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Opportunity Issue 99

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors and looks to provide its readers with first-hand knowledge about South African business. Opportunity also looks to present South African business to international markets that may have interests in investing in South Africa. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).


SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE Innovative land deal opens up Atlantis economy The City of Cape Town is a shareholder in the company running the Atlantis Special Economic Zone In December 2020 the City of Cape Town transferred general industrial-zoned properties worth R56.5- million to the Atlantis Special Economic Zone Company (SOC) Ltd. In return, the City became a shareholder in the company. An earlier cooperative agreement between the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Provincial Government had set out the terms for the transaction once the Atlantis SEZ Company was registered. The MEC for Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, signed the agreement on behalf of the Western Cape Provincial Government together with the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, the City’s Head of Property Management, Ruby Gelderbloem, and Dr Pierre Voges from the Atlantis Special Economic Zone Company. The signing of this land agreement means the ASEZ Company assumes responsibility for the usage, administration and control of the property. The total area of proclaimed land is 118 hectares, of which 25ha has already been developed by five investors. “The special challenge then,” says ASEZ Acting CEO Dr Pierre Voges, “was to unlock the 94ha of completely greenfield land that belonged to the City of Cape Town.” The city was not allowed to rent out the land or sell it at anything less than the market rate and the SEZ company did not have the money to buy or rent at those levels. Voges calls the decision to incorporate the City of Cape Town as a shareholder “quite a unique occurrence” and with the signing of the sale agreement, the shareholders agreement and the share subscription agreement, it was all systems go for the next phase in the SEZ’s development. GRI building, Atlantis SEZ. Credit: Green Cape

SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE Inclusive growth The community of Atlantis is adapting to Greentech opportunities offered by the Atlantis Special Economic Zone. The IES team, left to right: Christelle Brown, Ellen Fischat (Team Leader), Michael Webster, Ursula Wellmann, Charlotte Perang, Florenchia Solomons. What does Greentech mean for a welder? That’s one of the questions that Ellen Fischat and her team at the Atlantis Special Economic Zone wants to answer. As the Integrated Ecosystem Executive for the ASEZ, Ellen leads a unit which deals with community integration, skills training and enterprise development. Speaking of the local community in relation to the zone, Ellen says, “They can’t be involved if they don’t understand Greentech and how they can upskill themselves to be relevant”. The goal of the Integrated Ecosystem (IES) team is to ensure that a conducive working environment is created in within Atlantis and socio-economic growth takes place in such a way that the local community benefits. Community Integration Charlotte Perang and Michael Webster lead activities in this role. Charlotte has lived in Atlantis for 20 years, having grown up in a small town close to Atlantis named Pella. Her grandparents were among the first residents of Pella and she remembers her mother being employed by one of the early contractors when Atlantis was established in the 1970s. For Charlotte, success will be measured in investors coming in and “tangible development for the Atlantis community”. For Michael, fulfilment comes from, “Seeing individuals progress as a result of the work and effort I put in.” Perhaps the biggest success in community liaison has been the establishment of the ASEZ Community Stakeholder Network (ASEZ-CSN). The CSN is a group of community leaders from different sectors elected by the community to represent the community of Atlantis as part of the ASEZ Project Partners. Skills Training The skills function of the IES team is carried out by Ursula Wellmann (Community, Skills and Enterprise Development Specialist) and Christelle Brown (Skills Development Administrator). A recent technical training course was carried out successfully on the premises of a local manufacturer. Course enrolment was 70% female. Not only did the young people on the course learn new skills, on completion of the course, some of the students were promptly offered jobs. Ursula reflects on the course as a good example of success, which she defines as follows, “Success would be the tangible difference our interventions are designed to have. Ultimately this impact will positively contribute to job opportunities, translating into increased incomes.” Christelle derives satisfaction from “seeing the fulfilment on the faces of students who have successfully completed a difficult training programme”, which supports her description of success. “Success is not once-off, it is a process, attaining various accomplishments whether personal or professional.” Enterprise Development Florenchia Solomons is the Enterprise Development Administrator for the IES and works with Ursula Wellman in this unit. Having lived in Atlantis since the age of five, Florenchia also attended the West Coast College for her tertiary education. She notes with satisfaction that local SMME owners and staff members are being exposed to new skills “that they didn’t know existed before” and that those skills are now being applied in their businesses. Florenchia enjoys her role most when “the community use the valuable information and training that we provide to them and apply it for their upliftment”. Success for her is, “When you see people start thriving that is when you know that it is a success story and the ASEZ team was involved in helping pave the way.” Team leader Ellen’s role in Enterprise Development is to assist local business men and women understand how their services could be “adapted or pivoted” to Greentech and also to connect them with opportunities with existing businesses or government entities. | 35

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