During the first quarter of 2018/19, the Agribusiness Investment Unit – funded by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture – assisted in landing investment projects amounting to R150 million. This will help create 300 new jobs in the agribusiness sector.
The devastating drought in the Western Cape provided a challenging environment to land investment, but the AIU team worked hard to sell the province as the preferred agribusiness investment destination. This was done by:
- embarking on outward missions to Germany, the USA, Malaysia and the United Kingdom;
- hosting inward delegations from Austria, Germany, the USA and the UK;
- attending 7 local conferences and meeting with 80 local companies; and
- meeting with 4 foreign embassies.
Head of the Agribusiness Investment Unit, Amanda Tshaya, welcomed these new projects, and said her team was working hard to land even more investment in the future. “We are extremely excited by the fact that 8 new projects have been recruited into the pipeline this quarter. We are working closely with these prospective investors, so that they successfully land their projects and help create jobs in our province.”
Towfiq Hendriks, Portfolio Manager: Agribusiness, added: “One of the key investments of R25 million that landed was Halal related. This aligns with the Western Cape Government’s focus of establishing the Cape has Africa’s halal hub. We have also undertaken corporate engagements with businesses operating in the halal industry.”
Western Cape Government Head of Department of Agriculture, Joyene Isaacs, stated: “Working together pays off, as the figures released by Wesgro shows. Challenges in the agricultural sector will remain but teams Agriculture and Wesgro make investment work for agricultural projects to the benefit of more employment and economic development.”
The Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, concluded: “The agriculture sector is one of the biggest contributors to the economy and job creation in the Western Cape. We are especially pleased to see that the team’s hard work has secured investment and created new job opportunities in this sector despite the challenging drought in the province, sending the message that the province remains open for business.”