During a press conference held on 28 February 2018 at Eden District Municipality (Eden DM), the Eden DM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, confirmed the readiness of Eden DM and partners to engage with South African and international investors at the upcoming Garden Route Investment Conference which will be held on 7 and 8 March 2018 at Oubaai Hotel Golf & Spa, Herold’s Bay. More than 45 potential investment opportunities will be presented to investors during the conference, which could amount to millions of Rands in income, a range of new jobs and a sustainable economic environment.
The arrangements of the Investment Conference which has been themed “Vukuzenzela – Creating opportunity in a Global Uncertainty” is currently in its final stage, while investors are already entering the Garden Route to explore various attractions and scenic experiences.
Mayor Booysen explained the intention of the initiative, when he said: “We want this Conference to be a district Conference where we want to give an opportunity to Municipalities within the Eden district to showcase the potential economic investment opportunities of their municipal jurisdictions. We also want investors to zoom in on specific projects which these municipalities are capable of offering,” Mayor Booysen added.
International delegations, such as the South African ambassador to the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Ms Ruby Marks, the Trade Commissioner, Business Sweden, and two groups of Chinese Business delegations, are expected to attend the event.
Investment Opportunities within the following sectors, will be presented and might evolve to possible investments and partnerships: Agri Processing, Aviation, Education and Training, Finance, Business Services and Real Estate, ICT, Light Manufacturing, Oil, Gas and Energy, Timber Economy, Tourism, Waste Beneficiation and Clean Energy.
In sharing Eden DM’s personal interest in the Waste Beneficiation and Clean Energy sector, Mayor Booysen said that Eden DM plans to conduct one-on-one engagements with potential investors specifically due to Eden DM’s plan in erecting a Regional Landfill Site that will be situated adjacent to PetroSA in Mossel Bay. Mayor Booysen further explained: “We have acquired the land to put up landfill site, but our approach will be different to others because we are planning to convert waste to bio-renewable energy” and added, “The 1st phase will be the landfill site, but any other phase thereafter should be aligned with renewable energy technologies, which will be consistently cheaper than energy derived from fossil fuels”.
Mayor Booysen also touched on the participation of Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) at the Conference and said that our plan is to launch an Export Development Programme to empower SMMEs and give them the necessary understanding of the importing and exporting environment. This programme will continue after the conference.
Boosting the words of Mayor Booysen, Eden DM Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu said: “Our timing seems to have been very good. We have been very encouraged by the recent changes that happened” and echoed the words of the President of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa, when he said that “South Africa is open for business,” also meaning that the “Garden Route is open for business”.
The press conference was facilitated by Mr Lusanda Menze, Executive Manager for Economic Development and Planning and also attended by Ms Melanie Wilson, Eden DM’s Manager for Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Simphiwe Dladla, Manager in the Office of the Executive Mayor and Mr Paul Hoffman, Programme Manager of the South Cape Economic Partnership.