Growing Craft Sector as an Economic Development Tool

Crafter: Daan Samuels

Developing profitable creative businesses run by skilled craft & design entrepreneurs across Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town has entered into an agreement with the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) to implement various interventions that will develop profitable creative businesses run by skilled craft and design entrepreneurs across Cape Town, including Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Mitchells Plain.

The City has identified craft and design as priority sectors. As such, on 30 October 2013, Council approved funding of R840 000 to the CCDI as part of its commitment to redress through skills development and to enable the growth of crafts as an economic sector in Cape Town.

‘Through partnerships such as these, the City aims to create an enabling environment to attract investment that generates economic growth and job creation. Skills development in particular is a vital component of the City’s commitment to redress,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Garreth Bloor, during a visit to the CCDI.

The CCDI, a non-profit organisation (NPO), currently has 3 800 enterprises on their database which represent a total of 12 000 to 15 000 craft producers. Approximately 40% of these producers are based in some of the City’s priority areas including Mitchells Plain, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha.

Hands and Feet

The various craft producers within these regions include textile workers, welders, mosaic artists, jewellery and fashion designers, leather and shoe designers, ceramics artists, and wood workers.

For thousands of poor people in the Western Cape, craft is an entry point into the mainstream economy. Therefore the various business, product and marketing support programmes undertaken by the CCDI boost employment, improve skills and increase business opportunities – particularly for low-skilled, unemployed and young people from previously disadvantaged communities.

‘Partnerships between the City, NPOs, and communities are a vital component of our drive to create an opportunity city,’ said Councillor Bloor.

PHOTO CREDIT: Eric Miller (c)