Factfinding Western Cape Province

Excecuted by Ecorys 
Specialist in research, consultancy and project management 

The purpose of this study was to analyse the local environment, identify relevant stakeholders, indicate which potential projects could be interesting for 2g@there members or Holland BV in general and identify specific tender opportunities.

“How to position companies in the Netherlands to share in these opportunities over an extended period of time, and in close cooperation with South African partner companies?”

Metropolitan area
The dominance of Cape Town in the economy of the Western Cape is evident. The vast majority of business opportunities will no doubt occur in and around the metropolitan area. The study also made clear that other regions of the Western Cape also face problems in areas where Dutch knowledge and expertise can be of service. The Saldanha-Vredenburg and the Southern Cape corridors are of significant regional and possibly international importance. In addition, the poor state and backlog of water infrastructure forces the majority of municipalities to plan for major overhaul and expansion projects in water and wastewater treatment plants.

The quality of public transport is unsustainable and there is heavy reliance on private transport modes.The Provincial Government of the Western Cape has therefore given priority to increase access to safe and efficient transport along with the priority of mainstreaming sustainability and optimising resource-use efficiency. Other interesting opportunities are projects concerning smart grid systems, small-scale renewable energy solutions, an upcoming DoE tender on biomass, upcoming master planning for Port of Cape Town and port precinct, Saldanha Bay, consultancy on SEZ development projects and linking trade flows in biomass, rare earth and minerals to Dutch ports.

Saldanha Bay corridor
There is a wide variety of challenges in the three different sectors, urgency to create jobs, and National Government has committed the financing to industrialise the country, including for the upgrading of the Sishen – Saldanha Bay corridor which is the fifth among 17 priority infrastructure projects of the current government. The Western Cape will see a continuous stream of projects and tender opportunities, and international finance and partnerships have been called for.

The study found that South African industries are very well capable to tackle the many development challenges the country faces. And if they can’t, clients and contractors are not necessarily convinced that cooperation with a foreign company yields better results or lower prices. Dutch companies can be of added value if they identify a niche in which their unique technological skills, products, and experience can be used or when they manage to introduce concepts proven in the EU but new to South Africa.

Where (semi-) public Dutch organisations can be important as an introductory and facilitating partner, it will be up to the company itself to identify its niche, their partners, and their added value.

Requirements for success of individual companies are local presence, long term commitment that is reflected by upfront investments (in time and in communities), a strong B-BBEE partner, and –in case of public clients- supplier database registration.