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STATEMENT BY ALDERMAN JAMES VOS, MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH

The City is set to begin the implementation of initiatives to further improve conditions for those working in Cape Town’s informal economy after Council approved the Economic Growth budget.

These projects make tangible the City government’s desire to get the basics right and further upgrade the work environments of informal traders.

In total, R53 million has been allocated over the next three years for the continued development of Cape Town’s informal economy space.

Of this, R19 million is earmarked for projects within the next financial year. This includes the expansion and improvement of Council’s e-permitting system. This will further our ability to support and engage the sector through smarter, more interactive e-applications.

It includes a capital expenditure pipeline of projects to provide smarter, more dignified and accessible trading spaces. This comprises infrastructure upgrades to Uluntu plaza in Blackheath, business hives in Atlantis and detailed design of the Wallacedene Container market. Where possible, we will look at making trading places Wi-Fi-enabled.

In addition to this, Council has also agreed to a zero increase in trading permits for the next financial year. This will come into effect on 1 January 2023.

This is on top of last week’s Council decision to extend the informal trading permit relief from the currently agreed date of 1 July 2022 to 31 December 2022.

While traders have largely been able to do business for a few months now, many are struggling with the severe impact of Covid-19 and the related national lockdown and are still trying to put their businesses back on a sustainable footing. These two aspects related to the permit will go some way to providing much-needed reprieve.

I am exceptionally proud to have motivated for this budget, which will help us to build a more inclusive Cape Town economy that acknowledges and supports the significant contribution of informal traders.

Over the last few months, we’ve worked closely with officials and the informal sector across Cape Town to better understand traders’ needs within their specific environments. Our work continues and I will continue to motivate for more funding for development of other sites such as the Masiphumelele market near Fish Hoek.

The budget will also allow the City to expand on the range of programmes and platforms geared to assist Cape Town’s small businesses.

I encourage small business owners to reach out via informal.trading@capetown.gov.za to find out about our various training workshops or sign up for the online sessions listed here https://www.investcapetown.com/news-events/business-events/.

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