Coega hailed as SA success story at inaugural SEZ conference
17 April 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914358
COEGA was singled out for praise at the Department of Trade and Industry-hosted inaugural South African Special Economic and Industrial Development Zones (SEZ) Conference, held in Durban recently.
Under the theme Moving Towards Excellence, the annual event aims to provide a platform for both national and global stakeholders as well as outline the country’s achievements in attracting investments, generating exports and creating employment opportunities through the SEZs
The conference was attended by more than 600 delegates, including industry heads, politicians, legislators and various SEZs operating in South Africa.
Welcoming the delegates, was the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala. He highlighted the “marching orders” issued by President Cyril Ramaphosa to attract Foreign Direct Investment and stimulate economic growth.
In his keynote address, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies commented on the Coega SEZ’s remarkable growth, pointing out that in 2012 it had fewer than 20 operational investors with a total private sector investment value of approximately R1.13 billion, and had created 3,778 direct jobs.
However, by April 2019, the Coega SEZ has more than doubled its achievements. Currently, it has 43 operational investors, representing a combined investment in excess of R9.93 billion of private sector investment, including BAIC SA phase 1.
In addition, the number of workers has more than doubled since 2012. As at April 2019, 8,210 jobs have been created. Davies said Coega had become the best practice model for SEZs in South Africa and the continent.
Coega is also now the subject of a global case study by the World Bank, through the London School of Economics, which looks at best practice examples of SEZ development and operations, across the globe.