DEDEAT to roll out cluster programme in Nelson Mandela Bay

NOVEMBER 3, 2014

Nelson Mandela Bay will be the focus of a number of sub-sectors of the Non-Automotive Manufacturing (NAM) and Agro-Industrial Manufacturing (AIM) clusters to be rolled out by the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT).

The metro will be the focus of the furniture; metals; dairy, niche and specialist and natural fibres and textiles sub-sectors.

DEDEAT says it has started implementation of cluster platforms for both the NAM and AIM sectors in the Eastern Cape and is now looking for operational management service providers.

The department points out that these platforms “are intended to strengthen cooperation between government institutions and private industry and endeavour to improve the competitiveness of these sectors with cluster programmes specifically tailor-made to address industry-specific challenges”.

The cluster research conducted by DEDEAT last year shows that 53.8% of all NAM enterprises are located in Nelson Mandela Bay with a further 34.6% in Buffalo City.

In terms of the top 10 NAM sectors, 59.7% are located in Nelson Mandela Bay and 34.1% in Buffalo City.

DEDEAT says that based on the research only the metro and Buffalo City have “meaningful current concentrations of NAM enterprises but “lie geographically too far apart for effective clustering in one cluster initiative” and so separate sub-clusters or “chapters” will have to be established “each with possibly its own leadership but with aligned programmes”.

With regard to textiles, the focus in Nelson Mandela Bay will be on wool and mohair specialists and general garments with the project focus on micro-enterprises in the mohair and wool regions.

As far as the wood and furniture cluster is concerned, the focus will be on the construction industry, designer and office furniture and cabinets (shop-fitting and households).

The food cluster in the metro will focus on dairy as well as vegetable and fruit processing. - metrominutes