Unemployment remains a huge challenge, with nearly a quarter of the working age population in Cape Town being unemployed. According to the Informal Economy Study conducted in 2015, the informal sector contributes approximately R4.3 billion annually to the Cape Town economy.
‘We need to make sure that our City processes and procedures are simple enough to support the development of SMMEs, including the informal economy,” says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Councillor Eddie Andrews.
“Job creation and economic growth relies on the growth and expansion of existing enterprises and new businesses. We need to do all we can, collectively, to ensure that we lend a helping hand to grow and develop the SMME sector. Given the importance of the small business and informal sectors to create employment opportunities, we need to make sure that the City’s processes and procedures help to support growth and development of both these sectors. The City’s draft policies relating to markets and small business development are well aligned with the City’s Integrated Development Plan and other key priorities.”
Draft Markets Policy
The City says that the lack of a management model and a clear definition for markets has added to their failure in some areas. The draft policy provides a clear distinction between ‘markets’ and ‘events’ and provides a consistent set of guidelines on the management of markets on City-owned properties. It also outlines the application process for markets, provides a consistent process to assess market applications, and clearly sets out the roles and responsibilities of the market operator and the various City departments.
Draft Business Support Policy
According to Andrews, the current Business Support Policy, adopted by Council in 2003, is outdated. A review is required to highlight the City’s business support package and services available to create an enabling and supportive environment for businesses to grow and develop.
Many small business owners have mentioned key challenges that prevent them from growing into sustainable entities in the long-term. On average, small businesses spend eight working days a month dealing with red tape and regulatory burden, which accounts for R1 in every R20 spent by companies. Small business owners have also complained that it is complex to transact with the City. The draft policy provides clear guidelines on the procedures for business owners who wish to transact with the City. It also outlines a clear business support package for Cape Town to be a business-friendly destination.
“We have noted the challenges that both markets and small businesses have faced and we are confident that the draft policies will improve City processes to be more supportive of informal and small businesses. So let us all work together to shape the new policies,” added Councillor Andrews.
All interested and affected parties have until 17 November 2016 to submit their comments either at local libraries, subcouncil offices, via e-mail, fax, post or online on the City of Cape Town website.
The draft policies can be accessed here.