Coega nabs top award at 'Oscars of South African business'

Coega Development Corporation wins Top Performing Public Sector Award

Interns from left to right: Nosiphiwo Gwiji; Sibahle Fosi, Pamela Mzilikazi; back row: Sinazo Tumshe, Nwabisani Duma and Avela Mzofana
Interns from left to right: Nosiphiwo Gwiji; Sibahle Fosi, Pamela Mzilikazi; back row: Sinazo Tumshe, Nwabisani Duma and Avela Mzofana

The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) danced to victory following a close call between fierce rival finalists City of Tshwane, the CDC, the Durban ICC, the Gautrain Management Agency, Transnet Port Terminals and uShaka Marine World during the 16th Annual National Business Awards, the Oscars of South African business, held at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park on November 15 2018.

The CDC took home the Top Performing Public Sector Award, which acknowledges national, provincial and local government departments, parastatals and/or agencies that have achieved remarkable performance results in the past financial year.

The finalists were evaluated on criteria such as financial management, environmental and sustainable development, meeting targets, positive contributions to the economy, innovation and brilliance in fulfilling their service.

“The year 2018 marks another year of great performance and delivery by the CDC, despite it being a challenging year on all fronts, especially in investment promotion," said the CDC’s head of marketing, brand and communications, Dr Ayanda Vilakazi.

“Swimming against the tide, the highly committed CDC team has shown persistence and resilience, and managed to maintain the momentum in ensuring that the organisation continues to achieve its strategic objectives and vision as a leading pioneer in reducing the socioeconomic barriers that hinder development and growth." 

The CDC has recorded 43 operational investors (tenants), who have invested an impressive R7.1bn private-sector investment in the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

In addition, there are five new investors busy with construction, who have pledged a private-sector investment of R12.1bn. These include BAIC SA (R11bn), OSHO Cement (R600m), MM Engineering (R350m), Akacia Medical (R100m) and Hella (R53m). Most of these companies are expected to be operational next year.

“We expect more private-sector investors to stream into Coega next year to take advantage of the excellent infrastructure, government incentives and business environment, and being among some of the top 43 investors in Africa.

"As regards SMME development and support, it is commendable that the CDC’s overall procurement spend for the 2017–18 financial year amounted to R707m out of the total spend of R1.9bn. This achievement is due to the organisation’s responsibility to facilitate the buying of goods and services from qualifying small and medium enterprises," says Vilakazi.

Since its inception in 1999, the CDC has created 112,974 jobs, helping to reduce unemployment in the Eastern Cape region in particular.

The CDC’s performance has also been acknowledged by the department of trade and industry as “the flagship programme we are very proud of, effectively the best functioning and most successful SEZ in the country”.

Various world leaders have also zoomed in to congratulate the CDC on its sterling performance, including the vice-president of the People’s Republic of China, Dr Li Yuanchao, who said during a visit to SA: “I’ve been to many developing countries and industrial development zones, and the Coega Special Economic Zone is by far the best of them all.”

The CDC is the only state-owned entity in SA that has won the Top Performing Public Sector Award three times in the past five years – in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

“Being among the best organisations in SA is humbling and can be attributed to visionary leadership displayed by our board of directors, executive management and the hard-working CDC staff. Our executive authority and various oversight committees have ensured that the organisation operates efficiently while maintaining higher-than-expected levels of good governance," says Vilakazi.

“This ‘Oscar’ brings the total number of awards received by the CDC this year alone to five: Vision 2030 - Infrastructure Development Award; Exporters Awards - IDC Job Creation Award (Merit Award); Top Employer 2018 - Certified Excellence in Employer Conditions; Standard Bank Top Women Award - Top Gender Empowered Public Service; and Best Provider of Service to Exporters (Merit Award for Major Accomplishments).” 

This article was paid for by the Coega Development Corporation.