The Coega Industrial Development Zone in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - SMME-friendly tenders were benefiting a number of small and emerging contractors across the Eastern Cape with work opportunities available at the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), the corporation said on Friday.

Head of CDC Marketing and Communications, Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, in a statement said that a minimum of 35 percent of the value of two of the current projects in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) had been allocated to SMMEs (Small Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises).

Vilakazi said their objective from the start of construction of the IDZ in 2002 had been to empower SMME companies to grow. “From the very first time contractors moved on site there has been a strong emphasis on creating opportunities for small businesses,” he said.

CDC SMME unit head Andile Ntloko reiterated one of the conditions of the awarding of the two tenders was that a minimum of 35 percent of the value of the project had to be sub-contracted to SMME companies.

As a result, seven SMME companies were providing bricklaying, welding and tiling services to the main contractors involved in the provision of bulk municipal services in Zone 7.

At least eight SMME companies would assist with the provision of civil works, sewerage and water for a new factory being built in the IDZ for Lension, a Malaysian packaging company. “Our tenders are broken down into smaller bite-sized work suitable for smaller contractors. The CDC was one of the first organisations in the country to structure SMME-friendly tenders,” Ntloko said.

He added this allowed the main contractor to focus on getting the work done on time and on budget, while the SMME delivered quality work and grew its technical and business skills at the same time.

Last month, Coega IDZ business development manager for metals Sadick Davids said Coega was the best-connected industrial or special economic zone in Africa. At present, three unnamed motor manufacturers were in discussions with the Coega Development Corporation about the possibility of establishing completely knocked-down (CKD) manufacturing facilities in the IDZ.

Coega is a multi-billion-dollar industrial development complex customised for heavy, medium and light industries dedicated for export-oriented manufacturing for companies located in the zone.