Cape Town - 101231 - Cape town ; Table Mountain ; City Centre, Devil's Peak ; Devils Peak ; CBD ; Aerial - Photo: Matthew jordaan

Cape Town - In the first edition of what will be an annual report on everything from entertainment to transport, the Central City Improvement District has released its State of Cape Town Central City Report for 2012.

It was unveiled at the city’s Taj Hotel on Thursday. The report reviews the current economic and social state of Cape Town’s CBD and sets a benchmark for tracking its future development and growth. The document has a particular focus on the CBD’s status as a world class business city.

Rob Kane, chairman of the Central City Improvement District, said the report was intended to be a guide for investors, business decision-makers and government officials who were looking for current information on the economic state of the city’s CBD.

It shows that the CBD has the highest concentration of economic activity in the metropole.

Kane said the CBD contributed more than R216 million each year, money that not only supported the continued growth of the CBD but contributed to service provision and government investment throughout the rest of the metro region.

“The CBD contributes 24.5 percent of business turnover into the larger Cape Town metro region. This world-class business district is strategically placed as an investment link to the rest of South Africa and a gateway into the African continent.

“The CBD provides in excess of 30 percent of the city’s entire payroll and I believe its continued growth through tough economic times is largely due to our ability to attract and retain businesses. Its economic importance cannot be overstated,” Kane said.

He added that the CBD hosted 90 percent of Cape Town’s international events (both business and leisure), and 75 percent of major local events, which are key drivers of economic activity. By bringing in people from around the world, these events generated a GDP contribution in excess of R1.5 billion.

Kane said the economic outlook for the city was positive considering the amount of money property developers were pumping into the CBD - about R3.5bn.

He said construction worth about R690m would also start soon on the CTICC which would see it doubling in size.

Other findings in the report are:

- Investment in property over the past three years amounts to R4.6bn.

- The total current value of property in the CBD is more than R21bn.

- Retailers occupy 380 000m2 of retail space with over 1 200 shops.

- Over 500 legal service offices are located in the CBD making it one of the largest legal hubs in the country.

- Medical health and cosmetic services is the second biggest sector after legal services, followed by the financial services and banking sectors.

- The CBD boasts over 32 percent of the city’s total AAA and A-grade office space.

- The expansion of the Container Terminal Port at the harbour edge of the CBD will double its cargo handling capacity to over 14 million units.

- It holds 47 percent bed space in the city, making it an economic gateway for domestic and international visitors.

- 87 percent of users in the CBD feel that Cape Town has one of the safest CBDs in the country and 82.6 percent feel safe on the street.

- Close to 80 percent believe the CBD looks clean and orderly.

The review also reveals findings from an independent survey to assess the perceptions of the district as a place to work, live, play and conduct business.

The survey sought the opinion of businesses and the general public.

Key results of the business survey reveal that:

- 81 percent of businesses experience an overall level of satisfaction about being located in the CBD.

- 78 percent say they are likely to remain in the CBD.

- 97 percent believe Cape Town has proved itself as host of world-class events.

- 89 percent say Cape Town’s CBD is a well-governed city.

- 80 percent of Cape Town businesses believe that the CBD is the safest CBD.

- 88 percent believe that the Integrated Rapid Transit system is a solution for making the CBD more accessible for the 300 000 people who commute in and out each day.

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Cape Argus