City of Cape Town’s Informal Economy Summit: The Pathway to Economic Growth

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The City of Cape Town’s Economic Growth Directorate recently hosted the Informal Trading Economy and Expo at the City Hall. The event attracted over 400 traders and aimed to support the informal economy, an essential sector responsible for creating jobs and supporting livelihoods.

Keynote Address

The Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos, delivered an informative opening speech. He introduced the various support measures available to traders and highlighted the significance of the informal sector’s contribution to the broader economy.

Summit Topics

The Informal Economy Summit featured an expo component consisting of 20 exhibitors from small businesses to large corporations. Key topics discussed at the summit included support initiatives for the informal trading sector, investments in infrastructure, digitization, and informal economy food systems.

Encouraging Formalization

Lucretia Splinters, CEO of the Mitchells Plain Entrepreneurs Hub, emphasized the importance of knowledge-sharing within communities. She encouraged traders to formalize and comply with regulations to contribute even more to the broader economy and receive increased support from municipalities.

Summit Relevance

Jasmine Page, chairperson of YOUNG FUSION, praised the summit for addressing the pressing issues and challenges faced by traders daily. She found it inspiring to witness the passionate commitment of the City’s departments in finding solutions to improve the lives of those in the informal sector.

Collaboration for Growth

During the summit, Alderman Vos stressed the importance of collaboration between city authorities and traders in growing the sector. The City of Cape Town has already implemented numerous economic support systems for job-seekers, traders, and small business owners across the metro, helping hundreds of thousands of Capetonians access opportunities.

Support Programs

The City offers many support programs, including the Ease of Doing Business initiative, skills development and workforce readiness programs, and a budget of nearly R200 million for various programs aimed at assisting different sectors and levels of the economy.

Investment in Infrastructure

The City’s Directorate plans to spend around R100 million on capital works for strategic economic assets and informal trading infrastructure. This includes funding capacity-building programs, streamlining trader-facing services such as the e-permitting system, and developing a pipeline of infrastructure projects.

Zero Percentage Increase

To support the informal trading sector, the City Council has approved a zero percentage increase on Informal Trading Permits for the 2023/2024 financial year. This decision aims to create more jobs in the sector.

Notable Initiatives

Other notable initiatives include the expansion of the My Cape Town Market series, providing entrepreneurs with a platform to trade and connect with new consumers; the Business Helpdesk, offering free workshops on various topics; and the Cape Town Entrepreneurship Academy, an online learning portal for aspiring and existing business owners.

Overall, the City of Cape Town’s Informal Economy Summit and Expo is a significant step towards recognizing and empowering the informal sector. By connecting traders with valuable opportunities and resources, the City aims to foster economic growth and build a more equitable and just future for all residents.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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