The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) recently welcomed the forty-first operational investor in the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Kenako Concrete, a R71-million concrete manufacturing facility located in Zone 5 of the Coega SEZ, is the first black industrialist in Port Elizabeth to be funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) together with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
“The CDC is at the forefront of implementing the black industrialist programme through projects like Kenako Concrete, which seek to change the economic landscape of the country and that of the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) at large,” says Sadick Davids, CDC Business Development Manager – Metal and Manufacturing.
The state-of-the-art facility, with the capacity of six cubic metres of concrete in just four minutes and 150 cubic metres in an hour is a game changer in the ready-mix concrete industry. Furthermore, the plant produces retarded mortar, plaster and topping.
“The project as a whole is a year and a half in the making. There was a lot of hard work, but I managed to get onto the dti’s Black Industrialist Programme. The IDC and the Treasury are now the funders of this project. It is very satisfying to see the plant up and running,” says Jerome Perils, Kenako Concrete Managing Director.
The construction of the plant has seen the permanent workforce of 46 people from the most impoverished areas of Port Elizabeth receiving much-needed jobs. The plant boasts a further fleet of 16 specialised concrete transporting trucks, while a further 90 jobs were created during the construction of the Kenako facility.
“During our first month of operation, we have hit the ground running as we are currently serving 30 accounts with the capacity to double that,” adds Perils.
Furthermore, following the challenges pertaining to the water situation in the Nelson Mandela Bay the facility is one of the few “green” operations, with the water used to clean its trucks being recycled back into the plant for concrete manufacturing.
“The value proposition offered by the likes of Kenako Concrete dovetails to Small Micro Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) and fits in well with our SMME development programme,” says Unathi Maholwana, CDC SMME Development Manager.
“Underpinning the participation of SMME’s is the policy of the CDC to keep the value and supply chain local so that as many as possible benefit from projects of this nature,” concludes Maholwana.