The Central City of Cape Town must, from now onwards, be managed as a permanent events area which offers all the relevant venues, public spaces, entertainment and safety provisions needed to fulfil this purpose.So said Cape Town Partnership CE Andrew Boraine when he addressed the 11th Annual General Meeting of the Cape Town Partnership at the Townhouse Hotel.
“Cape Town is in Good Shape”
In an upbeat speech, Boraine described Cape Town as a city “in good shape” and cited the numerous events, in addition to the World Cup, which have taken place in Cape Town over the past twelve months.
“People are coming to town. People are using the city. Things are taking place here,” he said.
Boraine announced that the City of Cape Town recently confirmed the mandate of the Cape Town Partnership and increased the CTP’s allocation by 18 percent. He added that the CTP has just signed a new three-year contract with the City in terms of business planning and funding.
“Cape Town must be on a Permanent Standing for events”
A key need, going forward, Boraine said, is for Cape Town to gear itself to be “on a permanent standing” for the full range of events, in terms of providing the venues, public art, built and natural heritage, walking and cycling routes. Additionally, public transport, varied accommodation, retailing and trading, as well as outdoor advertising and the “dressing” of the city must be permanently geared to such events.
“Change the Branding Paradigm to one of Engagement with the City”
Boraine said there is now a need for the marketing and branding paradigm to shift away from selling Cape Town as a place from which to escape into nature, to a call for more engagement with the City and its people.
“We have previously said “come to Cape Town and escape from the city”. We market the City in terms of penguins, whales, the winelands, Cape Point etc. We trade on our natural beauty – and why not!
“But, if we look more closely at the surveys, people are not just interested in natural beauty. They want to engage with the City, to walk the streets, visit the cafes and use the public transport,” Boraine said.
“We must drastically shift our branding message to accommodate that. People want to be invited to engage with the City, not to escape it and to get to nature.
“Things are happening in Town”
Andrew Boraine named a large set of events, besides the World Cup which have taken place in the Central City in the past twelve months. Among them were the Final Draw party in Long Street last December, which saw 100 000 people coming into the Central City; the Twilight Run, which pulled 25 000 people into Cape Town; the Africa Centre’s Infecting the City festival; the Jazz Festival, the Cape Town Festival; the Cape Town Carnival, as well as a range of gallery and exhibition openings, sporting events, prayer days and protest gatherings.
These events were all in addition to the constant conferences and events which took place at the successful Cape Town International Convention Centre.
“This is what is happening in the City Centre. People are coming in and using it,” he said.
“Our City has an Amazing Array of Venues”
Boraine praised Creative Cape Town for its role in matching people, organizations and events to spaces where they can perform, do their business and carry on activities.
He said more and more venues in the Central City are offering innovation, creativity and design, among them the new Freeworld Coatings building in Waterkant Street, The Rainbow Room in Upper St George’s Mall, and the Fugard Theatre, the Open Innovations Studio and a range of new spaces in the East City.
A welcome development is the “coming together” of groupings in areas, for instance, the Company’s Gardens, where people joined forces to organize the My City weekend during Heritage Weekend. Good progress is being made, through the Cape Town Heritage Trust to re-establish the Old Granary Building.
“What I am saying is, even though it’s often not very visible or slightly under the radar, a whole host of very important spaces have blossomed, where innovation, design and creativity are taking place at a furious pace. When we talk about ourselves as a venue city, this is what we mean,” Boraine said.
He paid tribute to Creative Cape Town for putting together Creative Week in the build-up to Heritage Weekend and the Loerie Awards which were held in Cape Town.
“The Host City did an Excellent Job in Setting Targets and Reaching World Cup Goals:”
Turning to the World Cup, Boraine paid tribute to the various players who set targets and reached the goal of a successful World Cup in the City. He reminded those present of the five goals which were set in 2006 for the World Cup in the Central City.
These were to enhance citizen and business participation, to contribute towards a unique and authentic Cape Town experience for visitors, to contribute to a well-organised, efficient, safe and successful event, to enhance the business branding and marketing of Cape Town and to leave a lasting economic, social and cultural legacy.
Boraine said evaluation reports on the event suggest these goals were met.
He said it is now vital to consolidate and build on the important economic, social and cultural legacies of the World Cup.
“Cape Town is bidding to host the Climate Change Conference”
One of the ways the city has been immediately able to build on the legacy is in its bid for Cape Town to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December next year, Boraine said.
The conference is important to the city as it would bring more than 20 000 delegates to the city.
“We have put together a concept of a COPS 17 Delegates’ Village in the city,” Boraine said.
“Ours is the best bid in terms of proximity. If we get it, it will be an amazing boost for Cape Town – and it will certainly keep everyone exceedingly busy in the next 15 months.”
“Public Transport should be more Demand Led than Supply Driven”
Boraine said the CTP has undertaken, with the City, to ensure that public transport is more demand led than supply driven. That will be a big focus for the CTP over the next few years,” he said.
“Developments at the CTICC are very important to the City”
With the CTICC planning to expand to double in size, Boraine said the centre is very important to the city’s future events capacity. “We have reached capacity. We are the most important conference centre in Africa. We want to get into the top ten in the world. This is a very important project and will be supported by the CTP.”
“Welcome to Kevin Roman”
Boraine paid tribute to former CTP chairman, Shaun Johnson, for the seven years he served the organization, and welcomed the new chair, Kevin Roman.
“Shaun was always on hand to give advice and direction and to open doors. We miss you already,” Boraine said.
He said the CTP board had confirmed Roman as the new chair of the board and Hassan Khan, director of the Haven Night Shelter as the new deputy chair of the board.
Boraine also welcomed Rob Kane as incoming chair of the Central City Improvement District board.
“CCID Innovations have made a Huge Difference”
Boraine cited a range of innovations introduced to the Central City by the CCID in the past year, saying they have made a huge difference.
Among these were the security and information kiosks which, Boraine said, have, through their strong visibility, made people “know and feel they are safe”.
Among the numerous contributions of the CCID was its staff’s painstaking listing of 90 defects in the CCID precincts and then liaising with all city departments to have them fixed ahead of the FIFA Final Draw last December.
The CCID maintenance team had not been above working on last-minute touch-ups in the Station forecourt area on the morning before the World Cup, in a bid to help make the city sparkle.
“This is the sort of attention to detail which the CCID is known for,” Boraine said.
The CCID had, in its work during the past year, applied innovation and design to urban management problems and has always had a strong focus on social development, particularly job creation.
Boraine reminded everyone present that the CCID will celebrate its tenth anniversary in November.
Boraine used his address to speak about the campaign strategy for Cape Town in its bid to become the World Design Capital in 2014.