South Africa's Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is talking with Zimbabwean officials about the establishment and operations of a special economic zone in that country's Manicaland province, it said on Wednesday. PHOTO: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is talking with Zimbabwean officials about the establishment and operation of a special economic zone (SEZ) in that country's Manicaland province, it said on Wednesday.

In a statement, it said discussions with a Zimbabwean team lead by Manicaland provincial affairs minister Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba in Port Elizabeth had  focused on how to grow and strengthen the African economy through industrialization.

"Our involvement in the rest of the African continent forms part of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to promote the development and economic integration of the African continent,” CDC unit head of marketing, brand & communication Dr Ayanda Vilakazi said.

“Also, it is in line with continental objectives and strategies set out by the African Union Agenda 2063 and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)."

Established in 1999, the CDC, which is wholly-owned by the Eastern Cape province's department of economic development, environmental affairs and tourism, is the operator of the Coega SEZ in Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.

"We have brilliant ideas however the challenge we face is the implementation of those ideas, we would like the Coega SEZ to assist us in championing this goal as one of the leading SEZs in Africa,"  Gwaradzimba said, adding that Zimbabwe currently had six special economic zones.

To date, the CDC has delivered on its mandate to provide socio-economic development for the Eastern Cape, enabling the creation 112,974 direct jobs since inception, with 43 operational investors and an investment portfolio in excess of R7.079 billion. 

Currently five investors, namely BAIC SA, OSHO Cement, MM Engineering, Akacia Medical and Hella, are constructing their plants at Coega and have collectively pledged to plough in R12.1 billion.

- African News Agency (ANA)