As we start wrapping up 2016, our final newsletter for the year highlights some of the activity we have been involved with over the last few months. This year we introduced a programmatic approach which we hope has provided more meaningful engagements for our members, our partners and ultimately impacted positively on the Cape Town city region. There is ample evidence that corporate Cape Town is collaborating to affect positive change and our focus remains clear: we aim to accelerate Cape Town as an economic hub through catalytic, innovative and focused business leadership interventions.
Business Leadership: At our 2016 AGM, we hosted S&P MD for Sub-Saharan Africa, Konrad Reuss, who said that if the rating decision looked at our economic growth only, then SA is not investment grade as our growth is too low. Regardless of Friday’s rating outcome, SA requires urgent structural reforms to address persistent weaknesses such as our low economic growth, the fiscal concerns linked to SOEs and our high unemployment rate which pose the greatest risks for the economy. Even though Fitch and Moody’s revised their outlook to negative, hope remains to turn our economy around.
Digital Cape Town: as one of our key programmes this year, we have been driving the Smart City agenda and recently collaborated with AfricaCom, the largest tech conference in Africa. Our sessions included Data Analytics and Actionable Insights, as well as Roadmap to Smart Cape Town and the collaboration with the City of Cape Town showcased what the City is doing to use technology to enhance efficiency and deliver value. A positive comment from SAP with regards to why Cape Town is leading the Smart City agenda in Africa is ‘that the City’s team is focussed on solving problems for the City and delivering value to its citizens and in doing so they have great alignment between the political, business and ICT elements of the City.’
Innovation: as part of our Innovation Programme we continue to highlight innovation happening in the WC region. Our local universities are very innovative and looking at the patent activity of South African universities from 2009 – 2015, the four WC universities accounted for 48.6% of registered patents. When including all institutions and businesses, Stellenbosch University and UCT are first and third for number of patents in the country! In this newsletter, we highlight local biomedical technology innovation – from Nobel Prizes to world leading inventions for heart valves and breast digital imaging systems.
Human Capital: as South Africa has both a shortage of highly skilled professionals and a high unemployment rate of 27.1%, our recent HR Professionals Forum on Innovation in Talent Management looked at approaches to growing talent internally at all levels of the organisation. We also highlighted different employment models such as the German Dual System which is a focus of the WC Government’s Apprenticeship Game Changer. McKinsey’s estimate that SA can create 3.4 million jobs by 2030, but the skills required will be 48% skilled trade workers, so read more on Artisans: a game changer for the local economy.
I hope that you will enjoy a productive final period before we head into the December break. As always, please let me know if you would like to engage further around any of our programmes and projects.