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Industries, Cape Whale Coast


The main Industry sectors along the Whale Coast are Tourism, Construction, Retail, Fishing and Agriculture. The Whale Coast has shown the most growth in the Tourism sector as it has become increasingly popular with both local and international tourists, generating opportunities for accommodation, catering and retail trade services.

Investment opportunities exist in the diversification of agricultural and fishing activities. Some farmers have diversified into olive, wine, fynbos and essential oil production, while those in the fishing sector have diversified into trout farming and abalone farming. These activities are likely to generate more employment opportunities within the agricultural sector, which have shed a large number of jobs in past years.


Deregulation and liberalization in agriculture during the past decade have accelerated restructuring in this sector and brought to the fore lucrative opportunities for niche products sold both domestically and internationally. For example, there is a solid demand for health and organic foods, herbs and aseptically packaged products.

Aquaculture, in particular, is a rising star showing phenomenal growth over a relatively short period. This industry has shown remarkable success in aligning itself with international trends in areas such as industry standards, product specialization, economies of scale, etc. As a result, large investments made in this industry over the past decade, especially for abalone production, are now bearing fruit. Other key freshwater species produced in the Western Cape include mussels, oysters, trout and Cape Salmon.


DIn recent years the construction industry has grown phenomenally on the Cape Whale Coast. This has been due to the increase in people moving out of cities to more rural areas and the increase in popularity of the Cape Whale Coast as a holiday destination. 10 years ago we had no shopping centres - now we have several.

Coupled with this construction growth is driven in general by probably the largest public investment in infrastructure South Africa has ever seen. Specifically, in order to create the infrastructure for growth and development, government increased public sector capital budgets at an unprecedented rate of 10 to 15% percent per annum in 2007.

With overall growth rates of more than 10% per annum, the construction industry is likely to treble its output in 10 years. Cement and other materials manufacturers are also expanding their production capacity to meet this rising demand. This growth path creates immense opportunity for large, small and micro enterprises, for employment and skills development and for empowerment.

It also presents all stakeholders with challenges that require new responses and an intensified effort to grow delivery capacity, skills and small and medium enterprises (SME) business sector.


Transformation in the fishing industry in recent years is primarily the result of a change in the number and size of fishing rights allocated. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism estimates that an average of 60% of the companies quotas are given to are majority PDI-owned (majority pdi-owned means 51% or more of the company is owned by pdi’s). This large number of rights allocated to pdi’s or companies owned and managed by pdi’s, resulted in a large increase in the flow of income to impoverished fishing communities.

Communities along the Cape Whale Coast have traditionally generated income from fishing. In the past 20 years many locals made money from abalone, a delicacy found along our coastline. A lot of this money was made from poaching and the increase in demand for abalone caused an increase in poaching to a point where all abalone fishing was stopped.

This is a very controversial topic and whilst abalone continues being farmed and fishing of other species regulated via a quota system, the decreasing number of fish in the sea is a huge challenge for everyone in the fishing industry from the small fisherman right through to government.

The Western Cape accounts for about 90% of the fishing industry. Demersal trawl contributes almost 50% to the total value of the industry.


The Retail sector has shown marked growth on the Whale Coast over the last few years that doesn't seem to show any sign of abating. As the Tourism industry continues to grow, more and more speciality shops are opening up in our towns to cater for one of the most favourite past times of visitors - shopping!

National retailers and franchises have also started opening branches along the Whale Coast adding to the variety of goods available and catering for the growing local population. Their presence adds to the "city-like" infrastructure that makes living and visiting the Whale Coast so attractive.

The craft markets on the Whale Coast are renowned for the quality and variety of their products and people have been know to travel from Cape Town to one of our markets to purchase a particular item. This reputation, along with local craft competitions and self-employment initiatives has added to the range of products and the empowerment of local crafters.


South Africa has become one of the world’s favourite tourist destinations particular the Western Cape, which records high number of foreign travelers each year. Cape Towns boasts five of the most visited tourist attractions in South Africa namely, Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Cape Point and the Garden Route. Source: Western Cape Tourism Board
Dept. of Environmental Affairs & Tourism