BlueCape was established after three key developments in 2019. The first was the completion of a study for Invest Cape Town into the economic contribution of the Ocean Sports Economy in the Cape. This study highlighted significant opportunities for job creation with special skills training, growth and exports and the vital cross sectoral role that ocean sports play in the local economy.
The second development has been a rise in the number of Superyachts visiting Cape Town and a commitment from the V&A Waterfront to work more proactively in attracting more visiting Superyachts to the Waterfront and building infrastructure to support the sector.
The third activity that took place in 2019, was a sector report on South African boat building compiled by Phil Draper for IBI (International Boating Industry News). This print and online publication is the most read journalist coverage in the recreational boating space. The research and sector profile indicated that boat building in South Africa has grown significantly and is now a R2.2bn industry, up from earlier research indicating a value of R1.4bn contribution to GDP.
The developments in 2019 indicate there are three growth areas in the Western Cape Oceans Economy that will make a significant contribution to economic growth, jobs and social upliftment:
- Marine Manufacturing (boat building, masts, sails, surfboards, kites, sailing apparel, wetsuits etc)
- Ocean Sports (recreation, events and adventure tourism)
It was recognised that a non-profit entity to support these three key pillars of the Cape Town economy will play a pivotal role in supporting and activating future business growth and economic contribution.