Urban renewal roll-out by Cape Town Partnership.

Posted On Saturday, 01 January 2000 03:01 Published by
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CAPE TOWN Mayor, Nomaindia Mfeketo, said in a joint statement, that the City's new leadership had concluded that the Cape Town Partnership urban renewal model...
CAPE TOWN Mayor, Nomaindia Mfeketo, said in a joint statement, that the City's new leadership had concluded that the Cape Town Partnership urban renewal model, which has been accepted internationally as one of the more successful, should be refined and then applied to other business areas in the metropole, particularly those in need. 'To this end', the Mayor said, 'we have agreed with the Partnership that their newly formed development division will have its mandate extended to take on urban renewal projects in other parts of the metropole.'

Partnership CEO Michael Farr said 'we are delighted that we will be able to improve still further on our model and roll out the benefits to other urban business nodes in the metropole.' In extending the Partnership's mandate to other metropolitan nodes, the Mayor said that 'in particular, we have asked the Partnership to formulate plans to extend their business model into areas which would benefit from this expertise, notably Woodstock, Salt River, Athlone, Mitchell's Plain and Nyanga Junction, all of which are business areas requiring attention and urban redress.'

Farr said that in view of the above, the Partnership would increasingly take on a Development Agency approach and mandate which in any event was the original intention of the Partnership. 'We will maintain, through our development division, our co-operative approach to benefit other areas in the same way and with the same impetus for private sector buy in and investment. With respect to the latter, the Partnership will also be able to facilitate investment into other nodes, especially in circumstances where such investment is more appropriately directed to such areas, for example, manufacturing, rather than to the central city.

'Urban renewal models, together with identified priorities within each area, will now be drawn up in partnership with the Cape Town Partnership and the City. A specific regeneration model can then be applied where appropriate, ranging from a City Improvement District [CID] to a Development Body to a Partnership satellite or any combination of these. The Partnership intends formulating a special advisory committee for each area selected, which will ensure community involvement, participation and upliftment.

'Together with the City, we will also look at every opportunity to leverage both provincial and national funds set aside for specific economic development projects and programmes.'

Farr said that the Mayor's statement that 'urban renewal is not just about public sector intervention, but depends equally on the private sector committing itself to this national imperative' was critical to the success of urban renewal. 'We strongly endorse the Mayor's call on business to commit itself to the central city and invest in what is one of the most successful urban centres on the continent.'

Farr said that unlike what had occurred in Johannesburg when corporates had almost collapsed the Johannesburg CBD by moving to Sandton, Rivonia and 'Midrand, companies in Cape Town, with the exception of some, are showing that they understand they also have a corporate social responsibility to support urban renewal in the central city and Cape Town's other traditional business nodes where existing infrastructure makes it possible for the majority of their employees to travel to and from work by using public transport.

'In the absence of this type of corporate commitment, urban renewal programmes in the central city and other established business nodes we will be rolling out to, cannot be sustainable. Changing and upgrading the urban environment to secure the continued presence and commitment from the corporate sector is what we have aimed to achieve over the past three years. Fortunately, we are seeing good corporate commitment from the private sector in Cape Town and companies are not only retaining their presence and offices in the central city, they are investing in new developments, upgrading and refurbishments, thereby ensuring that the growth and prosperity of our capital city is ensured.'

The Partnership also announced on the weekend that they had responded positively to a request from Ghana to assist with the design of an urban renewal model to revitalise the capital city of Accra. 'We are particularly pleased that Cape Town will have this opportunity to support President Mbeki's NEPAD initiative by sharing our experience and expertise with another African city that recognises the importance of having an effective partnership between the public and private sectors that, through achieving a well run, well managed and upgraded business environment, creates business and investor confidence.'

'If we can help other cities in Africa attract new business and new investment which is, after all, the ultimate objective of NEPAD, we will be making, as Cape Town, a very meaningful contribution to a very worthy continental initiative.'
Publisher: Business News
Source: Business News

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