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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.

Enabling businesses to

Enabling businesses to grow The International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge has come to the Cape. Until the recent drought, the Western Cape was doing rather better than the country as a whole. Its agricultural exports were increasing, its tourist industry was thriving and the relatively new film industry was producing revenue of R4-billion a year and creating thousands of jobs for both semi- and highly-skilled workers. Unemployment remains a serious problem, but it is pleasing to note that the jobless rate in the Western Cape is the lowest in the country at 21.55% compared to the national average of 27.7%. The figure for Gauteng, the economic heartland of the country, is 29.2%. There are more good numbers on tourism. Airport statistics for this year show that in October, 97 319 people arrived at Cape Town airport on flights from overseas. This is significantly better than the numbers for the high-season months of December and January just two years ago. In fact, since June 2016 overseas arrivals have been up but more than 20% a month and these increases are being maintained. From July to September this year more than 20% was added each month on a base that had Janine Myburgh, President. increased by more than 20% last year. The challenge this year will be to make sure we have enough water only thing that has changed is the to satisfy the tourists’ needs. tools we use in our businesses. The important question is why is the Western Cape performing The machines, the computers rather better than the other provinces? There are probably many reasons, but we believe that the most important one is that the official able on the Internet empower us and the instant knowledge avail- attitude towards business here is one of encouragement by authorities who have set out to remove obstacles like red tape and to enable when used responsibly, is a great to greater things. Social media, businesses to grow. There is a long way to go, but the direction is right communication tool, but it is and this builds confidence. no substitute for the person-toperson meeting and networking Our annual Exporter of the Year Competition produces evidence of innovation and enterprise of the highest order while our schools among the informed membership of the Chamber. and universities, despite many problems, produce a constant flow of high-quality graduates to keep the high-tech and innovative industries Events like our small business flourishing. expo are growing every year because people need the contact and Our 214 years as South Africa’s oldest and (arguably) best chamber of commerce have taught us that the old values of good basics, sound the credibility that come with an planning and good business ethics always win out in the end. The organised event. You can post any- WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018 54

FOCUS thing you like on the Internet, but you cannot get away with it in an organised exhibition among your peers, competitors and customers. One of the problems today is information overload and we all need filters to bring us to the information we need quickly and efficiently. There is no better way than talking to an expert, the kind you are likely to see at a meeting of one of our portfolio committee meetings. We all need these reality checks because there is so much “fake news and information” out there. And we need to be reminded that one of the dangers of the Internet is that the search engines tend to lead us to the stuff we want to find. A fundamental part of our job and a key aspect of membership of the Chamber is that it puts us in a position to help each other. One of the tasks we have to undertake is to review legislation and how it might affect our businesses. The Sid Peimer, Executive Director. pattern today is to call for public comment before a policy or a regulation can be put into place. On the face of it, this is a good thing, but it is also a difficult challenge. The legislation varies from heavy laws which affect property rights to superfluous legislation like the City Council’s over-regulation of outdoor advertising. In this case, one cannot simply leave the issue to the advertising industry because it does not focus on the small matters like those encountered by estate agencies, neighbourhood watches and security companies. The Chamber did protest strongly at some of the unnecessary detail. International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge A great deal of our work is more positive and satisfying. One example is the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) in which the Cape Chamber has accepted responsibility and an organisational role for the country. It is a great competition and it has proved to be a journey of discovery for the Chamber. It has not only shone a light on some remarkable South African women who have had outstanding success in business, but it has also brought us into regular contact with other chambers around the world. This has given us welcome international exposure and, even more important, it has helped these remarkable women form international links and exchange ideas. There is a school of thought that prescribes quotas for women in business and on boards, but we believe IWEC achieves so much more. Support, encouragement, inspiration and praise is always a better way to go than prescription and regulation. Finally, one of the great lessons we have learned over the years is not to expect economic leadership from government. This has nothing to do with politics, but everything to do with the fact that innovation and development come from the private sector. Governments, prodded and prompted, follow, regulate and sometimes clear the way for new industries as in the case of special economic zones. We are on our own. It is our initiatives, our investments and our determination that will make the economy grow. All we ask is the space and freedom to make it happen. CONTACT INFO Physical address: 4th Floor, 33 Martin Hammerschlag Way, Foreshore, Cape Town 8001 Postal address: PO Box 204, Cape Town 8000 Tel: +27 21 402 4300 | Fax: +27 21 402 4302 Email: Website: 55 WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018

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