Focus on economic game-changers Western Cape Business spoke to Western Cape Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities Minister Alan Winde about creating growth and jobs.
Alan Winde, Western Cape Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities
BIOGRAPHY Alan Winde became MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism in May 2009, shortly after the Democratic Alliance won the Western Cape Province. Winde has been a member of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature since 1999. During his first term he served as provincial finance chairman and executive committee member with the Democratic Party. He has also served as chief whip of the official opposition in the Western Cape, as the DA spokesperson on Environment and Planning and as the deputy DA spokesperson on Economic Development and Tourism. WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017
What is your brief?
Defining my job is easy. I am responsible for making provincial strategic goal number one – creating growth and jobs, happen. Together with my team, we’re looking at strategies to improve every facet of our economy. We’re obsessed with making our region more competitive and more compelling as a place to live, work and play. When I came in for the second term, I was determined to become the most accessible Ministry in South Africa, in touch with business people and in the heart of the city. So we moved our office space to a renovated ground-floor shop on Long Street. What are your priorities? We have identified a suite of economic game-changers. These include getting rid of red tape so business can start and operate more efficiently; securing stable energy for growth; improving broadband access; and ensuring we meet the demand for skills. For instance, in reducing red tape, in an area like the Voortrekker Corridor space, how do we as government put pre-zoning in place? We can do the environmental impact assessment (EIA), and the developer submits a planning proposal. In this way, you enable an easier decisionmaking process for developers. We need to put the levers in place so that this process does not take six months, but six weeks. Securing a reliable and affordable energy supply is also an important enabler. In the Western Cape, our approach is to diversify our sources of energy. The Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector is growing at lightning speed. The Western Cape government’s incubators at the Bandwidth Barns in Woodstock and Khayelitsha lead our efforts to inculcate a culture of new tech innovations, led by driven entrepreneurs, and there has been huge interest by the private sector including French and British firms on the same mission. Barclays’ Rise Cape Town supports fintech companies. They have put money into