The V&A Waterfront has contributed almost R200 billion to the national economy in the past decade, outperforming both the Western Cape and the country in that time in terms of economic growth.
It is also a top tourist attraction, with 61 percent of all visits to the city including a stop at the Waterfront; more than 23 million people visit the Waterfront each year.
Economic Information Services economist Barry Standish said the magnitude of the numbers associated with the Waterfront’s social and economic contribution since 2002 were “quite startling”.
Early last year, V&A Waterfront Holdings commissioned Economic Information Services to research and quantify the development’s social and economic contribution over the past 10 years.
Speaking at the announcement of the study’s findings yesterday, Waterfront chief executive David Green said they showed the Waterfront was “more than a shopping centre and more than a tourist destination”.
On average, the Waterfront’s contribution to the economy increased by 5.1 percent since 2002, while the overall provincial economy grew by 4.1 percent and the country’s overall economic growth was 3.5 percent. The contribution in 2012 was almost R29bn.
Its contribution to the gross geographic product, or provincial income, has increased from R9bn in 2002 to R25.5bn. Since 2002, it has added over R173bn to the province’s coffers.
A development boom is under way at the Waterfront, with construction taking place at 14 sites throughout the precinct. It is projected that these developments plus others in the planning pipeline will contribute a combined additional R188bn to the economy by 2023.
More than 16 700 people work at the Waterfront – almost 1 percent of all the jobs in the Western Cape. Using a 1:5 household ratio, this meant that 100 000 people benefited from these jobs, said Standish.
In total, the precinct provides for 48 000 direct and indirect job opportunities. Future development plans, expected to unfold over the next decade, will create an additional 15 708 jobs.
Green said: “What we are particularly proud of is that our estimated contribution to indirect household income increased from R2.7bn in 2002 to R7.2bn in 2012. Thanks to the economic ripple effect, this contribution was spread further than simply our surrounding community.
“Our tenants placed orders with companies outside our location and province, while income earned from working at the V&A finds its way to other areas of the city.”
Standish said the Waterfront’s work on enterprise development was among its most significant achievements. This involved providing support and space for small-scale craft industries to evolve into sustainable businesses.
The Waterfront has also had a knock-on effect for property values within a 1.5km radius, adding an aggregate of R2.8 billion to the surrounding property values.
This means that property values are 23 percent higher than they would have been if the Waterfront did not exist.
The total potential annual rates generated by these properties was estimated at R245 million for 2012. - The Argus