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Western Cape Business 2017 edition

  • Text
  • Agriculture
  • Maritime
  • Development
  • Gan
  • Network
  • Cape
  • Africa
  • Government
  • Business
  • Economy
  • Investment
  • Business
  • African
  • Sector
  • Banking
  • Provincial
  • Economic
  • Municipality
The 2017 edition of Western Cape Business is the 10th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the Western Cape province. The Western Cape has numerous promising investment and business opportunities and this issue includes contributions from Alan Winde (Minister of Economic Opportunities for the Western Cape Government), interviews with Ryan Ravens (CEO of Accelerate Cape Town), Arifa Parkar (Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum CEO), Wesgro CEO Tim Harris and Lance Greyling (Invest Cape Town) as well as contributions from various business leaders. In addition, you will also find comprehensive features on all the key sectors in the Western Cape.

INTERVIEW Allied to this

INTERVIEW Allied to this is the City of Cape Town’s strategy to position Cape Town as Africa’s first smart city. The City had a draft strategy for this but it wanted input from regional players. The tricky thing is they couldn’t go directly to specific corporates because that would have meant those corporates would have needed to be excluded from the procurement process. I suggested that they speak to us because we are not-for-profit and I could organise a workshop with various role-players. The first workshop was held at the new Deloitte Greenhouse facility and something amazing happened. As the City officials outlined various initiatives, the private sector representatives started putting up their hands and saying things like, “We already have a product that does that”, or “We were planning to do that in five years anyway based on our business strategy but now we know it’s needed we can fast-track it”. So, whereas you might have expected government to take the lead in certain initiatives and for the corporates to be gearing themselves up for the procurement, it became clear the private sector could take the lead now that they had the knowledge of where government was intending to go. We have now replicated that model for other key initiatives such as big data, which is relevant to the SKA project. One of the most interesting aspects of the Square Kilometre Array project is that the facility generates data at an absolutely unprecedented rate and we have facilitated some very fruitful discussions around associated opportunities. Innovation Allied to that is our fourth focus area, which is innovation. We’ve narrowed the focus specifically to academia and business, and have also created links with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). We are working specifically with the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at each university. Each university has been mandated to establish a technology office The Thought Leaders sessions are popular with Cape Town businesspeople. where they house all the inventions, all the innovations and the spinout companies that come from the university environment. Commercialisation out of that incubation space into mainstream commerce is a challenge and that’s where the link with corporates becomes significant. The advanced manufacturing and technology that’s coming out of those TTOs has blown me away. They attract finance because they’re good products but what happens is, because it is headed by a sciences or engineering graduate, it flounders because there isn’t a depth of business experience. We initially approached our corporate network to find out if there were individuals who were willing to act as directors with a view to mentoring these young entrepreneurs and also to potentially buying an equity stake. What we discovered is that corporate managers are often governance focused, whereas what a start-up needs is to grow its market, to increase efficiency and product development, and to implement systems required for growth. Unfortunately, some of the corporate people were stifling the start-up with that mindset so we are going to develop a start-up mentorship course (an accredited standardised course) that seasoned professionals can take in order to help them understand start-ups. We are also having conversations with players in the e-learning space to drive effective e-learning initiatives in our region. WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017 42

INTERVIEW Welcome to Cape Town event, from left to right: CEO of Accelerate Cape Town Ryan Ravens, Katlego Letlonkane Associate, Employment Law, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc and Savarion Arendse, Old Mutual. Sustainability Our last focus area is sustainability – food, water and energy security. The drought is obviously influencing food security so we have had people talking about innovative ways of managing water and innovative agricultural practices. Perhaps the most exciting programme in our sustainability focus area is the application that has been submitted to the dti to have Atlantis Green Technology Industrial Park designated as a Special Economic Zone. We can’t compete with the Chinese in terms of solar panel manufacturing and we don’t have the engineering skill and the artisans who can build related electrical engineering components. But what every solar panel needs is a steel mounting structure; what every electrical component needs is a steel casing and steel components. What we’ve been saying to Green Cape and provincial government is, make steel the local content component. You have all these big global traders rushing in because they get a massive tax break (15% versus the usual 29%). That is already a big pull factor, but then you compel them to use local steel. This is will improve prospects for our steel industry but also stimulate the market for artisans (although demand is already massive). The problem in South Africa is we simply haven’t produced enough artisans and recent studies have shown if we are to implement the National Development Plan and if we are to get our economy back on track we need 40-60% of school leavers doing artisanal training, but at the moment that number is 8%. We see this initiative in Atlantis as the optimal opportunity to establish more artisanal training in colleges. We want to grow the economy in a particular direction but it has to be inclusive; there’s no point in growing the economy in a direction that the mass population cannot participate in. As a result of our engagement with Airports Company South Africa there is a chance that a facility situated between Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Philippi could become the location of an artisanal training college. These are some examples of our tangible and connected approach to growing the regional economy. www.acceleratecapetown.co.za 43 WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017

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