City of opportunities. Photo: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Cape Town has been featured as the best city of opportunity in Africa and the 24th best in the world, in a report compiled by the international auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry said seeing the mother city named in yet another list of the world’s great cities was an important boost for business confidence at a time when there was a shortage of good economic news.

PwC said the mother city was at a crossroads between African problems and global ambitions. Its future success will depend on its ability to solve longstanding problems at home while keeping up with a rapidly changing world. "In order to succeed in a changing world, Cape Town must understand its position relative to other global cities." 

President of the Cape Chamber, Janine Myburgh, said: “I think one of the main reasons for this new success is the co-operation between the private sector and local and provincial government in industries like tourism. 

“We are fortunate in that a lot is being done to create a more enabling environment for business and to reduce red tape. This makes the city more attractive to investors and that creates further opportunities and jobs.”

Cape Town’s other great advantage was the way in which it was connected to the world particularly in the age of the internet. “The world is shrinking and that means we are no longer an isolated city on the southern tip of Africa.”

Myburgh said it was clear that this connectedness would increase and pointed to the redevelopment of the International Airport. “In 10 years most of the international airlines will operate from Cape Town and we will become the gateway to Africa.”

She said this would happen naturally as airlines preferred to operate from coastal airports rather than the hot and high airports like OR Tambo. This was especially true in a time of global warming.

This global comparative assessment for Cape Town is based on the land area covered by the municipal authority, stretching from Atlantis in the NorthWest to Gordon’s Bay in the SouthEast. 

The only exception to this is that the University of Stellenbosch, which is included in the study rankings despite being located in neighbouring Stellenbosch municipality. The University and the city have close ties and it was judged that because many Cape Town residents commute to the University and many graduates of Stellenbosch live and work in Cape Town, it should be included.

This study provides Cape Town the opportunity to measure its performance against a set of comparator world cities across the range of holistic indicators and variables, according to the report. 

The report praised Cape Town’s infrastructure and transport systems but Myburgh said we should not be comforted by this. “Transport is an enormous challenge and we are a long way from solving our problems.”

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- BUSINESS REPORT