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Cape Town’s economic resilience attracts investment leading to 40 000+ job opportunities, despite Covid-19<p>The City of Cape Town is leading the way in attracting investment and creating the support structures for business to grow, despite the challenges and economic impact of Covid-19.</p><p>The City of Cape Town has at all times considered economic recovery and prioritised projects which boost the economy and offer job creation, throughout its efforts to implement and address ongoing Covid-19 safety measures over the past year.</p><p>According to the latest World Bank research report on Doing Business in South Africa, Cape Town was ranked as the top metropolitan municipality in the country when it comes to the ease of doing business.<br>In addressing the regulatory-heavy environment of the property development sector, I recently announced at a meeting with major property developers that the City would establish an advisory panel, with industry, so infrastructure development is advanced in a quicker, consultative and responsible manner to remove unnecessary obstacles. </p><p>The city has put systems in place to ensure that building plans and development applications submitted by the public, will see a turnaround time for assessments of about 30 working days for building plans, and 90 days for land use applications, pending statutory and other requirements in terms of the Municipal Planning By-law. </p><p>One of the significant private developments currently underway is the R14 billion Harbour Arch in the Foreshore CBD which was approved in August last year. Some of the benefits of this development are, among others:</p><ul><li>The creation of more than 13 000 much-needed jobs during the construction phase</li><li>A contribution of R2,4 billion to household income of those who will be employed in the development project</li><li>R90 million upgrades to infrastructure. </li><li>A regular income stream in the form of rates and taxes to the City, which will fund service delivery and approximately 6 000 indigent grants and rebates on taxes; and</li><li>5 000 permanent jobs in the hospitality and retail uses stemming from this development. </li></ul><p>In addition, The River Club development, another private development announced in March this year, will create more than 5200 jobs during the construction phase and a further 19 000 indirect and induced jobs. </p><p>In addition to the major infrastructure projects mentioned here, the City of Cape Town approved 18 070 building plans to the value of more than R17,2 billion between March 2020 and April 2021.</p><p>The Khayelitsha district counts among the top two planning districts in Cape Town in terms of the number of building plans approved, indicating a lot of building activity is already ongoing, or imminent for the area, all of which is funded by residents and the private sector. </p><p>A very promising trend is the number of building plans that the private sector has submitted for building work in the Khayelitsha planning district during this period. These were either submitted by residents or by private companies. The City has approved a total number of 3 078 building plans of which 1 065 are residential in nature, and 941 for additions and alterations to existing buildings. This indicates a significant investment in residential properties in Khayelitsha.</p><p>The approval last week of the R4 billion V&A Waterfront’s Canal District expansion will be another significant boost to job creation in Cape Town. </p><p>The major infrastructure development will see a mixed-use development leading the creation of approximately 1100 jobs during the construction phase with a further 1000 jobs created following the completion of the project. </p><p>These developments have been approved with the awareness that it would create more than 40 000 new jobs. It is government’s (the public sector’s) role to create the environment for job creation by attracting investment from the private sector and I believe we are delivering on this front. Significant and sustained investment facilitated by the City of Cape Town, will ensure the long-term sustainability of Cape Town and the upliftment of residents through job opportunities.  </p><p>In the context of significant investment being made into Cape Town over the past year, it is clear that our city continues to be viewed with trust and opportunity. Wesgro announced earlier this week that according to the ‘African Tech Ecosystems of the Future 2021/22’ report from fDi Intelligence, a data division of the Financial Times group, Cape Town is ranked one of the world’s fastest-growing regions for foreign direct investment. </p><p>Wesgro further mentioned that in addition to receiving the largest number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the software and IT services sector, Cape Town also recorded having the second-highest number of start-ups, after Nigeria. <br>Cape Town is also firmly established as the Tech Capital of Africa with more than 550 tech companies and over 40 000 people employed in the Tech sector, that stretches from Cape Town to Stellenbosch, making the local tech ecosystem bigger than Nairobi and Lagos combined.</p><p><strong>Long-term recovery strategy: </strong></p><p>The City has been developing a 10-year capital project pipeline aimed at stability and direction in infrastructure development. </p><p>This is in line with the City’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and, the Medium Spatial Development Framework (MSDF) to promote the building of an inclusive, integrated and vibrant City to manage urban growth in a balanced and responsible manner, while improving access to economic opportunities.</p><p>In the short to medium term and in light of the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Cape Town implemented the following economic interventions with its Strategic Business Partners:</p><p>Economic Action Plan equipping businesses with new ways of working. The City has the intention of becoming a remote-working destination and offers many benefits to the digital nomad.</p><p>Business rescue programme partnership with Productivity SA focusing on businesses employing 15 – 50 people.</p><p>Launching a mobile Business Hub to take advice and assistance directly to community entrepreneurs. This supplements the work of the Business Hub office located in the Cape Town CBD. Queries deal with business registration, access to finance, permits, assistance with accessing markets, among others. This is ongoing. </p><p>  <br><strong>Conclusion: </strong></p><p>While the national lockdowns had a major impact on cities across the world in 2020, the City of Cape Town has shown absolute commitment to doing everything possible to ensure our local economy makes a strong recovery. With these major infrastructure developments and the significant job creation opportunities it offers, it is evident that both local and international investors have continued confidence in doing business in our city. </p><p><br><strong>End</strong><br></p>2021-05-12T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#6f359a5c-6b7b-47bc-8437-f4d24d700325;L0|#06f359a5c-6b7b-47bc-8437-f4d24d700325|The mayor;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#c3f8c7fd-6d3c-4cc2-b004-3b691e273465;L0|#0c3f8c7fd-6d3c-4cc2-b004-3b691e273465|Economic activity10

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