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Cape fights to keep £20 million trade with St Helena

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The RMS St Helena is said to bring £20 million worth of business into Cape Town every year – and the city is fighting to keep it, according to MoneyWeb, a South African financial website.

It says the figure comes from the island’s departing economy chief, Julian Morris.

It says the ship has “significant economic value” to the city.

“That includes island supplies, mostly purchased in Cape Town. Islanders also come for advanced medical treatment.

“The total value of the St. Helena to the Cape Town economy might be much more.”

But the site hints that much of that income could be lost when the ship is decommissioned in 2016, with aircraft taking over its passenger service.

The site says the Western Cape’s marketing agency is fighting to keep “all or a large portion” of St Helena’s business.

That has included introducing investors to Governor Mark Capes and his team during their November 2013 visit.

The site sounds an optimistic note:

“The supply chain and services to the fledgling economy need to be established and opportunities abound,” it says.

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