Back to business

Statement by the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos

After sustained pressure from many stakeholders, engagements and lobbying with national counterparts in various departments by the City of Cape Town, I welcome the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that our economy is opening up for more industries including sit-in restaurants, personal care services as well as certain accommodation services.

We also very much welcome the opening of the conferencing sector for business.

The measures put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 have had a grave impact on our economy and the ability of our residents to put food on the table. What has become clear is that the value chains that supply key sectors have been seriously compromised. The key to reigniting demand in these sectors relies on these supply chains to ensure we sustain our economy and jobs.

The City of Cape Town has been hard at work to limit the impact of the restrictions and my Enterprise and Investment Department has been on hand, through the Business Hub, to assist in any way we can.

To ensure that all tourism businesses qualify for relief funding and that racial criteria do not apply, the City declared an intergovernmental dispute with the Minister of Tourism, Ms. Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

The Tourism Task Team which I established early on in the crisis has already begun work on a bounce back strategy to ensure that Cape Town is top of mind when domestic and international travel reopen.

While I certainly welcome the reopening of sit-in restaurants and personal care, there are more key and linked sectors that need to get back to work, on the condition that we all follow the necessary health and safety protocols.

These sectors include the accommodation and aviation for tourism or leisure purposes. I have engaged with the Minister of Tourism on this matter and made the case for the full reopening of these sectors precisely because the very same health and safety protocols to allow for business travel apply equally for tourism-related travel.

Opening up the accommodation and aviation sector is not only about the movement of people, but also about the flow of services and goods to key markets which support many businesses and employees.

It is up to us to ensure we continue to reopen and push opportunities to all corners of our city. We will do this by motivating for the revitalisation of vital downstream supply chain sectors, including transport, food and beverage and expanded accommodation offerings.

The City of Cape Town is here to support our local economy and will continue to lobby for all residents to conduct their business, pay salaries and ultimately emerge from this crisis stronger than ever before.