Bitou conference lays solid foundation to raise investment in Plett 

Bitou Municipality sustainable investment conference at Beacon Island Resort
Published: May 27th, 2024

Bitou’s Sustainable Infrastructure Investment Conference lays a solid foundation in the quest to raise approximately R1,9 billion investment into the town

Bitou Executive Mayor, Cllr Claude Terblanche, announced this at the Sustainable Infrastructure Investment Conference in the Special Council meeting that was held on 30 April 2024. He said that it will be the first ever for Bitou Municipality and that it aims to change the face of town. This set the scene perfectly for the event, which took place at the magnificent Beacon Island Hotel on Thursday, 23 May 2024.

The conference brought together various stakeholders: business, potential investors, government officials, the office of the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, and SMMEs amongst others. 

The keynote address by the Director General in the office of the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Sifiso Mdakane, which was delivered virtually, praised the Bitou Municipality for taking proactive steps to encourage sustainable infrastructure investment. In addition to this, he stated that this exercise undertaken by Bitou Municipality creates an environment that will allow for institutions like ISA to be approached for investment.

In his presentation, Mr. Peter Comline from the Plettenberg Bay Ratepayers and Residence Association commended the Bitou Municipality’s leadership for having the foresight to host the conference.

He highlighted that the municipality is on the right track to find economic solutions to the rapid population growth of Bitou, which has an impact on infrastructure and the economy of the town. He also pointed out that the fact that the municipality is currently one of the best-run municipalities in the country will help attract investment.

Presentations made at the conference provided an indication that the town is entering an exciting period with regards to economic development in this town. Some exciting projects were tabled, and this includes plans to upgrade the Plettenberg Bay Airport, the Coming Together Project, and middle-income housing projects, which are just some of the projects mentioned in the conference.

The leadership is very optimistic that the investment conference is a great start to the vision to raise approximately a R1,9 billion rands worth of investment into the town. Various pockets of land have been identified for this purpose. Deputy Executive Mayor, Cllr Nokuzola Kolwapi says that it is important to find the right balance between environmental and economical imperatives.

On the other hand, Acting Director Manqoba Ngubo mentioned that “we want to change the face of the town and not its character. By that we mean that we do not want to change Plettenberg Bay into a mega city, but we want to leverage on its unique selling points to attract investment that can be shared by all.”

The role played by Nedbank to ensure that the conference is a success needs to be applauded, and this shows their commitment to promoting sustainable development in the town. Their presentation around products to support infrastructure investment highlighted key interventions that they have to support investment initiatives.

Lastly, Plettenberg Bay Tourism also deserves a round of applause for their sterling contribution to support the municipality and make the first-ever Sustainable Investment Conference a huge success. All the speakers at the event agreed that tourism is the driving economic sector and cannot be left out of the town’s investment conversations.

In the words of the acting municipal manager, Dr Ralph Links, the municipality is creating an environment that is conducive to economic development, and creating partnerships with the private sector will ultimately create investment and business opportunities to reduce unemployment.

Issued by Bitou Municipality Communications on behalf of the Acting Municipal Manager, Dr Ralph Links (PhD).