The 2017/18 financial year proved to be a challenging one for the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. Given the credit rating downgrades witnessed during the past financial year, as well as the worst drought to strike the Cape in recent times, more has had to be done to uplift the province’s economic climate.

Luckily, these efforts have come out bearing fruitful results.

Wesgro has announced that the Western Cape’s economy will receive a financial boost of more than R10.25-billion over the next five years. This will contribute to the creation of more than 7 925 full and part-time jobs in that time period.

International Trade:

During the past financial year, Wesgro’s International Trade Promotion Unit facilitated the signing of 53 business agreements with an estimated value of R2.83-billion over the next five years, and is projected to create 679 jobs. The unit facilitated outward foreign direct investment projects valued at R190-million.

Investment Promotion:

Wesgro’s Investment Promotion Unit produced investments worth R2.29-billion, which will translate into 1 014 jobs. A key success for the unit was also a foreign investment with Pegas Nonwovens, the largest producer of spunmelt nonwovens in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), to the value of  R1.3-billion.

Spunmelt nonwovens is a textile industry term referring to materials, including fabrics such as felt, that are bonded together using heat, chemicals, or solvent materials.

Agribusiness Investment:

A key part of Wesgro’s investment promotion effort is the work done by their dedicated Agribusiness Investment Unit, funded by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.

The team helped to land committed investments in the agribusiness sector amounting to R756-million off the back of 6 investments. This is expected to create 1 412 jobs over the next five years. Contributing to this achievement was the Marathon Restaurant Group, which invested R300-million in developing Pizza Hut, which created 700 jobs.

Film and Media Promotion:

The Film and Media Promotion Unit, along with the City of Cape Town, has been working hard to keep attracting film production in the Cape.

Throughout 2018 the unit has assisted in securing R1.92-billion in production value, which led to the creation of 2 499 full-time jobs.

Leisure – Tourism:

The devastating drought and the global coverage of the city’s water shortages had a serious impact on our region’s tourism economy.

During this time, the Wesgro Leisure marketing team has supported over 47 regional events in small towns across the province during April to September. The events attracted over 350 000 visitors, supported over 3 000 temporary jobs and created an estimated economic impact of R147-million. These events are key in driving “geographical spread” so that the Western Cape’s rural economy also benefits from tourism.

Business Tourism:

The Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, which works at promoting Cape Town and the Western Cape amongst meetings, incentives conference and event organisers, helped in securing 33 bids for the destination. This has a projected economic impact of R453-million.

Picture: Pixabay

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