A file picture of the Coega Industrial Development Zone.

JOHANNESBURG -The state-owned Coega Development Corporation, which operates the Coega special economic zone (SEZ)  in Nelson Mandela Bay, said on Thursday it had secured R2.6 billion in new investments in the 2018/19 financial year.

In a statement, it said the 18 new investments represented the largest share of investments signed in 2018/19 following an environmental impact assessment approval just over a year ago. Of these, 18 percent originated from China while the rest emanated from South African firms.

Investments for the CDC’s aquaculture development zone came in at R848 million and represented almost a third of the R2.6 billion.

"The private sector aquaculture investment projects included an abalone farm and a land-based aquaculture farming facility," it said.

"In the metals sector, investments with a combined value of R760 million were signed which represented a third of the total investments secured by CDC in the past financial year."

These investments were for a copper smelting plant and a heavy engineering plant for steel rail wheels.

The CDC said R362 million was secured from a Chinese firm involved in the manufacturing of solar photovoltaic cells, while  R580 million was committed to the automotive, chemical engineering, food and beverages, manufacturing and recycling industries.

"On an international level, the Coega SEZ remains a preferred investment destination for Chinese foreign direct investment flows and new greenfield investments in Africa," CDC head of marketing, brand and corporate communications Dr. Ayanda Vilakazi said.

"Coega will have three operational Chinese investors, including  global Fortune 500 company BAIC, towards 2022."

Estimates suggest the new investments will add 2,073 new jobs to the 7,815 people already working at the zone.

African News Agency (ANA)