As the City’s Mayoral Committee Member tasked with Economic Growth, I’m cognisant of the fact that, to boost Cape Town’s economy as much as possible, it is imperative that we increase export volumes.

This is why it gives me great confidence to see that Western Cape air cargo volumes recovered to 85% of 2019 levels in the first quarter of 2022. In fact, air cargo volumes reached a recovery of 107% for March 2022, compared to the same period in 2019.

Top 3 international air cargo markets:

  • Netherlands 93% recovery rate.
  • Germany 83% recovery rate.
  • United Kingdom 42%.

The Wesgro investment promotion agency, which receives funding from the City government to raise Cape Town’s profile for exports, together with the Air Access initiative has helped to land more flights from key source markets.

From my interactions with businesses, I can confirm that more exports of Mother City-made goods means increased production, which means more jobs and a stronger economy.

I’ve just returned from a mission to Europe and Turkey to seek out more travel and trade opportunities for Cape Town, and I can tell you, there’s significant interest to invest in this city.

We’re also in talks with the Airports Company of South Africa about further expanding Cape Town International Airport (which boasts the title as the continent’s leading airport for seven years running). This is due to the high volumes of passenger and aircraft movements, which has reached a more than 80% percent recovery when compared to the numbers from 2019. This airport is integral to the economic growth of the metro and therefore additional runway and cargo handling capabilities will go a long way to further boost travel and trade opportunities for the Mother City.

Alongside this, our work continues in bringing global attention to local brands. A few weeks back the Cape Trade Portal was introduced on the Wesgro platform to help drive exports. As the City we proudly provide funding towards this initiative because it serves as a digital marketplace for Cape-based exporters that connects them directly with buyers and additionally serves as a dedicated centre of skills development resources.

Through the portal, exporters can tap into training and mentoring programmes, keep updated on upcoming trade exhibitions, get support with non-tariff export barriers as well as assistance with regulatory and compliance requirements.

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