MAYOR Zanoxolo Wayile hopes to land several lucrative investments – including a ship-building and repair yard near the Coega industrial development zone (IDZ) – when he heads to South Korea in two weeks.
Wayile, along with delegates from the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality and Coega Development Corporation (CDC), will also hold meetings with high-tech giants Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom to discuss the possibility of opening a dedicated electronics precinct at the IDZ.
The delegation leaves on March 22 for the seven-day visit. It was discussed behind closed doors at a mayoral committee meeting yesterday.
Spokesman Luncedo Njezula said Wayile would hold meetings with other companies to discuss renewable energy projects.
Electricity and energy acting executive director Peter Neilson said in a report the Hyundai ship-building division in Korea had shown interest in possibly investing in the Coega IDZ.
If the Bay managed to land the lucrative deal, it could use a stretch of land on the N2 near St George's Strand.
There were only two "cost-effective options" for the location of such a facility, he said.
One was to go up the channel from the existing port towards the N2 and old salt works.
The other would require revising the "conceptual greater outer harbour", stretching to St George's Strand, on Transnet's current master plan.
But, Neilson said, the plan was "not going to happen now with Transnet focusing on the new dugout port at the old airport in Durban".
"The technical feasibility and economic viability of a ship-building and repair yard would need to be re-established, but the synergy with the other major projects confirmed for the [municipality], region and Eastern Cape as a whole will provide a whole new impetus."
Neilson said the shipyard could create tens of thousands of jobs.
"The only stumbling block is Transnet's insistence that only Saldanha, Richards Bay, and, to a lesser extent Cape Town, should have such facilities.
"It will therefore need persistent, aligned and strong pressure from the province at executive [Transnet] and national government level," Neilson said.
The municipality was accused last week by UDM councillor Mongameli Bobani of having lost a previous chance to attract a R90-billion investment from Korea due to "lazy officials".