Property Flash


November 29 2023

As 2024 approaches, Cape Town’s inner city is standing tall for its continual effort to improve the level of safety, the ease of doing business, social inclusion, and its ability to attract investment.

In fact, nearly 30 years into democracy, there are many reasons why Cape Town’s downtown is the best in the country and a key proponent of its success is the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID). But don’t just take Property Flash’s word for it; the proof is in the numbers.

The CCID – which was formed in November 2000 to help turn around a CBD that had been beset with crime, grime, and disinvestment – has since turned the heart of business in Cape Town into a clean, safer, diverse, and vibey area which is attracting a new generation of businesses, visitors, and residents.

Just this month, the CCID released its annual report for the financial year to end-June 2023, and showed that the organisation is meeting or even bettering its targets as the inner city thrives. Once again, it achieved a clean audit, a record it has maintained since its inception 23 years ago. A strong track record enamours support and trust from tenants and users of the CBD and many other commercial districts have not been as lucky, especially as they face difficult economic times with rising unemployment, collapsing infrastructure, and failing businesses.

CEO Tasso Evangelinos is right to be impressed with the improved health and performance of the CBD so soon after the pandemic ended.

“It is something to behold that different players have come together to ensure that our inner city recovered strongly from an unprecedented pandemic for South Africa,” he says.

He praises the way retailers and business owners weathered the Covid-19 storm.

“While the CCID proved its mettle in delivering a crucial and stabilising service during the pandemic, the CBD’s post-Covid recovery demanded even greater effort and agility to support a growing inner city,” he says.

The 2023 June financial year results detailed that property investment in the Cape Town CBD exceeded R3.555 billion in 2022, showing that the CBD is back to its best, having come through the pandemic.


The need to revitalise town was critical post-Apartheid as a young democratic South Africa grappled with new challenges. The inner city was abandoned or poorly managed for years. Enter the CCID, a vital not-for-profit private-public company. Just over a decade later, once it had achieved its original mandate to establish downtown Cape Town as a “vibrant work, live and play destination” where it is “business as usual” for all stakeholders, the organisation took the next step and in 2011, expanded its original vision to include an “open for business” mandate geared towards promoting further investment in the inner city.

The CCID operates with its own board of directors, and liaises across both the public and private sectors, working together with each to develop, promote and manage the CBD. Diligent work, innovation, patience, and commitment have helped to ensure that the city has a vibrant downtown that attracts investment, residents, and tourists.

The concept of a Central Improvement District (CID) was developed in Chicago in the 1960s. Since then, CIDs have made cities more liveable and generated growth and jobs in economic hubs across the world.

While there are now over 50 CIDs in the Cape Town metro, the CCID is the oldest one and the only one to operate in a city centre. Its mandate is provided by the CID bylaw and Section 22 of the Municipal Property Rates Act, in a 1.6 km² special rates area (SRA) that offers complementary top-up services to ratepayers in addition to those rendered by its primary partners: the City of Cape Town and the South African Police Service (SAPS). The CCID’s core areas are Safety and Security, Urban Management and Social Development. The CCID also has a Communications department and a Finance/HR department.


The CCID is meticulous with its accounting to ensure that it can measure its performance to the finest detail. Each procedure is accounted for which plays a large role in the group’s ability to keep the inner city safer and cleaner. For example, from a safety and security point of view, daily, weekly, and monthly meetings are held between CCID officials, SAPS, and City of Cape Town Law Enforcement.

The combined efforts of these partners contributed to a stable environment in the Cape Town Central City in the year under review. Notably, CCID Safety & Security improved its crime-prevention measures and strategically deployed 317 Public Safety Officers to provide a visible safety presence 24/7 in an increasingly busy CBD. Hundreds of arrests were secured with the CCID’s law enforcement partners.

To make it easier for the CCID’s Public Safety Officers to assist members of the public in town, 1 000 handy pocket maps were produced. These outline the CCID’s operational area and places of interest in town. The map, with the CCID’s 24-hour emergency number, also pinpoints where the essential services are including the SARS office, Cape Town Central Police Station, Home Affairs, and the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital.

The Urban Management department also enjoyed a busy and demanding year. It had to deal with ever-increasing amounts of litter and illegal dumping in town, especially in pedestrianised areas, because of increased footfall as the hustle and bustle returned. This department literally keeps detailed statistics about the garbage it collects including cigarette butts and illegally dumped waste.

Numerous professional sweepers and a so-called Broom Brigade, which complements existing sweeping teams by cleaning high pedestrian streets and along St Georges Mall and the Golden Acre block, worked in shifts around the clock. In total, in the financial year, 1 254 tonnes of litter & waste were removed to landfill. In the process, 317 219 bags were used!

Urban Management also launched a three-month anti-litter campaign aimed at educating the public and business owners about dumping, graffiti tagging, litter and waste that spills out of torn litter bags.

A public toilet project, which added four free, safe and serviced ablution facilities to two areas in town, and which was introduced in the previous year, also continued to alleviate cleaning challenges. CCID staff and partners are encouraging other pedestrians to value a clean inner city which competes with the best of world’s cities in terms of aesthetics and functionality.    

Meanwhile, the Social Development department, contending with more and more homeless clients in town, faced increasing challenges, including finding shelter solutions, providing psychosocial support and realistic work-based rehabilitation opportunities and programmes. Its work is exemplary with staff’s response times being exceptional. People are learning that no matter where they are in the inner city and what time it is, there is always help available. The inner city is held together by strong communities, empathetic people, and devoted citizens.

To give the homeless in the Cape Town CBD a chance to move off the streets, the Social Development department collaborated with its primary and NGO partners on ground-breaking work rehabilitation projects. It expanded its programmes to help reintegrate homeless clients into society and break down damaging stigmas around homelessness.

“These three departments were ably supported by the Communications department, which promotes their work and achievements, and in the year under review, secured media exposure worth more than R12 million and reaching a potential audience of nearly 500 million people,” Evangelinos says.

Communications is the custodian of the CCD brand, works hard to drive investment into the CBD, and produces print and digital publications, social media messaging and campaigns to get the CCID message out to Capetonians and the rest of the country.


Since the start of the pandemic, the CCID has tracked the confidence levels of retailers in the Cape Town CBD in a quarterly Retail Confidence Survey which is highly valuable to all kinds of businesses.

During each quarter of the period under review, more than 200 retailers across major categories were surveyed to assess their business confidence levels. In September 2022, 77 % of those surveyed indicated they were satisfied with current business conditions although almost 20 % cautioned there was a risk of closure.

But as tourism numbers surged during the first half of 2023, confidence levels continued to rebound and by quarter two of 2023 nearly 91 % of those surveyed said they were satisfied, which is the highest reading since the survey began.

2023 marked the tenth year of the annual dipstick Residential Survey, conducted to determine the satisfaction levels of people who live in the inner city as well as their living habits, likes and dislikes and investment preferences.

The results of the surveys are published in the CCID’s annual flagship investment publication on the Cape Town Central City economy, State of Cape Town Central City Report – A year in review.

An annual dipstick survey was conducted in December 2022 using a team of student ambassadors. This evaluation helped the CCID to better understand how First Thursdays Cape Town contributed to the night-time economy, and interest shown in it by members of the public following the pandemic.


CCID chairman and Boxwood Property CEO, Rob Kane says the organisation can be proud of what it has achieved, not only in the past financial year but in the preceding years as well.

“There is lots to be grateful for. The fact that we are all here means we have survived Covid. It is really gratifying that we can see the city coming back on track. I am very humbled at how the CCID has grown. We started in 2000 with a handful of people and now the CCID employees around 750 people. It’s a real tribute that much of the staff complement was homeless but are now contributing to an organisation that makes Cape Town the city to be in,” says Kane. 

Kane, who has chaired the board for 13 years, says the future is bright for Cape Town and its inner city.

“My favourite statistic is that if you look to 2006, the value of lettable property in our area was R6 billion. In 2023, it’s R49.2 billion and we have another R3.555 billion coming on stream,” he says. “I am proud of how our partners work with us and are accessible. We will continue to face challenges each year and strive to overcome them,” says Kane.

You can access the CCID 2022/23 Annual Report here.


The following are some of the statistics achieved during the 2022-2023 financial year, per department.

Safety & Security

253                  arrests made together with the CCID’s law enforcement agencies

6 630               number of fines issues by City of Cape Town Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) (funded by the CCID) worth R6.3m

22 350              safety interactions conducted

5 102               number of stop-and-search operations done with Law Enforcement

45 073              fines issued by City of Cape Town traffic wardens (funded by the CCID) totalling R11.7m

Urban Management

1 254               Tonnes of litter and illegally dumped waste removed to landfill

1 996               Graffiti tags removed

35 259 kg Debris removed from cleaning stormwater drains       

10 504             Number of times municipal drains were cleaned

1 900                Kilograms of cigarette-butt litter removed from 307 CCID-branded

                        cigarette bins

370                  Number of potholes repaired by the Road Maintenance team

12 608             Number of bags of organic waste (leaves) collected for composting

Social Development

121                  Adults placed in shelters

269                  Number of times CCID social & field workers interacted with new homeless          

34                    Number of times assisted with national family reunification

17                    Number of homeless assisted with skills training and jobs referrals

11 000             Number of used needles collected in public spaces in association with TB HIV Care

639               Number of times homeless clients referred for assistance by peers on the department’s Peer Field Worker Project

R41 938           Amount collected during the Hope for the Homeless campaign for NGO “                          partners


346                  Media clips generated across broadcast, print and online channels

R12 754 231    Value of total media exposure obtained during the year

495 365 978    Total estimated reach of readers/viewers in terms of the media clips generated

73 000 Copies of the CCID publications produced and distributed

138 285           Subscribers reached across the CCID’s various online platforms (three Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, the CCID website and via the monthly e-Newsletter)

253 000             Items distributed with regard to the CCID’s many targeted campaigns

Paid for editorial for the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID)

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