Cape Town’s continued economic resilience leads to further R3,6bn in building approvals

by | Jul 22, 2021 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Between May 1 and July 15 2021, the City of Cape Town approved a further R3,6bn in building application approvals, leading to a total of nearly R21bn in approvals since the start of the national Covid-19 lockdown. The City continues to lead the way to economic recovery and has ensured the planning office remains open to assist with economic recovery, which leads to job creation, despite the challenges and economic impact of Covid-19.

It was previously announced that investment by the private sector in building approvals between March 2020 and April 2021 would lead to 40 000+ job opportunities, despite Covid-19.

In addition to the major infrastructure projects such as the R14bn Harbour Arch, the R4bn River Club development and the R3.9bn V&A Waterfront expansion, the City of Cape Town approved 22 658 building plans to the value of more than R20bn between March 2020 and July 15 2021.

With these major infrastructure developments and the significant job creation opportunities it offers, it is evident that both local and international investors have continued confidence in doing business in our city.

In addition to the general building plans, these large construction projects in Cape Town are expected to:

  • Create more than 19 000 much-needed jobs during the construction phase. A further 19 000 indirect and induced jobs after construction is complete.
  • 5 000 permanent jobs in the hospitality and retail sector

Significant and sustained investment facilitated by the City of Cape Town, will ensure the long-term sustainability of Cape Town and the upliftment of residents through job opportunities. It is the responsibility of any capable government, to create the environment for job creation, and at local government level, we are doing our part by attracting investment in this regard.

The City of Cape Town has approved roughly 4000 building plans since March 2020 in the Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha precincts of which 1 745 are residential in nature, and 1 176 for additions and alterations to existing buildings. This indicates a significant investment in residential properties in Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha. Since May 1, plans for residential and non-residential developments worth nearly R400m(or R397 434 028) in the Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha areas have been given the go ahead.

The Mitchell’s Plain/Khayelitsha district makes up half (680) of the total new building plan approvals between May 1 and July 15. It also counts among the top two planning districts in Cape Town in terms of the number of building plans approved, indicating a lot of building activity is already ongoing, or imminent for the area, all of which is funded by residents and the private sector.

The Southern area accounted for just over half a billion in approvals, while the Cape Flats totalled more than R200m in building plan approvals between May 1 and July 15.

The City of Cape Town has continued to place economic recovery as one of the central goals and prioritised projects which boost the economy and offer job creation, in line with Covid-19 regulations and protocols.

The city has put systems in place to ensure that building plans and development applications submitted by the public, will see a turnaround time for assessments of about 30 working days for building plans, and 90 days for land use applications, pending statutory and other requirements in terms of the Municipal Planning By-law.

The national lockdown has had a major impact on cities across the world in 2020. However, the City of Cape Town has shown its dedication to doing all it can to ensure our local economy makes a strong recovery.

However, the continued national lockdown places strain on this recovery and we hope that with a ramped-up vaccination process to protect lives, we can move towards the end of a need for a lockdown, which negatively impacts livelihoods.

In the short to medium term and in light of the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Cape Town implemented the following economic interventions with its Strategic Business Partners:

Economic Action Plan equipping businesses with new ways of working. The City has the intention of becoming a remote-working destination and offers many benefits to the digital nomad.

The Business Support Programme, run through the Business Hub within the City’s Enterprise and Investment (E&I) Department and in partnership with Productivity SA.

Launching a mobile Business Hub to take advice and assistance directly to community entrepreneurs. This supplements the work of the Business Hub office located in the Cape Town CBD. Queries deal with business registration, access to finance, permits, assistance with accessing markets, among others. This is ongoing.

Long-term recovery strategy:

The City has been developing a 10-year capital project pipeline aimed at stability and direction in infrastructure development.

This is in line with the City’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and, the Medium Spatial Development Framework (MSDF) to promote the building of an inclusive, integrated and vibrant City to manage urban growth in a balanced and responsible manner, while improving access to economic opportunities.


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