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City strengthen ties with the Diplomatic Corps <ul><li>The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, H.E Ambassador Mr Bene L M’poko, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa</li><li>Ambassadors and High Commissioners</li><li>The Dean of the Consular Corps, Mr Andrei Zaharescu, Consul General of Romania in Cape Town</li><li>Consul Generals, Consuls and Honorary Consul Generals</li><li>Members of the Mayoral Committee</li><li>City Councillors</li><li>City Manager</li><li>President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Geoff Jacobs</li><li>Trade, commerce and business representatives</li><li>Honoured guests</li><li>Ladies and gentlemen</li></ul><p>I welcome you to this annual meeting of the Consular Corps. It is indeed a pleasure to be with you today. <br>The Consular Corps is a vital link between our countries with a view towards building relationships that are beneficial to the growth of our countries and which are sustainable. </p><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /></figure><p>Sharing information can help us more easily identify opportunities for growth and potential challenges and engagements such as this one are ideal for such information-sharing opportunities. We all want to attract skills and investment to our cities and with each of us bringing something different to the table, there is so much room for shared growth and development. <br>Cape Town is seen as a destination of choice, having recently seen an increase in tourism numbers, despite the challenges facing our country.</p><p>It is therefore important to clearly demonstrate to our partners what we are doing to create opportunity, and a safe environment for our residents, visitors and expats. <br> <br>Job creation is not the direct function of government, but as local government, we do everything we can to create the conditions for employment and opportunity. </p><p>The City is leading the rest of the country in creating the right conditions for employment. </p><p>In 2019, Cape Town’s informal sector employment broke through the 200 000 mark, having grown steadily in the past three years. The broad unemployment rate (24,2%) remained the lowest among the metros and is substantially lower than the national figure (38.5%).</p><p>I am very worried about unemployment amongst our youth. </p><p>Part of a society which enables access to job opportunities is a functional rail service.  We are appointing a team of consultants to explore the viability of incrementally taking over the management of the rail service in the city. The City would like to take over passenger rail in a structured and incremental manner as this will allow us to plan ahead, to acquire the necessary skills, and to develop the additional capacity needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the service. </p><p>The Auditor General’s unqualified audit finding for Cape Town is proof that we are a responsible government focused on delivering services to the residents. While we are not perfect, we work very hard to ensure that service delivery is of a high standard.  We spend taxpayers’ money responsibly and for the benefit of our residents. We listen to the needs of communities and will soon begin this year’s round of engagements to ask communities what they need and give feedback. </p><p><span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:760px;" /></figure>​​</span>Later this month, I will announce a major investment in areas which need renewal, through the City’s Mayoral Urban Upgrade Programme to create quality and functional spaces which offer recreation and sporting opportunities. It is an important factor in uplifting communities – a process which will create job opportunities.</p><p>While we continue to strive towards delivering the best services for our residents, we know that there is always more we can do. According to the South African Customer Satisfaction Index, out of the whole country, the City of Cape Town was rated as the municipality with the most satisfied citizens. 35 000 consumers across the country were interviewed, and reports stated that with a score of 64.1, the City of Cape Town was ‘well ahead of all other metros polled – with a definitive 10.1 index point score above the average satisfaction score of 54 and leading well ahead of all other Metros.’</p><p>I am proud and grateful that our residents have rated us so the highest in the country. The City of Cape Town offers trust and the potential for growth. </p><p>However, I know there are still areas that we need to fine-tune and we are working tirelessly to improve upon areas where there is room for improvement. Please continue to work with us to make this the best run City in the country, we can’t do it without you.</p><p>This past Sunday we saw 500 new law enforcement officers join the ranks, through the law enforcement advancement programme. They will be deployed over the next two months in areas affected by crime and where there is a need for increased safety. SAPS is the primary agency responsible for safety but the City and provincial government have a part to play in making communities feel safer. The next 500 officers will be deployed in the second half of the year. This project is an example of an effective partnership between the City and provincial government to boost visible policing in communities. </p><p>My Mayco Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management Alderman James Vos will during the course of our time together, tell you more about the projects and initiatives started by our city to create opportunity and support job creation. </p><p>But to sum up, the City of Cape Town is a caring and responsive city which values meaningful partnerships. My hope is that we continue to strengthen our relationships and build stronger ties. </p><p>Thank you.  </p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p><p><strong></strong> </p>2020-02-11T22:00:00ZGP0|#8b03f782-9eb6-455f-82e9-6429b6354cf9;L0|#08b03f782-9eb6-455f-82e9-6429b6354cf9|Speeches;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#f0d3734c-d413-4d78-a3d3-fb649a594fc9;L0|#0f0d3734c-d413-4d78-a3d3-fb649a594fc9|partnerships;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#09cdf90f-b8ed-4703-9d1d-f3deb2a7109b;L0|#009cdf90f-b8ed-4703-9d1d-f3deb2a7109b|job opportunities;GP0|#6dab4711-dfd7-42c6-853f-bcb7a6227420;L0|#06dab4711-dfd7-42c6-853f-bcb7a6227420|law enforcement and security1


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