The municipality in Mossel Bay is demonstrating significant innovation and will to support the local economy in recovering after the effects of the prolonged lockdown period.
This was revealed during an oversight visit by the Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Opportunity and Tourism to the municipality yesterday, where the municipality briefed the committee on its current and future plans to use its R590 million Capital Budget over the next 3 years to stimulate the local economy and support residents and businesses in keeping their doors open.
Outstanding examples of these developments include:
- The municipality is committed to supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs through the Business Hive Expansion Programme in Kwanonqaba and Dalmeida which are currently providing subsided premises and training for small, medium and micro enterprises. The municipality plans to expand this initiative further in Kwanonqaba and in Grootbrak, assisting businesses until they can pay commercial tariffs.
- Mossel Bay aims to create economic and employment opportunities through the Aquaculture Zone which is set to attract foreign direct investment and stimulate job growth to support the local fishing industry. Land is further being contributed to the Southern Cape Economic Optimisation Initiative which focuses on sustainable economic development for the region through a type of Special Economic Zone concept in partnership with the municipality.
- Upgrades and the developments earmarked for the Port of Mossel Bay and the expansion of the airfield for commercial operations has the potential to significantly boost the local economy and generate employment opportunities. This is connected to the Cruise Liner Initiative the city and the municipality is already in process of obtaining approval for a Motorsport Mecca facility in the Mossdustria area, which may see motorsport enthusiasts flood into the region.
- Tourism remains one of the largest employment sectors in the region and the municipality is partnering with stakeholders in order to promote Mossel Bay as a world-class adventure tourism destination. Tourism in the CBD stands to be bolstered through a new Tourist Route, the training of guides, and partnership with the industry for adventure tourism in particular.
The work by the Mossel Bay municipality is critical in order for the area to not only recover to pre-lockdown levels but to further grow and create employment opportunities. In order to achieve these goals, the municipality plans to invest in infrastructure, supporting the tourist industry and creating economic opportunities through multiple programmes. This year alone the municipality has initiated number of development and infrastructure projects including the laying new water and sewage lines, upgrading the electrical substation at Kleinbrak Branswag bridge, upgrades to Longstreet in Grootbrak, and the Wolwedans dam project, thereby delivering services to residents and contributing to a business-friendly environment.
We look forward to visiting the area again and monitoring developments in the region as we grow our recovery in the Western Cape towards jobs, dignity, and safety for all residents.