The City of Cape Town has been ranked the number one South African metropolitan municipality when it came to the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank research report on Doing Business in South Africa.
The World Bank assessed metros in 189 other economies, including among South Africa’s nine metropolitan municipalities. Cape Town came out ahead of the eight other South African metros assessed in two of the World Bank’s four indicators.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said the city’s top ranking in terms of providing electricity puts Cape Town in the top 25 percent of city economies worldwide. It takes 91 days to connect a customer, much quicker than Tshwane with 110 days and Johannesburg at 109 days.
Furthermore, Cape Town also ranked first as the city in dealing with construction permits. New businesses take 88 days to obtain all the necessary licences and permits, completing required notifications and inspections, nearly half of Johannesburg’s 155-day period.
De Lille said the World Bank’s findings follow the recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report naming Cape Town as the top opportunity city in Africa. The report placed Cape Town 6th among middle-income cities, behind Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Shanghai and Mexico City.
“These results are proof of the many efforts we have put into building an opportunity city and I am pleased with the progress the City has made. But as I always caution, we will not become complacent as there is still a lot more work to do to ensure that we make this great city even greater by attracting more investment so that more people can find employment,” said De Lille in a statement.
She added that two years ago, following the World Bank’s previous Doing Business report, she, along with the City’s Enterprise and Investment Department drew up a plan to improve the City’s ranking.
“We set out a clear strategy to improve on the indicators that the World Bank was measuring. We developed a checklist of things we knew investors, local and international, look at when deciding where to invest.”
She said among other key indicators that were top priorities for investors, were reliable infrastructure which costs the City R6 billion annually, fast internet and energy security.
“We have set a goal of sourcing up to 20% of Cape Town’s energy supply from renewable energy by 2020. We cannot be satisfied with being number one in South Africa or Africa. We compete in a globalised economy and we must operate with the knowledge that the world owes us nothing,” said De Lille.
De Lille said she was proud of what the City has accomplished so far but there was still a lot to be done.
“There are still many Capetonians who are unemployed and living outside the labour sector. In August, Statistics South Africa released encouraging economic results which showed that employment increased by 74,000 in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same time last year.
“This was the eighth consecutive quarter in which the Cape Town has shown positive employment growth. In fact, when considering the expanded unemployment rate, Cape Town’s rate, at 22,6 percent, is far below the national expanded unemployment rate of 37,2 percent,” she said.
Raelene Arendse, the mayoral committee member for corporate services, said: “We can celebrate the City of Cape Town’s ranking as number one in two of the four indicators highlighted by the executive mayor. I would like to acknowledge the City officials for their tenacity and dedication to bring the organisation up to this level.
“But I would like to challenge them to use the digital revolution that is disrupting the world to improve on the other two indicators in which the City is lagging, namely, registering property and enforcing contracts. I am confident that by the publication of the next report the City will be able to demonstrate to potential investors that we mean business, and we are ready and eager to address any possible regulatory complexities that might impact negatively on our corporate as well as small-, medium- and micro-enterprises,” she said.