New Strategic Business Partner sets sail to grow ocean economy
27 November 2020
Today, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, launched the City’s newest Strategic Business Partner (SBP), BlueCape, in a webinar with key industry stakeholders. This SBP has been established to support job creation and the growth of Cape Town’s ocean economy through marine manufacturing. Read more below:
The primary role of BlueCape, which has also received support from the V&A Waterfront, is to provide skills training for employment opportunities in the oceans economy, support product development, provide international marketing for Cape Town as a destination of choice and to help identify and clear any barriers to the development of the marine economy.
‘Since 2014, the boat building industry, including commercial and ocean sports, has secured investments worth over R25 billion and created over 4 500 direct jobs and 7 000 indirect jobs. This is why we have been working with key stakeholders, since 2019 to establish BlueCape, to realise this sector’s full potential for expansion and job creation that will bring waves of benefits for our residents.
‘I have personally visited Cape Town’s boat yards, including world renowned Robertson and Cain, both before and during COVID-19, and lobbied national government on behalf of the sector to allow for their continued operation during lockdown to save jobs. I am proud to confirm that BlueCape has already started facilitating new investments through the manufacture and export of catamarans, and has set up skills training for many young people in ocean safety,’ said Alderman Vos.
The boat building sector alone has grown by an average of 20,5% year-on-year since 2014, which is no small feat. The marine industry also includes sail makers, mast builders as well as manufacturers of marine grade rope, aluminum doors and engine components. There is also a significant opportunity to train unemployed youth to service and maintain boats of varying sizes.
Attracting the investment we need to create jobs will continue to be a priority for the City of Cape Town. By supporting high-growth sectors, we can plot a sustainable path to economic recovery. By working together and implementing targeted strategies, we can emerge stronger than before.