Statement by Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to join Belgian Consul General Mathias Bogaert for a site visit to Southern African Fruit Terminals (SAFT), a subsidiary of SEA-Invest Group, one of the world’s largest terminal operators for dry bulk, fruit and liquid bulk.

The Belgian-owned company operates across eight countries and recently announced that it will be adding to its existing three Western Cape sites with a new cold store facility.

SAFT is already a critical facilitator of fruit exports in Cape Town. The new site is an investment of R500 million and will create up to 80 new jobs when it becomes operational in June 2023.

This is a ringing endorsement of the City of Cape Town as a leading and trusted investment hub in Africa.

The City’s Investment Facilitation Branch, located within the Enterprise and Investment Department, play an important role in helping to land and expand deals of this nature.

Since its establishment in 2017, the branch has engaged with hundreds of businesses to secure or grow their operations and assisted more than 20 companies to set up shop in and around Cape Town.

The IFB offers a suite of investment facilitation services, including assistance in navigating municipal processes for larger business operations in the City, and business retention and expansion programmes.

With regards to Belgium in particular, I am excited to strengthen our ties and recent actions from their side show an equal interest towards Cape Town. Consul General Bogaert’s appointment followed his country’s decision to upgrade their Cape Town consulate to a Consulate General, making it a full diplomatic post that provides a significantly wider variety of services. He also played a key role in getting the new SAFT investment over the line.

And in September, I look forward to welcoming Air Belgium to our award-winning airport. The airline plans to operate up to three flights per week between Cape Town and Brussels.

Together with my officials in the Enterprise and Investment Department, and with allies such as Consul General Bogaert, we will continue to ensure that we connect with key markets across the globe for the benefit of attracting job-creating investment opportunities for Cape Town.

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