Emerging Farmer Urban Agriculture Training Academy
PEDI is presently focusing on its most exciting project to date: a project to develop skills and create jobs in the agricultural sector through the establishment of the PEDI Urban Agricultural Training Academy, for emerging farmers, with committed support from provincial Department of Agriculture and CPUT Wellington Campus. It is hoped that the tunnel-farming academy will be established over the next few months. Already 2500 square metres of tunnels, sponsored by the Dhladhla Foundation, have been erected for the purpose adjacent to the Philippi Fresh Produce Market. Discussions with tertiary agricultural training institutions are under way to align a curriculum to existing training and to obtain accreditation as a TVET institution. Ultimately the training of emerging farmers in Philippi will support the sustainability of the Philippi Horticultural Area as a key component of Cape Town’s food security. It will also assist in building the agri-processing sector for Philippi East that has been identified as having significant potential to grow the area’s economy. The sector would also be highly valuable to Cape Town’s future as an Aerotropolis city.
Building the waste economy
At Waste to Food, food waste that is destined for landfill sites is fed it to earth worms in order to generate high-quality vermi-compost which increases the fertility of the soil and facilitates plant pest and disease control.
The project has been piloted successfully using ten industrial-scale earthworm composting systems – called Worm Hammocks – to process fruit and vegetable waste together with garden waste into rich vermi-compost. The business model is commercially viable at a larger scale and more investment will see an exponential increase in its impact and success.
PEDI has invested its own funds in the venture and is partnering with the Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation’s Melisa Trust, Don't Waste Services, Waste to Food and the Industrial Development Corporation to ensure that this business can be scaled up to become a sustainable training ground for entrepreneurs and a net job creator.
The research reflecting job creation potential in Philippi through economic development is available in the Demacon Report commissioned by PEDI. This report is available for download from the PEDI website at http://pedi.org.za/demacon-reports/. The report speaks to the period spanning from 2015 to 2023, and forecasts:
- 60,000 jobs during construction
- 52,000 jobs after construction
- Potential R8.1 billion - company taxes annually
- Potential R700 million - property rates annually
Building the business community
One of PEDI’s major focus areas has been to identify the factors that affect business retention in the area. The Business Retention and Expansion survey was conducted to identify the needs and priorities of local businesses, and to help develop agreement around plans for business growth. The aim was to make local business more competitive, to identify opportunities for business growth, and to create and implement strategic action plans that would lead to economic development.
A business confidence survey (the BR&E survey) conducted by PEDI together with the City of Cape Town’s Economic Development Department in 2015 identified crime and lawlessness, and local government service delivery as key concerns for businesses.
At a 2016 BR&E summit of businesses PEDI brought businesses into contact with opportunities through the national Department of Trade and Industry. Director of Cluster Development in the dti, Gavin Adams, presented to the PEDI business summit on the department’s incentive scheme to promote the development of industrial clusters within defined areas. He invited potential candidates of rate scheme to make application.
PEDI also facilitated a presentation to businesses on the findings of a City of Cape Town survey that assessed industrial areas across the city and identified opportunity and risk in each. The survey revealed that large parcels of industrially zoned land in Philippi currently had no economic activity on them, suggesting that Philippi was well placed to capitalize on significant portions of industrial land available for new businesses.
Understanding informal trader needs
PEDI recently initiated a process to understand informal trader needs in the Philippi East area, particularly in light of infrastructure changes in the area that will affect their business operations.
PEDI, in association with SubCouncil 13, hosted a meeting of informal traders to give them an opportunity to express their views. Among those present were representatives of the City of Cape Town’s Economic Development Department who had come to listen to concerns.
Further meetings will be held with the traders to take the discussion forward.
Understanding infrastructure needs
PEDI commissioned research by HHO Africa to assess the infrastructure needed for industrial and residential development in the Philippi area. The outcome of the research suggested the economic values predicted in the earlier survey by Demacon Market Studies was conservative, and that with the right ingredients, Philippi can become a major economic hub.
The research showed that more investment in infrastructure was needed in electricity supply, storm water management, and water pressure management. Some work also needed to be done to improve foul water systems in the area.
PEDI hosted a summit of City of Cape Town line department officials to present the outcomes of the HHO Infrastructure Demand Analysis (IDA) for Philippi to provide assistance for infrastructure and service planning for the area.