Why should I invest in the Western Cape?

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Why should I invest in the Western Cape?
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Why should I invest in the Western Cape?
Get In Touch

Cape Town is regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful and inspiring cities. Situated at the southern tip of Africa, Cape Town and the Western Cape offer an attractive investment proposition for companies wishing to expand their operations into both the South African and African markets.

Cape Town is the engine of the Western Cape’s economy and is home to most of the province’s heavy and medium industries. The city is also quickly gaining recognition as the ideal location for local and international companies seeking opportunities in the rest of Africa. This only adds to the city’s reputation as a hub for business services, information technology, manufacturing and green energy.

Many global businesses have chosen the Western Cape as their destination of choice. Our infrastructure forms the gateway to the continent and good governance provides a stable business environment. A growing skills base offers a pool of young, energetic talent armed with the values of innovation and creativity, which are embedded in our business culture.

The Western Cape is an inspired place to do business, and we’d like to invite you to join our growing global economy by investing on our shores.

What does Wesgro do as an investment promotion agency?

An investment promotion agency aims to attract investment to a region, city, area or country, usually with the core functions of building its image, generating investment, managing projects and providing various services. The agency helps to introduce investors to local suppliers; provides useful statistics, data and business information; and offers practical support – for example, to secure permits or complete administrative requirements.

As the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, Wesgro assists investors and businesses looking to branch out to the province.

Regardless of the sector that your company operates in, be it technology, agriculture or another sector, Cape Town and the Western Cape have all the elements necessary to make your investment a success. We are a region of unlimited potential, and this translates into unlimited opportunity.

Let Wesgro help you uncover these opportunities. Talk to us today.

Prof services
We help businesses explore economic opportunities
Wesgro’s Investment Promotion Unit is at the forefront of proactively recruiting investments into the Western Cape and Cape Town. Our team of experts provides guidance and support, and we are also partners of the InvestSA One Stop Shop, a national partner initiative that will assist with anything from visas to tax compliance for foreign investors. Bringing your business to the province? Chat to our Investment Unit to get things started.
We campaign for easy and convenient air travel routes
We don’t just provide assistance to businesses locating to Cape Town and the Western Cape – we also strive to make access to the city easy and convenient for all. Wesgro’s Air Access team is constantly looking for ways to improve air connectivity between Cape Town International Airport and destinations across Africa, Europe and Asia. These routes allow businesses to easily service projects in various parts of the globe, while facilitating easy connection to Cape Town.
We help businesses export goods from Cape Town
Connectivity to the region is enhanced by Cape Town’s well-developed container port and another port just north of the city, allowing for goods to be exported to destinations around the world. Our practical know-how on how to get goods to market, particularly within Africa, is world-class. Simply talk to our Trade team to learn more bringing goods into, or taking them out of, the country.
Prof services
We assist film and media crews
The Western Cape is a highly sought-after destination for filming. Major international and local productions are drawn by the varied locations, scenery, and high-quality services and studios. We assist with production in the province, including regulation guidance and finding co-production parties. Talk to our Film and Media team if you’re looking for an incredible camera-ready destination.

The Western Cape’s economic landscape

  • 2.7% economic growth is expected in 2019 in the Western Cape
  • 14.7% increase in the Bureau for Economic Research business confidence index (Q4 2018)
  • 3.97% increase in Western Cape exports (Q4 2018)
  • Unemployment decreased by 1.1% (Q4 2018)
  • The Western Cape has the lowest rural unemployment rate in the country at 15.7%

Why should you move to or set up your business in the Western Cape?

The Western Cape’s economic growth has been forecast to accelerate to 2.7% in 2019. It is expected that, until 2022, the economy will grow by 2.2% on average per year.

Only Gauteng, the country’s biggest province in terms of its contribution to national gross value added, has grown marginally faster than the Western Cape over the last decade. The average growth rate recorded in Gauteng from 2008 to 2017 was 2.2% a year, compared to 2.1% in the Western Cape and 1.8% nationally.

Gauteng currently outperforms the Western Cape due its significantly larger mining sector, while the consistently good performance of the Western Cape economy is largely the result of its services-oriented structure.

Read the latest provincial economic review and outlook report to learn more.

Why choose Cape Town?

  • Cape Town has been ranked the top metropolitan municipality in South Africa when it comes to ease of doing business, according to the 2018 World Bank research report Doing Business in South Africa
  • Cape Town is considered the start-up capital of Africa. Of the 742 emerging tech or tech-enabled companies surveyed as part of a 2015 study by PwC, 56% were headquartered in the Western Cape, of which the majority are based in Cape Town
  • Cape Town-based companies account for the 10 most visited e-commerce websites in the country. In an industry that is strongly reliant on supply-side factors like the availability of ICT skills, and the prevalence of entrepreneurship, Cape Town has been able to carve out a competitive niche

Sectors of opportunity in Cape Town and the Western Cape

Cape Town and the Western Cape attract investors in sectors ranging from agriculture and health technology and energy. Looking for an opportunity? These are the province’s key priority sectors:

Economic water resilience
Climate change means water will become increasingly scarce in many regions of the world. A serious recent drought encouraged Western Cape businesses and citizens to appreciate the value of water and improve future water resilience. It also drove the development of many water-efficient technologies. Over three years of drought, the city and its residents remarkably reduced water consumption by more than half, earning a reputation for setting international best practice.
Western Cape halal exports
The demand for halal products globally and in the rest of Africa presents a significant opportunity for the Western Cape, which is ideally positioned to cater for this market, which was worth more than US$1.2-trillion in 2016 and is anticipated to reach around US$1.9-trillion by 2021.
Oil, gas and marine services
The oil, gas and marine services sector is strategically important, given the Western Cape’s location on the tip of Africa, where approximately 30 000 ships pass by each year. The sector comprises various subsectors, including rig repair, ship repair/maintenance and fabrication.
Tourism is an important contributor to economic growth and job creation in the Western Cape. In 2017, the number of international arrivals in the Western Cape increased by 10.2% from 2016, to 1.72-million. Partially due to the increase in international arrivals, there was an increase in foreign spend from R18.1-billion in 2016 to R23.1-billion in 2017. The number of jobs in the tourism sector increased by 11 292 from 2016 to 217 514 in 2017, while estimated gross value added (GVA) rose by 7.5% from 2016 to 2017.
The Western Cape construction sector sustains 153 651 jobs, providing more than R13-billion in salaries. The sector’s appetite to absorb lesser-skilled workers makes it a leading indicator of municipal revenue and sustainability.
The Western Cape government seeks to ensure enough power for growth in the region that is sustainable and low carbon. Key to this will be a diverse energy mix, combined with energy efficiencies. Measures being implemented include the roll-out of independent power producers; enhanced uptake of solar photovoltaic technology and efficient water heaters; the development of a grid management system that facilitates wheeling and manages peak demand; and the importation of liquefied natural gas.
Digital economy
Digital disruption refers to the changes enabled by digital technologies and capabilities that occur at a pace and magnitude that disrupts established ways of value creation, social interaction, doing business and our thinking. The next phase of digital disruptions will be driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technologies such as the internet of things, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robotics will increasingly disrupt organisations, from the way they manage their businesses and carry out their operations, to evolving customer expectations and the changing nature of products and services. The digital revolution will affect most sectors, including construction, retail and wholesale, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, the green economy, transport, financial and business services, and the government.
Waste economy
The Western Cape generates an estimated 7.7-million tonnes of waste annually, of which 3.6-million (47%) consists of commercial and industrial waste. The waste economy is based on the premise that waste could potentially be a resource with economic value that provides an opportunity for industries and businesses to repurpose their “waste” and incorporate it into their value or production chains. In addition, the waste economy also has the potential to create jobs in areas such as recycling, construction and demolition waste, electronic and tyre waste.
Agriculture value chain
Agriculture and related industries in the Western Cape play a significant role in the economy. Around 400 000 workers are employed in the agriculture and agri-processing sectors in the province. The winter rainfall climate allows for the production of a wide variety of crops and livestock, with fruit and wine exports making up around 30% of the total value of goods exported.

Wesgro’s reach in Cape Town and the Western Cape

  • Wesgro has facilitated more than 100 direct investments since 2009 
  • In 2018, the Air Access team added three new airlines and four destinations to Cape Town, facilitating new routes and route expansions
  • Wesgro has attracted investment of R11.6 billion over the past five years
  • Wesgro has facilitated 10 372 direct jobs over the past five years