25 August 2021
Cape Town has received global recognition for its exceptional performance in the creative, financial and technology industries. The city continues to firmly establish itself as a hub of diverse talent, attractive to businesses across the globe.
On a practical level, the city’s physical infrastructure, stable government, and fibre-optic telecoms make it a sensible destination for businesses to establish their operations. Add to this the city’s irresistible natural beauty, the accompanying lifestyle, and friendly, diverse, and resilient locals.
International companies benefit from the large pool of available skilled professionals and the relatively low labour and living costs. English is used as the language of business and government and the city’s time zone corresponds very closely to the working hours in the UK and Europe.
“The talent here is amazing. There’s design talent, tech talent and incredibly interesting people,” says Brittany Hawkins, co-founder of San Francisco digital health platform, ELANZA Wellness.
Cape Town has been widely recognised as a hub for industry and technology. Mayco member for economic opportunities, tourism, and asset management, James Vos, recently confirmed that the city is Africa’s information technology hub, with more tech-startups than anywhere else on the planet, supporting more than 40,000 jobs.
In 2019, Cape Town was the only city on the continent to make it onto Savills Tech Cities Index, which evaluates which cities offer the most successful home for tech and start-up companies.
The city is working hard to establish a collaborative, forward-looking environment where big companies, as well as entrepreneurs and small start-ups, thrive. It has spent billions on IT infrastructure, particularly the rollout of fibre-optic cable, has initiatives to make doing business in the city easier, and promotes youth skills development programmes.
Businesses in Cape Town can take their pick from a diverse group of professionals with specialised skills. “Cape Town has the availability of a large talent pool coming from three of the country’s top universities – the University of Cape Town, The University of Stellenbosch and the University of the Western Cape, along with top FET colleges such as the False Bay College,” states a Deloitte report. “The city also boasts linguistic capabilities other than English and an improving risk (security, regulatory and intellectual property) profile.”
In addition to this, Cape Town boasts a global business services (GBS) sector with a large, mature domestic market and a fast-growing international market. The city was recently awarded the 2021 Most Favoured Global Offshore CX (customer experience) delivery location award.
The Mother City boasts the cream of the crop when it comes to creative talent. Cape Town is home to some of the country’s top advertising agencies and production companies. It has a bustling and internationally celebrated film industry, owing largely to its picturesque surroundings.
Testament to its excellence in the film industry, Cape Town received five awards at the International Tourism Film Festival in the face of fierce competition – 865 entries from 97 countries. “The city has become increasingly popular with international production companies. Scooping such awards at these prestigious film festivals means that the Mother City continues to be on the map with international film crews,” Vos commented.
Cape Town is firmly entrenched as the continent’s leader in the film and media industry. Wesgro, the Western Cape’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, celebrates the city and provinces’ contributions to the local and international film industry. Several award-winning works have been filmed in Cape Town – taking advantage of the variety of film locations, talent, animation and post-production facilities, and world-class expertise.
Organisations such as the non-profit Centre for Creative Education help to ensure a constant flow of new talent. An important contributor to the creative sector, the centre educates and trains the next generation of teachers and performing artists. The centre supports several schools in informal settlements, ensuring that those living beyond the inner city and with limited means also benefit from its programmes.
Complementing the film and production industry are Cape Town’s world-leading advertising agencies – a magnet for local and international creative talents. International businesses frequently employ the expertise of these agencies based on their creative capabilities and competitive rates.
Cape Town is home to several world-renowned financial and legal firms and is considered the country’s hub for these services. The law firms in Cape Town as well as financial and accounting companies are internationally competitive and provide solutions to various other sectors.
South Africa’s financial services sector is bolstered by a sound regulatory and legal framework and its activities are supported by domestic and international institutions. The city’s financial services sector has experienced consistent growth since 2016, when it was the largest contributor to the country’s GDP, adding R43 billion to it.
Commercial, retail and merchant banking, mortgage lending, insurance, investment, and asset management services all benefit from the expertise offered by the financial sector expertise on offer in Cape Town.
The positive growth in this sector is due to the same world-class infrastructure and access to specialised skills and talent that the business and industry sector benefits from.
Cape Town continues to prove that it’s a top achiever and ideal destination for a broad array of sectors. The city works hard to create opportunities, utilise untapped talents, and search for further potential for growth. The rapid development of excellent performance in the creative, financial, and technology industries is evidence of this.