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TECHNOLOGY CHANGING THE WAY BUSINESS IS DONE

TECHNOLOGY CHANGING THE WAY BUSINESS IS DONE

New technology is changing the way business can be done, ensuring better productivity and streamlined efficiency, says Cape Town award-winning entrepreneur and Central City business owner, Louw Barnardt.

He was speaking at a business breakfast in Cape Town to launch the latest edition of The State of Cape Town Central City Report 2018 – A year in review (SCCR) -- an annual investment guide published for the seventh year in a row by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) – to the business community.

Barnardt, the co-owner and founder of Outsourced CFO, acknowledged Cape Town as Africa’s leading tech hub, with the city employing more people in the sector than anywhere else on the continent. Cape Town’s rise as the digital city of Africa is one of the key themes to emerge from the report.

Outsourced CFO is an award-winning financial management company of Chartered Accountants and finance professionals that specialises in helping emerging tech and innovation companies to grow their business in the start-up or scale-up phase.

Barnardt, who was named the 2018 Sanlam/Business Partners Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, says: “Many companies with their home in the Cape Town CBD are leveraging these tech trends to serve a global client base and built a remote staff compliment that can work from anywhere.

“Embracing the cloud ensures better productivity, streamlined efficiency, higher data security and more growth and profit possibilities.”

Over the past decade, the province has also become a leader in mobile software, revenue management and payment processes, with 56% of emerging tech or tech-enabled companies having headquarters in the Western Cape – the majority based in Cape Town.

Adds Rob Kane, chairperson of the CCID: “Cape Town was also the only African city ranked on the Savills Global Tech Cities Index, which measures various aspects including the business environment, the tech environment, buzz and wellness, talent availability and real estate costs.

“Good broadband connectivity, co-working spaces, accessibility and quality of lifestyle are all important enablers for these index categories. When you examine how these enablers function in the Central City – Cape Town’s CBD, which has all of these – it becomes apparent why this sector is thriving in our live, work and play downtown.”

The CCID’s latest report supports this, identifying 17 co-working spaces in the CBD offering flexible, pay-as-you-go or short-term leases for office space, with shared services, communal spaces and the flexibility that many small businesses and individuals are looking for in their work environments.

“These spaces suit a digitally savvy population,” says Kane. “The co-working model is growing around the world, disrupting traditionally restrictive office leases. As a recognised digital city, Cape Town’s CBD is well placed to support this vibrant, new way of working.”

Barnardt agrees, saying technology and innovation are creating the digital companies of the future.

An initiative set to strengthen and grow the Central City’s digital hub, is the rollout of the City’s Connect Pilot Project. A follow-on from the City of Cape Town’s broadband project to provide a fully functional, municipal-owned fibre-optic network across the metropole by 2021, the Connect Pilot Project was launched in the CBD in 2018, with the aim to provide affordable open access high-speed fibre connectivity to over 1 000 commercial buildings in the Central City.  

The City also signed an agreement last year with cell phone operation Cell C, to provide public connectivity utilising streetlight poles, city buildings and public transport infrastructure.

Says Kane: “These kind of connectivity initiatives are important enablers, not only for businesses in the Central City, and particularly those that are tech-driven, but they will also facilitate better service delivery and expand economic opportunities for all those that visit or live in our downtown. They are part and parcel of a true digital city.”

Issued by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District by:

Sharon Sorour-Morris
Manager: Communications
Cape Town Central City Improvement District
sharon@capetownccid.org
082 216 0835