Chinese unveil plan for R18bn Coega investment

 TOKEN OF FRIENDSHIP: Chinese telecommunications infrastructure giant DY-Link announced a proposed investment of R18-billion at Coega yesterday. Here, president Alex Hu presents a gift to Deputy Economic Development Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize, who celebrates the moment along with Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber president Mandla Madwara, left. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA
TOKEN OF FRIENDSHIP: Chinese telecommunications infrastructure giant DY-Link announced a proposed investment of R18-billion at Coega yesterday. Here, president Alex Hu presents a gift to Deputy Economic Development Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize, who celebrates the moment along with Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber president Mandla Madwara, left. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA

A PROPOSED investment of R18-billion, creating 4600 jobs, was announced at Coega yesterday, with Chinese telecommunications infrastructure giant DY-Link planning to spend this amount over three years.

At a briefing, DY-Link group president Alex Hu said the company was eager to implement its South African investment plan as soon as possible.

DY-Link aims to reinforce and develop the telecommunications infrastructure network in the country.

“We are not here on leisure travel but to work and have since arriving last Tuesday, worked 18 hours per day to fast-track the investment.

“We want to start as soon as 2014 but we first need the approval of our board, and we need to complete due diligence studies and establish financial models for the investment,” Hu said.

Of the 4 600 jobs DY-Link plans to create, 600 will be management positions. On top of these permanent positions, up to 5000 skills training opportunities could open up.

Hu and his delegation had met various banks, manufacturers, government representatives and parastatals to facilitate the investment.

He said the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber had been instrumental in facilitating the meetings.

Chamber chief executive Kevin Hustler said the chamber realised the seriousness and urgency of the investment and appreciated its huge scale.

Asked where the company would base its 80 000m² headquarters, Hu said Coega’s Industrial Development Zone seemed like a viable option and the company “was moving towards this”.

Deputy Economic Development Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize said the Chinese delegation initially planned to invest R3-billion in the country, but in finalising their business plan over the past week the investment had grown to R18-billion.

Mkhize said ICT had been identified by government as one of the key emerging drivers of the economy.

“By 2020 we have a job creation target in the ICT sector of 100 000 jobs. As a catalyst, it cuts across many industries,” Mkhize said.

She said government planned to invest close to R1-trillion in infrastructure development over the next three years.

She said DY-Link had committed itself to establishing a community trust to fulfil its corporate social responsibility and already identified Reverend Mcebisi Osman Xundu, who was present at yesterday’s briefing,as the chairman.

DY-Link specialises in building communication network structures and has delivered 80 000 telecom stations and 50 000km of optical networks worldwide.

Together with partnering with the world’s biggest parastatal, the China State Grid Corporation, the company has investments in Brazil, the Philippines, Spain and Australia.

Its South African telecommunications infrastructure development would include building mobile stations, fibre networks, routing, ICT rooms and terminals, as well as investing in power development and green energy-saving technology. – Cindy Preller

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