Driving investment in Cape Town Lance Greyling heads up the newly launched Invest Cape Town initiative.
Lance Greyling Please give some background on Invest Cape Town and its role.
BIOGRAPHY Lance Greyling has experience in the private sector, civil society and government. After some time in the corporate world he joined environmental organisation Globe Southern Africa as the programme manager for Southern Africa. In 2003, he joined the newly formed Independent Democrats under Patricia de Lille and was elected to Parliament in 2004. He spent 11 years in Parliament, serving on a number of different portfolios, including Trade and Industry, Finance, Education, Environmental Affairs and Energy. In February 2015, he took up the position of Director of Trade and Investment at the City of Cape Town. WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017
Cape Town is known the world over as a beautiful city and a tourist destination, but we want to position Cape Town as a globally competitive business destination – a great place to invest and a great place to do business. If we are going to address our socio-economic challenges as a city, we have to grow the economy and create more jobs. We have the lowest rate of unemployment of all the metros, but it still sits at around 20% which is far too high. If we’re going to make a dent in that we have to position Cape Town in the minds of both local and international investors as a globally competitive business destination, and if they choose to invest here we will make it as easy as possible to get their enterprise going. What makes Cape Town an attractive destination for investors?
There are a number of exciting things that are happening in Cape Town. Firstly, potential investors coming to Cape Town realise that this is a city that actually works – the infrastructure is in place, we have reliable electricity and water, on an administrative level this is a city that is easy to deal with, we’re very responsive to businesspeople and our citizens, so we deal with issues quickly and make sure problems are resolved. In terms of governance, we’re now the most stable metro in the country, with a 65% majority, so there is continuity of policies and governance. We’ve had unqualified audits for the past 10 years. This factor is vitally important to investors. Secondly, there are a number of interesting sectors that have emerged in Cape Town, which investors will be particularly interested in. We conducted a study of the Cape Town economy to identify areas for growth, and what we found was that a lot of the sectors that Cape Town is doing well in are sectors that are poised for big global growth – sectors of the future. An example is the ICT sector – we are very much the tech hub of Africa with the most tech start-ups of any city on the continent, and