Maintaining success of the Cape Town CBD in a depressed economic environment has placed huge demands on the Cape Town Central City Improvement District.
It has therefore become more and more difficult to meeting the increasing demands of a lively, dynamic city centre that operates 24/7, says CCID CEO Tasso Evangelinos.
Celebrating the CCID’s 19th clean audit in a row, and speaking at the company’s 19th Annual General Meeting, Evangelinos said: “While we have always operated in an ever-evolving Central City, in the year under review this environment was shaped by harsh economic realities that presented more challenges than rewards.”
Evangelinos said of prime concern had been addressing safety and security issues in a CBD that had a daily footfall of more than 300 000 people, as well as a “very vibrant” night-time economy.
“Due to the economic environment, and the subsequent high unemployment rate in the country, we have also faced growing social and urban management issues,” Evangelinos said.
While the CCID continued to work closely with its primary partners, namely the City of Cape Town and the SA Police Service, a growing CBD demanded additional resources “not only from the CCID but also from our primary partners”.
“It also requires us to continue working together to ensure that the Cape Town CBD remains the most successful in the South Africa,” Evangelinos said.
CCID Chairperson Rob Kane said there was no doubt the CCID had made great strides in “getting the basics right to enable the CBD to move away from the rather desperate ‘crime and grime’ scenario” it had fallen into 19 years go.
“Today we have a vibrant Central City with property valuations climbing from just over R6 billion in 2006 to close to R43 billion in 2018, which is year-on-year growth of 18%. This is a world-class city that continues to win global awards,” Kane noted.
However, Kate confirmed that the year in review had an incredibly difficult one, if not the most difficult he had experienced in his long association with the CCID. The company no longer provided so-called top-up services to those of the City of Cape Town and SAPS but had found itself “in the first line of defence, becoming the dominant service provider”.
“This is something we are neither mandated, nor equipped, to do and this reality puts a lot of pressure, and I believe, too much pressure, on the CCID,” Kane said.
Kane urged all stakeholders who had a vested interest in the success of the Cape Town CBD to reassess “where we want this city to be in two, three, 10 years’ time” and take responsibility for their role in its vision.
“Without that shared responsibility, we will not retain our existing investment – and we certainly won’t attract new investment,” he said.
He warned that if “we don’t keep the CBD running well, property investors will move elsewhere and that 18% growth will just not happen”.
Evangelinos agreed, saying the economic environment showed no signs of turning around any time soon. “What has become abundantly clear is that a growing CBD demands additional resources from our primary partners. It requires us to continue working together to ensure the Cape Town Central City remains the cleanest, safest, most successful in South Africa.”