Southern Cape Business News – On Friday 19 May, a number of AHi (Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut) affiliated business chambers from the Western Cape met in Heidelberg for their two monthly AHi regional meeting. Solly Fourie, chief director, and other representatives from Dedat (Department of Economic Development and Tourism) Western Cape, and Paul Hoffman from Scep (Southern Cape Economic Partnership), were also in attendance.
Matters that were discussed included an on-line academy which is soon to be launched by the AHi, that will enable anyone needing additional critical business skills to log into the system with a password that will be provided. The person logged into the system will be able to access many different informative modules relating to business.
Another topic under discussion was the Unizo incubator model for “startup” businesses. The Belgian government has invited Dr Willie Cilliers, George Business Chamber chairman, and Ingrid Cronje, Chamber CEO, to visit their country to observe and analyse the set-up of their incubators which are based in Flanders, Antwerp, Brussels and Limburg. The delegates also debated about exploring the best practices that would support business effectiveness and efficiencies.
They also discussed the Red Tape unit as the platform to highlight processes that hinder economic progress, and the necessity for the Red Tape unit to reduce and ultimately remove barriers to economic development. Fourie highlighted the economic sectors the Western Cape Provincial Government identified under Project Khulisa, and these include the oil, gas & marine, tourism and agri-processing sectors, as well as the importance of skills development in the province.
Hoffman introduced seven task teams that the municipalities and business sector of Eden District will address over the next year in partnership with Scep. Apart from the Project Khulisa sectors, the task teams will also work on economic opportunities and growth options in the film industry, the timb economy and waste management. An investment readiness workshop is planned for 21 June where the region will be geared towards finding the right partners to ensure sustainable growth. Chambers represented at this meeting were George, Mossel Bay, Thembalethu, Kannaland, Drakenstein, Heidelberg, Stilbaai, Worcester, Bredasdorp and Stellenbosch.