The recent designation of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) for Green Technologies in Cape Town, is providing further momentum to community and business development activities in Atlantis.
With events scheduled for 15 and 22 November, the people of Atlantis will have a chance to have their say about a proposed ASEZ Community Stakeholder Network (ASEZ-CSN) for engagement between the ASEZ and representatives of the community.
In August this year, during a community information sharing session, five people from Atlantis were nominated to be interim members of the ASEZ Stakeholder Working Committee.
Together with eleven other members (nominated in February during an event held by the Department of Trade and Industry), and government representatives, these members made up an interim ASEZ Stakeholder Working Committee.
The committee met twice and the focus group, made up of only community representatives, met four more times to jointly develop a draft Terms of Reference for the proposed stakeholder network. The Terms of Reference, which outlines the roles, responsibilities and activities of the network, will be presented to the community on 15 November.
Following this, the community will also have an opportunity to elect Atlantis representatives to the eight identified sectors that would make up the ASEZ-CSN.
Member elections are expected to be completed by 3 December, with another open community session planned as an AGM on 4 December, where all the elected members will be presented to the community.
“The SEZ legislation encourages community involvement and what we’re seeing in Atlantis is very positive, with the community at the table and working together towards a successful Atlantis Special Economic Zone for all,” says Ursula Wellmann, Skills and Stakeholder Manager for the SEZ Project Office, which is managed by GreenCape.
On 22 November, an interactive business development workshop will be held in Atlantis. The workshop is part of the priority given to the development of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) by the ASEZ, and as part of the plan to create an enabling environment for investors, community and small businesses.
During the workshop, various business support organisations from the local, provincial and national government will showcase what they offer small businesses – from business support and information to legal and compliance support. The workshop is also intended as a forum during which the needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs for effective enterprise development can be discussed.
“Small businesses are the engine of the South African and Atlantis’ economy, and are key to creating jobs and building better livelihoods,” says Wellmann.
“Starting a business and making it successful is hard work. The enterprise development work we’re doing in Atlantis, helps entrepreneurs tap into support systems and programmes that can help their businesses succeed.”