City committed to promoting small businesses

| Garreth Bloor
Counsellor Garreth Bloor. Source: City of Cape Town website.

It is with disappointment that I read your piece ‘Red tape blocks Khayelitsha small businesses’.

The City of Cape Town is committed to creating an economically enabling environment in Cape Town.

We know that it is entrepreneurs that are the most important rung on the ladder towards job creation and opportunity.

Because of this, we try as far as possible to accommodate businesses and encourage economic development in all areas of Cape Town.

In Khayelitsha in particular we have extensive programmes that have reached over 6,000 people and businesses. They promote economic inclusion, promote and support entrepreneurship and attract and retain growth industries.

Some of these include skills development programmes that have assisted 690 targeted beneficiaries, business information sessions that have reached 584 attendees, facilitation of access to incubator support and the Cape Town Entrepreneurial and Employment Ecosystem that have assisted over 5,000 prospective entrepreneurs.

I have been in contact with the owner of the Department of Coffee (DOC) on several occasions and, as mentioned by Minister Winde, we have along with the Premier offered various options to accommodate their expansion, neither of which have found favour with DOC as yet.

We remain committed to these engagements. Some unavoidable processes like leasing of City land and purchasing of City land may take time due to MFMA processes that require land to be put to tender. As local government we have to comply with these national laws.

With regards to the City’s Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) project, VPUU aims not only to reduce crime and increase safety levels but to also upgrade neighbourhoods, improve social standards, and introduce sustainable community projects to empower local residents. It is being implemented in Khayelitsha, Hanover Park, Manenberg, Nyanga and Gugulethu.

We remain committed to this, and other initiatives that realise our efforts to become a safe city. We know, as well as entrepreneurs do, that a safe neighbourhood is essential to a thriving community. I encourage Messrs. Baleni and Nomjana to get in touch with the City through my office so that we might be able to assist where we can.

The author is the Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning in the City of Cape Town.

This is a response to the article Red tape blocks Khayelitsha small businesses.

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