Alderman James Vos. Photo: Supplied

Since my appointment to this portfolio I have had the opportunity to get a keen understanding of the City’s key focus areas. In consultation with my team, I decided to introduce Project Ithuba as a means to align and implement Council budgets and processes which will help grow the city's economy, in turn stimulating job creation.

  • The word “Ithuba” means opportunity in isiXhosa. The theme fittingly links in with the City’s IDP objective of being an opportunity city. The main objective of Project Ithuba is to expand opportunities throughout the city for all, by supporting the high growth sectors of the economy. The project is aimed at igniting the key economic sectors.
  • Project Ithuba is the tool to ensure we keep track of the short-term focus areas and key deliverables as well as deliverables which span multiple budget cycles and endure beyond political terms.

The project will solidify our capabilities and we will use this window of opportunity to focus on five key sectors:

  • Investment to facilitate access to jobs
  • Tourism diversification to drive demand
  • Sector support to enhance competitiveness
  • Supplying skills for economic growth
  • Asset management to unlock value and efficiencies

Read the full speech here

I will now take this opportunity to expand a little on each aspect:

Investment opportunity

By championing the #InvestCapeTown initiative, which continues to position Cape Town as a globally competitive business destination. The #InvestCapeTown promotional platforms include a world-class website, dedicated LinkedIn account, social media activations, event leveraging, article placement in international publications and targeted advertisements.

Tourism opportunity

Even though Cape Town has continued to retain its international and national visitor numbers, it is the right moment to conclude the development and implementation of a refreshed Tourism Development Framework (TDF).

The TDF has five specific focus areas, designed to encourage inclusive and sustainable tourism business practices.  The draft framework, having been exceptionally well received by the leading market players, is currently going through a consultative process designed to stimulate meaningful input and engagement from all parts of the sector.

Skills opportunity

With the undeniable necessity for Capetonians to be competitive and market ready, we have the opportunity to continue to create the circumstance in which to increase the scale of our sector skills programmes.

We have achieved stellar results from the skills programmes that have been undertaken in the high growth Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. The focus is simple; placement of individuals into work opportunities, and key to this is avoiding training just for the sake of training.

Asset Management opportunity

The amalgamation of the assets portfolio with economic opportunities provides space for a new lease on life to unlock the potential of our assets of high social, economic, environmental and heritage value that require an asset specific management model.

Our precious assets (the Good Hope Centre, City Hall, Grand Parade and Athlone Stadium) need to act as enablers and leverage tourism, travel, events and investment strategies, while hosting our communities and showcasing our myriad of cultural and sporting talent.

Business Development and Sector Support opportunity

Giving full effect to our stated mantra of, I Mean Business, Project Ithuba provides the impetus to the opening of a walk-in Business Service Hub in the Strand Concourse by mid-2019.

This one-stop business hub will offer facilitation services for small businesses interacting with the municipality as well as provide business support services through a network of partners. 

By taking the hub to the community in the form of mobile activations in communities, we will be building on the City’s Virtual Business Hub helpdesk which responded to 1 129 enquiries from small- to medium enterprises and entrepreneurs during the 2017/18 financial year.

These are just a few points to pique your interest. I trust you will be as excited about Project Ithuba as I am. Through this lens we aim to accelerate the key economic sectors within Cape Town through diversifying tourism, supplying skills, optimising asset management, and building sector support and facilitating investment.