CCID Reduces Its Budget Increase As It Celebrate 21 Years Of Service Excellence In The Cape Town CBD

Cape Town CBD property owners, who approved a 11.7 % budget increase for the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) earlier this year, stand to benefit from the organisation reducing its budget ask by more than 5 %.

Speaking at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting in the city today, CCID chairperson Rob Kane said the non-profit organisation had recalibrated the budget it tabled to the City of Cape Town requesting an 11.7 % increase and had drastically reduced it to 6.2 % “due to cost-savings, careful budget revision and the utilisation of a portion of the CCID’s reserves”.

Kane said: “The financial impact on the additional rate paid to the CCID by property owners within our Special Rating Area will therefore be less than anticipated. This will provide much-needed relief to our ratepayers during this economically challenging period.”

In the 2020/2021 financial year, the CCID received R76.7 million via CBD ratepayers, with the bulk of the funds – 58.9 % – being allocated to the Safety & Security department. The CCID’s Urban Management department received 9,6 %, Social Development 7.8 % and Communications 5.7 % of the budget.

The CCID operates within a 1.6 square km geographical area in the city centre and provides additional services in town in addition to those of the City of Cape Town and SAPS.

Kane also announced that the 2020/2021 financial year, the CCID had attained its 21st consecutive clean audit due, which was “a very impressive result backed up by strong governance and financial control”.

The organisation is celebrating 21 years of service excellence in the Cape Town CBD this year, having been established in 2000.

CCID CEO Tasso Evangelinos, who was awarded a Mayoral Civic Award last month, said that in the last financial year, the CCID’s structures and partnerships were “once again” tested to the limit by Covid-19 and the government’s regulations to stem its tide. “These deeply affected our retailers and damaged the CBD economy. However, I am happy to report that we not only survived but succeeded in maintaining a safe and secure CBD for our stakeholders, ensuring that the Central City was open for business, and encouraging office workers and visitors to come back to town.”

Evangelinos said the organisations strong partnerships, combined with its diligence and determination enabled the CCID to operate effectively under duress.

Kane said while the CBD had been hard-hit by the pandemic, it remained the most successful inner city in South Africa, and a good investment node for residential and commercial property investment. “In fact, last year, the total value of property investments in the CBD – completed, under construction, planned or proposed – was R6.68 billion. This is very encouraging given the crushing impact of the pandemic on the construction and other sectors,” Kane said.

There are also positive signs that the tide is turning, Kane noted. “Covid-19 is still in our midst, but we have a greater understanding of it. In the CBD we are seeing proverbial green shoots emerging. There is a lot more activity as corporates and business owners move away of the Work From Home experiment and ask employees start to return to the office in some form or other.

“Top of mind now is a concerted effort to reinvigorate the CBD’s economy,” Kane said.

CCID COMES OF AGE IN CBD

Commenting on the CCID’s coming of age, Kane said the NPO had transformed the city centre from a “no-go” area in 2000 into an economically successful CBD that today was able to attract “businesses big and small, visitors from all over the world, global corporate events and conferences” and was arguably the safest and cleanest city centre in South Africa.

CCID board member and CEO of Corporate Image Tamra Capstick-Dale, who has been involved with the organisation since its inception, said: “When we got the approval to start the CCID, at the time we did not fully realise how sharp a corner had been turned. We didn’t appreciate that history was being made. We can see that now.”

Capstick-Dale said it was obvious that the CCID had succeeded in reaching its two primary objectives – security and cleansing. “The overwhelming success of the CCID is illustrated by the numbers. But the impact has been both practical and psychological and these are often overlooked in assessing the CCID. The practical impact was to turn the investment tide. Some of today’s best-known developments rose during that period … and investment continues unabated.

“But the psychological impact is best understood by Capetonians themselves. The place they call ‘town’ had become the subject to pity, disappointment, even derision. What the CCID returned to the city – and this will be its abiding gift to Capetonians – is a sense of pride.”

The CCID’s 2021 Annual Report can be viewed here https://www.capetownccid.org/about-ccid/annual-reports