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Cape Town's V&A Waterfront is a drawcard destination for tourists and locals alike, boosting tourism and economic growth.

Now, amid the Covid-19 lockdown, it's announced plans to launch what it calls a food incubator "to foster new business in South Africa's food ecosystem" and celebrate the country's heritage.

The development of Makers Landing will add more than 4,000m² to the existing cruise terminal.

Bruce Whitfield speaks to V&A Waterfront CEO David Green and asks, why now amid the Covid-19 pandemic?

Green says they've been working on the project for around 18 months already and while the timing is not ideal, by the end of the year the tourism market should be opening up.

It's based on a concept and idea we picked up in San Francisco and in Holland, so I guess like many businesses, when Covid came we had that decision: Do we put this on ice or do we progress?

David Green, CEO - V&A Waterfront

I think the decision was that, in an ideal world, this will be opening up in December/January and at that point local Capetonians will be wanting to get out... It's a big space and we'll practise social distancing and in an ideal world we'll be starting to see the signs of tourism returning.

David Green, CEO - V&A Waterfront

Green explains the concept of a "food incubator" which the new development is anchored on.

It's all about giving smaller businesses a chance, he says.

If someone has a product idea like a new samoosa, the gap between them possibly cooking it in their home or in their garage and selling it locally, and to commercialise it on a scale to a food retailer - that's one leg of it.

David Green, CEO - V&A Waterfront

The other leg is someone who's got a restaurant concept and the gap between having that idea, cooking some food but actually getting into production, taking on a lease, buying equipment, is **huge**.

David Green, CEO - V&A Waterfront

We see this gap... We're going to advertise for people with ideas and they'll come in on a cohort programme where they're interacting with chefs and learning other business skills so that at the end, they're able to commercialise on scale or they're able to go into a pop-up restaurant.

David Green, CEO - V&A Waterfront

Makers Landing is expected to open in December 2020.

For more detail on the development, take a listen:

This article first appeared on 702 : Huge food market development at V&A 'will give smaller businesses a chance'

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