Minister Winde's Address on Key Achievements of the Western Cape's Key Sectors
Members of the diplomatic community,
Members of the Provincial Legislature,
Directors of the SPV’s,
Representatives of national departments,
Members of the economic development community.
It is great to a see a broad spectrum of the economic development community here.
Economic development is the key to our future. That is why this province’s number one strategic objective is economic growth and jobs.
We are here today to showcase the importance of our sectors in reaching this goal.
Rationalisation of Sector Support
Due to budget constraints and a revision of our strategic direction, we have undergone a process of rationalising the number of sector bodies that we support. We have done this so as to achieve maximum impact in terms of jobs and growth in those sectors that have a competitive edge in changing economy.
Achievements in Major Sectors
As a testimony to the success of our sector bodies’ efforts, we have seen major growth in job numbers in several key industries over the past few years.
Our Business Process Outsourcing industry is driving a major boost in job creation for residents of the province, especially for our youth which is the demographic with the highest rate of unemployment. Currently there are just over 40 000 people employed in the industry, which is worth an estimated R8 billion to our economy. By next year the job numbers are expected to grow to 52 245. By 2016, it is expected the sector will employ 65 303 people.
ICT is another one of our priority sectors and employs 30 000 people in this province and contributes R3 billion to our annual GDP.
The Bandwidth Barn, a partnership between the Western Cape Government and the Cape Information and Technology Initiative, has played an active role in supporting ICT entrepreneurship in the Western Cape economy.
Between 2006 and 2010, the Bandwidth Barn tenants and more than 50 successful graduates added more than R800 million per year to the region’s economy, and supported almost 2 500 direct and indirect jobs.
There are currently 55 tenants. In 2012/13, various support programmes offered by the Barn provided skills development opportunities for 96 businesses.
Other highlights, which are set out in the sector booklet you will receive, include:
- Growing the Western Cape oil and gas sector into a R2 billion per annum industry and training more than 1000 artisans.
- Facilitating the establishment of the R400 million CT Film Studios.
These are just some examples of the success stories coming from our SPVs.
I want to thank particularly the CEOs of each of these and the directors, and in total there are more than 120 of you.
Between you, you have days, weeks and years into guiding, leading and directing growth in your sectors. This is a huge commitment, and I would like to thank you very deeply for your contribution.
As Solly Fourie, the HOD, indicated in the beginning, the integration across our agencies is encouraging.
This collaboration includes the Economic Development Partnership, Wesgro, the SPV’s and cuts across the different programmes in the department.
The Western Cape Government believes through partnerships, Better Together, we can reach our goals.
To this end I am very pleased to see the level to which outside funding is flowing into the sector programme. To improve the sustainability of our sectors they must be funded by the sector embers themselves.
There has also been excellent co-ordination with our national departments, particularly the DTI.
I would also like to highlight the co-ordination with our national departments, particularly the DTI, which has seen several billion rands of incentives flowing into sectors such as clothing and textiles and aqua-culture.
Skills Development and Innovation
A critical factor in the competitiveness of all of our sectors is innovation.
Several local sectors are embracing this concept. It enables us to position ourselves as global players and I would like to see more focus on what each of you are doing around promoting more innovative products and processes.
Skills development is one the Western Cape’s biggest focus areas. It’s how more residents can take advantage of the economic opportunities the growth in these sectors will present. This is why we are supporting strategies to match our skills demand and supply. I want to encourage SPV’s to maximuse the use of the Youth Wage Subsidy that was announced recently.
I believe it is up to all firms, whether small or large to take on 10% of your new staff as interns, and to focus on building up experience and skills in each firm.
Exports and Investment
Exports and investment are also critical to long term growth.
Our traditional markets in Europe are slow but are still important and are occupying more than 30% of our exports.
We need to look at what are we doing to penetrate new markets. In Africa, we are still punching well below our weight. To change this, we will be developing a province-wide Africa strategy. We will also be taking a closer look at the Chinese market. Earlier this year, myself and Minister of Agriculture Gerrit van Rensburg conducted a very fruitful visit to China to promote increased economic opportunities and grow our R1,4 billion export market to that region.
We specifically investigated opportunities in key sectors such as renewable energy, tourism, ICT and wine exports.
To conclude, I want to see bigger and bolder projects, with emphases on innovation and unique design. I want to see how you are taking advantage of the World Design Capital next year. I want to see companies developing new export markets, and encouraging more investment. I want to see proactive buy-in from companies in your sector who support your endeavours. And I want to see more uptake and focus on skills, particularly youth.
A very big thank you to all of you who have put so much passion and commitment into building your sectors.
Enjoy the networking event starting shortly, and am looking forward to hearing how the so-called “cross-fertilisation” occurs amongst all of you.