Western Cape

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Western Cape IDC to branch out from Cape Town

The Industrial Development Corporation's Western Cape regional office is planning to look beyond Cape Town's city limits to increase funding to concerns in the Winelands, Overberg, West Coast, Central Karoo and the Southern Cape.

The Industrial Development Corporation's (IDC) Western Cape regional office is looking outwards, beyond the limits of the capital city. With just 20% of funding directed to areas outside Cape Town, its medium-term plan is to increase its exposure in five other districts over the next few years.

The districts are: Winelands, Overberg, West Coast, Central Karoo and Southern Cape. It has notched up 30 approvals in the Western Cape, creating more than 2 000 jobs. By the year's end, approvals will number 34 or 35, and approved funding will reach R1-billion.

Regional economic strengths are finance, property, retail, tourism, information and communication technology, and manufacturing. Historically, the province has been a leader in agriculture, clothing and textiles, and fishing. Its comparative advantages over other provinces are in agro-processing, oil and gas, and a more sophisticated entrepreneurial environment.

Export-grade deciduous fruit - such as apples, table grapes, olives, peaches and oranges - are cultivated, and the inland Karoo and Overberg districts produce wool and mutton, as well as pedigree merino breeding stock.

The regional office is expanding its focus to invest in agro-processing as a growth sector. There are opportunities in deciduous fruit, horticulture, oil seeds, and in indigenous products such as rooibos and buchu. There is also aquaculture; as fish stocks deplete, there is a growing need for aquaculture, particularly in species such as the highly prized abalone.

The office is also looking at metals, especially revitalising the foundry for processing scrap metals. In addition, the Western Cape government has identified the province as an oil and gas hub, and has emphasised localising components fabrication and servicing the sector. The IDC's regional office has aligned its strategy with this focus.

Chemicals, particularly in recycling plastic and agro-chemicals are other areas of interest. Lastly, the regional office is focusing on the green sector, again in line with the provincial government. This includes energy saving, efficiency, LED lighting, roof solar panels, biogas and biomass, and upstream products such as wind power generation.

Manufacturing components for the green industry is a broad, and growing, sector. The provincial government is looking at Atlantis as a green manufacturing hub, an idea the office is supporting. The main challenge in all these sectors, though, is a lack of required skills. But the office is working with the IDC's other offices and programmes to mentor entrepreneurs and grow skills among the youth.

Regional office:
Suite 2817, 28th Floor
Absa Centre
Riebeek Street
Cape Town

Postal address:
PO Box 6905

Tel: +27 (021) 421 4794
Fax: +27 (021) 419 3570

Satellite office:
Beacon Place
125 Meade Street

Tel: +27 (021) 421 4794
Fax: +27 (021) 419 3570

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