The unkempt City of Johannesburg can learn a lot from its more attractive cousin, the City of Cape Town, when it comes to attracting businesses into the central business district (CBD).
Fair enough, Johannesburg, unlike Cape Town, suffered a haemorrhage when most blue chip firms migrated from its CBD to the cleaner and safer havens of Sandton, Bryanston, Rosebank Melrose and Hyde Park.
But not long ago, Cape Town did not see any new and meaningful commercial developments and suddenly this year, the CBD is trying to mimic Dubai with a number of cranes embracing its sky.
› Platinum riches eluding communities
› Investors staying away after Marikana
Savvy investors and developers are returning to the Cape Town CBD as they position themselves for the future.
There is no shying away from how different the city of Cape Town and Johannesburg are run. Johannesburg is run by the African National Congress city council while Cape Town is headed by a Democratic Alliance city council.
The Cape Town city council has gone out of its way to employ former homeless individuals to clean its CBD while Johannesburg relies on Pik-it-Up to clean its CBD, and the difference is evident. Cape Town city council works closely with private companies to gauge their needs and help implement them. The same cannot be said about the Johannesburg city council, which every day receives thousands of complains about incorrect tariff bills, potholes and dirty streets.
No one in their right mind would dare walk the Johannesburg CBD streets in the evening while the opposite happens in the Cape Town CBD with tourists and locals embracing Long Street to enjoy a quirky, bohemian mix of African curios, antique shops, book shops and a bevy of coffee shops, restaurants and bistros.
Cape Town’s Central City Improvement District (CCID) chairman Rob Kane says since the beginning of this year the city’s CBD has experienced a wave of new developments thanks largely to the close working relation his organisation has with the council.
Article continues on page two...