’Come back to Town’

City, CCID announce CBD recovery plans

City and CCID officials visited businesses in the CBD to encourage them to rent pavement space.

The City and the Central City Improvement District (CCID) are working to revilatise the city centre.

Yesterday, City officials and the CCID joined mayco member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos, mayco member for urban management Grant Twigg and Sub-council 16 chairperson Matthew Kempthorne on a visit to CBD restaurants to encourage owners to apply to rent the pavement in front of their establishments at a reduced rate.

Through the initiative they aim to offer establishments the opportunity to welcome more customers as the increased space will offer the additiona space required to ensure physical distancing.

Mayor Dan Plato addresses a physically-distanced crowd at the soft launch of the CBD recovery plan last week.

The City also held a soft launch at Greenmarket Square last Wednesday, October 21, and also used the opportunity to test COVID-19 regulations ahead of the tourist season.

The launch took the form of an open-air concert, with local artists providing entertainment.

At the event, Mayor Dan Plato said they would be hosting several small events in the coming weeks as part of the revitalisation project.

“These events will be organised in line with the national lockdown restrictions and with the health and safety protocols in place.”

Mr Vos said this was just one of the many interventions aimed at assisting the revitalisation of the CBD.

“I look forward to announcing further actions to be taken to revitalise the CBD and other commercial centres around the city in the coming months,“ said Mr Vos.

The City has put together five workstreams which will focus on various elements of the recovery plan, which includes:

  • Regulatory reform, which looks at policies that can enable businesses to operate in a safe and attractive manner;
  • Regulatory reform, which looks at policies that can enable businesses to operate in a safe and attractive manner;
  • Regulatory reform, which looks at policies that can enable businesses to operate in a safe and attractive manner;
  • Regulatory reform, which looks at policies that can enable businesses to operate in a safe and attractive manner;
  • Regulatory reform, which looks at policies that can enable businesses to operate in a safe and attractive manner;

Sub-council 16, which includes the CBD, has already set up a task team to oversee the plan.

Mr Plato said these interventions would provide a blueprint for other sub-councils to employ in their own commercial centres to breathe life into CBDs across the city.

Last week the CCID also announced its own campaign to reignite the CBD’s economy.

Called Come Back to Town, the campaign is aimed at enticing people back to the city.

CCID CEO, Tasso Evangelinos, said while many people had started returning to town, it was time for all visitors to come back to show their support. “The message of the campaign is that the Cape Town CBD is open for business! We’ve missed our patrons and we’re inviting people back to do business, to shop, to work, to play and to visit, but most importantly, to adhere to safety protocols and behave responsibly.”

The Come Back To Town campaign is a series of reasons to return to the City, from attending a First Thursdays event, to enjoying a latte at a coffee shop, having an after-work drink or a meal at a restaurant in the city centre. “We will also host a busking/entertainment programme over lunch time and are looking to put on various pop-up activations and events throughout the CBD.”

Briony Brookes, communications manager for Cape Town Tourism, welcomed the CBD recovery plan, saying the innovative thinking by the City and restaurants alike should be praised as health and safety remain a top priority.

“At Cape Town Tourism, we believe that such initiatives show that we are serious about being a safe destination for both visitors and residents alike. Of course, this will also go a long way to helping local restaurants and businesses as many do not have private outdoor space.

“We sincerely hope that this new initiative will go a long way in helping our city and industry recover from the effects of COVID-19 and the South African lockdown. From our side, we will ensure that visitors to Cape Town are aware of the innovation taking place in the CBD to ensure we are still an attractive destination and we can safely welcome visitors once again.”