The Wesgro board and team were joined by stakeholders across the sectors which it promotes during the year at Workshop 17, at the V&A Waterfront.
The agency used the opportunity to highlight its achievements over the last year, despite challenges caused by a decline in the national economy, but also to prompt an important discussion about what it must do to do to ensure it builds on these successes in the future.
We were in particular proud to announce that when measuring the collective economic impact of the different units within the agency, Wesgro helped generate at least R17,5 billion for the Cape economy, with the creation of 6625 direct and temporary jobs.
Leisure and Business Tourism:
· A total of 14 tourism destination initiatives were supported by the team
· This resulted in an estimated economic impact of R428,3 million for the region
· The team generated a total of R20,37 million worth of advertorial value equivalent
· The Convention Bureau secured a total of 33 conference bids. This has an economic impact of R425,3 million for the Western Cape
· Cape Town maintained its top position in the ICCA African City’s ranking for the number of meetings held.
· To boost tourism during the low-season, Wesgro supported over 30 regional events. This resulted in an additional 150,000 visitors to the regions, the creation of 1600 temporary jobs and an economic impact of R260 million.
· 14 joint marketing agreements were secured.
· The Wesgro Trade unit facilitated the signing of 41 business agreements, with an estimated economic value of R9.04 billion, resulting in 781 jobs
· The unit also facilitated a total of three Outward Foreign Direct Investment Projects, to a value of R507 million
Film and media promotion
· The unit facilitated a total of 5 media declarations to the value of R1,56 billion
· This resulted in 3271 full time equivalent jobs
· The team assisted a total of 527 businesses with Export Advancement Programs, against a target of 40
· There were 15 inbound missions and delegations assisted by the team.
· The unit achieved an advertising value equivalent of R16.2 million, against a target of R6 million.
Cape Town Air Access
· Cape Town Air Access* had contributed to seven new routes and ten route expansions since its inception in July 2015
· This has added almost 600 000 direct two way seats to the international airport network
· In total this has added more than R3 billion to the Western Cape economy in direct tourism spend
· Cape Town International Airport has for the first time welcomed more than 10 million passengers in one year with growth in international passengers of 16% between 2015 and 2016
· R2,127 billion of committed investments were realised this year
· 698 direct jobs were facilitated through these investments
· 23 new investment projects were realised
· 20 outward investment missions were undertaken to foreign markets to promote the Western Cape
· 73 inward business delegations were hosted and
· 47 new projects were recruited into the pipeline
Agribusiness Investment Unit
· The unit realised a total of 3 investment projects to the value of R735 million
· This assisted in the facilitation if 275 jobs, helping grow the Western Cape’s industrial base
· The unit recruited a total of 22 new quality investment projects into the pipeline
· A total of 10 engagements with Sector Development Agencies were held during the financial year
· The unit embarked on 5 outward missions during the financial year
· There were 181 total engagements with businesses
“The real test for an agency like ours comes when sentiment shifts in the wrong direction. When the reasons not to invest in your region, or buy your products, or visit your attractions appear to mount up. In this regard 2016/17 was a year when the Wesgro team’s ability to deliver was tested across the board and I am very pleased to report that the agency passed with flying colours”
“Together with our partners in the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town and the private sector, we have succeeded in shoring up our region’s reputation as a competitive hub for business and tourism on the African continent” said Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO.
Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille, added: “I commend the work that Wesgro has done to both promote Cape Town as an attractive investment destination and to land a sizeable amount of investment in the past year. This has been achieved despite the national economy having suffered a number of setbacks and business confidence being at all-time low. It is therefore heartening to see that Cape Town is still viewed as an attractive destination and through the combined efforts of Wesgro and the Enterprise and Investment Department in the Mayor’s Directorate, I feel confident that we will continue to be attractive to investment destination over this next period.”
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, who delivered the closing remarks today, said: “Despite the serious economic headwinds that South Africa is experiencing, Wesgro’s annual report demonstrated the best practice that has successfully positioned the Cape as a prime investment, key trade and outstanding tourism region. I congratulate the board and the full Wesgro team for being a regional catalyst for jobs and growth in the Western Cape.”
The Annual Review 2016/17 document is attached.
*Cape Town Air Access is a partnership between Wesgro, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government, Airports Company South Africa, Cape Town Tourism and South African Tourism.
For media enquiries:
Chief Communications Officer
082 815 6020