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City prioritises job creation and development; approves R16bn in building plans during lockdown<p>​‘The City of Cape Town has worked hard to continue economic recovery and development through its commitment to prioritise projects which boost the economy and offer job creation. We have chosen to establish an advisory panel, so infrastructure development is advanced in a quicker, consultative and responsible manner. The property development sphere is a regulatory-heavy environment and requires greater input and discussions with the development industry to identify where we can offer further support and partner with them. We must do all we can to ensure that challenges of land invasions and regulatory hurdles do not limit possibilities for development in the sector,’ said Executive Mayor Dan Plato. </p><p>It is envisaged that the advisory panel will consist of property developers and City of Cape Town officials from the City’s planning department. It is planned that the group would meet on a bi-monthly and monthly basis to identify opportunities, challenges and work to streamline the development application processes. </p><p><strong>One of the significant developments underway is the Harbour Arch in the Foreshore CBD. Some of the benefits of this development are, among others:</strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">The creation of more than 13 000 much-needed jobs during the construction phase</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">An injection of approximately R14 billion in the local economy</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">A contribution of R2,4 billion to household income of those who will be employed in the development project</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Upgrades to infrastructure to the value of R90 million</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">A perpetual income stream to the City in the form of rates and taxes, which will fund service delivery and approximately 6 000 indigent grants and rebates on taxes; and</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">5 000 permanent jobs thanks to the hospitality and retail uses that will flow from this development</div></li></ul><p>Other projects that are planned or which are already under way include the Bellville CBD Catalytic Precinct Project in the Bellville CBD and surrounds, with potential for redevelopment and upgrade. In Delft South, various housing and community projects are in the pipeline, including Symphony Way, as well as a new community centre, integrated recreation facility, the upgrading of the Delft Library and Delft South clinic. In Bonteheuwel, the projects include a Breaking New Ground housing development and the regeneration of the town centre, which serves as a catalyst for development in the suburb, through the Mayoral Vehicle for Service Acceleration programme. </p><p><strong>Remote application system for building applications: </strong></p><p>The well-entrenched online planning application portal has enabled city officials to continue with remote service delivery, including the circulation of development applications to commenting departments and organisations. While there were initial challenges in setting up all relevant departments to work remotely – much of this have been overcome.</p><p><strong>Ways to streamline facilitation of development projects: </strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;"><strong>Simplifying</strong> the Planning by-law and Development Management Scheme through the current review process. Proposed advisory panel to consider inputs into this process;</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Facilitating <strong>“High impact investments” </strong>under the leadership of senior planning officials in the District Offices;</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Working with the City of Cape Town <strong>Investment Office </strong>to facilitate international investment;</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;"><strong>Strengthening our engagement </strong>with applicants and interested and affected parties/communities.</div></li></ul><p>Property developers expressed that doing business in Cape Town was by far the easiest and most efficient of all municipalities. </p><p>David Green of the V&A Waterfront mentioned that the CBD has always been a vibrant city, but that lockdown has led to a situation of reduced foot traffic. The Cape Town CBD relies on foot traffic of workers in the city and now that more people are working remotely, it in turn has had a knock-on effect of placing pressure on business revenue streams. Green said the current situation does raise questions of securing long-term development and that intervention was needed to ensure the sustainability of the sector. </p><p>As a response, the Acting Executive Director of Spatial Planning and Environment, Erika Naude, discussed some of the interventions being implemented in the City, including the identification of possible alternative uses for buildings or converting them, while also growing the informal trading sector in public spaces to encourage greater footfall. The Development Management System and the Municipal Planning By-Law will be reviewed to identify any areas which hinder the development process and help it to operate more efficiently. This intention has been advertised to receive input from the private sector and professional bodies, among others.</p><p>Naude added that officials are working hard to ensure that efforts are made to streamline regulatory processes and that the advisory panel would greatly assist in ensuring developments are processed as efficiently as possible. Covid-19 has had a significant impact on operations, but this is improving.  </p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p>2021-04-08T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#5cef3550-8a32-4ff2-8bc5-7fd3bc2ba149;L0|#05cef3550-8a32-4ff2-8bc5-7fd3bc2ba149|Economic growth;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#2bf6a504-e185-47ca-b8ca-9e54cbdd9752;L0|#02bf6a504-e185-47ca-b8ca-9e54cbdd9752|municipal planning by-law10

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