Growing jobs in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro is at the centre of its Business Vision 2030 plan, which was presented at the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber yesterday.
In 2010, the metro had more than 6 000 fewer highly skilled people working than it had in 2000, and in 2013 the Bay experienced the lowest domestic and foreign investment in the metro since 2004.
To turn this worrying trend around, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Business School’s graduate school director Professor Kobus Jonker said Business Vision 2030 was focused on the assets of the metro, which included among others its twin harbours, natural resources and industrial infrastructure and land development opportunities.
Jonker said the metro had the potential to become a business destination of choice. The Business Vision 2030 vision statement is that the Bay “will be the best mid-sized city in Africa to live, work, play and grow business”.
“Our city will be renowned for its culture and history, manufacturing excellence, friendliness, quality of life, natural beauty and attractive business opportunities.”
Rand International Capital founder Derek Zimmerman said to curb the brain drain in the Bay, employment should be grown not only in the current primary business sectors, but should also target sectors such as agriculture and mariculture and even socalled wildcard sectors like energy and aquaculture.
In particular, Zimmerman said, energy offered big opportunities for the metro, which was already positioning itself as the future energy hub of South Africa with the development of solar and wind energy at Coega.
The Business Vision 2030 framework plan is a collaboration between the Chamber and the NMMU Business School, with input received from various stakeholders including Coega, Transnet and the municipality.
– Cindy Preller