The Cape Winelands District Municipality has recently adopted its new Socio-Economic Development Strategy. The objective is to identify key social and economic challenges of the Cape Winelands region and find ways to overcome those challenges while exploring new opportunities for growth.
The strategy outlines how the Cape Winelands District Municipality will invest in its people and how it will create an enabling environment in which business can develop, grow and thrive by fostering greater investment that will increase job growth and alleviate poverty.
The involvement of local stakeholders in the process of developing their own territory is a prerequisite for sustainable growth.
Five main goals have been identified.
Growing and thriving entrepreneurship and innovation
Businesses create employment for local residents, provide families with livelihoods and ignite local economic development. A strong and diversified business sector can assist to mitigate the area’s dependence on the agricultural sector. The municipality will:
- Continue to focus on supporting small business development.
- Continue to support sector development in wine tourism. Wine tourism already contributes in excess of R6-billion to the GDP annually and with a national wine tourism strategy and a coordinated plan, the aim is to increase that to R16-billion by 2025. The CWDM will continue to support industry associations such as VINPRO and WOSA to grow the wine tourism industry.
- Grow the creative economy. The Cape Winelands is home to many artists, writers, dancers, designers, musicians, chefs, and all sorts of talented and interesting people. The Cape Winelands will support this ecosystem through its partnership with the University of Stellenbosch.
- Promote innovation and diversification. Successful businesses continually strive to improve on their products and services and search for new markets. The municipality undertakes to give recognition to those innovative businesses.
Working towards building safe, healthy, active and productive communities together
The role of the Municipality is one of support, facilitation and creating an enabling environment. Coordinating efforts and cooperation between all spheres of government and the various NPOs and NGOs can prevent duplication of programmes and enhance the impact of programmes.
The Municipality should not attempt to replace or duplicate the work done by NPOs and NGOs but aim to maximise the benefits of these civil society and private sector initiatives.
Facilitating investment attraction, retention and opportunities
In order to attract foreign investment, government should establish support infrastructure and be committed to a pro-business (private sector) attitude. The local workforce should be well-trained, basic infrastructure should be in place and international links should be fostered. Potential investors are also attracted by good governance and capable market institutions. The Cape Winelands District investment attraction, retention and opportunities plan has within it Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E), Investment Opportunities and creating competitiveness as key focus areas.
- The CWDM will continue to implement co-funded tourism projects with the private sector. The programme has already seen a number of successful projects:
- The Franschhoek Hospitality and Learning Academy trains about 20 students a year in hospitality and students do in-service training at restaurants.
- Dine with a Local project has been so successful that one of the hostesses is booked out a year in advance.
- The DansCape ballet dancing in Zolani has produced talents that are currently dancing all over the world.
- Past projects include the development of an online Wine Tourism Industry Toolkit which is a comprehensive online resource for the wine industry.
- Tourism mobile apps for the district’s 14 towns have also been developed.
Environmental protection that promotes sustainable development and economic growth
The key driver is to uplift rural places, the rural economy and people. The District will facilitate continued support for projects and programmes that improve competitiveness, encourage diversification of the rural economy and that improve community resilience, improve the quality of life in rural areas and that protect and enhance the natural environment.
Culture, diversity and vibrant places
The Cape Winelands District Municipality is the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) for the Cape Winelands Tourism Region. The CWDM provides regional leadership and coordination and works with industry partners, such as the Local Tourism Associations, to grow tourism through activities such as strategic planning, research, product development, training and marketing.
It is the people of the Cape Winelands, their stories, their books, their poems, their paintings, their theatre performances, their vision for their tourism businesses, their story-telling, their music and songs, their culinary creations, their wine-making talents, their arts and crafts and their business innovation talents alike, that the District wants to share with visitors.
The tourism industry has an important role to play in attaining the region’s goals for growth and job creation.
The way forward
The Socio-Economic Development Strategy provides strategies that will help the District Municipality in collaboration with its partners and communities to build on our socio-economic development efforts.
It is only through collaboration and a shared commitment between all stakeholders, that the Cape Winelands Regional Socio-Economic Development Strategy can be successfully implemented.
The Cape Winelands Socio-Economic Development Strategy builds on previous programmes and identifies new ways in which the District Municipality can grow the economy and facilitate the creation of new jobs. The strategy will continue to evolve over time so that the District Municipality and its partners can seize new opportunities and respond to emerging challenges.