“Infrastructure investments are becoming increasingly complex in our crowded and fast moving world and it is becoming more important to gain insight into uncertainties that will ultimately determine project success. Asking the right questions helped us turn uncertainty into certainty, which was vital in bringing the idea of a Halal Industrial Park in the Western Cape to life,” says Dr Chris von Holdt, Aurecon Managing Principal, Advisory.
The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) appointed the Western Cape Fine Food Initiative (WCFFI) to undertake a two-part feasibility study to develop an implementable business plan for the establishment of a Halal Industrial Park in the Western Cape.
The undertaking forms part of Project Khulisa, which is tasked with identifying parts of the Western Cape economy that have the greatest potential for accelerated and sustained growth and job creation. Project Khulisa highlighted the significant contribution that the agri-processing sector makes to the region’s economy. One of three strategic intents for the agri-processing sector identified by the Western Cape Government is to grow the province’s share of the global Halal market from < 1% to 2% by 2025.
In 2017, Aurecon was appointed to undertake the feasibility study and business case for a Halal Industrial Park, as part of the ambitious economic development strategy to stimulate local business investment and growth in the global halal market.
The project was particularly complex due to the broad range of stakeholders, as well as the client’s uncertainty as to how their objectives should be achieved. Stakeholders included the Muslim community, existing halal businesses, three different departments of government, and three property owners.
Aurecon used design-thinking principles to create a unique engagement environment that enabled the many stakeholders involved in the project to make sense of the complexity and interdependencies of the investment strategy. This led the team to reshape the scope and deliverables to better develop the investment strategy.
To establish context in an unknown field, Aurecon’s Risk Advisory team created a new risk management approach that enabled the team to critically assess the contextual internal and external issues that could influence the viability of the project ahead of the project design. Deep contextual understanding of what drives project success led to clear risk identification that assisted the client with decision making and creating a clear path forward.
The initiative is a first of its kind in South Africa and the award winning risk assessment that Aurecon provided resulted in the development of investor prospectuses that will be used to market and promote investment in the project.