Growing Cape Town’s economy remains key priority
12 December 2021
MEDIA STATEMENT BY ALDERMAN JAMES VOS, MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH
It is said you are blessed when you are afforded the opportunity to do what you care about and positively influence what you believe in. It is therefore my great honour to be serving again as the Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth and I will continue to work with passion to serve the people of Cape Town.
Since the start of this term of office, I have started engaging with factories to hear about their plans, industry activations on their development and small business workshops on their productivity all in a bid to find ways to support expansion prospects and employment opportunities.
I want to wholeheartedly thank the officials and colleagues working with me in this position. I have been blessed with a dedicated and caring team who constantly support me, and above all, believe in public service.
The recovery from the Covid-19 crisis must lead to a different economy.
Everything we do must be with a strong focus on building a more equal, inclusive and sustainable economy. Thus, we must monitor our economy, and understand what makes it move forward.
For most Capetonians right now, various challenges, including the state of our economy, are causing sleepless nights. In my previous tenure, I have seen just what accessibility – and a lack thereof – means for people.
This is why it was vitally important for me to oversee the formulation and adoption of the Inclusive Economic Growth Strategy (IEGS). This plan will be the foundation for further developing the City’s economic opportunities and growth systems.
Because there is no quick fix for the complexity of issues facing any country or city, this IEGS has been formulated with input from academic and industry experts and takes into account Cape Town’s particular socio-economic landscape and the global village in which it exists.
Our approach to the economy is both broad and sectoral because we understand that Cape Town is made up of diverse industries that provide a range of job and growth opportunities. From clothing and design, to call centres and green energy, marine manufacturing and information technology, through our business partners, the City government has secured billions of Rands in investments, created thousands of jobs, and trained thousands more in work readiness.
The scale of the challenges before us may seem insurmountable, particularly after what we have been through in the past year and a half, but we have faced challenges many times before and together, we have met them head-on.
Looking to the future, I will make the implementation and fulfilment of the IEGS my top priority to provide as much support as possible to those sectors that show the best promise of driving demand in our economy, while simultaneously helping those industries who have been hardest hit during this crisis.
When it comes to the ease of doing business, I will continue to consider measures for cutting the cost of compliance, reducing the cost of doing business, and introducing programmes to support sustainable business growth.
Under my watch, small businesses will continue to be the engine room of growth by providing the right mix of smart procurement and supplier development support. This will help build on their recovery and expansion. My obsession with growing our economic landscape and making it more inclusive is more than a jobs programme, it’s also an investment in workforce and enterprise development.
Our achievements should never be measured by the speeches we make, but by the vigour we put in our resolve to improve the economic prospects of our city and the living conditions of Capetonians.
This is not necessarily a moment to celebrate, but one for gathering greater strength and purpose, in preparation to continue our journey to do more and ultimately to get things done.
As the old cliché goes, where there’s a will (especially political will), there’s a way. If we completely abandon the will to understand our situation, there may never even be a starting point for change.