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October 13, 2016

Sub-Saharan Africa: Wesgro Helps Cape Soar Despite Economic Headwinds

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For many years, economic growth in the Western Cape has helped to raise South Africa’s growth rate, while the province’s unemployment rate helps to lower the national average. 

cape town, south africa
Photo by AndreaWillmore/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

National economic growth slumped last year and unemployment rose to a 12-year high, but the Western Cape still manged to secure a 143% (capex) Greenfield foreign direct investment increase, versus 32% for South Africa. 

Wesgro was also proud to announce that the Agency received a clean audit for the 2015/16 financial year and the various units have achieved remarkable targets. 

The Wesgro Research Unit produced a total of 115 economic publications to support the Agency and our Wesgro clients. It also collated over 30 000 visitor information surveys with the assistance of the local tourism offices which inform various tourism strategies and marketing plans. 

The Investment Promotion Unit secured a total of ten investment projects to the value of more than R2-billion in the past year which helped to create 681 new jobs in the Cape, and comfortably exceeded its R1.7-billion target. 

The Agribusiness Investment Unit realised three investment projects, to the value of R315-million, against a target of R230-million. This has assisted in the creation of 218 jobs and grown the Western Cape’s industrial base. 

During 2015, the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, a division of Wesgro’s Destination Marketing department, supported 48 events and secured 17 conference bids with an estimated value of R185-million. Approximately 28 280 delegates attended these and in total contributed R374.1-million to the Cape’s economy. 

Wesgro continues to be an important ‘connections catalyst’ behind the growth of the Film and Media industry. Wesgro’s Film and Media Division assisted a total of 188 businesses with export opportunities and generated R8.8-million in media coverage for Cape Town’s film sector. 

The Marketing Unit launched a new website that features real-time tourism and air access dashboards that simplify and provide exporters and investors information at unprecedented speeds. 

Cape Town Air Access, a division of Wesgro, has already secured five new international routes and four expansions since its establishment in 2015, and played a pivotal role in Cape Town International Airport’s recent Routes 2016 Marketing Award win. 

Wesgro CEO Tim Harris closed the Review with the following remarks, “The logic for an economic promotion agency for the Cape is as strong today as it was when Wesgro was founded more than three decades ago. Wesgro is optimally positioned to be the champion for economic opportunities in the Cape, and to facilitate conversion of these opportunities to help drive growth and create jobs. The results of the past financial year are testament to this. We are already working with the province’s various stakeholders to ensure 2016/17 is an even greater success.”

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