A R1 billion Halaal agri-processing food park is proposed for the Western Cape, as part of the province’s Project Khulisa growth strategy.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the Western Cape Government in partnership with the Western Cape Fine Foods Initiative and the private sector were working to develop the park.
“The global Halaal market is worth $2.3 trillion. The proposed Halaal park will allow the Western Cape to double our share of that fast-growing market. We will focus on the Middle East and North Africa, where around 20% of the world’s Muslim population reside. We seek to increase the value of Halaal exports by $31 billion by 2020. The proposed park is expected to add a further 5 000 new jobs to our economy in the next five years. Project Khulisa has identified agri-processing as a key growth sector with the potential to add up to 100 000 jobs and generate R26 billion for the economy under a high-growth scenario. The Halaal park will play an important role in reaching these targets,” said Minister Winde.
Minister Winde said pre-feasibility studies suggest it could generate up to R5 billion for the local economy each year.
The park, if approved, could be launched in the next two years.
“There are two sites under consideration for the Halaal park, namely the Cape Town International Airport and a site in the Cape Winelands. The park will be a fully Halaal zone and will be a cluster of manufacturing and service firms in the Halaal industry. It will present significant opportunities for private sector investment. We also hope to encourage the establishment of a single, globally recognised Halaal certifying body to be based at park.”
Earlier this year, Minister Winde led a delegation to Malaysia, which strengthened trade links between that country and the Western Cape. The Western Cape Fine Food Initiative and the Malaysian Industry Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) have already signed a co-operation agreement to foster partnerships between the Halaal industries of the two countries.
“This agreement will see the Western Cape producers learning from Malaysia’s international best practice.”
Nazeem Sterras, Chief Executive Officer of Western Cape Fine Food Initiative, said internationally there’s a huge focus on the Halaal industry and Halaal Industrial Parks are a key strategic catalyst for economic growth and access to markets.
“It is not just because of the religious or Sharia compliancy but because people are starting to realise that Halaal certified products already provides all the set standards that every human being needs to consider when they consume or use products,” he said.
According to Sterras, these key requirements includes whether a product is healthy, nutritious, clean, safe and causes no harm to the environment.
“Halaal certification actually provides all these standards already, as part of what we call a lifestyle value proposition. It ticks all the boxes that people want in a good quality product,” Sterras added.
He said in terms of business – they’ve completed a pre-feasibility study and looked at the products the Western Cape can provide compared to what products are required worldwide, but especially in the Middle East, North Africa and even Sub-Saharan Africa. “We’ve focussed particularly on these regions because of their close proximity and the recent trade agreements signed with Africa,” said Sterras.
Sterras said the latest figures obtained puts the Middle East and North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa market together, at about $155 billion covering four big areas including food and beverages; tourism; pharmaceuticals and cosmetics as well as food ingredients and industrial chemicals to a smaller extent.
Next month, Minister Winde will submit the Project Khulisa growth proposals to Cabinet for approval.
For media queries, kindly contact:
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Western Cape Government
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301