The CAV is seeking new institutional arrangements and partnerships. Photo: Reuters

PRETORIA – The development of the Centurion Aerospace Village (CAV), an initiative by the trade and industry department to promote local manufacturing within the aero mechanical and defence sectors, has received a boost with two tenants committing to space in the first building in the village.

Lance Schultz, the chief executive of CAV, confirmed yesterday that Aerosud Aviation, a subsidiary of Aerosud Holdings, would occupy 107m² and African NDT Centre 1200m² of the Aerospace Training and Certification Centre (ATCC).

Schultz said pre-lease agreements had already been signed with both companies, who were expected to take occupation of the building at the end of March next year once the mid-life refurbishment of the building had been completed.

“It’s an important and momentous occasion for us in that we are signalling to the industry that we have got a robust value proposition and business case, the business fundamentals are sound and the CAV is open for business,” he said.

Schultz also confirmed they would within the next two to three weeks commence with bulk earthworks and infrastructure for the initial phases of the CAV’s development. He said this followed National Treasury approval of capital expenditure of R72 million for this work and the mid-life refurbishment of the ATCC building.

Schultz said this would include the construction of the gatehouse, the access road and other streets and a stormwater drainage system. He said six platforms were cut in preparation for the bulk earthworks and infrastructure in the first phase and they had tenants for all six buildings.

“We just need to get the investment in place for it, which is obviously a process we are running with government,” he said.

Schultz said the best case scenario was that if the about R200 million investment required came through, they would be able to break ground for the construction of these six buildings by the middle of next year. But he stressed that construction on these buildings would not start simultaneously. He added that the CAV was a committed line item in the medium-term expenditure framework in terms of its operations.

However, Schultz said the CAV was seeking new institutional arrangements and partnerships, ideally through the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency GGDA), to try and get better leverage for investment. He said he had appointed a service provider to do the due diligence to enable the CAV to seek incorporation into the GGDA. This should be completed by the end of November this year.

Incorporation into the GGDA would provide the CAV with easier access to government incentives and funding.