Cape Town’s reputation as a tech hub has continued to grow despite the challenges of COVID, with the city now home to Africa’s top high tech economy.

A young, educated workforce, reliable infrastructure and public services, and a fresh entrepreneurial culture with its eyes fixed firmly on the future are some of the factors contributing to the Mother City’s success as a digital incubator.
Let’s take a look at the numbers to understand this exciting trend and what it means for the future of Cape Town’s commercial property market

Smart startups are an engine for growth – and jobs

The Western Cape’s tech sector may not top the Africa rankings for the total number of startups – Nairobi and Lagos are the leaders in that regard – but it employs far more people overall.

Whereas startups in other African cities tend to be one- or two-person operations, digital enterprises in the Cape tend to make the transition from founding to growth with relative ease and end up generating more jobs per business. 

This has positive implications for the commercial property sector since today’s growing enterprises are likely to become tomorrow’s tenants – even with the current work from home trend. 

11.3% of Cape Town’s digital startups have scaled up to the 100-employee level and higher. This places the city miles ahead of its regional competitors (Johannesburg, Nairobi and Lagos) where the figure is 1% or less.

Enterprises of this scale have a beneficial impact on the local economy, creating jobs and consuming goods and services to a far greater extent than smaller startups. 

These businesses also require a significant amount of office space which is readily available in Cape Town’s tech hubs including Century City, Woodstock, Claremont and the CBD.

What gives the Mother City such an edge?

Boasting a tech startup success rate that’s a full order of magnitude higher than the competition is no easy task – and Cape Town’s success in this regard can be attributed to several of the city’s unique features:

  • A modern, services-driven economy. The city has been attracting skilled professionals from the ICT and digital sectors for years and is now starting to reap the benefits of their presence.
  • Excellent educational institutions. UCT, Stellenbosch, CPUT and smaller tertiary centres of learning provide world class training in digital fields as well as finance, logistics, legal and affiliated fields. This creates a powerful knowledge economy where skilled professionals are easily reachable for collaboration on projects of various scales.
  • Reliable infrastructure. The Western Cape is well known for its efficient government and reliable roads, water, and other infrastructure. The availability of high-speed internet and WiFi throughout Cape Town is a further contributor to the tech sector’s success.

Ready to join the Cape’s bright future? We can help

The collaboration of several facilitators in the tech ecosystem with the Digital Economy Unit at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism to launch an initiative which aims to position the Western Cape as Africa’s Tech Capital (Startup News-Ventureburn Nov 2020) is a key player in our economic recovery.

With the likes of Panasonic, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services choosing to expand their presence in the Mother City, now could be the best time to secure premises for your tech startup. Contact the Commercial Space team today to discuss your requirements or schedule a viewing.