A section of vacant land in Atlantis was approved for release by the City and will act as growing grounds for medical cannabis. This decision is expected to lay the foundation for unlocking Cape Town’s potential in the yet-to-be-explored sector.

The City of Cape Town Council’s made the decision to release the unused land to convey its commitment to partnering with the private sector to explore new opportunities to grow the local economy.

The land in the Atlantis Special Economic Zone will be the first and sole establishment medical cannabis plant in the metro and the larger Western Cape.

“This positive move by the City gives us the opportunity to unlock the economic benefits with the resultant job creation opportunities that this emerging industry will present,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos.

The facility’s setup will bring with it an investment of R638-million in capital expenditure during the construction phase. Additionally, a further R1.5-billion will be invested during phase two, which is expected to commence in about four years’ time.

This venture will create an additional 250 employment opportunities by the end of phase two.

“It is personally a very exciting opportunity to be on the forefront and driving the future possibilities that this landmark decision means for the city and the region. My portfolio oversees the identification, facilitation and promotion of economic opportunities within the City, and as such, we welcome the investment and the expansion into untapped economic sectors,” said Alderman Vos.

Atlantis is known for its green economic opportunities, and this new industry can potentially bring significant income, jobs and skills development to the area.

This is also yet another area of untapped economic potential that the City’s Enterprise and Investment Department along with Wesgro have been pursuing. Wesgro led engagement sessions between the stakeholders, the government and the private sector, to pave the way for the investment.

As a forward-looking, globally competitive city, Cape Town is staying ahead of the trends by pursuing these kinds of investment opportunities.

“Cape Town is known for healthcare excellence and for being the leader in this field as the home of the first heart transplant. With Cape Town’s proximity to excellent universities and world-class infrastructure there is much potential for research in this emerging sector,” said Alderman Vos.

This is the second facility tied to the cannabis industry planned for Atlantis. A similar facility for the cultivation and processing of medicinal cannabis into oils and capsules is being developed on a private farm in close proximity to the industrial area. Other locally-based players in the industry include a manufacturer of modular cannabis cultivation kits in shipping containers in Somerset West.

“Council approval helps us to deliver on our commitment to facilitate investment and job creation in our prized Atlantis SEZ,” said Alderman Vos.

The City’s support for emerging industries such as the Green Pharma industry demonstrates the level of commitment to building up the city to be one of opportunity, and Cape Town as well as its residents are expected to benefit immensely from this progressive new direction.

Picture: Pixabay

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