Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, announced the new board of Wesgro – the Western Cape’s destination marketing, trade and investment promotion agency – on 12 August 2014.
The 14-person board brings together the province’s leading businesspeople and academics. They will serve a three-year term.
Minister Winde said the new board would be tasked with providing strategic leadership to Wesgro, and overseeing its performance.
“Boosting tourism and increasing international trade will be key goals for the Western Cape in the next few years. I believe the members of this board have the attributes and experience needed to ensure that Wesgro plays a key role in delivering this mandate. Tourism and trade are important tools to create jobs for residents in this province and that is my number one priority,” said Winde.
Professor Brian Figaji, the former vice-chancellor of Pentech (which has now merged to become CPUT), was named the chairman of the new board.
"I am honoured to have been invited to Chair the Wesgro Board. I look forward to working with the team and my fellow Board members to build on the work done by our predecessors. However, I would like to see more collaboration between Wesgro and the many bodies and organizations in the Province aimed at improving the economy of our region.”
“There are also opportunities for growth and expansion which we must exploit with renewed enthusiasm. Our first task will be to devise a common vision between management and the Board," Figaji said.
Nils Flaatten, CEO of Wesgro, was confident about the ability of the new Wesgro board. “Following our first meeting, the energy and enthusiasm in the room was tangible and I think there is a common passion to take Wesgro to new heights. This is a group filled with leaders of industry, bringing on board a wealth of knowledge that I am sure will only have positive spinoffs as we drive forward the strategic vision of Wesgro.”
“We look forward to working with the new board over the next few years and I am confident that the new leadership and direction for Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion in Cape Town and the Western Cape will be further enhanced,” adds Flaatten.
List of board members:
Trained as a town planner, experienced as a communicator and marketer, Paul Bannister has run two of South Africa’s major advertising agencies, directed Brand South Africa into the 2010 FIFA World Cup, conceptualised the ‘Welcome Man’ logo. He has served on the SA Tourism Board and is a driving force behind the growth of the National Arts Festival.
He brings a unique contribution of marketing, communications, and tourism experience to the Wesgro board.
Ian Bartes is a senior manager at Airports Company South Africa.
Andre Böhmert is a partner at Knife Capital, a growth equity investment management company. She brings over 10 years’ experience in the investment environment, specifically investing in high growth SMEs in South Africa. As the Western Cape wants to establish itself as an investment destination of choice to financial and corporate investors, she understands the motivation as well as risk/ return expectations of potential investors. To this end, she will assist with appropriately positioning what the Western Cape has to offer.
Professor Haroon Bhorat
Haroon Bhorat is a Professor of Economics and the Director of the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU), at the University of Cape Town. His research interests cover labour economics, poverty and income distribution. Prof Bhorat brings valuable expertise on growth and employment dynamics to the Wesgro Board.
David Green is the CEO of the V&A Waterfront.
Anthony Peter Hurst
For over 17 years the primary work of Peter Hurst's company, Added-Asset & Associates, has been to deliver trade development strategies and export programmes for government organisations in the UK and South Africa. The firm also catered for individual clients wanting to develop their international interests and competitive position. He has carried out business in 27 African markets and over 60 countries in total.
Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, the CEO of the Cape Town Partnership, has extensive experience in managing and coordinating public-private partnerships. As a town planner she is an urban revivalist at heart and serves on the board of a number of national and international bodies.
Michael Spicer is a senior business executive and director of companies who has wide experience of tourism, trade and investment promotion at national and international levels.
Chris Whelan’s international business experience, gained over 15 years working in Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe complement his professional focus on strategic thinking around growing successful city and regional economies. He leads the Accelerate Cape Town business think-tank, working with corporate business leaders to advance the region's global competitive position.
Councillor Francois Schippers (SALGA representative)
Francois Schippers has been involved in management in the private sector for more than 25 years and in local government for the last 3 years.
His experience in retail and realisation of the need to create economic growth particular in rural areas will impact positively on the primary goals of Wesgro.
Councillor Wessie van der Westhuizen (SALGA representative)
Economic development and growth need to have a positive impact on the lives of all citizens of the Western Cape. We need to get all sectors motivated to work on a joint vision to reach that goal.
- Solly Fourie, Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism
- Tim Harris, City of Cape Town
- Nils Flaatten, Wesgro CEO