The City of Cape Town has concluded their Philippi Fresh Produce Market facility project with the signing of the agreement with the Philippi Economic Development Initiative (PEDI), a non-profit and local implementing partner.
The agreement was recently signed on behalf of the City by Osman Asmal, the Executive Director for Spatial Planning and Environment and Thomas Swana, the Chief Executive Officer of PEDI.
Alderman Dan Plato, the City of Cape Town’s Executive Mayor says the purpose of this project is to revitalise small and medium-business urban farming, to offer training and to increase job opportunities in Philippi.
“This investment comes at a time when Covid-19 is threatening the health and livelihood of local communities. Collaboration between local government, communities, the private sector, and non-governmental organisations is needed more than ever before strengthening our resilience and overcoming challenges” he says.
The project is located within the Philippi Opportunity Area and it consists of three components; an expanded and upgraded agri-progressing and packaging plant with the necessary equipment and technology to enable a variety of processes; an expanded waste-to-fertilizer manufacturing facility (including earthworm farming, that will assist in reducing solid waste volumes at landfills and will benefit the environment) and, a modern agri-training facility and support centre which will offer a wider variety of training and skills development programmes relating to small-scale organic farming methods and principles, as well as business development and support services.
“Philippi has significant potential for economic development given that it is close to the Cape Town International Airport, has a well-established industrial area in the east and, its proximity to the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) that produces in excess of 100 000 tons of fresh produce per year” says Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment.
“By tapping into the productive capacity of the PHA, the City can begin to strengthen existing agri-value chains, while improving local farmers’ market access by using the existing infrastructure at the City’s Philippi Fresh Produce Market” she says.
The City intends to expand the Philippi Fresh Produce Market to include a new market facility providing local access as an alternative for small-scale and emerging community farmers to trade at lower costs. “Importantly, the project is also a pilot in support of establishing an ‘Aerotropolis’ in the Metro South East, to leverage a possible Special Economic Zone at ACSA’s 500 hectares Swartklip site and an industrial complex geared towards mass processing of fresh produce grown in the PHA” says Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management.
“It fills me with joy knowing that this initiative will stimulate growth and development among local small-scale farmers, drive economic development to the benefit of the broader Philippi community, and provide for formal and informal training and skills transfer opportunities to assist local farmers to improve farming techniques. The City believes that this project will serve as a catalyst for real economic transformation in Philippi,” concluded Alderman Grant Twigg, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management.