This week the City launched the Food and Beverage Growth Coalition together with the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership and industry business partners.

The world has been battered by a series of complex challenges in the recent past, and Cape Town has not been spared. South Africa is facing the effects of resilience-testing challenges such as load shedding, the pandemic, and global conflict.  As a result, many people are finding it difficult to make ends meet as companies are forced to pass the rising costs on to the consumer.

As such, there has been sustainable responsiveness calls for collaborative partnerships between all sectors – government, business, communities and academia in the form of growth coalitions within Cape Town’s most high-value industries. These structured and outcome-driven stakeholder engagements are critical for sharing knowledge, planning and implementing together, ensuring alignment for the realisation of growth opportunities and resolution of challenges.

The City is committed to eliminating the barriers to doing business, and through this approach, will support its current regulatory reform process.

Food and Beverage Sector Growth Coalition – the first chapter

Food and beverages have always been one of the biggest sub-categories within Cape Town’s manufacturing industry, contributing 3,6% of Cape Town’s gross value add and 4,1% of its formal employment.

The industry contributes a substantial portion of the Cape’s export and destination profile. More importantly, food security is one of our most important concerns as a government and thus we must work closely with businesses to ensure that the industry has the resources to adequately respond to trends and stresses when they happen.

For the launch of the initiative, we have hit the ground running with my team and I already having held engagements with several business leaders.

These meetings allowed us to gain insights into the challenges and innovations within this specific sector and establish a working relationship with businesses.

Growth in food and beverage exports paints a positive picture for the industry with beverage exports from Cape Town growing by 21% between 2015 and 2016 and fish exports by 22,7%.

Recent findings from the Trade Research Advisory further show that South Africa stands to generate up to R840 billion by fully capitalising on the export agreements under the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement with foodstuffs such as fruit, dairy goods and canned foods making up a significant part.

Ultimately, the Growth Coalition will assist the business sector to develop action plans to boost development and ultimately take advantage of such trade pacts.

Other sectors

Following the launch and roll-out of the Food and Beverage Coalition, the City plans to follow suit with other sectors such as marine manufacturing and creative production.

The emphasis should be on improving our processes and systems, to improve the quality of engagements and the initiatives that are implemented. To grow our economy and create jobs, there is a need for new businesses to be established, existing businesses expanded, and new investors invited and assisted with operational setup.

We aim to grow our presence in the current markets while working to access new regions.

In all this, the City of Cape Town stands ready to collaborate with businesses to achieve our shared goal of growing our economy and creating much-needed jobs.

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