28/05/12Message from the CEO
This will be my last newsletter as the CEO of Accelerate Cape Town, as I will be handing over the reins in July to take up new challenges after more than five years. I look forward to welcoming my successor, Chris Whelan, who is on his way back to Cape Town after two years in Australia.
Chris has worked closely with us over the past few years while he has been with one of Accelerate Cape Town’s corporate sponsors, Ernst & Young. He is a passionate Capetonian and returns with lots of fresh ideas from his work across the Asia Pacific region. The rest of the team at Accelerate Cape Town will continue with the great work that they have always done, helping Chris to take the organisation to new levels.
The membership of Accelerate Cape Town continues to strengthen, and in the past month we have welcomed new members Arup, adidas South Africa, M&C Saatchi Abel and Qatar Airways. We look forward to working with them and all our other loyal existing member companies.
This month we have had quite a focus on education, which is aligned with our Vision 2030 goal for Cape Town to be educated and trained (www.vision2030.co.za), and which few would deny is one of the most important factors in the ability of Cape Town to be a globally competitive business destination. We hosted the Provincial MEC for Education, Donald Grant, and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, Dr Max Price, at our most recent member meeting (read more about that in this newsletter) and at the end of this month we join the Cape Higher Education Consortium in hosting a CEO dinner with corporate leaders and the Vice Chancellors of the four Cape universities. We hope that our efforts to continue to bring business and education leaders together will help us to not only enhance the education levels of our local population, but even enable us to position ourselves as Africa’s education capital in the future.
Connectedness, both internally and internationally, also remains an important theme for the further improvement of Cape Town’s business offering. It is also another of the Vision 2030 goals – that Cape Town should be recognised as a vibrant and connected city. Elsewhere in this newsletter you can read the article I wrote recently about the ability of the Bus Rapid Transit system to enhance social cohesion in this divided city. And separately, but still related to connectedness, the pressure that has been brought to bear on the port authorities to build a cruise liner terminal appears to have had the desired effect. In an article I wrote earlier this year (see it here http://bit.ly/KBj0cF), I called on everyone with influence to “insist that TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) comes to the party on building what will undoubtedly be beneficial to the broader Cape Town and South African economy”. Last week TNPA issued a tender notice calling for expressions of interest from companies to fund, construct and operate the proposed cruise terminal facility.
This seems to be the result of two major changes that we’ve seen over the past five years: 1) growing co-operation between all levels of government, recognising that decisions made at national level do in fact have major impacts on local economies, and 2) a vast improvement in long-term planning. These two factors have also led to the work currently being done by the City and Province to develop the long-term strategy being called “Cape 2040”, to which we continue to contribute, instilling the ideas that were developed under our Vision 2030 programme back in 2009. On a more technical level they have also led to the successful development of the new Cape Town Spatial Development Framework (see http://bit.ly/JYuBas), which was recently approved by the Provincial Government, and which we believe will go a long way towards achieving more integrated and sensible planning in Cape Town in the future.
Long may this kind of positive direction last, and long may Accelerate Cape Town continue to work with you and your organisations to make sure that this city region meets its full potential over the next twenty years.
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