Cape Business News recently spoke to Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde at his Long Street office. He spoke about the importance of entrepreneurs and business owners to the local and national economy.
“We have the most amazing entrepreneurs with incredible ideas that cause great disruptions to the system. This is exactly what the economy needs,” enthuses Winde.
He goes on to point to the difficult, global, business ecosystem that companies currently have to toil in. This makes it tough to find the growth necessary to turn the economy around.
“This is what we have to work with, and the trick is to find the opportunities this strapped economy carries,” he continues.
Winde knows first-hand the challenges and triumphs that business people face, having started and run around 10 businesses in Knysna before he turned his hand to politics.
“I really enjoyed the challenge of getting a business going and seeing some gap in the market and setting up the business.”
The Western Cape has started up a project called Project Khulisa that looks at tourism, agri-processing, as well as oil and gas on the west coast.
“As government it is our job to enable the environment, as this creates an ecosystem where the economy can create jobs and grow,” continues Winde.
Government has to make sure that the economy runs smoothly by ensuring that there is;
· Efficient skills
Winde went on to make a joke about peoples’ idea of politicians, saying that they are uncontactable and sit up in ivory towers. He smiled in his bright office as the cars and the hustle and bustle went about in the streets outside. He ensured us that he doesn’t even have a security desk that you need to check in with.
“I always try to be contactable, you can tweet me, Facebook me and you can phone me. I am always available in that space. ”