The Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP) which is championed by Green Cape, a Cape Town based NPO identified 672 new business opportunities in their workshop at the East London Golf Club.
The not-for-profit project has been working with Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) from 2017 to identify opportunities in the waste sector.
The Programme Manager of WISP, Sarah O’Carroll believes that there are a lot of opportunities in both the Municipality and ELIDZ. The project has been running for five years, and diverted more than 27 000 tons of waste from landfills, and generated economic benefits in access of R50 Million, this has, also created more than 120 jobs in the local economy. Green Cape facilitate resource and waste mapping between companies. As such one company’s waste material can become another’s raw material input to create win-win synergies. And so companies work in collaboratively.
WISP builds a network of manufacturing companies and the exchange of resources information through workshops. In the municipality, Green Cape has been looking for opportunities for the past two months both for the municipality and businesses to establish South Africa as the green economy hub of Africa.
“This is the first large engagement that we are having with businesses, there are between 50 and 60 businesses in the room and have identified opportunities for underutilised and disregarded resources,” said O’Carroll.
She added that, the new business opportunities that were identified are opportunities to make businesses greener, more environmentally friendly and create jobs.
Based on the enthusiasm in the room, and everyone’s participation there was a lot of potential at the workshop, there were a lot of business opportunities.
“672 that’s big in terms of the number of ideas that people generate in other workshops, it is safe to say that this [workshop] was a success,” said O’Carroll.
Green Cape will now be working with both the Municipality and the EL-IDZ to identify new opportunities for enterprise development and new investments that could happen in the city.
There are a lot of opportunities for the green and waste economy in East London based on what O’Carroll saw at the workshop, the ELIDZ and BCMM have space for investments and there is no reason why companies should not invest in the city.
- Duduzile Dumana