PwC in partnership with Wesgro presented a report yesterday ranking Cape Town as Africa’s top City of opportunity. “With an unemployment rate 13 percent lower than the national figure, and 10 points lower than the average metro, Cape Town is a city of genuine opportunity for millions of people,” said Councillor Brett Herron (Mayoral Committee Member for Transport & Urban Development for the City of Cape Town).
The report crowns Cape Town as the African City of Opportunity and ranks it the 24th out of all 31 cities, 6th out of the middle-income country cities (behind Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Shanghai and Mexico City) and 1st in Africa.
The 66 indicators were grouped under ten key variables including Intellectual capital and innovation; technology readiness; city gateway; transportation and infrastructure; health, safety, and security; sustainability and the natural environment; demographics and livability; economic clout; ease of doing business and cost.
The report verified cost; ease of doing business; transportation and infrastructure; sustainability and the natural environment as Cape Town’s sturdiest scores. However, moderate scores were reported in intellectual capital and innovation; and health, safety, and security. Areas for improvement include economic clout; technology readiness; city gateway; demographics and liveability.
The analysis of the city is based and determined by three indicators; namely capital market centres, vibrant economies and a good quality of life. Each year sets of cities are reassessed, with upcoming cities joining the ranks while those falling back in their development get removed.
Thus far, the city’s areas of strength are those that it has been allowed more power to control, while its areas of development often come down to one of two factors: global competition and, most notably, inequality.
Explaining the reasons behind some of the shortcomings, Dominic Boyle, PwC’s Senior Manager for Cities & Urbanisation reported that although Cape Town ranks top in technology readiness in Africa, it lags behind other cities on a global scale. He also attributed, that although Cape Town is making progress in these areas, it falls short when benchmarked against other cities globally.
Jon Williams, Head of Cities & Urbanisation, PwC Africa added: “Cape Town is a city with strong fundamentals, aspiring talent and palpable excitement, set against a backdrop of inequality, which is borne out of the country’s past but which will play a role in the city’s future.”
Highlighting opportunities for improvement, the report contains some recommendations aimed primarily at the city and provincial government, but they also apply to national government, business and civil society, all of whom have an interest in the success of Cape Town.
“It’s a real credit to Cape Town that we’re even on this list. Taking a closer look at middle-income cities used as benchmarks in the report, 9 of the 13 cities are more than double the size of Cape Town. With the exception of Rio, every other city on the list is either the largest city in their country or their capital city. We are all ambassadors for the place we live in and love – it is up to all of us to promote this little city on the tip of Africa that punches well above its weight,” said Tim Harris (Wesgro CEO) in conclusion.
Image courtesy: The South African