[X]

CSIR and COEGA set to establish biofibre hub to support upscaling of biofibre products in Eastern Cape

Publication Date: 
Friday, June 4, 2021

Joint: Media statement

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) in the Eastern Cape, will work together in the development of an industrial research facility dedicated to the production of commercially viable biofibre products and applications.

On Friday, 4 June 2021, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Thulani Dlamini, and CDC CEO, Mr Khwezi Tiya, signed signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that paves the way for a public-private partnership that will allow the local industry to make headway in the undersupplied global market of biofibres.

Contact Person

David Mandaha

+27 (12) 841 3654/072 126 8910

dmandaha@csir.co.za

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) in the Eastern Cape, will work together in the development of an industrial research facility dedicated to the production of commercially viable biofibre products and applications.

On Friday, 4 June 2021, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Thulani Dlamini, and CDC CEO, Mr Khwezi Tiya, signed signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that paves the way for a public-private partnership that will allow the local industry to make headway in the undersupplied global market of biofibres.

A biofibre facility will be established in the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ), a 9 003-hectare prime serviced industrial piece of land that focuses on multiple business sectors and is divided into 14 zones, which provides a conducive investment environment for both local and foreign investors. The initial set up will comprise the relocation of CSIR fibre processing equipment to the Coega SEZ. The facility will be a full-scale multipurpose manufacturing plant capable of fibre processing, air lathe for making non-woven composites, seed dehulling and cracking bio-oils, including hemp and flax to produce bio-composites.

“As a preferred investment destination on the African continent, the Coega SEZ creates sustainable value for local and global investors in accordance with the Industrial Policy Action Plan, which identifies SEZs as key contributors to economic development and growth engines towards government’s strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development, and employment creation”, says Mr Khwezi Tiya.

The partnership aims to boost government’s strategic intent to create a future cannabis (hemp) industry, in line with the national draft master plan to commercialise South Africa’s cannabis industry, which includes both dagga and hemp. The initiative will create 25 000 jobs in the Eastern Cape over the next five years, while simultaneously rekindling industrial growth in South Africa by prioritising investments towards labour absorptive potential and high multiplier effects. In addition to this, the exciting venture will add potentially 1% to the provincial gross domestic product of the Eastern Cape over the next five years.

The joint venture comes after both parties identified the strategic value of relocating the CSIR-owned fibre textile research unit, currently based at the Nelson Mandela University Campus, a predominantly academic setting, to the industry-oriented Coega SEZ, in order to boost the province’s employment rate and the incipient fibre-based composites industry in South Africa.

Speaking during the virtual signing event, Dr Dlamini expressed the importance of using available resources to strengthen industrial development to create much-needed jobs in the country.

“The CSIR Strategy seeks to support South African industries to develop products and services that will translate into value-added production and the commercialisation of intellectual property. We hope that, out of this partnership, new enterprises will emerge and that this will contribute to economic growth and job creation.”

Mr Tiya further elaborated on and emphasised the CDC’s role in deepening state capacity to deliver on socioeconomic development in the Eastern Cape, in accordance with the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 and in line with the organisation’s vision. Therefore, the partnership with the CSIR is evidence that Coega continues to prioritise attracting partners and investors into the Coega SEZ that will develop products and services, in order to not only create employment opportunities, but also provide training and development for local citizens.

As part of the agreement, the CSIR and CDC will also establish an incubation programme, which will support manufacturers by fostering industrial partnerships; availing skills and technology to entrepreneurs from the research and product development facility; and providing business advice, capital and market opportunities. This facility will allow emerging manufacturers that intend to produce for export to locate on the SEZ and enjoy the existing range of SEZ benefits from where they can also access the range of services offered.

-ENDS-

Issued by the CSIR and COEGA

Enquiries:

David Mandaha: CSIR Media Relations Manager
Tel: 012 841 3654
Mobile: 072 126 8910
Email: dmandaha@csir.co.za 

OR

Mr Simlindele Manqina: Corporate Communication Manager and Stakeholder Relations
Coega Development Corporation (Pty) Ltd
Tel: 041 403 0807
Mobile: 073 367 8999
Email: simlindele.manqina@coega.co.za

About the CSIR:

The CSIR, an entity of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. Constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1945 as a science council, the CSIR undertakes directed and multidisciplinary research and technological innovation, as well as industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of all South Africans. For more information, visit www.csir.co.za

Follow us on social media:

Twitter: @CSIR. Facebook: CSIRSouthAfrica. Instagram: CSIRSouthAfrica. LinkedIn: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Youtube: CSIRNewMedia

About the CDC:

The CDC is a public entity in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, based in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, with operations throughout South Africa. The corporation is mandated to develop and operate the 9 003 hectare Coega SEZ, gazetted by the Minister Rob Davies (Government Gazette No. 40883 on 2 June 2017) in terms of section 39(2) of the SEZ Act, 2014 (Act 16 of 2014) (“SEZ Act“), replacing the Government Gazette No. 21803 of 1 December 2000, made in terms of the Manufacturing Development Act, 1993 (Act 187 of 1993). In terms of the SEZ Act, the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism is the CDC’s Executive Authority, with ordinary shares owned by the Eastern Cape Provincial Government. The CDC Board is the Accounting Authority and is accountable to the MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Honourable Mlungisi Gerald Mvoko. The CDC’s vision is to be the leading catalyst for the championing of socioeconomic development; and its mission is to provide a competitive investment location supported by value-added business services that effectively enable socioeconomic development. In the 20 years since its establishment in 1999, the Coega SEZ has become one of the leading SEZ’s in Africa, as a gateway to African and world markets, a trans-shipment hub and Southern Africa’s most successful SEZ. To date, the CDC has delivered on its mandate to provide socioeconomic development for the Eastern Cape by enabling the creation of over 120 000 accumulative jobs since inception, with 45 operational investors that have invested R11.63 billion in private sector investment and R9.53 billion in foreign direct investment. The CDC has also trained over 150 000 people since inception.

Follow Coega on Social Media:

Facebook: CoegaDevCorp. Twitter:@CoegaDevCorp, LinkedIn: Coega Development Corporation, Instagram: Coega Development Corporation and YouTube: CoegaDevCorp