Joburg and Cape Town climb global cities index

Johannesburg and Cape Town are showing improvement in the spheres of political engagement and human capital respectively, according to a global report.

Partner at AT Kearney Johannesburg, Wim Plaizier, told Fin24 that the growth of political engagement in Johannesburg is being driven by the growth in the number of consular and other diplomatic representation, NGOs and think tanks in the city.

Plaizier said African cities were making significant advances. “The fact that Cape Town, for example – which did not make the list last year – has come in at number 69 is very encouraging, and indicates that the emerging cities are making positive gains,” he said.

“This information is important for those making investment decisions,” he said.

According Harald Harvey, also a partner at AT Kearney Johannesburg, “the development of human capital in Cape Town is being driven by the growth in tertiary and secondary education”.

Harvey also highlighted the increase in the number of people moving to Cape Town, reflecting its attractiveness as a location with high living standards.

Johannesburg (number 55) and Cape Town (number 69) saw their ranks improve the most in the Global Cities Index (GCI).

Global Cities 2015 comprises two parts – The GCI and the Global Cities Outlook (GCO). This is the fifth edition of the GCI, which was launched in 2008.

The GCI provides a unique assessment of global engagement for 125 cities representing all continents and regions, and measures how globally engaged each city is across 26 metrics in five dimensions – business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement.

The long-term trend indicates that, while Cape Town has come in at number 69 from not even being ranked in 2008, Johannesburg has slipped from 50 to 55 in the same period.

Plaizier explains that the Johannesburg drop on the index was as a result of the entry of a number of other countries.

“Sixty countries joined the index this year for the first time, whereas Johannesburg and Cape Town were already there in 2014. They moved down due to people coming in above them, but they showed the biggest increase of the existing cities in the index,” he said.

Ranked in order, the other African cities that made it into the top 100 of the GCI this year are Cairo – which at number 50 is the only African city ahead of Johannesburg – Nairobi (number 75), Addis Ababa (number 85), Lagos (number 86), Accra (number 89), Tunis (number 90), and Casablanca (number 91).

Earlier this week the City of Johannesburg was allocated a budget of R52.6bn for the 2015/16 financial year, at the 2015 budget speech in Sandton.

The capital budget allocations would address the city’s Capital Investment Framework which sought to, among others, contribute towards the eradication of service delivery obligations in poor and marginalised areas, finance mayoral committee member Geoffrey Makhubo said.

According to a recent Fin24 report the Cape Town property market continues to excel and exceeded that of Johannesburg both in transaction volume and value terms as demand outweighs supply.

With around 11 487 property transactions worth about R20bn, it generated over 40% more value than the Johannesburg metro’s just under R13.7bn (11 307 transactions).

According to the report average prices in the Cape also continue appreciating at an inflation beating pace.

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Joburg and Cape Town climb global cities index