Growth strategy is paying off Alan Winde, Western Cape Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities, explains how Project Khulisa will impact the province.
Alan Winde, Western Cape Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities
n the Western Cape, we have taken a focused approach to job creation and growth. To achieve this objective we have put in place our Project Khulisa growth strategy, which focuses on a set of high-potential sectors, namely tourism, agriprocessing and oil and gas.
WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017
In each of these areas, we worked with the private sector to develop tailored action plans to drive growth. I am happy to report that we are making significant progress. Tourism employs 204 000 people, and under Project Khulisa we have set ourselves the goal of adding up to a further 100 000 jobs to the sector. Through Project Khulisa we are focusing on driving an increase in leisure and business tourism. The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) continues to deliver a significant contribution to economic growth. That is why we are doubling the CTICC’s capacity. We’ve also seen a R1-billion private investment into the Century City Conference Centre and Hotel. The Aquarium added a conference facility when it upgraded and many hotels are doing the same. A large number of hotels are being developed, partly in response to increased conference numbers, but also in response to general good growth figures in this space. We know that conference delegates have a higher spend than leisure tourists, and that they often return for a holiday with their families. From here, they could purchase property in the region, or decide to open a business here. It is all interlinked. On the leisure front, we are driving an events strategy to pull tourists to our smaller gem towns. From our investment in seeding events, we have helped drive 150 000 tourists to travel in the region, generating an economic impact of R240-million. Very shortly we’ll be embarking on a project to define the competitive identity of our region, creating a compelling story about who we are, what we have to offer, and why we should be at the top of travellers’ bucket lists. We’ll take the outcome of this process to market in 2017. We are continuing with our plans to position the province as the trail capital of Africa. This year we launched the first part of our cycle track, which will eventually stretch from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town. The first 5km of the cycle route consists of bespoke-designed single track on a section of land between Knysna and Sedgefield. This track will become the backbone of a trail system driving business to farms and communities all along our southern coastline. We will also focus on culture and heritage tourism, food and wine tourism, and our growing events economy. In agri-processing, we are seeking to grow the size of the sector and add up to 100 000 jobs. Our plan to boost the sector includes efforts to increase halal and wine exports, and to create an enabling environment for all