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The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) recently hosted Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Songtian Lin. Ambassador Lin stated that the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is “by far the most successful SEZ in the African Continent”, and that it is “a good case study for Africa and the world on how to develop and operate a SEZ”.

Coega recently announced that it met and exceeded its half-yearly performance targets, despite the recessionary status of the country. The CDC has signed 8 new investors exceeding its mid-year performance target of 3 by 167%. Last year, the CDC signed 16 new investors exceeding its annual target of 7 by 129%. The total investment contribution by the 16 new investors signed last year was R11.685 billion.

Coega China visitAmbassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Ambassador Songtian LIN and CDC’s Chief Executive, discussing cooperation agreement between China and CDC

Independent research on Coega’s operational investors conducted in 2016 showed that 93% of current and operational investors at Coega felt the Coega SEZ was an ideal location for global investors. Coega’s position as an ideal investment location has been strengthened by the availability of incentives under the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Act (Act No.16 of 2014). As a result, more international investors, particularly from China, are now looking to invest in the region.

According to Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC’s Head of Marketing, Brand and Communications this is good news for the Coega SEZ since these investors would create much needed job opportunities as well as provide skills development. Coega’s skills development centre allows young people from Motherwell, Wells Estate, New Brighton and the surrounding areas are receiving training in various occupations, including carpentry, plumbing, welding, painting, and brick-laying. “Currently, there are 7243 people employed at Coega, more than 85% of them have been sourced from the local communities. This makes the Coega SEZ the largest employer in the Metro. Three years in a row, the Coega SEZ has been awarded the Top Employer Certification by the Top Employers Institute,” Dr Vilakazi adds.

“The South African government continues to create an enabling environment for Chinese investors. The South African Embassy in China works very well with investors and welcomes companies to address any challenges with the Embassy to jointly find solutions and resolve them amicably. According to the latest Mckinsey report, South Africa offers Chinese investors a stable enabling environment and solid investment returns. This is why South Africa is often used as a launch pad into Africa. An important element of investor confidence and stability is the diligent implementation of laws, regulations and contractual obligations to ensure win-win co-operation,” says Charles Manuel, Minister Counsellor (Economic) at the South African Embassy in Beijing.

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