Cacadu (Formerly Lady Frere) is a small town in Chris Hani District Municipality in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The town was renamed to Cacadu in 2017 after changes to the country's colonial names. Cacadu, meaning “bulrush water”, is the Xhosa name for the White Kei River, which rises in the district. The Cacadu District is the largest (58 243 km²) of the six districts the Cacadu District is situated in the western portion of the Eastern Cape and wholly surrounds Nelson Mandela Bay. The District stretches from the Karoo Areas in the North, to the coastal belt of the Indian Ocean in the South, and includes inland areas, which lie between the Bloukrans River in the west and Great Fish River in the East. The Cacadu District Municipality focuses on creating projects to grow skills, employment and initiate sustainable economic development as well as elevating the quality of life in the District. A number of priority sectors have been identified by the Cacadu District Municipality as viable areas of growth and economic sustainability. Two of these sectors are: a) AGRICULTURE The agricultural sector plays a crucial role in the Cacadu economy, contributing in excess of R690 million to the District’s total GGP in 2008 and generating more than R306 million in export earnings for the area in 2008. Furthermore, the sector employs 27% of the work force and is the single largest private sector employer in the Cacadu District. Average farm sizes in the District vary roughly between 100ha and 660ha depending on the nature of the product produced on the farm. Currently, the Cacadu District Municipality’s dominant agricultural products are livestock; particularly goats, sheep and cattle; and crops; chiefly fruit and vegetables. The Cacadu District is the largest producer of mohair in South Africa, having produced 2,9 million kg of mohair in 2008. This was 52% of the total national production and was valued at R206 857 000. The coastal belt of the Cacadu District, particularly the Kou-Kamma, Ndlambe and Kouga Local Municipalities, are the centre of the dairy industry in the Eastern Cape, and are responsible for producing more than 20% of South Africa’s milk. The Cacadu District in general is already a major producer of pineapples, citrus, deciduous fruit and chicory. b) AGRO-PROCESSING The agro-processing industry, like the agricultural sector, is a significant contributor to the Cacadu District economy. This sector accounts for roughly 7% of the total employment in the District. The agro processing industry in Cacadu is dominated by the production of leather and leather-related goods. These leather products are mainly used in the export orientated automotive industry in Nelson Mandela Bay but a considerable amount is also exported to markets in Italy and Asia. Collectively, the export of these leather products generated an estimated R39 million in export earnings for the District in 2008. The Cacadu District Municipality also has a well-established furniture and saw milling industry located primarily in the Kou-Kamma and Kouga Local Municipalities. The Cacadu District is ideally located in close proximity to two Industrial Development Zones, offering support for the critical infrastructural needs of the agro-processing sector. Several potential areas of investment have been identified by the Cacadu District. They include: a)AGRICULTURE The Cacadu District Municipality has identified Aquaculture as a priority investment area due to its vast growth potential and the significant global demand. The Eastern Cape is the second greatest producer of aquaculture in the country. The aquaculture industry consists of the farming of aquatic i.e. freshwater and marine organisms under controlled conditions, which include interventions such as regular stocking and feeding during the rearing process to increase production. b)CITRUS Citrus is a major international commercial fruit crop that is widely consumed on a global scale, both as fresh fruit or juice. The citrus industry, within the Cacadu District, is largely focused in the Sundays River Valley area. The small town of Kirkwood is considered to be the citrus capital of the Eastern Cape and is also the centre of one of the largest citrus regions in South Africa, with approximately 12,000ha of citrus orchards. Approximately 8 million cartons of oranges, lemons, grapefruit and soft citrus are exported. c)DAIRY The Eastern Cape produces approximately 30% of the South African milk output, with the Cacadu District supplying 20% of this output. Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 litres of fresh milk are transported daily by tanker from the Tsitsikamma and Alexandria areas, within the Kou-Kamma and Ndlambe Local Municipalities respectively, to processing plants in Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town at a cost of some R90 million per annum. d)HONEYBUSH Honeybush is an indigenous plant found exclusively in South Africa, within the fynbos region. It is used to produce a uniquely flavoured, herbal tea. The most sought after parts of the plant are the flowers and leaves, which are used to produce Honeybush tea. Honeybush is grown wild and cultivated in the Langkloof area. e)LIVESTOCK Livestock farming within the Cacadu District Municipality is largely attributed to the farming of cattle, sheep and goats. South Africa has a total livestock area of approximately 590 000km² spanning the country. Nearly 80% of the agricultural land in South Africa is suitable mainly for extensive livestock farming. The mixed veld types of the Eastern Cape present a competitive advantage for livestock activities; hence the province generates the greatest volume of livestock farming within the country. The concentration of sheep farming is located in the more arid parts of the country, where the Eastern Cape is responsible for the greatest total number of sheep in the country. Sheep flock sizes vary between less than 50 and 1800 head. The Eastern Cape dominates the total number of goats farmed in the country. Flocks of goats intended for meat production are usually smaller than sheep flocks, averaging approximately 300 head per farm. cacadu-agriculture d)OSTRICH Essentially, the ostrich can be raised for meat, leather and feathers; however the main focus within the Cacadu District is that of the export of meat, whereby the leather, eggs and feathers are the by-products of the meat production. There are currently only seven export-ready commercial ostrich farmers, where the main market for ostrich meat is that of the export market. The ostrich industry is a growing economic sector that is gaining popularity within the market as recognition is given to the characteristic low fat and cholesterol content of the meat, which makes it the healthy alternative to other red meat. e)PINEAPPLES The Cacadu District is currently home to an emergent pineapple industry, with it contributing about 124 000 tons (2009) of pineapples to the South African market. The majority of pineapples are grown within the Ndlambe Local Municipality. The Cacadu District derives social and economic benefit from the pineapple industry as it is a labour- intensive sector. There are two varieties of pineapples that are commercially grown in South Africa – the Cayenne and the Queen. The District grows both varieties; however the crop that is the most suited for canning and is also the larger of the two is the Cayenne pineapple. f)ESSENTIAL OILS Since the essential oils market is largely an untapped market for Cacadu, there is huge growth potential for this sector. There are over 300 plants that can produce essential oils, of which the most suitable for this area is still being assessed and studied. The essential oils sector is characterised by the extraction of volatile fragrance components from plants, while the plant oils are extracted through distillation at yields of 0.01-2%. e)LEATHER The Cacadu District Municipality is well suited for the leather industry as the Eastern Cape is home to the largest number of livestock. Typically, the value of cattle hides, sheep and goat skins represents in the region of 5-15% of the market value of an animal. The by-product nature of the leather industry prevents a significant waste problem that would arise if the leather industry did not exist. f)MOHAIR The Eastern Cape Province is the largest producer of mohair in South Africa, contributing approximately three quarters of the nation’s current production. Cacadu is the Province’s and therefore the country’s largest producer of mohair, with approximately 52% of South Africa’s market shares. Angora goats produce a fibre that combines the warmth of wool with the durability to be coloured, similar to synthetic material. Colouring of the fibre results in a high reflectance value and clarity of colour. Kid mohair, due to its exceptional, quality continues to be in high demand worldwide and used in the manufacturing of fashion garments. h)KAOLIN The Cacadu District has significant Kaolin deposits and potential for cluster development around Kaolin in the Makana Local Municipality. Kaolin is a broad name given to a range of clay-compound substances made up of Kaolinite and several other minerals. Depending on its individual chemical characteristics and the extent to which it is processed, Kaolin is used as filler and input in the manufacture and production of several goods. Renewable Energy Renewable energy is sustainable and an environmentally friendly alternative to coal as it produces minimal amounts of pollution and harmful gases. South Africa has prioritized the use of renewable energy to meet the growing demand for energy. Wind farms are already being erected in areas such as Kouga and Kou-Kamma, while other renewable energy developments are being planned in the District. Other Economic Activities The other economic sectors of the District economy play an important role in diversifying the regional economy and contributing to the Gross Geographic Product. These industries include the trade and retail sector, that employs 14% of the District’s labour force; the financial and business services sector; which employs 10% of its workforce; the transportation, communication and storage sector; the construction sector as well as the manufacturing sector, through agro- processing. The Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) sector includes both formal and informal businesses and is a vibrant component of the Cacadu District Municipality, economy. Skills and Employment Although the area offers a quiet, tranquil quality of life, it is still bustling with opportunity and growth with a special focus on the constant growth of employability and sustainable ventures to add to the local economy. The area also offers a number of top quality schools and learning institutions as well as various training and skills development initiatives. The District is truly a gem in terms of its potential for growth and the hunger of individuals in the area to succeed. Some of the rare skills such as shearing Angora goats for mohair are available in the District and where a skills shortage is being experienced, initiatives are being undertaken to combat the skills shortage and in turn create jobs for local people. Investors Conference The Cacadu District Municipality has recently commissioned a study in order to develop and package potential investment opportunities within the District. It is anticipated that the project packaging will lay a suitable platform for the District Municipality to leverage potential investment areas through an Investors Conference, which is planned for the latter half of 2013.
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