Cape Town building picking up
The City of Cape Town has reported an increase in the number of building plans passed during the last quarter of 2011.
There was a 25% increase in the number of plans passed covering residential property and a 31% increase in plans covering non-residential properties. The non-residential component comprised 102 plans, including 63 for shopping space, 14 for industrial/warehousing and eight for offices.
“The construction industry is a major employer in terms of labour and it is therefore encouraging to learn that the number of building plans passed by the City has increased when compared with the same period in 2010,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Alderman Belinda Walker.
This increase must be viewed in light of the fact that the overall number of plans passed for 2011 is slightly lower than in the previous year. A total of 23 971 plans were passed during 2010, compared with 23 769 in 2011. In addition, the hosting of the 2010 World Cup meant a greater demand for construction.
The increase in the last quarter is therefore the first indication of an upturn in the local economy since the credit crash. This increase serves as an indication that investors are more positive about long-term economic prospects in Cape Town. The City awaits the figures for the first quarter of this year with great anticipation, to gauge whether the upward trend continues.
The City is also working with the Provincial Government of the Western Cape and the Cape Chamber of Commerce to reduce bureaucratic delays through the ‘Red Tape to Red Carpet’ initiative. As part of this programme, the City will this year implement measures to improve performance including a system whereby developers and members of the public will be able to submit their applications electronically.