Cape Business News spent some time with Liz Hart, MD of the annual Manufacturing Indaba Western Cape.

The annual Manufacturing Indaba Western Cape brings together provincial manufacturers and businesses to explore growth opportunities, find out about the latest manufacturing incentives and trends, and provide a platform for networking and collaboration. Manufacturing is the second biggest sector in the Western Cape and contributes about 15% to the South African manufacturing sector output. The province’s agro-processing sector has shown resilience during tough economic times, and its renewables and green tech industries have received significant investments in the past five years.

Two thirds of South Africa’s manufacturing investment in renewables is located in the province – that is, 8 out of the country’s 12 manufacturers. In 2011, the vision was launched for Atlantis to become a centre of this green hub and it is a now a designated Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for “Greentech”. A further R1 billion is expected to be ploughed into this SEZ over the next five years, particularly in the renewable energy sector.

The GreenTech SEZ supports the manufacturing sector to become suppliers and component manufacturers for clean technology, such as renewable energy components.

The West Coast Industrial Plan is also forging ahead. This is a partnership between the Department of Economic Development; Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning; and the Department of Public Works – together with the Saldanha Municipality, and Green Cape.

A sustainable growth trajectory for the province’s manufacturers is being established through a focused collaborative effort by both government and business to strongly support the province’s manufacturing sectors and to marshal domestic resources for increasing investment in the real economy.

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