed an investment pipeline valued at R380.7-billion; these are projects under discussions with the various companies locally and internationally. Included in the pipeline are investment projects which are strategic to SA, i.e. Energy related projects, Project Mthombo, Gas Projects like CCGT Power Station, etc.  

Subsequently, according to Stats South Africa (StatsSA), in the 2015/2016 financial year the CDC contributed 0.15% to the Eastern Cape’s GDP and 0.42% to the Nelson Mandela Bay’s economy.

In this financial year alone (2016/17), the CDC is projecting to add at least another R2 billion, which will increase investment value to more than R33.93-billion.

Job Creation

In the past four years, coinciding with the aforementioned new investment, the CDC created 56,239 direct jobs.  In total, since inception in 1999, the CDC has achieved in access of 96 000 job opportunities. In addition the CDC impact in the EC economy has achieved over six million lives.

SMME contribution

The CDC provides an excellent model in the country for small business development. All projects managed by the CDC are allocated 35% in terms of Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMME) participation. 

This is further boosted by on-site mentoring and support and ensures that contractors meet and often exceed international quality and productivity standards. It has been proven that emerging businesses are not doomed to failure if they receive timeous and appropriate support.

By the implementation of CDC projects throughout the country, the organisation has achieved an average of 40.43% over the past four years, exceeding the target of 35% year- on -year. 

Coega recognition by industry peers

The CDC’s recognition by captains of industry has seen the organisation winning a number of National prestigious awards. One of which speaks to the priorities of the National Development Plan (NDP), i.e. Job Creation Award which was presented to the CDC at the both the 14th & 15th Annual Oliver Empowerment Awards and at the Annual Exporters Club (Exporters of the Year) awards in 2015.

In addition, the CDC won the Legends of Empowerment & Transformation, Top Empowered: Vision 2030 Award and the Top Empowered: Job Creation Award at the 15th Annual Oliver Empowerment Awards held in 2016.

“The above awards are but just a sample of the great leadership and work undertaken by our CEO, Pepi Silinga, staff, and the board at large as recognised by the captains of Industry in South Africa. The organisation has in the past four financial years won no less than 14 awards, which is a testament of our great performance and the exceptional work put in by all at the CDC,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC unit head marketing & communications.

Revenue Generation

The CDC CEO together with staff and board have in the past couple of years put in a concerted effort in ensuring that the CDC generates own revenue. In the past four years 2012/13 to 2015/16, the CDC increased self-generated revenue from R290.7-million per annum to R488.1-million per annum.

During the same period, total revenue increased from R382.3-million per annum to R582-million per annum. In addition, for the past 16 years achieved an unqualified audit opinion. In the last two FY the CDC continued with its impressive governance where after being audited by the Auditor General (SA) in the past two financial years.

So, it can be seen that solid and visionary leadership of the CDC has sustained the organisation even during the country’s economic challenges where investment have been declining. No other IDZ in SA has achieved such growth. It will take many years for any other IDZ in the country to surpass Coega IDZ’s performance.

However, the CDC has been working with other IDZs in the country to strengthen their value proposition for the benefit of our economy and country at large.