Geoff Jacobs, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, talks to Kieno Kammies about its concerns that the City Council's red tape is hampering businesses and development in the city.
Jacobs says the phrase quoted in the media that the Chamber believes the City of Cape Town is a disabling force for business is indeed accurate.
Coming out of the two-day property development forum conference last week, members expressed these same sentiments.
They expressed their massive frustration and as a chamber, we decided to do something about it. The article put in as a media release was intended to force the conversation and try and resolve some of these challenges.— Geoff Jacobs, President - Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
While it is true the problems may happen further down, but as the Chamber, we have to hold those that have been put into positions of authority accountable for delivering a service to the city.— Geoff Jacobs, President - Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
He says the Chamber is in regular communication with the City of Cape Town yet still faces these challenges.
For example, the development of the old City Park Hospital has not happened because of delays, he says.
We are told it takes between 4 to 8 years for projects to be approved. That is a major concern for us as a Chamber. No one is going to wait that long, it is going to kill the project.— Geoff Jacobs, President - Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Foreshore Freeway Project is the other example cited. Despite the hype created around the project and calls for innovative proposals, it was stopped in its tracks.
It was finally called off because of bureaucratic bungling and because of irregularities in the process - so much so that we understand there is a forensic process that has happened in the department and the HOD has been put on leave for an entire year.— Geoff Jacobs, President - Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
There are blockages that are impacting negatively on proper development...and the construction industry bears the brunt of that.— Geoff Jacobs, President - Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
What is the way forward to fix the blockages?
We are asking for an economic war room where we can pull together the public and private sector and we can look specifically at what ate the bottlenecks...and hold officials to account.— Geoff Jacobs, President - Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Take a listen to what Jacobs has to say below: