STATEMENT BY MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC OPPPORTUNITIES AND ASSET MANAGEMENT, ALDERMAN JAMES VOS
Today, Executive Mayor Dan Plato and the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, paid a visit to Voyage Yachts and Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing located in Paarden Island to experience first-hand what makes the local multi-billion rand boat building industry tick. Read more below:
In 2014, Cape Town and the Western Cape generated over R1 billion in export revenue from boat building. Cape Town’s boat building industry is known globally for its world-class craftsmanship, innovative and custom-made designs.
South Africa’s marine manufacturing industry is primarily based in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban. However, other areas within the Western Cape such as Knysna, George and Saldanha also make a significant contribution to the province’s dynamic boat building community.
What sets the local Cape Town manufacturers apart from their counterparts is that they are easy to deal with as one-stop-shops and work with their clients to ensure they get the maximum return on investment.
This year, five of the top boat builders from South Africa were present at the Miami International Boat Show that attracted over 100 000 visitors and showcased more than 1 400 boats and 1 100 exhibitors over the course of the five-day expo.
On the side-lines of the boat show, on Friday 15 February 2019, the Miami-Dade County’s Beacon Council hosted a special business roundtable discussion focusing on business opportunities in Cape Town. Incidentally, the City of Cape Town and Miami-Dade County are sister cities.
Business representatives from the energy efficiency, clothing and textiles, financial services, legal advisory, manufacturing, project finance, film and media, arts and culture, and the travel and tourism sectors attended the roundtable discussion.
The Florida delegation included businesses that would like to import products from South Africa to the USA; while other representatives were interested in setting up companies in Cape Town.
I am excited to confirm that the discussions concluded with Desmond Alufohai, senior international trade coordinator for Miami-Dade County, announcing to business leaders that there would be a follow-up mission to Cape Town in March this year. We look forward to hosting the business delegation next month; and welcoming mutually beneficial business partnerships in the future.
Cape Town’s boatbuilding industry is a key strategic sector to the city’s economy that attracts a positive trade balance and creates thousands of jobs.
Another benefit for South African boat building is the large workforce of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour who have a wealth of experience, having been in the industry for a long time.
‘Cape Town’s boat building sector is without question a key contributor to our economy, and plays a significant role in job creation and skills development for our communities. I am pleased to see my Mayoral Committee Member and his management team focusing on this sector, which will attract even more investment in the enabling business environment we have created in this city,’ said Executive Mayor Dan Plato.
Cape Town also has a steady stream of well-trained artisans entering the boat building industry that provides a continuous flow of young people into the skills pipeline. Training colleges work hand-in-hand with the industry to offer a three-year, full-time course. In addition, six months of each year are spent at the academy to acquire theoretical knowledge followed by a six-month stint in the industry to gain industrial experience and on-the-job training.
Students are exposed to a wide range of disciplines including design, marine joinery, fibreglass or polymer composite fabrication, metalwork and welding, marine systems, computer-aided drawing (AutoCAD), and boat building standards.
South Africa has 3 000 km of coastline, and since 2014 has secured investments worth R30 billion and created over 7 000 direct jobs in the oceans economy. The investments have been mainly in infrastructure development, marine manufacturing, aquaculture, and the oil and gas sector.
It is estimated that government will investment approximately R3,8 billion in the Oceans Economy with the private sector contributing some R65 billion over the next five years. These investments are expected to create over 100 000 direct jobs and more than 250 000 indirect jobs.
Invest Cape Town partnered with the South African Embassy and the South African Boat Builders’ Export Council (SABBEX) to showcase some of the best manufacturing from Cape Town and South Africa on a water float.
The delegation representing the City at this event comprised the City’s Head of Sectors, Investment and Trade, the Head of Investment Promotion as well as a Green Cape representative.
I am proud to build on our track record of being one of the top catamaran producing countries in the world. The City, through its Invest Cape Town initiative, will collaborate with partners from business formations, investment promotion agencies like Wesgro and sector support entities, and all spheres of government to expand the boat building footprint in Cape Town.
The Invest Cape Town team offers a wide range of customized services free of charge for any stage of business you are in.