Design Indaba Attracts 50 000 Visitors; Western Cape Craft is Better Together
Media Statement by Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism
This year's Design Indaba, which took place in the Mother City from 29 February to 4 March 2012, attracted over 50 000 visitors, which is 12 000 more than in 2011. In total, 385 exhibitors participated at the event, of which 128 were exhibiting for the first time. Over 400 buyers attended the trade event, 30% more than last year.
This year, we made a direct contribution of R250 000 to the Design Indaba. Through economic partnerships between government and the private sector, the Western Cape is positioning itself as the design capital of South Africa.
As part of the Western Cape Government's market access programme, we also enabled 14 emerging craft producers from around the province to exhibit their upscaled goods at the Design Indaba. One group, the Genadendal Handweavers, use offcuts from t-shirt material to create low maintenance, high-end carpets. Through this initiative, 72 women from Genadendal have become employed. In total, the 14 exhibitors that we enabled to participate at the Design Indaba sold close to R170 000 worth of goods.
The Western Cape Government also funds the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI), and in 2012, we have set aside R6.42 million to assist this body to grow our craft industry.
Every year, crafters that are assisted by the CCDI present a collection of new and innovative handmade products from the Western Cape. This year, a dozen talented Western Cape craft producers from around the province were given a platform to showcase their handmade products to thousands of buyers at the Design Indaba. The entrepreneurs all ran their own individual stands showcasing a wide variety of products ranging from exquisite jewellery and funky umbrellas made from eco-friendly materials like bamboo and recycled wire.
The Western Cape Government's key goal is to create growth and jobs through our Better Together partnerships with the private sector. Design, which is a major attractor of trade and investment and an area of opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs, forms a critical part of our strategy and is one of the sectors of our economy that we are proud to support.
Phumzile Van Damme
Cell: 084 483 2660