Coega high-flyer scoops Young Executive of Year award

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The Coega Development Corporation’s marketing and communication head, Ayanda Vilakazi, scoops his second consecutive Top Young Executive of the Year award.

The Coega Development Corporation’s marketing and communication head, Ayanda Vilakazi, scooped his second consecutive Top Young Executive of the Year award at the National Business Awards last week.

Vilakazi, 39, was honoured for developing a marketing and brand strategy to reposition the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) as a national brand in a bid to grow investment opportunities.

The 13th annual awards event was held in Johannesburg recently.

The CDC, which released its performance results on Monday, boasted a successful year, with a record 19 new investments worth nearly R1.9-billion.

Vilakazi, who received his doctor of business administration degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal last year, has an impressive track record as an executive at the companies he has worked for in his 17-year career.

He said winning the award was testament to his over- achieving at such a young age, having walked into his first corporate management position just five years into his career, at the age of 29.

Failure had never been an option, he said.

Infrastructure development company Bigen Africa, the provincial transport and human settlements departments, and the Eskom Eastern Region were among the businesses honoured at the awards.