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Coega prepares site for BAIC's R11 billion automotive plant at Coega IDZ

OCTOBER 24, 2016
Coega prepares site for BAIC's R11 billion automotive plant at Coega IDZ

The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has begun work in clearing 54.62 hectares of land in Zone 1 of the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) in preparation for the biggest automotive investment in Africa in the last 40 years.

“We pride ourselves in our efficiency and high turnaround times when implementing complex and mega projects of this nature. Our modus operandi in placing the needs of investors first lies at the forefront of everything we do and has contributed significantly in the growth of the IDZ,” says Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC unit head marketing & communications.

Progress on site has seen several milestones achieved in preparation for the handover of the site to BAIC for the construction of the 85000 sqm plant facility. Preparations for the BAIC factory are done in phases, with phase 1 comprising of Geotechnical investigations, Survey, Search & Rescue and lastly Bush Clearance. 

“The CDC prides itself in ensuring that it creates a sustainable natural environment in the Coega IDZ. As part of our search and rescue programme the organisation rescued a total of 3 485 Plant species from the BAIC site. Of the total, 903 plants were rehabilitated within the IDZ and 2 582 plants were used in the landscaping of the new Zone 2 Customs Control Area (CCA) entrance,” says Andrea Shirley, CDC Environmental Project Manager.

Up to date, all the bush clearing activities have been completed having seen a sizeable number of SMME’s with specialized skills from the Eastern Cape benefiting from the bush clearing programme.

Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise Development

One of the CDC objectives as an enabling agent for championing of the socio-economic development in the Eastern Cape and the country at large is to empower and support SMMEs.

During the bush clearing phase at least six SMMEs based in the Eastern Cape benefitted on work worth R3 million.

“As part of our SMME programme, the CDC SMME Unit is tasked with the responsibility of unbundling packages of work for SMME’s. Up till this point, the CDC identified six SMME’s who benefited directly in the bush clearing phase,” says Lamla Fihla, acting SMME unit head.

The appointment of SMME’s follows the CDC normal procurement processes. The SMMEs that were identified through the procurement process are - Vukujonge Trading, AmanziEthu Trading, Infra Force Africa, Loppsy Trading, April & Son, and Tshintshiwe Trading. All these SMMEs managed to deliver the work within agreed time and budget.

“This project could have been implemented by a single large and well-established construction company but it was awarded to six SMMEs with the objective of sharing and spreading opportunities as much as possible to many organisations,” concludes Dr Vilakazi.

The BAIC site is now fully cleared and ready for construction. It is important that the BAIC investment positions the Eastern Cape as an automotive hub of SA and has the potential of deepening the component supply chain, job creation and economic development for the province. More than 10 500 employment opportunities would be created by this investment throughout the value chain.

Image: BAIC site: Ariel view of the earmarked BAIC site that has been cleared and is ready for construction to start. Construction on the site is planned to start in earnest late this year early next year