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PRESS RELEASES

STATEMENT BY THE MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES AND ASSET MANAGEMENT, ALDERMAN JAMES VOS

COVID-19 has had a significant economic impact, causing many businesses to suffer reduced income. In light of this, the City of Cape Town would like to remind businesses of the available support that can offer some relief. Read more below:

Businesses are reminded and encouraged to consider applying for the following offers of support where applicable:

·      Certain guesthouses and Bed and Breakfast establishments can reclassify as residential properties on a temporary basis. This will allow owners to reduce their rates bills during this period, noting there could also be commensurate changes in water and/or electricity tariffs. Conditions and related forms are specified on the City’s website. Apply for help via email: Valuations.RCC@capetown.gov.za

·      The City adopted rental relief options for its business lessees. It is aimed at helping to cushion the blow of restricted economic activity and the potential loss of business.

Rental remission will be provided to commercial lessees based on an application made to the Property Management Department and evaluated in terms of a proven business case by the applicant. Lessees may apply for rental remission via email: realestate.service@capetown.gov.za

·      The Business Support Programme, run through the Business Hub within the City’s Enterprise and Investment (E&I) Department and in partnership with Productivity SA, provides assistance to small businesses (15 to 50 employees) in distress by proactively addressing the challenges businesses are facing and to prevent possible liquidation, closure or job losses.

I visited companies in the electronic, food and beverages and clothing and textile manufacturing sectors. In each business, Productivity SA has helped businesses become more competitive and productive by reviewing and improving their internal operations. Not only does Productivity SA help businesses in trouble, but they also help viable businesses become better.

I encourage businesses in distress to contact the Business Hub on 021 417 4043 or email business.support@capetown.gov.za, or visit the website at https://www.investcapetown.com/how-can-we-help/business-hub/.

Businesses should feel free to share this information with their networks.

In addition to these relief measures, other interventions to help businesses include clear communication on the various levels of lockdown and the distribution of COVID-19 SMME Toolkits, comprising essentials to assist businesses to get back to work safely.

Times are tough, especially for small businesses and that is why the City of Cape Town provides key support to SMMEs.

Support offered through E&I Department includes enhancing business retention and expansion efforts, enterprise development through the ease of doing business program, workforce development and training for high growth sectors, investment facilitation and promotion, and industry support provided in partnership by our Strategic Business Partners (SBPs).

We will continue to engage with the various business sectors to get their input, understand their challenges so that we can provide the most suitable and effective assistance during this time and post COVID-19.

In order to co-ordinate and streamline the City’s economic response, two task teams have been established, one focused on tourism and the other on the economy. During this period, much work has been done on proactive proposals to assist businesses and key industries on stabilisation, adaptation and recovery plans.

More detail on these plans will be shared in the coming weeks.

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