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Cape Town - The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) said on Thursday that work has commenced on two of the projects worth over R1 billion at the Coega IDZ the company said in a statement.

This comes after they announced earlier this year that investment projects worth over R1 billion are ready to be implemented. The three projects includes a R650 million manufacturing cement grinding plant, a R71 million ready mix concrete plant, and a R350 million Gas Cylinder Plant.

Senior Project Manager, Bruno Ponzo said: “Progress on site is satisfactory, though early days, everything is continuing as planned and we envision we should meet our targets quite comfortably.”

The two projects currently under construction is R350 million MM Engineering Gas Cylinder Plant in zone 3 of the Coega IDZ and once in full operation the plant will create over 70 sustainable jobs with a focus on young graduates. The production for this plant will  include over 1.5 million gas cylinders, while the second project under construction in zone 5 of the Coega IDZ is Kenako Concrete which is a R78 million ready mix concrete manufacturer and will create over 59 sustainable jobs once completed.

CDC Business Development Manager- Metal and Manufacturer, Sadick Davids said: “We are highly pleased with the inflow of investments in the metals and manufacturing industrial sector of the Coega IDZ. We look forward to the start of construction on the third investor, a R650 million cement grinding Plant.”

The policy of the CDC is to ensure gainful participation of emerging contractors through 36 percent of the contract value going to Small Micro Medium Enterprises (SMME’s).

CDC SMME Programme Manager, Unathi Maholwana said: “The organisation has recently finalised packages worth over R22 million for SMME’s to participate in the construction of MM Engineering exceeding its target by 3% with 39.16% awarded to SMME’s. Kenako Concrete is a 100% black owned SMME company and one of the first black industrialists in the Eastern Cape.”

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The CDC also ensures that the local environment benefits directly from investments through job creation and as a result of the construction taking place at both sites, over 90 people from Nelson Mandela Bay’s impoverished communities are directly benefiting.

CDC Unit Head of Marketing and Communications, Dr Ayanda Vilikazi said: “Simply translated, over 90 families in the process of construction of these plants directly benefit through withdrawing salaries on a monthly basis.”

“To us, that is what matters the most,” she added.