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INTERVIEW

Cape Winelands District Municipality Executive Mayor Dr Helena von Schlicht wants to see economic development linked to the creation of healthy and resilient communities.

Executive Mayor Alderman Dr Helena von Schlicht

Biography Dr Helena von Schlicht honed her skills during a 24-year career in higher education. After earning her doctorate, she worked as Head of Department, Social Work, at the Huguenot College in Wellington. In this capacity, she was involved in the writing and implementation of policies. She transferred to the political arena in 2009 and became a member of the Mayoral Committee in 2011. She has been Executive Mayor since the election of September 2016.

WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2020

How is a District Municipality different to other municipalities? The CWDM is one of five district municipalities in the Western Cape. The focus is to identify and grow opportunities for social and economic development. We are a highly functional municipality, a fact proven by five consecutive clean audits received, the successes achieved by the Fire Services, Municipal Health Services and the recently signed partnership with Santam to address risk reduction in communities. The CWDM, together with our partners in tourism, recently celebrated being named one of the Top 10 Value-for-Money destinations in the world by Lonely Planet. Add to this the vast open spaces, hospitable people, fauna and flora, agricultural sector, wine industry, fine cuisine and opportunities for grand adventure. This all echoes what Cape Winelands tourism stakeholders believe: “A thousand things to do and then some wine...” How do you promote local economic and social development? The planning and funding of projects is determined by our Integrated Development Plan. We will not develop economically if we do not have an efficient, healthy and resilient community. Programmes supported include Early Childhood Development, sports development and seed funding for young entrepreneurs. Courses are offered for disabled persons in customer care. The Department of Municipal Health Services checks that our restaurants and other food production spaces are compliant which enables visitors and tourists to consume hygienically prepared meals, which helps to grow our economy. How do you understand “social health”? Economic development depends on the social health of our citizens, and we must address both issues at the same time. We want to empower people and enable them to enter the economy, create jobs, support their families and contribute to the overall prosperity of society. When someone has a strong and healthy sense of social cohesion, it’s easier for them to participate in the economy. 86

Profile for Global Africa Network

Western Cape Business 2020  

A unique guide to business, investment and tourism in the Western Cape. The 2020 edition of Western Cape Business is the 13th issue of this...

Western Cape Business 2020  

A unique guide to business, investment and tourism in the Western Cape. The 2020 edition of Western Cape Business is the 13th issue of this...

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