Report: The Cape Town International Convention Centre is Bolstering the Western Cape Economy

The Cape Town International Convention Centre generated more than 130 465 jobs since its inception in 2003, according to its economic impact report.

At its recent annual general meeting, shareholders heard that the CTICC created or sustained 14 620 jobs in the past financial year alone. It is estimated that the CTICC contributed R1.2bn to indirect household income in South Africa during the 2018/19 financial year.

Despite the tough economic trading environment, revenues for the last financial year came to R277m, compared to R172m reported in 2013/14. The centre achieved an operating profit (EBITDA) of R57.5m in the year under review, which was R49.57m above the target of R8m. Compared to the 2013/14 figure of R35.4m, this is a 62% increase.

The convention centre was able to increase its revenue through hosting 417 070 delegates over its 560 events. Furthermore, estimates show delegates attending events at the CTICC likely made a significant contribution to the tourism industry in Cape Town and even the rest of the country.

It is estimated that the CTICC’s events in 2018/19 generated an additional 566 057 room nights in the Western Cape and 575 898 in South Africa. While total foreign exchange spend as a result of the tourism generated by these events is estimated at R677m.

It is estimated that the CTICC effectively contributed a total of R4.5bn to the Western Cape’s gross geographical product (GGP) also known as the value of goods and services produced in the region – and R6.5bn to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP). To date, the centre has made a cumulative contribution to the Western Cape’s GGP of R39.6bn and R47.3bn to South Africa’s GDP.

In addition, the centre procured R331m worth of goods and services from local Western Cape suppliers. This equates to 87% of its overall net spend. In respect to Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment suppliers, R328m was spent – which was 86% of the centre’s net spend. Almost 40% of the total procurement spend was on women-owned enterprises.

This year, the CTICC invested R1.6m in corporate social responsibility initiatives, including venue sponsorships. As for the environment, shareholders were told at the AGM that globally, consumers and event organisers are demanding that companies follow sustainable business practices and processes. Due to the centre’s focus on waste management, energy consumption, local sourcing and water conservation, it therefore regards itself as well-placed to respond to such demands.

The CTICC was awarded the 2019 Delegate Choice Award for Innovation at the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) Annual Congress in Antwerp, Belgium. The accolade recognised the CTICC’s efforts in reducing its water usage. Over 100 international conferences are expected to bring over 127 000 delegates to the CTICC up until 2026.


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Dewet [1], [2].

Cape Town is the SA Metro with the Highest Prices Paid for Residential Property This Past Year

For the 12-month period to end November, Cape Town topped R21.75bn in residential property transactions at an average transaction value of R2.2m. The metro also scooped the highest prices paid for residential property in the country this year according to Ross Levin, managing director for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl.

Comparatively, Pretoria metro reached around R17bn (with an average of R1.2m), Sandton R13.4bn (with an average of R2.3m), Johannesburg R13bn (with an average of R1.483m) and Durban R6.4bn (with an average of just over R1m).

The wealthy might not be buying as much as they used to, but Cape Town still tops their list of most desirable property, says Levin. Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl sales amount to R4.3bn including 30 of the highest prices paid.

The rental market has also performed exceptionally despite the headwinds. Seeff has concluded rentals of up to R170,000 per month in Fresnaye, R130,000 at the Waterfront, R120,000 in Bantry Bay and R60,000 permonth in Tamboerskloof in the City Bowl. Holiday rentals this summer is expected to reach R100,000-R250,000 per night in Clifton.

Semigration buyers back

Semigration buyers are back and Levin says that sales are often delayed only by the slow sales cycles in Gauteng and other inland provinces. Foreign buyers too have invested over R500m in property with the highest demand from German, UK and US buyers.

Cape Town achieved about 50 high-value sales priced from R20m-R60m compared to just two in the upper end of Sandton/Johannesburg and a highest price of R23m.

The highest prices paid include: R60m in Fresnaye, R58.5m in Bantry Bay, R47m in Bishopscourt, R45m in Clifton, R39m in Higgovale, R36.5m in Llandudno, R36m in Camps Bay, R34m in Constantia Upper and R32m in Mouille Point. We are likely to see a few more high value sales over the summer, says Levin further.

Notable too, is that nine of the top 10 suburbs in the country are now in Cape Town, up from seven about three years ago. These all now boast a median price of over R10m and over R20m for Clifton, says Levin. Only Sandhurst in Sandton/Johannesburg is included in the top 10 ranking:

Southern Suburbs

The Southern Suburbs enjoyed an active year and is not just home to two of the top suburbs in the country but offers a high concentration of top performing schools which drives demand, says James Lewis, managing director for Seeff Southern Suburbs, Hout Bay and Llandudno.

Total sales of almost R4.5bn has been achieved including six high-value properties ranging to R34m in Constantia and R47.5m in Bishopscourt. Although the sub-R10m price band dominated, the ‘Uppers’ such as Claremont and Kenilworth have attracted prices of up to R20m (Claremont) while Newlands achieved eight sales above R10m, and Rondebosch achieved a further six.

The Southern Suburbs rental market has been a top achieving sector this year, says Lewis. Student rentals and young professionals kept the sectional title rental agents busy while upper-end family tenants paid up to R80,000-R100,000 per month in top-end areas such as Constantia.

Crowning another year of top accolades, Cape Town was voted best city in the world for the seventh successive year by the UK’s Telegraph Newspaper. The Cape has lost none of its sparkle says Mr Levin. It is the second wealthiest city in the country and upper-end buyers will spend 100%-200% on average more on real estate purchases on the Atlantic Seaboard compared to anywhere elsewhere.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

First Nations Groups Attempting to Save Cape Town’s Two Rivers Urban Park

A gathering of First Nations groups and more than 30 civic organisations and environmental groups announced the intention to collectively apply for provincial heritage status for Cape Town’s Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP) at the confluence of the Black and Liesbeek rivers.

The area is a place of deep history, they say, and potentially a place of healing important to all South Africans. The heritage move aims to galvanize Heritage Western Cape (HWC) to carry out its own assessment of the broader precinct in the hope of protecting it.

There is a provisional protection order on the River Club property alone, which ends early in 2020. However, it has been mired in appeals from the developer, the City of Cape Town and two provincial departments.

Melvin Christian Arendse of the Qoranha Transfrontier, said yesterday that the First Nations had asked the civics to support an immediate application for provisional protection for the broader area — and they also intend to apply for national heritage status. The other First Nations represented were the Goringhaicona XhoiXhoi Traditional Council, the !Aman Traditional Authority, the !Xarra Restorative Justice Forum and the Cochoqua Royal Council.

“The purpose of this is to mobilize public support from a range of different stakeholders for the idea that this area is really important,” said Observatory Civic Association (OCA) chairman Leslie London. “It’s sacred, it’s important for our heritage. It’s important for the Xhoi and the First Nations, but also for all of us in South Africa and also everyone on the planet because of the deep, deep history.”

The joint press conference was held at the South African Astronomical Observatory’s (SAAO) auditorium, which will be in the teeth of the development proposed by Liesbeek Leisure Property Trust (LLPT) should it go ahead. The SAAO is a national monument in line for World Heritage Status and has itself independently objected to the development; it is not part of the collective application.

Wednesday 18 December 2019 was also the deadline set by the City for comment on its Local Spatial Development Framework for the area. LLPT has proposed an extensive R4-billion development for residential and commercial use. The objecting collective said yesterday the proposed development has been written into the framework, paving the way for it to go ahead.

On Wednesday, they presented an impassioned picture of the area not only as a place where South Africa’s beginnings and soul are rooted, full of memory for nations who had been erased systematically from the country’s history by colonial forces, but also potentially as a place of healing for the nation.

It was here in 1510 that the first battles against the Portuguese oppressors were fought and won, said Tauriq Jenkins, Supreme High Commissioner of the Goringhaicona Khoema Council and member of the OCA.

“So this is a place of the first encounter of ground zero, but also a place where we can hold a reconciliation of an entire nation, a reconciliation of healing that has not taken place since… that moment when that ancient pole was placed on this ancient terrain and the iron fence put up by Jan van Riebeek that divided us.”

Arendse said Observatory, along with Kalk Bay and Muizenberg, was one of the last bits of romance in Cape Town’s infrastructure and society, and it was lunacy to bring the huge development along with its huge waste pollution problems to the rivers.

Also present were Paramount chief Aran of the Garinghaicona XhoiXhoi Traditional Council, Paramount Chief Fredericks of the !Aman and Nama, as well as Chief Noel, political adviser to the Paramountcy Johannes of Cochoqua.

Members of the supporting civics also spoke, including William Leith of the Princess Vlei Forum, who said the process for its heritage application was already quite advanced and it believed the process could be replicated in Observatory and around the country.

Numerous environmental organisations were also present. The proposed development, set at the confluence of the Black and Liesbeek rivers, has implications for the wetland, water retention and the wildlife and ecosystems there.


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Inaugural United Airlines Direct Flight From New Jersey Lands in Cape Town

The inaugural United Airlines direct flight from New Jersey’s Newark Airport to Cape Town International Airport landed at 6pm on Monday amid much pomp and ceremony.
The ultra-long-haul flight sees the airline returning to Africa – United last flew to Africa via its Houston to Lagos route, which was discontinued a few years back – with plans to operate three weekly seasonal, non-stop flights between Newark and Cape Town until March 25 next year.

Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “The United States is a key tourism and business market for the province, and we look forward to welcoming United’s customers to Cape Town and the Western Cape.

This new service will open up the US and North American markets to opportunities in the Western Cape, and significantly contribute towards growing our tourism sector and stimulating economic growth in the Western Cape.

United’s regional managing director of sales, Bob Schumacher, said: “Our new service […] will provide our business and leisure customers with a seamless and more convenient way to travel between South Africa and North America, and more immediate access to everything the Americas has to offer.”

Wesgro chief executive Tim Harris said: “The new route will enable new and expanded economic opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft features 48 seats in United Polaris business class, 88 seats in Economy Plus and 116 seats in United Economy.

Meanwhile, Cape Town Air Access received the Overall Winner Award for the second consecutive year at the annual Routes Africa 2019 Awards in Mombasa, Kenya last week.

Cape Town won three awards at the ceremony, including Best Airport in Africa in the 4-20 million passenger category; Destination Marketing award for Cape Town Air Access; as well as the Overall Routes Africa award.

Cape Town Air Access is a partnership between the City, the Western Cape Government, Airports Company SA, Cape Town Tourism, Wesgro and South African Tourism, which aims to land more direct routes into Cape Town International Airport.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], BlogDeBanderas [2].

Our Key Takeaways: Home Affairs Round-table in Cape Town

The British Chamber of Business in Southern Africa (BCBSA) was invited by the ANC’s Progressive Business Forum, which you can read more about here, to participate in a recent engagement with the Minister (Aaron Motsoaledi) and Director General (Thulani Mavuso) of the South African Department of Home Affairs.

The round-table took place at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town, and the Chamber was represented by our very own Lynn Mackenzie – Relocation Africa’s Immigration Lead – who was eager to engage with the Minister and DG.

The Minister discussed each of the main South African visas applied for – Business, Critical Skills, Intra-company Transfer, Corporate, and General Work – and was open to comments from attendees throughout. On the matter of Business Visas, it was noted that the various departments involved seem to be working well together, with the Department of Trade and Industry performing its due diligence.

Concerningly, consensus among those at the meeting was that there is increasing inconsistency between the Act and regulations, and their implementation, especially in overseas missions.

The transition to permanent residence was a hot topic, with practitioners insisting the process should be made easier. Many who move to South Africa still find themselves stuck in limbo, having to renew visas, while being under the impression they are on the path to gaining permanent residency, which brings with it a host of benefits, and allows the individual to feel more entrenched within South African society – something which the DHA assumedly has an interest in.

The Critical Skills visa list from 2014 is currently being updated, however the attendees’ experience was that the system is already in transition, with the new list being implemented in practice. The DHA did not comment on this matter. It is expected that the Department of Higher Education will give the DHA the new list by March 2020, however DHA has been vague about timelines up to this point. We will endeavour to share more information as and when we receive it.

The DHA claimed during the meeting that turnaround times for visas are an average of 4 to 8 weeks, however attendees noted they have not experienced this. We are hoping that waiting times improve in the new year, as the new systems officially roll out. Attendees were also happy to hear that there is frequent engagement and communication between the Home Affairs, Labour, and Trade and Industry departments.

Practitioners at the meeting expressed the fact that rejections are the highest they have seen in recent years and asked for data relating to this matter. The DG staged that data is available for turnaround times and percentage of applications approved. It was also noted that General Work Visa applications are rarely successful, and people are therefore refraining from applying for them. One attendee suggested to the DHA that this category is abolished entirely.

Finally, some meeting members conveyed their dissatisfaction with the bureaucracy in dealing with the DHA, saying that administrative procedures are, at times, excessively complicated. It is our hope that the DHA will cut down on this element of its practices and be more flexible in the coming years.

To end off the meeting, the Minister said there would be follow-up meetings, and regular engagement with DHA, which we greatly appreciate.

We would like to thank the Chamber for providing us with the opportunity to attend this valuable engagement session and thank Minister Motsoaledi and DG Mavuso for taking the time to hear and provide feedback in these kinds of round-table meetings. Relocation Africa looks forward to what 2020 will bring in the South African immigration space.


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For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].