The City of Cape Town has come a long way in its journey to becoming a business-friendly city. In fact, the City’s efforts to improve work processes were recognized as early as 2015, when it was featured along with other South African cities and 188 other economies worldwide, in the first Subnational Doing Business in South Africa report published by the World Bank and National Treasury. However, the report also revealed that Cape Town had room to improve the competitiveness of its business environment.
Determined to improve its business environment, the City launched a concerted effort to improve service delivery, developing and implementing its first set of reform action plans in 2016. These efforts paid off in the 2018 Doing Business in South Africa report, which measured the same nine urban areas and four maritime ports covered in the 2015 edition. This time, with updated data provided for four indicators, namely dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, and enforcing contracts, Cape Town emerged as the leading city in South Africa by taking the top spot for dealing with construction permits and getting electricity indicators.
We are proud of these achievements, but we also know that there is still more work to be done. That’s why we are continuing our efforts to make doing business in Cape Town easier and more streamlined than ever before with the introduction of an Ease-of-Doing-Business programme.

Why an Ease-of-Doing-Business Programme?
We believe that businesses and the entrepreneurs who start them are the lifeblood of any thriving society. They are the producers, innovators, employers, and service providers that grow economies and lift people out of poverty and into opportunity. The City’s goal is to help businesses thrive by providing a conducive environment for them to grow and prosper.
The City recognises that many small and informal businesses face numerous constraints that hinder their growth, and is committed to creating the right conditions for all businesses to flourish.
We believe that to truly support businesses, we need to ensure that our people, processes, regulations, and systems are all geared towards this goal and committed to a journey of culture change in the City to make to make our city stand out as Africa’s most business-friendly destination.

Key Deliverables of the Programme
In ensuring that our people, processes, regulations, and systems are all geared towards this goal and committed to a journey of culture change in the City to make our government more efficient, responsive, and digitally accessible, we set up our Ease-of-Doing-Business programme to:

  • Entrench a culture of business-friendliness throughout the organisation;
  • Establish public and private growth partnerships in priority industries or around specific opportunities, and leverage resources to grow businesses in areas where Cape Town is competitive;
  • Ensure that a sustainable supply of well-positioned commercial and industrial land is available to develop a quality built environment that meets the needs of businesses and supports their operations;
  • Ensure the delivery of quality services that are timely, cost-effective, efficient and reliable;
  • ensure that business support services are readily available across all the City’s business-facing departments;
  • Deliver consistent messaging about Cape Town being Africa’s business destination of choice;
  • Leverage the latest technologies to improve service delivery to businesses; and
  • Establish an efficient regulatory regime, ensuring that regulations align with business interests.
  • Collectively, these aims and aspirations constitute the City’s ease-of-doing-business ecosystem (depicted below).

The introduction of a brand-new Cape Town Ease-of-Doing-Business Index
As a City, we are committed to creating an enabling environment that fosters economic growth and job creation and in our efforts to become the easiest place to do business in Africa, we are proud to introduce an index that will publicly hold us accountable for our ambition and commitment.
This index assesses the extent to which the City either constrains or enables businesses in Cape Town based on several ease-of-doing-business indicators and combines indicators from the recently discontinued World Bank Doing Business survey, along with other essential indicators identified with the help of business owners in Cape Town.

The index measures the following across the indicators:

Procedures: All procedures officially required for a business owner to access a particular service or attain a particular permit or licence from the City. These procedures include the processes involved when obtaining all necessary approvals and completing any required notifications, verifications or inscriptions for the company and employees.
Time: The time it takes to access the service, complete the application process and/or obtain the necessary licence or permit.

Cost: The fee that the City charges for applying to it.

Herewith a high level view of the 10 indicators.

As we track our progress towards this goal, we will release an annual index report that reflects our progress towards becoming the most business-friendly city in Africa. We believe that a thriving business community is vital to achieve our vision of Cape Town being a city of hope for all. That’s why we are committed to making the necessary changes to enable businesses to grow, innovate, and provide much-needed employment opportunities and services that benefit society as a whole.

Downloadable Resource

Ease of Doing Business Index


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