The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), through its Jobs Stimulus Fund, has disbursed R5.2-million in reward of three Coega investor’s job creation efforts and contribution to the economy to date.
Overall it has committed over R10-million’s worth in incentive grants to six Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) investors.
The Jobs Stimulus Fund incentivises Eastern Cape job creation through sector-specific, catalytic investments which stimulate sustainable new jobs across the value chain.
ECDC Job’s Fund manager, Thabo Shenxane, said the fund could also be used to assist in the retention of existing jobs within the provincial manufacturing sector in particular.
“This mandate links well with the general mandate of the ECDC which is to finance businesses that create jobs in the Eastern Cape,” said Shenxane.
The funding criteria takes into account the strategic impact of the jobs created, the sector prioritisation, the spatial orientation and location and the skills development.
“The approved funds are meant to subsidise the company payrolls to encourage them to maintain the jobs created and also to improve their cash flow,” said Shenxane.
The Job’s Stimulus Fund was launched in October 2011 and a total of 28 companies were approved for funding in the Nelson Mandela Bay area, which includes six companies based in the Coega IDZ.
A total of R10.9-million has been allocated to the Coega investors. The R5.2-million which has already been disbursed went to Dynamic Commodities staff through its business process specialists, Outsource, Discovery Health and Coega Dairy, with Cape Concentrate, Agni Steels and Bizworks still set to benefit.
Discovery Health, based in the Coega Industrial Development Zone, has been awarded a R2-million incentive grant from the Eastern Cape Development Corporation’s (ECDC) Job Stimulus Fund for creating jobs.
Discovery Health said since inception it had spent an excess of R5-million on training and development in the city and was looking at an employee headcount of 500 towards the end of 2013.
“The incentive has certainly enabled us to absorb more young people in Port Elizabeth furthering Discovery’s goal of creating employment for this youth, while at a societal level, we seek to be a force for social good by positively impacting the livelihoods of those residing in Nelson Mandela Bay,” said Hennie Van Staden, Service Executive at Discovery Health.
“The Eastern Cape is a region that is of huge strategic and social importance to our company and we will continue to empower the province and its people and with such incentives from the government, we can only do more. With the support of training and development of our people, productivity remains high and impressive in the province.
“Over and above the incentive received from Discovery which we use to further capacitate our people, there are many compelling reasons for us to be based in the province, particularly Coega’s world class facilities at a cost effective fee. The Industrial Development Zone is an exciting development project with great long-term prospects. Discovery Health is investing for the long-term.”
Dynamic Commodities, a world leader in creating innovative food products, uses Outsource – a business process outsource specialist – to employ staff. Outsource applied to the ECDC for the Jobs Fund grant and to date has received the full allocation of R2-million.
“The grant provides the necessary momentum to not only create skills but to provide much needed employment within the Eastern Cape region. In this instance, more than 200 job opportunities have been created with a three-year continued endurance,” said Cronje Van Zyl of Outsource.
Van Zyl said the grant creates an environment for his company to continue to recruiting new employees through various up-skilling and training programmes.
“The grant is cardinal in motivating both Dynamic Commodities and Outsource to remain 100% committed to not only Coega but also the Eastern Cape region,” he added.
Coega Dairy, which received R290 000 out of their R860 000 allocation, said the incentive provided a boost to the company.
“This incentive assisted us in employing workers and equipping them with the necessary skills. This in turn has had a positive contribution toward Coega Dairy’s productivity and definitely is a motivation for companies situated in the Eastern Cape,” said Cecile Kleyn, Coega Dairy financial manager.
VALUES OF COMMITMENT VS DISBURSEMENT
|Outsource/Dynamic Commodities||R 2 000 000||R 2 000 000|
|Discovery Health||R 5 050 000||R 2 910 000|
|Coega Dairy||R 860 000||R 290 000|
|Cape Concentrate||R 500 000||R 0|
|Agni Steels||R 2 000 000||R 0|
|Bizworks||R 500 000||R 0|
Coega said the incentives provided were essential to unlocking the potential in the job market and to ensuring the long-term viability of its investors.
“At Coega our focus is on nurturing the creation of sustainable jobs and since we do not directly create jobs as a company we rely on investors to provide job opportunities. Coega creates the environment in which investors can flourish and through that growth, employ greater numbers of people in the long-term,” said Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communications.
“Incentives and the support of the ECDC has gone a long way in boosting the employment capabilities of the current IDZ investors and we are likely to see Agni Steels, Bizworks and Cape Concentrates benefiting in the near future – not to mention other IDZ investors such as FAW, which is also in line for incentives based on its job creation capabilities.”