The first Joint Marketing Initiative (JMI) started 10 years ago when there was a brief DA-led political alignment between the Province and the City. It lost its way and was watered down during the ANC’s period of tenure — Wesgr0 (the trade promotion agency) was just one of the agencies that pulled out and all that came of it was that the Western Cape Tourism Board was replaced by Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU). It’s only been under the chairmanship of Peter Bacon over the past few years that CTRU has pulled itself together after many years of being in the trenches. Several CTRU directors resigned over undue political interference and a previous MEC, Lynne Brown, saw it only right that it should be driven by politics.
But now the DA is firmly entrenched in both the Province and the City. MEC Alan Winde’s first attempt at bringing all the Province’s marketing bodies together didn’t find public favour… after all, it was written by the same people who wrote what exists now. His new attempt draws extensively on the London Development Agency and others, and saw Andrew Boraine, CEO of the very successful Cape Town Partnership, developing the new initiative.
If anyone can pull this off, it is Boraine. The Economic Development Partnership (EDP) draws on the lessons and successes of the Cape Town Partnership, established 12 years ago. It embraces everything that is the Cape Town success story CapeInfo wrote about recently — click here.
The EDP will not be a statutory body and government will be a client rather than the owner. It will operate outside the bureacratic regulatory system with a business mandate.
Boraine concedes that fancy mandates and structures will mean nothing if it does not attract the right people — and that is the risk. It needs a creative environment to achieve that.
Boraine and his team have started with the fundamentals rather than the big-budget, more glamourous marketing initiatives.
What will the EDP do? The EDP will be a partnership-based organisation that will lead, coordinate and drive regional economic growth, development and inclusion by concentrating on:
- Economic and market intelligence and monitoring to ensure evidence-led strategy and planning.
- Economic vision and strategy through building leadership and a common agenda.
- Business attraction, retention and expansion through building an improved business and investment climate.
- Creation of a single brand platform through a regional marketing alliance.
- Organisation of the economic system for optimum delivery through performance monitoring and on-going coordination of reform.
To see the complete Powerpoint presentation on the EDP, click here. It is an impressive document.
A steering committee was announced last week and met for the first time, with the goal of opening the new organisation by April next year.
I polled two of the steering committee members. Peter Bacon, former CEO of Sun International and chairperson of CTRU, said:
“I am in agreement with the need for a public/private sector initiative to bring together under the umbrella of one organization the private sector support needed to grow the provincial economy. The responsibility for strategic planning, spatial planning, brand development, facilitation, research etc. is not, in my view, being dealt with at a macro level and the EDP will hopefully get all those involved in the public sector ‘On the same page’ together with the private sector to ensure the best outcome.
“If we are to attract more investment to achieve the growth levels needed to make a positive impact on unemployment then, as a destination, we need to make ourselves attractive. Also we need to support those industries which have already attracted very substantial investments e.g. the tourism industry and ensure that we maximize the return on the limited funding available from the public sector to support them e.g. destination marketing. To achieve this we must address the current confusion, overlap and wasteful expenditure which will be a focus of the EDP process.
“Governments do not make money and need to support the private sector. The EDP will be mandated to do this.”
Otto Stehlek, Protea Hotels chairperson, said Alan Winde and Andrew Boraine need a round of applause. “They have assembled a group of people who can be potentially effective. And anything that makes the Western Cape more efficient must be welcomed. South Africa does face difficulties competing at an international level and we must do everything we can to reduce these difficulties.
“This deserves our best shot.”
This time it must work — there must be a unified focus and efficiencies. The bottom line — jobs, investment, tourists, etc — is more important than hype.
Are other provinces watching? The depoliticisation of economic development and tourism is the only way to get them working.
The steering committe tasked with the job of making it happen comprises:
- Mr Ashoek Adhikari – General Counsel of Media24
- Mr Peter Bacon – Chairperson of Cape Town Routes Unlimited
- Dr Walter Baets – Director of the UCT Graduate School of Business
- Mr Michael Bagraim – President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce
- Professor Leon Campher – CEO of the Savings and Investment Association of South Africa
- Professor Brian Figaji – Director of Nedbank Group Limited and Chairperson of the DBSA Development Fund
- Mr Solly Fourie – Head of the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism
- Mr Ben Kodisang – MD of Old Mutual Investment Group Property Investments and Chairperson of Wesgro Board
- Ms Nontwenhle Mchunu – Entrepreneur and owner of Ezulwini Chocolat
- Ms Lele Mehlomakulu – Head of HR at Allan Gray
- Mr Jannie Mouton – Non-Executive Director of PSG Financial Services limited
- Mr Patrick Parring – Entrepreneur and co-founder of WECBOF
- Mr Conrad Sidego – Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch Municipality
- Mr Otto Stehlik – Executive Chairman of Protea Hotels
- Dr Iqbal Surve – Chief Executive of Sekunjalo Investments
- Alderman Belinda Walker – City of Cape Town Mayco Member for Economic Development
- Minister Alan Winde (Chair) – Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism