Nuclear jobs will go to Port Elizabeth

Eskom has signed an agreement with the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) to support the South African government’s plans to build local capacity for its nuclear new build program through supplier development and localisation.

This seems to indicate that job creation, training, skills development and supplier procurement will take place primarily in Port Elizabeth and not in Kouga.

The two state-owned companies signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in project management and implementation services for infrastructure development, as well as skills development and localisation.

The agreement also covers collaboration in providing the necessary skills training for the different stages of the nuclear program and in fitness for duty centre processes.

They will also jointly conduct studies on the impact of the country’s nuclear program on socio-economic development. Eskom and CDC will also collaborate on stakeholder engagement and communications.

Abram Masango, Eskom’s executive for group capital, said: “We are gearing ourselves up in preparation for the nuclear new build program in order to deliver the project within the set timelines and budget.

We want to ensure that South Africans get reliable, decarbonised baseload power that will bring sustainable economic growth.”

He added, “In addition, it is critical to lay the foundation for local people to participate meaningfully during the various stages of the project by skilling them for jobs as well as business opportunities.

We look forward to a productive working relationship under this memorandum with our counterparts, the CDC.”

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This agreement has been signed despite the fact that Thyspunt is situated within the Kouga Municipality, yet is appears that the local Municipality is being by-passed by Eskom.

The Coega Development Corporation is a state-owned company mandated to develop and operate the 11,500 hectares industrial land of the Coega Industrial Development Zone.

This zone was established in 1999 and is adjacent to the modern deep-water port of Ngqura on the east coast of South Africa, 20km northeast of Port Elizabeth.

The CDC’s shareholders are the Department of Trade and Industry and the Eastern Cape Provincial Government.

CDC executive manager of business development Christopher Mashigo said, “The collaboration with Eskom is aligned with the mandate of the CDC, which is to drive the creation of an industrial complex to promote integration with industry and increase value-added production, while creating employment and the associated socio-economic benefits in the region in which it is located.”

He added, “An integrated energy plan carries with it the potential to catalyse the (re-)industrialisation of the East Coast Corridor manufacturing economy – translating to a higher and inclusive growth path and job creation.”

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