SPEECH BY ALDERMAN JAMES VOS, MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES AND ASSET MANAGEMENT

 

We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another. In its scale, scope and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.

 

We are well into this technological revolution and have already seen major changes in the way we do business, the way we live, the way we travel, the way we communicate, the way we learn and the way we consume news – all because of technology and the rapid pace of innovation in the tech sector.

 

Because of its booming tech ecosystem, Cape Town has emerged as a tech and innovation hub; and as the leader in the information technology sector with more tech start-ups than anywhere else in South Africa.

 

The majority of the industry, or some 47% of tech start-ups, is based in the Western Cape with Gauteng in second place at 44%. In addition, Cape Town has the largest telecommunications market and the most venture capital activity in South Africa, accounting for 75% of the country’s venture capital deals. (Source: The Ventureburn Tech Start-up Survey 2017).

 

Cape-based tech start-ups are more successful and generate significantly higher revenue than their counterparts in other parts of South Africa. The Western Cape is seen as an attractive place to establish a successful start-up, with 36% of start-ups here turning a profit or generating significant revenue in the past year compared to 22% in Gauteng. (Source: The Ventureburn Tech Start-up Survey 2018)

 

The tech sector is about more than just being a crucial part of our emerging economies. In the African context, we need the tech sector and innovation to find specific African solutions to our unique challenges.

 

The tech sector in greater Cape Town (incorporating Stellenbosch) includes between 450 and 550 entrepreneurial companies working in the software development, e-commerce, or fintech and collectively employs 40 000 people (Source: Endeavour Insight report, August 2018).

 

Importantly, the Endeavour Insight Report has cited ‘access to talent’ as the major hurdle faced by Cape Town start-ups. Therefore, we are pleased that this three-day expo, summit and awards ceremony has also drawn experienced international developers and tech recruiting firms to the Cape.

 

As the innovation and tech hub of Africa, our message is simple: We are open for business and ready to work with our partners across Africa to build connections through tech and innovation that will not only build our economy but that will also see us finding lasting solutions for creating a prosperous Africa.

 

A copy of the full speech is available for download here: http://www.capetown.gov.za/Media-and-news/Cape%20Town%20is%20the%20tech%20hub%20of%20the%20continent

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