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Cape Town’s investment goals suffering under new visa rules says city leaders

Cape Town’s investment goals suffering under new visa rules says city leaders

Cape Town’S Investment Goals Suffering Under New Visa Rules Says City Leaders


“We are trying to lobby for a relaxation because we won’t make (our economic plans) work without being able to access the tops skills from around the world,” so said Tim Harris, head of investment for the City of Cape Town.

Speaking to the Cape Town Press club late last week Harris told media role players that the city was engaging with the Department of Home Affairs, through its trade and investment agency Wesgro, hoping to reach “some sort of concession” on the new regulations.

Harris added that he expected that there was no easy answer and an open and free visa system would have played a positive role in securing investment for the city.

Harris, former DA shadow minister of finance is now in charge of the City of Cape Town’s new investment portfolio.

Speaking to the Cape Argus Harris said his appointment was a political appointment, and as such “was completely different” to that of a permanent councillor. 

Harris was appointed by city mayor Patricia de Lille and his contract was therefore linked to her term in office.

Dismissing suggestions that Harris was employed as city manager ‘to keep an eye on things for the DA’, Harris was quoted as saying, “My mission is simple. We want to make sure that Cape Town is open for business.”

Mr Harris said of his appointment to the mayor’s office that he was placed there to put the city’s economy at the top of the political agenda.

While Harris agreed that while the City of Cape Town administration had meant that the city is one of the best run cities on the continent it is still only fulfilled half of its potential. “We are on the map as a lifestyle and tourism destination. But what about our economic strengths?”

Cape Town ranked comparatively low on the list of competitiveness, partly because of its slow economic growth and poor connectivity. Harris’s plan for the city’s economic growth was to attract medium and large companies, grow existing companies and start high-growth companies, but the new visa regulations was causing concerns as gaining access to the Republic was considerably more difficult.

“Cape Town is increasingly becoming a place where you can do global business,” he said, although more needed to be done to leverage its ports and airports.

 

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