5 years ago

Western Cape Business 2018 edition

  • Text
  • Nedbank
  • Sectors
  • Growth
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Africa
  • Management
  • Infrastructure
  • Transport
  • Opportunities
  • Energy
  • Development
  • Wesgro
  • Vodacom
  • Investment
  • Cape
  • Business
  • Tourism
  • Economic
  • Municipality
The 2018 edition of Western Cape Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Western Cape. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there are special features on the growth of tourism (spurred by an innovative programme designed to create more direct flights to Cape Town), medical technology as a growth sector and the pursuit of excellence that drives the Cape Winemakers Guild. The journal contains a message from Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, and contributions from significant business leaders from Accelerate Cape Town, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and the Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum. An interview with Tim Harris, Wesgro’s CEO, reveals some of the recipe for the province’s economic success. Updated information on the Western Cape is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to online at, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces as well as our flagship South African Business title.

INTERVIEW Poised for

INTERVIEW Poised for growth Western Cape Business spoke to Wesgro CEO Tim Harris about new development in the region and highlights of the past year. Wesgro CEO Tim Harris BIOGRAPHY Tim Harris is Chief Executive Officer of Wesgro, the Western Cape's official Destination Marketing, Investment and Trade Promotion Agency. Wesgro is more than 30 years old and remains the oldest organisation of its kind in the country. Prior to that appointment he was the Director of Trade and Investment in the Office of the Executive Mayor at the City of Cape Town and the Shadow Minister of Finance with Democratic Alliance in parliament. He was elected to Parliament aged 29. Harris has a Masters in Economics from UCT. What noteworthy developments have taken place in the region over the past year? A big event was the launch of the Cape Investor Centre in St George’s Mall, Cape Town, which was developed in conjunction with Invest SA, the dti’s new investment initiative. Invest SA is setting up One Stop Shops for investors around the country. The Gauteng One Stop Shop was launched in 2017, followed by the Western Cape and then KwaZulu-Natal. The One Stop Shop is a collaboration between the dti, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and Wesgro as the operating partner. We have 14 government entities represented in one space, including SARS, the Department of Labour and the Department of Home Affairs, all with one thing in common: they’re investor-facing and the theory is that by co-locating them we can speed up the response time and processing time for investors, thereby improving the experience for major investors in the Western Cape. What are the region’s investment highlights over the past year? The major investment announced in the past year is by Czech textile manufacturer Pegas Nonwovens. It already has a presence in Africa, in Egypt, and was looking for a Sub-Saharan site. We were pleased to get the decision to build the facility in Atlantis – it’s considerably over a billion-rand investment. The company makes nonwoven textiles primarily for the personal hygiene products market, with customers such as Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble, for use in products like sanitary goods and nappies. It’s a great endorsement for our positioning of Cape Town as the gateway to access the Sub-Saharan African market. The company is making an investment here because they see huge growth in the consumer base in Africa. What has the response been to the Atlantis Special Economic Zone? The level of interest we’re seeing in the SEZ shows how important tax incentives are in this space, particularly because the original idea for Atlantis was that it would focus on renewable energy. There is already some exciting manufacturing taking place in that sector, but as the policy environment has become less attractive, the investment WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018 26

momentum hasn’t stopped because we’re going well beyond renewables now and it will be designated as a clean technology site, which means that a large manufacturing investment could qualify for the incentive if its processes are resource efficient. Is Africa a key focus area for Wesgro? Yes, we adopted a new mandate two years ago to go beyond trade into Africa, and we offer a service called outward foreign direct investment, where we assist companies to grow their footprint on the continent. We undertook some very successful missions into Africa in 2017, including trips to Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya. We have found that companies are signing export contracts but are also increasingly expanding their footprint via outward investment into Africa. INTERVIEW What steps have been taken to strengthen ties with the UK, post Brexit? In 2017, we led a mission to respond to the developments around Brexit, with companies that are particularly exposed to the UK market. This is one of the biggest buyers of our wine and fresh produce. We took some of these major exporters, to look at developments as the UK goes through this difficult delinking. Particularly for the agriculture industry, negotiating with the UK alone is potentially better because it removes the interference of, for example, French and Spanish groups and wine producers. So we see the potential to eventually have more preferential trade access into the UK. London is increasingly driven by technology and fintech in particular, and that’s an area where we’re strong in Cape Town. There’s an increasingly strong management link between London and Cape Town, and a big part of that mission was starting to put in place the relationships we need to grow that bridge. This includes the quality of flight connectivity – having more competition on that route will help lower prices and improve the air link between Cape Town and London. London is also a good place to raise funding for your business, so we have companies that are headquartered in London but that run much bigger offices in Cape Town, because this is a great place to make that money go further. This includes companies in the technology space, particularly fintech, media and BPO who perhaps a few years ago would look at running a call centre out of Cape Town, but now are looking to do much more. This creates jobs here in the Western Cape, but it goes way beyond the traditional outsourcing model. So while we have 30 000 international call centre seats in Cape Town, outsourcing today goes much further. Companies can put operational, marketing and production people here, working at a fraction of the price of London salaries, but who are as technically competent at the skills you can get in London, with the same time zone and a good flight connection which makes it practical to run a Cape Town/London tech business. 27 WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018

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