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Cape Town is continually affirming its place as the events capital of Africa by securing key international and local events over the next 12 months. Eight of these signature events are set to contribute more than R3 billion to the local economy and create more than 20 000 temporary jobs.

While some of the jobs related to major events are temporary, they afford people the opportunity gain experience and acquire skills for permanent employment.

This success is thanks to the City of Cape Town’s commitment to building an opportunity city that creates an enabling environment for inclusive economic growth and job creation.

We have many of the key event organisers here with us today who work all year round to ensure that they bring us bigger and better offerings each year.

I want to thank all event organisers for working with the City and for your commitment to keeping us at the number one spot as the event location of choice. Thank you for your contributions to job creation and our economy.

In 2012, the City launched its Integrated Events Strategy and set out to become the events capital of Africa.

We have delivered on our commitment and we proudly hold a dynamic annual events calendar with established internationally renowned events and many new events coming to our city each year.

Cape Town is recognised globally as the leading events destination on the continent.

The City’s event support budget has grown tenfold: from R4 million in 2012 to R40 million in the 2016/17 financial year. The increase has enabled us to support 198 local and international events, with nearly half allocated to cultural events, 40% to sporting events, and 12 % to conferences.

We are working with our partners in Convenco and Wesgro’s convention bureau in order to strengthen our Marketing, Incentives, Conferencing and Event (MICE) Strategy which we see as key to growing both our tourism market and our fast growing business tourism brand.

The shared success of our events calendar speaks to the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan and its emphasis on delivering excellent services, leveraging partnerships for progress, and positioning Cape Town as a forward-looking, innovative and globally competitive city.

Cape Town truly is a city where you can live, work, play and invest.

To expand our efforts of building an inclusive city, the City is also allocating more permits to enable communities to celebrate our diverse cultures and sport. In the 2016/17 financial year, we processed 1 856 applications and issued 1 447 permits – up from 1 244 permits in 2012.

The City supported 11 events in 2012 and this increased to 198 events supported in 2016/17 financial year.

Cape Town has become the envy of many global cities as a result of its wide-ranging events portfolio with more domestic and international visitors making their way to our city to enjoy and compete in events.

The City of Portsmouth, south of England, recently used the City of Cape Town’s Event Strategy as a blueprint to assist with Portsmouth’s strategic positioning as an events-friendly destination.

Portsmouth and other international cities recognise the strategic importance of major events and Cape Town as the leader in the field

Events provide enormous benefit to the local economy and play a pivotal role in generating visitor expenditure. It is important for the city that this translates into economic inclusion of all communities in Cape Town.

The City could not have done this without the incredible investment from our event organisers.

Our jewel or signature events include: the HSBC Sevens Rugby, the Cape Town Cycle Tour, Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, Design Indaba, Mining Indaba, Absa Cape Epic, Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Cape Town Open, Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, the Volvo Ocean Race, and Africa Travel Week.

Major international events coming to Cape Town this summer include:
· AfricArena 2017, International Africa Tech Conference
· FIA World RallyCross Championship
· 15th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture
· Cape Town Open (golf)
· Volvo Ocean Race
· HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series
· Manufacturing Indaba
· Investing in African Mining Indaba
· Design Indaba
· Cape Town Carnival

The City’s own major events include:
· Switching on of the festive lights
· Cape Town Summer Market
· New Year’s Eve celebration in conjunction with the V&A Waterfront
· Assistance with funding the Tweede Nuwe Jaar Minstrel Carnival

Some of the major events on the Cape Town International Convention Centre’s calendar for the next few weeks include AfricaCom 2017, the Windaba and the Brand Summit and Awards South Africa.

Next, the City’s aims to create stability in the events industry and ensure that these events return to the city each year.

We can never rest on our laurels and take these successes for granted. We live in a competitive global village and we must continually find new ways of building on the events calendar.

By taking events to the next level, we will enhance their economic impact and tackle socio-economic challenges in our communities by creating more much-needed jobs.

We are also making it easier for organisers to obtain permits for their events. Every year we host an events briefing where we provide information to help streamline applications. In August 2017, 200 event organisers attended the briefing and our events team is available throughout the year to help guide organisers.

Only events with crowds bigger than 200 attendees need to apply for a permit. The application process consists of five steps:
· Step 1: Submit your application form and documentation by email, fax or hand
· Step 2: About 16 City departments, the South African Police Service (SAPS), and eight additional City departments, if needed, will assess your application
· Step 3: The City allocates resources to support an event and the SAPS creates a safety plan
· Step 4: An event is approved or rejected. Organisers can appeal a decision
· Step 5: The City monitors the organiser’s implementation of the permit and organisers are invited after the event for an evaluation

Safety at events is one of the key factors the City looks at when issuing a permit. Organisers must include a safety plan, emergency plan, and medical plan when they submit their application.

The City is developing an electronic permitting system to enable organisers to submit and track their application online.

While we must celebrate the economic and social benefits that these events bring to our shores, the City is also ensuring that they are sustainable and they don’t place a burden on our scarce resources, including water.

The City introduced additional criteria in our events permit application and each organiser has to say how much and what water resources they will use. We are a dynamic city and adapting to our New Normal and the events industry has a key role to play in this regard.

The future of our events success demands that we all work together to not only put our best foot forward to provide entertainment and brilliance in sporting events, but we must factor in how we will ensure water resilience in all our work.

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