Eastern Cape potential
Answering questions during a media briefing regarding the Department of Trade and Industry's (dti) incentive scheme to support the creation of large and competitive black industrialists, Deputy Minister of Energy Thembisile Majola said the money could spill over to fund other projects. "Even though there is no allocation as to where the money will be spent in the country, what the Eastern Cape receives from this scheme will depend on how many entrepreneurs can be developed. "There is currently a lot of potential in the Eastern Cape. There is also the need for skills development, like that conducted by Coega such as artisans, welders and electricians.
"The approach is not just about employment creation but to see where there is a gap in the industry and to create opportunities for others," said Majola.
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Mayor, Danny Jordaan said he was happy with the empowerment and skills development that was on track within the Coega IDZ. "We've also visited the skills development centre in Coega and it was interesting that people outside the metro and from rural areas were receiving training," said Jordaan.
"Shareholding of existing investors and also management expressing the need to deal with historical imbalances of ownership is especially encouraging. "We have to see investment and greater economic growth in the Metro. We need partnership and this morning's tour expresses that all partners who can help make a difference are determined to do so," said Jordaan.
MEC of DEDEAT, Sakhumzi Somyo said there were high-growth and interest in energy projects within the IDZ energy cluster. He referred to the delegates visit to DCD Wind Turbines saying that the Eastern Cape was equally positioned to other wind turbine manufacturers in the market. "The manufacturing capability of wind turbines, guarantees South Africa's relevance in the energy mix. The renewable energy mix provided by Coega can create the need for technology and related infrastructure."
Delegates were accompanied on a tour of the Coega IDZ and visited various businesses within the energy sector and Coega's Human Capital Solutions (HCS) skills centre. The officials were given a tour of DCD Wind Towers, which is already operating in its 23,000m² wind tower manufacturing facility.
Gerry Klos, executive director of the DCD Wind Towers group, said the factory was at a phase where the production output was in line with the plant's capacity. The company started to manufacture in September last year. "Currently DCD employs 150 people and there are plans to add additional shift systems to maxamise the plant's capability. This means new staff will be trained," Klos said.
The CDC has built momentum on energy projects in both conventional energy and renewable energy so as to attract and sustain its investment projects. The CDC has been proactive in its approach in positioning the country and continent as a hotspot for 'green' energy components for manufacturing and technologies. The organisation's strategic location has enabled for East-West pendulum trade, but also serves as an entry point to the rest of Africa.
CDC also aims to fit solar panels on about 15 of its buildings in the IDZ. These CDC buildings have a collective roof space of 127,000 m².
The current energy products under construction include the Dedisa Peaking Power Plant, which is estimated to start operating in the second half of 2015 and consists of two open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) able to produce 342MW. JA Solar and Powerway Renewable Energy, which is operational, is a solar component module manufacturer.
The CDC in the past Financial Year (FY) 2014/15 contributed 14,623 direct jobs to the South African economy and 96,776 direct jobs since inception. Furthermore, the organisation understands the importance of training and skills development. In excess of 8,000 people were enrolled in various training and skills programmes designed and delivered by the CDC in the FY2014/15, while 71,445 people benefitted from programmes at CDC since its inception.
The Coega IDZ boasts 29 operating investors with an investment value in excess of R2.7 billion. CDC in the last financial year 2014/15 signed 19 investors valued at R1.8 billion.