Pretoria – South African President Jacob Zuma will lead a high-powered government delegation to the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting taking place in Cape Town from 3-5 June.
In a statement released by the presidency on Sunday, it said Zuma would be accompanied by 12 ministers and a deputy minister, five provincial premiers and the mayors of metropolitan municipalities as well as several business leaders to help showcase South Africa and explore opportunities at the meeting.
Under the theme, “Then and Now: Re-imagining Africa’s Future”, the 25th World Economic Forum on Africa will convene African and global leaders from government, business and civil society to take stock of progress over the last 25 years, share insights on the present landscape and identify innovative approaches to accelerate inclusive growth while bringing about sustainable development in the future.
The participants include vice-presidents, prime ministers, former heads of state and government, ministers as well as chairmen and CEOs of global companies.
“South Africa will use the WEF to showcase the country’s attractiveness as a business destination and that of the African continent in general,” the presidency said. “The President and his delegation will engage business leaders in various sessions to share the competitive advantages and respond to questions raised.
“The meeting will also be used as an important listening forum by government to take notes on issues of concern to business. These will be taken forward in government’s formal interface with South African business, the Presidential Business Working Group, Presidential Small Business Working Group and the National Consultative Forum on the Mining Sector.”
South Africa would market the country within the context of the National Development Plan, the presidency added.
The National Development Plan is a long term plan to develop an inclusive economy, create jobs, enhance the capacity of the state and promote partnerships throughout its society. According to the presidency, the aim of the NDP was to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. It also committed the country to invest in a strong network of economic infrastructure designed to support the country’s medium and long-term economic and social objectives.
The NDP also highlighted the importance of Africa in South Africa’s development.
The presidency said South Africa would seek investment in the following job drivers which would be marketed during the WEF;
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries
Mining and beneficiation,
Manufacturing including the incentives provided by government in various sectors for investors
The green economy
The ocean economy
South Africa will showcase the ocean economy through the Operation Phakisa delivery model where four priority sectors had been selected as New Growth Areas in the ocean economy, with the objective of growing these and deriving value for the country and creating jobs. These were:
(a) Marine transport and manufacturing activities (such as coastal shipping, trans-shipment, boat building, repair and refurbishment);
(b) Offshore oil and gas exploration;
(d) Marine protection services and ocean governance.
The presidency said Zuma would be accompanied at the WEF on Africa meeting by the following Ministers;
The Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, who would be the lead minister
The Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe;
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane;
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor;
The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Siyabonga Cwele;
The Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa
The Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel,
The Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi,
The Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson
The Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mzwandile Masina representing Dr Rob Davies.
The Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, of KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu, of the Eastern Cape, Phumulo Masualle, of the Northern Cape, Sylvia Lucas and North West, Supra Mahumapelo would also form part of the government delegation.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille will also attend, as will Buffalo City (East London) mayor Zukiswa Ncitha, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Mayor Mondli Gungubele, Ethekwini Metropolitan Mayor James Nxumalo, newly elected Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Danny Jordaan and City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau.
“We are pleased and honoured that WEF has chosen our country to host West Africa this year. Both government and the business community welcome the opportunity to showcase our country. South Africa is open for business. The South African delegation will emphasise this message to business from both Africa and the world and showcase the enormous opportunities in our country,” Zuma said.
WEF Africa is the first of two major events South Africa is hosting in June, with the 25th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union set to take place in Gauteng from 7-15 June.
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With its 800km of coastline, South Africa‘s Eastern Cape is set to become South Africa‘s leading hub of maritime economic activity.
The province is home to the two major port cities of Port Elizabeth and East London, both established industrial manufacturing coastal centres, giving the Eastern Cape several strategic competitive advantages, says Mfundo Piti, the economic infrastructure development manager of the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).
The South African government announced in October 2014 that it would be implementing ocean economy projects, which it expected to contribute more than R20-billion to the country’s gross domestic product by 2019.
These projects form part of the government’s National Development Plan, its economic blueprint that aims to promote economic growth and job creation.
South Africa’s oceans have the potential to contribute up to R177-billion to the GDP and create over one million jobs by 2033, two decades from now, the government said.
Unlocking the ocean economy – part of Operation Phakisa, which aims to fast track transformation – has four priority areas:
- marine transport and manufacturing;
- offshore oil and gas exploration:
- aquaculture; as well as
- marine protection services and ocean governance.
“A thriving maritime sector will shift the Eastern Cape into an era of prosperity,” Piti says. “The momentum displayed so far by the local private-state nexus shows a strong capacity and desire to further tap the potential of a sector that has largely shaped the history of these two cities.”
Ports have always been at the forefront of maritime economic organisation, catalysing economic growth through the trade of manufactured goods, commodities and raw materials. They have helped transform underdeveloped regions into important trade centres which, in turn, has created jobs.
“As both entry and exit points, the two ports have been critical in the past, present and future of the province and indeed the country,” Piti says.
Nelson Mandela Bay’s Port of Ngqura, a deep-water sea port is adjacent to the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) It is becoming the fastest growing terminal in the world, according to Drewry Maritime Research quoted by the CDC.
The South African government has partnered with South Korea to establish a national shipping company.
“World sea traffic passes by the Eastern Cape on the East-West pendulum trade routes, opening up major opportunities for ship-building and repairs in the region,” Piti says.
Ship building and repairs
During 2013, around 5 944 container ships, vessels and tankers were commissioned for construction by various countries. This represents an opportunity for the Eastern Cape to become a marine industrial centre for shipbuilding and repairs, Piti says.
While South Africa‘s ship-building industry holds international credibility through its shipyards in Cape Town and Richards Bay, the Eastern Cape’s “world-class industrial manufacturing economy will make the province an excellent contender for future shipbuilding activities in the oceans economy“, Piti maintains.
Nelson Mandela Bay and East London dominate South Africa’s automotive industry which means the province is already home to the necessary expertise, skilled labour, logistic services, Piti says.
“But there’s more that can be done,” he says. “The expertise of the industrial base should not only be extended for the ship-building industries but need to be extended further” – augmented by aeronautical components manufacturing, for example.
“Marine food resources are depleting at devastating rates,” Piti says. “Between 60 and 70% of the world’s fish species are exhausted. And, with one out of every five individuals on this planet relying on ocean food as sources of protein, we are on the brink of food security crisis.”
The CDC plans to establish a R2-billion aqua-farming facility at Coega. Marine animals and plants such as finfish, abalone and seaweed will be farmed on 300 hectares in the Coega IDZ, creating 5 000 jobs.
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth will be playing a critical role in knowledge generation for maritime and marine industries, Piti says. The university formalised ties with the UN-endorsed World Maritime University (WMU) in Sweden in 2013.
“NMMU is already making critical research contributions that will enhance the competitiveness of the region in environmentally sustainable ways. Several African countries attended NMMU’s African Maritime Domain Conference [in November 2013] to develop responsible governance policies,” Piti says.
Cruise vacations offers Eastern Cape Tourism many opportunities to promote the province, Piti maintains. “We – or tour operators – should consider further partnering with cruise line operators and ground handlers to build on the current tourism offerings. It is an opportunity that has not yet been fully maximised to increase the much needed tourism spend in the Eastern Cape.”
Demand for the ocean cruises increased by 77% over the past decade, Piti says. The majority of passengers are American, followed by travellers from Europe.
“Our province is one of the most diverse and spectacular tourism destinations in South Africa, including rich cultural diversity, Big Five game reserves, stunning landscapes and, of course, a beautiful coastline with blue-flag beaches.
“We are also home to one of the first-ever Big Seven game reserves – Addo Elephant National Park – which integrates the Big Five with marine life to include the Great White shark and Southern Right whale.”
Port Elizabeth is South Africa’s water sports capital, home to major water sports event – including the only international Ironman event on the African continent.
Source: All Africa
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