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INTERVIEW

Welcome to Cape Town event, from left to right: CEO of Accelerate Cape Town Ryan Ravens, Katlego Letlonkane Associate, Employment Law, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc and Savarion Arendse, Old Mutual.

Sustainability Our last focus area is sustainability – food, water and energy security. The drought is obviously influencing food security so we have had people talking about innovative ways of managing water and innovative agricultural practices. Perhaps the most exciting programme in our sustainability focus area is the application that has been submitted to the dti to have Atlantis Green Technology Industrial Park designated as a Special Economic Zone. We can’t compete with the Chinese in terms of solar panel manufacturing and we don’t have the engineering skill and the artisans who can build related electrical engineering components. But what every solar panel needs is a steel mounting structure; what every electrical component needs is a steel casing and steel components. What we’ve been saying to Green Cape and provincial government is, make steel the local content component. You have all these big global traders rushing in because they get a massive tax break (15% versus the usual 29%). That is already a big pull factor, but then you compel them to use local steel. This is will improve prospects for our steel industry but also

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stimulate the market for artisans (although demand is already massive). The problem in South Africa is we simply haven’t produced enough artisans and recent studies have shown if we are to implement the National Development Plan and if we are to get our economy back on track we need 40-60% of school leavers doing artisanal training, but at the moment that number is 8%. We see this initiative in Atlantis as the optimal opportunity to establish more artisanal training in colleges. We want to grow the economy in a particular direction but it has to be inclusive; there’s no point in growing the economy in a direction that the mass population cannot participate in. As a result of our engagement with Airports Company South Africa there is a chance that a facility situated between Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Philippi could become the location of an artisanal training college. These are some examples of our tangible and connected approach to growing the regional economy. www.acceleratecapetown.co.za

WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017

Western Cape Business 2017  
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