Cape Town -
Around 74 percent of people feel safe in Cape Town’s city centre, day or night, and the Central City Improvement District (CCID) says it has crime in the CBD under control.
This comes from the CCID’s latest annual report, “The State of Cape Town” for last year which also revealed that business confidence is up which, in turn, could attract more investment into the city.
Chairman of the CCID Rob Kane said retail space was at a 94-percent occupancy rate and that 86 percent of retailers were confident of their future in the city.
There are about 1 200 retailers in the city.
“Last year, when we interviewed retailers, 81 percent were confident of their future in the city and this year we have seen an increase which shows that there is confidence in the city and that is a positive reflection of all the work being done in the CBD,” Kane said.
The R1.6 billion New Portside building is the latest and largest property investment in the city which will bring in more office and retail space.
The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) expansion is also set to bring a further R690 million worth of property investment into the city. According to the CCID report, the value of commercial property is four times more than in 2006.
Commercial property value increased from R6bn in 2006 to just under R24bn this year.
Kane said safety was the main factor which determined business confidence.
“Public safety is very important and we have 74 percent of people saying they feel safe in the city, day or night. Roughly 50 percent of our budget is spent on safety and security. Cleanliness is also a factor and I would say we have the cleanest CBD in the country,” Kane said.
The other factors which determine people’s confidence in the city are social development and marketing.
Kane said the CCID was working hard to get homeless people off the street and rehabilitated while they were also doing active marketing by compiling statistical research to gauge whether their objectives were being met.
There has also been a significant increase in the number of people living in the city which stands at 5 286, an increase of 300 percent since 2001.
Residential property sales also increased from R115m in 2011 to R249m last year.
Commenting on the state of crime in the central city, Kane said: “Generally we seem to have crime under control. We are linked to the city’s very sophisticated camera system, Cyclops, so we have a high rate of recovery if anything is stolen. We work very closely with metro police and SA police. Crime is an ongoing issue and we try to stay on top of it. If there are any new trends then we try to squash it immediately.”
Around R19m of the CCID’s R38m budget is spent on safety. The CCID has 272 safety officers and Kane said there was no need to employ more safety officers.