The City of Cape Town is determined to get people back to work as the country prepares to move to level four of the nationwide lockdown. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
The City of Cape Town is determined to get people back to work as the country prepares to move to level four of the nationwide lockdown. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency

City of Cape Town has introduced relief measures to help with economic recovery

By James Vos Time of article published Jul 14, 2020

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The City of Cape Town has introduced a variety of measures to offer relief to companies during lockdown and is implementing measures and strategies to help economic recovery and readiness over the medium term.

These strategies include enhancing business retention and expansion efforts, enterprise development through the ease of doing business programme, workforce development and training for high-growth sectors, investment facilitation and promotion, and industry support.

The city's fiscal envelope is extremely constrained due to the financial impacts of Covid-19.

Despite this, the City has been able to implement modest relief measures for businesses and pass what can be considered an economic stimulatory budget that keeps rates and tariff increases below inflation while also expanding spend.

Short-term financial relief measures for businesses include:

* Allowing for reclassification of guest houses to residential properties: guest house owners will pay significantly less in rates during the period that they are classified as residential properties.

* Allowed for businesses in distress to institute interest-free payment schedules for their rates account over a period of six months.

* Rental remission for businesses leasing City property who were not open to the public due to lockdown.

The City of Cape Town’s Mayco Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management James Vos. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Measures implemented by the City's Enterprise and Investment (E&I) Department:

Guidance and Practical Assistance

We are helping businesses access the available national relief measures and have offered advice on the various lockdown level regulations.

SMME Covid-19 Safety Toolkit

We identified early on that many small businesses would struggle financially to implement some of the workplace safety measures required. This led to the idea of a Covid-19 safety toolkit, comprising 10 masks, a 5L hand sanitiser bottle and a wealth of printed material to display at their businesses.

Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) programme

The City is preparing for the implementation of its BR&E programme which will roll out in each of our 26 industrial areas in Cape Town.

Cape Skills Accelerator Project

The City has entered into a partnership with the National Skills Fund where over 3000 Capetonians will be trained mainly in BPO skills and some in the clothing and textile sector over the next three years.

Outcomes-based workplace placement tender

The City has just gone out to tender on another 3-year workplace placement tender. Over the past three years, this project has seen over 3000 young Capetonians trained in workplace readiness and employed.

Economic Recovery Plan

Early on in the crisis, I established an economic task team to co-ordinate our response and to work on our economic readiness and recovery.

The E&I department is working with the research and policy department to formulate a comprehensive economic recovery plan that will seek to mitigate the worst economic impacts of this crisis.

For more information, visit www.investcapetown.com or email [email protected]

* James Vos is the City of Cape Town’s MMC for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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