Cape Town Time:


It’s Time to ‘Come Back To Town’

28 October 2020

In the first its kind, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has launched a major campaign to reignite the CBD economy.

According to the CCID website, the campaign, called “Come Back To Town”, aims to attract employees, businesses and local, national and international visitors back to Cape Town and its Central City following the economic devastation wrought by the hard lockdown to stem the coronavirus pandemic.

The economic-recovery campaign speaks to all stakeholders, reminding them of what they have been missing and enticing them back to the heart of the city.

The CCID, the oldest Central Improvement District in South Africa, is a private-public NPO mandated by stakeholders to manage and promote the CBD of Cape Town in partnership with the City of Cape Town and the SA Police Service (SAPS). It operates in a 1.6 square-kilometre footprint of which the overall value of property is R44.1 billion, according to the City of Cape Town’s 2018/2019 property evaluation.

Bringing the city centre back to life

Key to the initiative is a nationwide digital campaign, buy-in from major commercial property stakeholders and SMEs, a busking and event programme and using social influencers to promote the city centre’s unique offerings. The strategy is not only to reinvigorate the CBD’s economy but that of the Mother City following the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.

The campaign’s proactive business approach dovetails with various initiatives of the City of Cape Town, including the so-called “tables and chairs” initiative which will enable CBD eateries to rent the sidewalk outside their establishments for outdoor seating at a reduced rate for the next six months. This will allow retailers to welcome more patrons to their establishments and allow for appropriate social distancing protocols.

Open for business

Commenting on the “Come Back To Town” campaign, CCID CEO Tasso Evangelinos says while many people have started returning to town, it’s time for all visitors to come back to show their support for resilient Central City businesses that have managed to survive the onslaught of Covid-19.

“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. Top of mind is that safety protocols – such as wearing of masks, using sanitiser, social distancing and behaving responsibly – are adhered to.”

International research has proven that a vibrant CBD with active small businesses and involved large corporates has a multiplying impact on the rest of the city, residential areas on the outskirts and then the wider metropole. The Western Cape contributes R436-billion (Q4 2019) to the national GDP, of which 71 % is contributed by Cape Town.

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