Capricorn District Municipality has compiled an Investment and Marketing Strategy, which aims to promote sustainable economic development and attract investors. The opportunity analysis identified opportunities for development within the Capricorn District Municipality economy, which include projects in agricultural, manufacturing and tourism sectors.

The following opportunities were researched up to feasibility-study level:

Agriculture

Production of indigenous medicinal plants
Human beings have been utilising plants for basic preventive and curative health care since time began and it is estimated that over 9 000 plants have known medicinal applications in a variety of cultures and countries.

The demand for medicinal plant-based raw material is growing at between 15% and 25% per annum and the World Health Organisation (WHO) forecasts that the demand for medicinal plants is likely to increase from around $14-billion in 2004 to $5-trillion dollars in 2050, which indicates that the outlook for the industry is good.

This presents an opportunity for Capricorn to capitalise by promoting formal growth of plants with medicinal properties, which currently grow naturally in the area.

Farming in oilseeds for oil extraction
Approximately 19% of foreign demand for agricultural products is due to the demand for various cooking oils including avocado, macadamia, palm, sunflower seed oil, and a host of other speciality, health oils. 

The manufacturing of cooking oils presents an agricultural project capable of promoting development within Capricorn. Furthermore, the by-products of cooking oil production, i.e. oilseed cake may be used to manufacture animal fodder, which accounts for 1% of the total demand for agriculture products from South Africa, as expressed in the Trade bulletins. The manufacturing of cattle feed can also be a key project in the Capricorn DM; cooking oil production can provide inputs required for this project, hence possibly generating cost savings as well promoting the sustainability of cattle feed projects.

Manufacturing

Establishment of a food processing cluster
The food and beverage industry dominates the manufacturing sector in the Polokwane Local Municipality. It is suggested that food processing clusters be established in the District. 

All the Local Municipalities will contribute through the production of fruit and vegetables as inputs for further processing. Polokwane Local Municipality and Molemole Local Municipality are already engaged  in food processing, and the Lepelle-Nkumpi Local Municipality has access to Lebowakgomo Industrial Park which could be utilised for processing – especially red and white meat, which will promote the formation of a red and white meat cluster in the Capricorn District.

The food processing cluster could include the following activities:

  • Milling
  • Packaging of fresh fruit
  • Vegetable and fruit canning and processing
  • Potato processing
  • Tomato processing (tomato paste and dried tomatoes)
  • Juice making
  • Oil extraction
  • Meat processing
  • Bakery
  • Marula beer manufacturing

Establishment of pharmaceutical cluster

One of the catalytic agricultural projects is the farming of indigenous medicinal plants, which means that local inputs could be provided for this project. The development of a pharmaceutical cluster includes the following:

  • Pharmaceutical production
  • Cosmetic production
  • Manufacture of soap, detergent, cleaning agents
  • Alternative medicines and medicinal products production
  • Packaging of products
  • Marketing of products
  • Distribution of products

Tourism

Develop a nature reserve belt

The Capricorn DM has nature reserves located in all local municipalities and the potential to develop more of these reserves also exists. It is suggested that all of these reserves be integrated by linking them into a nature reserve belt. Packages could be developed to incorporate visits to all of the reserves in the district. This project entails the development of new nature reserves, as well as upgrading existing reserves by developing lodges or other forms of accommodation facilities as well as attractions at each of them.