Category: <span>Investment</span>

Invest in our region – Message by Mayor Booysen and a background of the Garden Route

Garden Route District Municipality Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen

Invest in our region – Message by Mayor Booysen and a background of the Garden Route

Growth and development is a key strategic pillar for the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the GRDM has therefore compiled a Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy (GRGDS) to facilitate development in the Garden Route district (GRD). Local Economic Development (LED) Departments in each municipality plays a pivotal role. LED is globally, but especially in developing countries, seen as the solution to improved quality of life, unemployment, poverty and inequality. Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen said: “Through a local economic development process, the GRDM seeks to empower local participants in order to effectively utilize business enterprise, labour, capital and other local resources to achieve local priorities, including promoting quality jobs, reducing poverty, stabilizing the local economy and generating municipal taxes to provide better services”.

“The result is that more and more local businesses are now geared and ready for South African, African and international investments. The GRDM Planning and Economic Development Department encourages the public, private and civil society sectors to establish partnerships and collaboratively find solutions to common economic challenges,” said Booysen.

According to Booysen, the GRDM is approaching growth and development in a holistic nature looking at all sectors of the economy and how they are interlinked to achieve socio-economic growth. In doing this, the GRDM is looking at achieving the following:

  • Attraction of both outward and inward investment
  • Investment in both hard and soft infrastructure
  • Making the business environment more conducive to business
  • A participatory approach to LED
  • Public Private Partnerships (PPP)
  • A move towards community-based LED.

The GRDM has developed a Garden Route Investment Prospectus containing regional catalytic investment opportunities across the Garden Route. The purpose of the prospectus is to display the region’s investment-friendly climate and its economic activities and opportunities to the national and international business community and in so doing, attracting new investments and retaining and expanding existing investments in the Garden Route region. The prospectus includes the investment opportunities of all seven (7) municipalities within the boundaries of the region, as well as the District Municipality’s specific opportunities.

Download the  Garden Route Investment Prospectus.

A background of the Garden Route District

The GRDM is one of five District Municipalities (DMs) in the Western Cape Province of South Africa and the second largest economy outside of the Cape Metro. The Garden Route district (GRD) covers an area of 23 331 km² in the south-eastern part of the Western Cape, covering the regions known as the Garden Route and the Little Karoo. The N2 is a valuable transport route for goods and tourists alike and connects the GRD to the Overberg District and the Cape Metro area in the west and the Eastern Cape Province to the east, while the N12 and the R62 links the GRD with inland areas to the north.

The GRD is the Western Cape’s largest and most significant rural district. The area covers one of the country’s best-known scenic tourism areas and boasts a relatively broad-based, steadily expanding regional economy. Agriculture, tourism, wholesale and retail trade, business and financial services, construction and manufacturing are key sectors of the regional economy, in terms of value addition, The largest sectors of the GRD economy are finance, insurance, real estate and business services, followed by wholesale and retail, and manufacturing. Combined, these three sectors contributed 60, 07 per cent to the total Gross Value Added (GVA) generated by the GRD economy in 2015, an increase from 57,78 per cent in 2001. The increase in the GVA is attributed to a sharp increase of 104, 2 per cent in the contribution of finance, insurance, real estate and business services to the GVA. Over the same period, the contribution of the manufacturing sector to GVA decreased from 16, 19 per cent to 13, 96 per cent. Wholesale and retail trade contribution to the GVA of the GRD economy remain relatively stable over the period, hovering between 17 per cent and 18 per cent from 2001 to 2015.

The economic growth and development of the GRD depends on monopolising on its competitive advantages. The GRD has a wide range of competitive advantages namely the coastal line, with opportunities of ocean economy and coastal tourism; large forestry; arable land for agriculture and farming, and effective natural resources.

The GRDM is pursuing projects that include the establishment of a development agency, bulk infrastructure provision, products value chain development, renewable energy, enterprise development, integrated waste management and other projects as identified within the GRGDS. These projects and programmes will enable the GRDM to fulfil its constitutional mandate and also address the UN-SDGs, but above all address the three critical issues of poverty, unemployment and economic growth.

The district is well-known for its tourist’s attractions and natural beauty. Pristine beaches (many with ‘Blue Flag’ status) and warm waters dissolve inland into picturesque lagoons and lakes, tropical forests, rolling hills and, eventually, the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountain ranges. The GRD hosts two of the three biodiversity hotspots that have been identified in South Africa. These are the Cape Floristic region (CFR) and the Succulent Karoo (SK) region.

The Garden Route is ideally located in terms of its competitive advantages of a diverse economy expanding towards a technologically apt and industrialised district, attracting investors and industries because of its location, existing infrastructure, good governance and growth potential.

Key contact person for investment opportunities

Are you interested in investing in any of the investment opportunities offered by Local Government in the Garden Route District? Contact the Manager: District Economic Development and Tourism, Ms Melanie Wilson, melanie@gardenroute.gov.za

 

GRDM Leadership’s visit to Indonesia

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently received an all-expenses-paid invitation (accommodation and flights) from the ISCC Group of Companies in Indonesia to visit them. It was decided that the Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Councillor Memory Booysen; the Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu; the Executive Manager: Planning and Economic Development, Mr Lusanda Menze and the Manager in the Office of the Executive Mayor, Mr Siphiwe Dladla, to travel to Indonesia from 6 to 11 September 2018.  GRDM came to know of the ISCC Executive Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer earlier this year during the Garden Route Investment Conference.

Based on a concern raised by the Cllr Booysen, about presentations being made by companies who, not often return with tangible outcomes, the Chairperson and CEO of the ISCC Group, Mr Jean Bilala, extended an invitation to the GRDM, to visit their infrastructure projects in Indonesia in order to gain insight on the level and quality of what they are involved in.

The Group of Companies includes Ithuba Savings and Credits, LetsCoin $C and the ISC Bank.  These companies have a footprint in Germany, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, India, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, as well as South Africa. Their South African branch is situated in Cape Town.

Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between GRDM and Ithuba Savings and the ISC Bank eBanking and Investment Solutions. Signing the MoU is Mr Jean B. Bilala, President of Ithuba Savings, Cllr Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor (middle) and Mr Monde Stratu, GRDM Municipal Manager, were also signatories to the MoU.

The Group of Companies mainly focuses on technology, artificial intelligence and investment, and is a member of the prestige Bloomberg, as well as a lifetime member of International Securities Identification Number (ISIN).

The ISCC Group of Companies made the following proposal to GRDM:

  • To develop a sustainable smart town for industrial, commercial and residential development within the Garden Route District Municipality; and
  • The possible establishment of a manufacturing plant for electric cars of which the prototype was already developed and build in Germany (ISC Bank), within the Garden Route District.

During the visit, the delegation met with various business representatives in Indonesia, including businesses from India and Singapore, who indicated their intention or expanding and opening business in Africa.  The visit was concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ithuba Savings and Credit; Len24 GmbH ISC Bank; E-Banking and Investment Solutions and the GRDM. The purpose of this MOU is to facilitate collaboration between the different parties in matters of common interest, as well as working arrangements necessary, for the implementation of the memorandum.

The priority areas which forms part of this understanding as outlined in the MOU are:

  • Cooperation in establishing and identifying land and infrastructure required to implement investment goals; and
  • To exchange information and identification of business opportunities to enhance mutual interests for the Garden Route and Western Cape Province.

GRDM is committed to positioning itself as a destination of choice for national and international investment and has recently embarked on various high-level engagements to realize these objectives.

Eden DM delegates in China to further discuss investment prospects

Eden District Municipality recently received an invitation from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDS) to attend the Belt and Road Summit which will take on the 28 June 2018 in Hong Kong, China. During the visit, delegates from Eden DM will also go on a fact-finding mission to Shanghai, to engage with Dr Hongbin Cheng, Executive Director of New China Time Technology (NCTT). Dr Cheng forms part of the Chinese delegation who visited the Garden Route on two previous occasions with a keen interest in the region as an investment partner. During the Eden DM’s visit to China, the Co-Founder of the China-South Africa Bridge (CSA), will also be visited.

 

The Eden DM “Team” representing the District in China.

The objectives of the visit to China include:

  • Present the region as a suitable destination for trade and investment by meeting with Chinese business and government representatives;
  • Hold strategic engagements and form possible partnerships;
  • Discuss the establishment of a possible Communication Centre to enable efficient communication between the two countries (Communication Centre’s have already been established in Korea, Thailand and Germany, with one underway in the Netherlands, as per feedback from Dr Cheng in October 2016);
  • Investigate trade and investment opportunities regarding Agriculture and Agri-processing, renewable energy technologies, as well as Tourism;
  • Do site visits to familiarize the Eden team with practical solutions to various economic initiatives specifically in the fields as already alluded to.

The following District representatives will be travelling to China:

  • Cllr Memory Booysen, Eden DM Executive Mayor
  • Mr Monde Stratu, Eden DM Municipal Manager
  • Mr Lusanda Menze, Executive Manager, Planning and Economic Development
  • Ms Melanie Wilson, Manager: Tourism and Local Economic Development
  • Mr Siphiwe Dladla, Manager in the Office of the Executive Mayor

The District is fully committed to positioning itself as a destination of choice for tourism and as a viable investment hub for national and international investors.

The following initiatives have been key to where the district is positioned at the moment:

  • The investment readiness initiative to address various internal decision-making processes regarding turnaround times (gaps and shortcomings to eliminate to become investment friendly);
  • February 2018: A Skills summit was hosted with the purpose of establishing the District as a Skills Mecca;
  • March 2018: An International Investment conference to attract investment;
  •  The availing of Council properties for investment opportunities.

The Hong Kong Belt and Road Summit: 28 June 2018 

The Belt and Road Initiative is a visionary blueprint that seeks to enhance global economic development. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the HKTDC will jointly organise the third edition of the Belt and Road Summit on 28 June 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The theme of the Summit is to “Collaborate for Success”.

A full-day One-on-one Business Matching activities will take place. The three concurrent Project Presentation & Networking Sessions will feature notable projects from sectors of:

  • Transport & Logistics Infrastructure
  • Energy, Natural Resources & Public Utilities
  • Rural & Urban Development (Rural – including agricultural projects; Urban, including industrial park development, SEZs).

The Investment and Business-matching Session serves the purpose of creating a platform for integrated matchmaking and networking. Business and government will also be able to connect with project owners and operators, investors and service providers from a myriad of business sectors.

Meetings and site visits with Dr Cheng and team

Eden DM has been invited to engage with relevant Chinese business and government stakeholders based on previous discussions with Dr Cheng, leader of the Chinese Business delegation who visited Eden District in October 2016 and during the Garden Route Investment Conference which was held in March 2018.

During the discussions, Dr Cheng indicated that they intend to establish trade relations with the Garden Route regarding Agriculture and Agri-processing, Renewable Energy Technologies, as well as Cultural Tourism.

During Dr Cheng’s second visit to the Garden Route, he and his delegation met with various Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises to discuss possible trade opportunities which would further be facilitated through the assistance of Wesgro.

The Eden DM delegation will be supported by Ms Rehana Boolay from Wesgro, who will accompany the team to all meetings and site visits. Ms Rehana Boolay is Wesgro’s investment specialist for China trade and investment facilitation between China and the Western Cape.

It is also suggested to approach the Western Cape Department of Agriculture to avail an agriculture specialist familiar with the Eden District/stationed in the Eden District to form part of the delegation to China, for the cost of the Department of Agriculture.

No business representatives will be included in this visit, as it will be a fact-finding visit and business will be invited once a relationship between Eden DM and relevant China stakeholders have been established.

Eden DM engaging with B-Municipalities to prepare for the Garden Route Investment Conference

Engagements with Municipalities in the Eden district is currently underway. The purpose of these sessions is to ensure that all Municipalities are ready for the upcoming Investment Conference and at the same time, to strengthen relations with the B-municipalities in the Eden district.

The first session took place in Hessequa on Wednesday, 23 January 2018 and soon after the Kannaland session followed.

The Eden DM and Hessequa delegations during the 1st session held in Riversdale.

During these sessions the Executive Mayor of Eden District Municipality (Eden DM), Cllr Memory Booysen, emphasised his willingness to strengthen relations with the B-Municipalities. “Not only formal structures such as forums should be used to discuss matters of mutual interest. We should be open for assistance at any given time as the need arises,” Mayor Booysen said at the engagement in Hessequa. Mayor Booysen also gave an update of the name change process of Eden DM and also explained how the name change will be of benefit to the identity of the district.

At the session in Kannaland, Executive Mayor of Kannaland Municipality, Cllr Magdalene Barry, welcomed the willingness of the Eden delegation to meet with Kannaland and commended the team for their efforts to enhance the economy of the district, with reference to the Skills Summit and Investment Conference. The Kannaland delegation made sure that they fully inform the Eden DM delegation of the lack of capacity and resources that the municipality is currently confronted with, but at the same time Mayor Barry praised the Kannaland officials for what they have achieved in such a short period of time, especially with reference to their Eskom bill that was recently fully settled.

Eden DM Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen (left) and Executive Mayor of Kannaland, Cllr Magdalene Barry during the session held in Ladismith.

Furthermore Mayor Booysen requests municipalities to ensure that when they attend the Conference, they be fully prepared with their product offerings. “We will require all municipalities to provide information on what their area can offer to investors by showcasing specific offerings.”

The sessions will be finalised during the second week of February.

Swedish Delegation explores potential investment opportunities in the Eden district

A group of Sweden delegates, on Tuesday, 5 December 2017, visited the Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) satellite office in Mossel Bay, to discuss the progress of the Regional Landfill Facility that is now in the final stage until the operation.  The aim of these deliberations was to sketch a clear picture of the Landfill Facility to the visitors and unlock potential investment opportunities.

The group, together with representatives from Business Sweden (CEB, Johannesburg) and Greencape (Cape Town), South Cape Economic Partnership, as well as Eden District Municipality and Mossel Bay Municipality after the formal discussions in front of the Eden District Municipality satellite office in Mossel Bay.

Mr Morton Hubbe, Manager of District Waste Management at Eden DM, took them through the approval process followed, the layout and progress made to date with the development of the Landfill Facility. The short and long-term development and management activities at the landfill facility were also discussed with the delegation.

According to Mr Hubbe, Eden DM has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with USAID: SA LED to assist them with a study on the availability and composition of Biomass feedstock in the Eden DM area and to identify feasible and cost-effective alternatives to manage this, rather than taking it to landfill sites to be landfilled. “Problem waste lines that will be included in this study are abattoir waste, wood waste, green waste and sewage sludge,” Mr Hubbe said.

As soon as the Biomass Report is finalised and made available during February next year, these potential investors will also be allowed to examine its content, before making an informed decision on their possible future commitment towards the project.

During the discussions relating to the Eden district Regional Landfill Facility, are representatives from Cortus Energy, Ecopar and the South Cape Economic Partnership.

In a press statement issued on 7 July this year, Western Cape MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Minister Anton Bredell, said that the project is a top priority because an existing contract with PetroSA, which allows municipalities to dispose waste at the PetroSA facility ends on 31 July 2018.

The delegation was represented by officials from Cortus Energy, Ecopar and Business Sweden (CEB) and  are currently visiting various organisations within the Eden district, such as MTO Forestry, PetroSA, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, SANParks, Transnet, Portnet, the National Port Authority, Airports Company of South Africa etc.  Mr. Jarrod Lyons, a  representative from Greencape (Cape Town) and Mr Shaan Padayachy from Business Sweden (Johannesburg), also accompanied the delegation throughout their itinerary, as well as officials from Eden District and Mossel Bay Municipalities. Mr Paul Hoffman, from the South Cape Economic Partnership, coordinated the visit.

Eden DM, using its mandate, will continue to engage with relevant role-players and use every single platform to address challenges relating to the finalisation of the process, to ensure that the Landfill Facility gets off the ground before its envisaged launch date.