A Message from our Mayco Member, Alderman James Vos
9 November 2020
As a City, we focus our energy on attracting investment which creates jobs and leads to economic growth.
Now more than ever, it is vital that we implement plans that are proven to work, which bring in investment, and develop the right skills pipelines for the high-growth sectors. This is my priority going forward.
To co-ordinate and streamline the City’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I established the Economic Task Team. This task team formulated the City’s Economic Action Plan.
My team in the Enterprise and Investment Department is currently implementing the following steps as a part of this plan to get our economy back to business:
- Enhancing business retention efforts, including offering business aftercare and support, reducing the cost of doing business in the city and targeted assistance from Sector Support Organisations.
- The City will continue to work toward lowering the costs of doing business and transacting with the City to making it easier for expansion and investment to resume again. A key part of this is re-looking at the Investment Incentive Policy to see how it could be adapted to further stimulate investment during the recovery phase.
- The COVID pandemic and associated preventative measures has fundamentally changed the way work the City will work through its SPVs (and in particular the Cape IT Initiative) will look at equipping businesses for new.
Together with the officials in the Enterprise and Investment Department, we intend to use all levers at our disposal to ensure Cape Town remains regionally and globally competitive as we plot the road to recovery post-COVID-19.
We have a wealth of services and targeted interventions to attract, retain and expand businesses across the City.
We provide investment facilitation services; investment incentives; business retention and expansion services; and we invest in skills pipelines for the identified high-growth sectors.
Our Investment Incentives Policy offers incentives in areas where there is great potential for job-creating investment but where challenges exist.
In Atlantis alone, the implementation of these incentives resulted in the retention of 1 450 jobs. Investment incentives have now been expanded to another five industrial areas in Cape Town.
As a City, we endeavour to make it easier to do business in Cape Town. A key aspect of this vision is our support for SMMEs.
The Business Hub is an initiative by the City’s Enterprise and Investment Department which has been established to assist businesses and entrepreneurs.
To extend our business support offering, I am excited to confirm an agreement with Productivity SA, called the Business Support programme.
The Business Support Programme will assist businesses in distress by proactively addressing the challenges they are confronted with so we can help prevent possible liquidation, closure or job losses.
To ensure our City competes globally and achieves inclusive socio-economic growth, we invest in skills and training for the high growth sectors.
We don’t train just for training sake.
I am very proud of the Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator Project, for example. As a part of our commitment to grow this sector, the City of Cape Town is partnering with the National Skills Fund (NSF) to fund training programmes and stipends for candidates. I am very proud to partner with the NSF to further upskill and place young people in employment opportunities
Cape Town is fast becoming the call centre hub on the continent and supports almost 60 000 jobs. That is why the City provides funding to one of our Strategic Business Partners, CapeBPO, to upskill and place residents in this sector.
A key driver of growth, through tourism and trade, are the aviation and ocean economies.
In May this year, I had the pleasure of announcing the formation and partnership with a new Strategic Business Partner (SBP) BlueCape.
BlueCape has been established to ensure economic growth, job creation and social upliftment by investing in skills development and policy advocacy in the oceans economy. This SBP, with funding support from the City, will focus on marine manufacturing including boat building, superyachts and ocean sports. Specifically, BlueCape will manage a database of vetted superyacht suppliers and will develop training materials and career pathways, facilitate internships and job creation.
To grow the aviation economy, the City has renewed funding to the Air Access initiative to expand current flight routes and to secure new routes.
The idea behind boosting direct flights, or route expansions is to create more efficient connections between our city and key source markets, which is crucial if we are to capitalise on global business. At the end of the day, more connections create jobs and deliver trade and tourism opportunities.
The next exciting step is to grow Cape Town’s cargo footprint for export.
The fact is that Cape Town is a high-performance African Business hub and an excellent location for businesses looking to launch their operations into Africa. More companies are choosing Cape Town because the city boasts first-class infrastructure, sound governance and four of the top universities in Africa, providing a skilled workforce.
We are working with these key catalytic sectors to implement proven strategies so they reach their full potential and create jobs, especially as we plot the road to recovery in a post-covid world.
I look forward to making further announcements this year about the programmes to be considered and implemented to unlock the economic potential of these sectors.