Tourism marketing and development Unit is responsible for coordinating regional tourism initiatives and promotes and develops tourism throughout the region, while working closely with eight (8) Local Tourism Offices (LTO). With a focus on selling and promoting the region’s vast potential, GR&KK also aims to attract global attention and foster economic growth in the district.
From 09 May – 11 May 2023, preceded by a Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) on 08 May 2023, the Africa Indaba Show aimed to provide a platform for thought leadership, knowledge sharing, and market insight. BONDay is developed in collaboration with global tourism organisations, continental experts, and industry associations.
During the trade show, African tourism exhibitors showcased their offerings to international and local buyers, destination marketing companies and leisure tourism service providers. The event allowed travel trade professionals to meet face-to-face with some of the most influential buyers on the continent, and gain a deeper understanding of Africa’s excellence and endless potential. As a result of these opportunities and quality connections, Africa will be able to shape its future.
According to GRDM representatives, several new and existing connections were made over the course of the three days, as the GRDM delegation engaged with various domestic and international buyers interested in learning about our area, re-visiting or expanding their tourism offerings by integrating the Garden Route & Klein Karoo into their existing packages.
The following top four tourism offerings were most popular under the tourism buyers
Educational trips to familiarize tour/travel agents of existing and new products/offerings in the Garden Route & Klein Karoo
High-end luxury travel (5 Star)
Incentive travel (Golfing, wine routes, craft beer and gin experiences)
Camping and caravan offerings in the Garden Route & Klein Karoo – most interest from the domestic market
The Western Cape stand was hosted by Wesgro, with the GR&KK Regional Tourism Office also forming part of it to promote the region along with Visit Knysna, George, Wilderness and Uniondale Tourism LTOs.
Africa’s Travel Indaba is an iconic African leisure trade show, owned by South African Tourism, with the specific objective of creating market access for our vast array of African leisure tourism products.
EWSETA has a significant demand-based focus, and it is important for them to determine what the needs are of employers and businesses. They receive a limited skills levy income and need to partner with other agencies to address this challenge. This is why they’ve agreed soon enter into a memorandum of understanding with GRDM.
During his opening remarks, the GRSM Forum chairperson, Ald. De Vries remarked that renewable energy is gaining momentum as countries around the world are increasingly understanding the benefits it offers.
During the forum, Mr. Warrick Pierce, Technical Leader on Energy Systems Modeling at the Energy Centre of CSIR, presented the Draft Municipal Electricity Master Plan for the GRDM. The Draft document was funded by GIZ and co-funded by the CSIR and is considered to be a mini Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Mr. Pierce noted that the plan looks at different possible energy futures and the employment opportunities it may hold. Furthermore, the plan’s focus is twofold as it looks at each municipality individually in the region and the Garden Route as a whole to achieve optimisation.
To draft plan addresses issues of future demand usage and that municipalities need to know their customers – their past behaviors towards energy and how this is changing in terms of self-generation. There seems to be clear indication that Solar PV is the priority option for the Garden Route to consider. The Draft Energy Master Plan will be tabled to the GRDM Council this month for adoption and a media release about it will be issued.
The final presentation was done by Kirsten Freimann, from GIZ, who is the Head of Project: Career Path Development for Employment (CPD4E), which is a new 3-year program that started in June.
The program aims to address two major concerns identified by GIZ, which are the economic recession and the high youth unemployment rate plaguing South Africa. With the help of the Swiss Development Agency, The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Government was able to raise €10.5 million for the project.
CPDE4E strives to improve the employability of the youth by unlocking employment potentials by supporting entrepreneurship and SME development in township economies, as well as (ecologic) industrial parks.
The transition from learning to earning will be done by matching soft skills with entrepreneurship training with specific measures in place for girls and women.
Demand-driven TVET/ skills development will improve delivery capacities, through lecturers, in-company mentors, short skills programs, new occupational profiles, and curricula development. It is anticipated that it will strengthen private sector involvement in agile training interventions. This could lead to job creation and meeting demands.
Media Release: NYDA Focusses on Youth Development In The Garden Route
15 March 2022
For immediate release
The second keynote speaker at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca for 2022 was Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape. He outlined NYDA’s skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.
NYDA is a South African-based agency established primarily to address challenges faced by the nation’s youth. The youth development agency was established by an Act of Parliament (Act 54 of 2008) to be a single, unitary structure addressing youth development issues at the National, Provincial and Local Government levels. The Agency should be seen within the broad context of South Africa’s development dynamics.
During Manyama’s presentation, he outlined their economic participation goal, which is to enhance the contribution of young people to the economy through targeted and integrated programs.
He added that programs created by the NYDA aims to facilitate and provide employment opportunities for the youth and to include them in the economy.
The implementation of this goal is at the following strategic objectives:
To provide socio-economic empowerment interventions and support for young people in South Africa
To provide increased universal access to young people
NYDA runs several economic programs that include:
Grant funding R1 000.00 to R10 000.00
Business Consultancy Services
Sales Pitch and BBBEE Training
Business Management Training
On youth with disabilities, Manyama had the following to say: “Young people with disabilities are not homogenous as there are different disabilities that require different interventions. The sector representing youth with disabilities proposes the establishment of a disability unit at the NYDA to undertake to facilitate all programs aimed at transforming the lives of youth with disabilities.”
He concluded his presentation by stressing the importance of eradicating discrimination and stigmas against people with disabilities and increasing economic opportunities for them.
Access to education is limited and inadequate and this needs to be addressed. Integration of people with disabilities will also need to be addressed as there is a tendency of lumping them together despite their different needs.
Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route
15 March 2022 For immediate release
Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture was invited to speak at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum of 2022 and his focus was on the growth and development strategy of the department for the Garden Route. He opened his comprehensive presentation with the following quote by Allan Savory:
“Agriculture is not crop production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fiber from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture, it is impossible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy”.
To put this quote into perspective, Lamberts shared one of the Department’s recent success stories: A farm in Herald was in a dilapidated state due to a lack of interest in purposing the land. A businessman who was passionate about farming bought it, and spent the next five (5) years turning it into a viable business that now produces honeybush and proteas. He is the first black commercial farmer to produce honeybush in the Southern Cape. It is because the Department assisted him that his business was able to create sixteen (16) permanent jobs, with opportunities for an additional twenty (20) seasonal workers.
Before this, in Waboomskraal, the Department assisted another farmer, who became the first black farmer in the area to produce proteas and hops.
Lamberts noted: “When all spheres of government work together in an integrated fashion, these are the type of results we will see”.
Lamberts listed the activities and services the Department provides to farmers and all other stakeholders as the following:
Independent agricultural advice and information
Supporting Livestock farmers – Development program. Livestock Forum
Performance testing/annual evaluation/ID limitations and opportunities
Investigating and implementing new hardy breeds and crossbreeding
Investigations in lowering inset cost through conservation agriculture – cover crops
Investigations into pasture species for marginal lands
Crop production advice and information
The type of training that is provided includes evidence-based and practice-based farmers’ capacity building. This is done through farmers’ days, demonstrations, peer-to-peer learning, and face-to-face interactions. Since 2018, the department trained 820 beneficiaries and this ranged from vegetable training to farm implement operation training.
The Department has a memorandum of understanding with GRDM and vacant land has been identified that the municipality owns which is conducive for agricultural development opportunities. The Department is researching the potential of commodity processing facilities in the Garden Route, which will be a source of immediate job creation – a game-changer for job creation in the region.
The Department furthermore envisions the building of Agri-Business Platforms for clients where potential products can be processed ready for consumption. Through Conservation/Regenerative agriculture, farmers are encouraged to rehabilitate and look after their own soil to turn it into organic matter that fertilizes with very few chemicals. Trials on livestock projects have yielded very positive results to date, and the global view is that going regenerative holds many financial and ecological benefits.
Agritourism needs to be promoted as it holds several untapped opportunities for the tourism sector. There is a need to compile tour packages to visit farms and processing facilities for both local and international tourism. The Roads Department has a role to play as well, as it must ensure easy access through regular road maintenance and upgrades.
The Department is in the process of revisiting mechanization which would allow for a central point that offers services such as ploughing, for example, as well as repair and maintenance services on farm implements.
Lamberts concluded his presentation by saying that we can be very proud of our district and that the Department is very excited to continue its work in the area.
Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum Focuses On Youth Development And Agriculture
14 March 2022 For Immediate Release
The first quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum for 2022 was held on 25 February 2022 and was attended by delegates in person and online via Microsoft Teams. This setting provides Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and its stakeholders a chance to collectively work towards achieving Skills Summit resolutions.
The forum was chaired by Ald. Stephen de Vries briefly explained the role of the GRSM in relation to the National Skills Development Plan. He alluded to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) debate where he stressed the importance of skills development to support economic growth as part of the economic recovery plan. The GRSM aligns itself with the National Development Plan 2030 vision to improve access to occupations in high demand and priority skills in supporting economic growth, job creation, and social development.
We want to contribute to the vision of an educated and skilled workforce for South Africa.
The second keynote speaker, Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape – presented on matters of skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.
Dr. Florus Prinsloo (Skill Mecca Co-ordinator, GRDM) officially launched the GRSM website, which has been in development since last year.
The aim of the website is to serve as a central point of communication and to close the gap between service providers, investors, and candidates with learning opportunities needs.
There is still work that needs to be done which, once completed, will see the ‘partnership’ page going live. Once this happens, service providers will be able to register and list learning opportunities, which will then be communicated by GRDM’s Communication unit. A process has been established to vet all applicants before registration to ensure that the highest standards are always met.
Save The Date: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum to Be Held on 25 February
For Immediate Release
14 February 2022
The first quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum for 2022 will be held on 25 February 2022 from 09:00-12:00 virtually. This setting gives Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and its stakeholders a chance to collectively work towards achieving Skills Summit resolutions.
WESGRO TO PROMOTE TOURISM, EXPORT AND INVESTMENT FOR THE GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT
3 February 2022
Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, in collaboration with Garden Route District Municipality, is hosting a meet and greet today at Fancourt with stakeholders from the agri-business sector.
The session aims to introduce the Wesgro Agribusiness Investment unit. Dr Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, will deliver a keynote address. Other speakers include Eimear Costigan, Wesgro Head of the District Unit, Towfiq Hendricks, Wesgro Head of Investment Promotion, Joshua Palm, Wesgro Assistant Export Manager and Yaw Peprah, Wesgro Chief Business Officer.
A ceremonial signing of the agreement between Garden Route District Municipality and Wesgro will take towards the end of the event. The agreement signifies Wesgro’s commitment towards tourism, export and investment promotion of the Garden Route and the investment prospectus of the region. If you haven’t seen it, download the investment prospectus of Garden Route District Municipality here: Investment prospectus
Interested in investing in any of these opportunities offered by the Local Government in the Garden Route District? Contact the District Economic Development Office, Ms Melanie Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Release: 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.
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, email@example.com
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.
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 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 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.