Today's Labour News

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coega thumb100 Business Times reports that as the government prepares to develop more special economic zones (SEZs), Coega in the Eastern Cape has seen its income jump 15.9% to R18.9bn in two years, along with an increase in employment.

The government has used the SEZ model as a way of providing a space for businesses to operate under less stringent regulations, with benefits including tax incentives. A review of business activity at the Coega SEZ, conducted by StatsSA, found that total expenditure grew to R17.85bn in 2023 compared with R12.68bn in 2021 — an annualised increase of 18.7%. “The largest contributors to the total expenditure were purchases at R12.16bn or 68.1%, salaries and wages at R1.73bn or 9.7%, and depreciation at R551m or 3.1%,” StatsSA reported. The survey covered all the active tenants within Coega for their financial year ending June 30 2023. The development of the Coega SEZ outside Gqeberha was announced in 1999. Construction ended in 2014 and it began operating the following year. The total number of workers, excluding those employed by labour brokers, was 6,079 by the end of June 2023, with almost 60% of workers employed by manufacturing businesses. The number of jobs rose by 339 between 2021 and 2023. While the Coega SEZ employed more males than females in both 2021 and 2023, the proportion of females increased from 32.3% in 2021 to 38.4% in 2023. The government is eyeing further developments in its other SEZs, including the Tshwane automotive hub, and is planning to establish and develop similar zones in other parts of the country.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Khulekani Magubane at Business Times (subscriber access only)

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