The campaign is called 'Come Back To Town' and seeks to speak to all stakeholders, reminding them of what they have been missing and enticing them back to the heart of the city, according to the CCID.

The CCID, the oldest Central Improvement District in South Africa, is a private-public NPO mandated by stakeholders to manage and promote the CBD of Cape Town in partnership with the City of Cape Town and the South African Police Service.

It operates in a 1.6 square kilometre footprint, of which the overall value of the property is R44.1-billion, according to the City of Cape Town's 2018 / 2019 property evaluation.

Key to the initiative is:
  • a nationwide digital campaign
  • buy-in from major commercial property stakeholders and SMEs
  • a busking and event programme, and
  • using social influencers to promote the city center's unique offerings.
The CCID says that its strategy is not only to reinvigorate the CBD's economy following the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The campaign's business approach dovetails with various initiatives of the City of Cape Town, including the 'tables and chairs' initiative, which enables CBD eateries to rent the sidewalk outside their establishments for outdoor seating at a reduced rate for the next six months.

This will allow retailers to welcome more patrons to their establishments and allow for appropriate social distancing protocols.

CCID CEO Tasso Evangelinos says that, while many people have started returning to town, it's time for all visitors to come back to show their support for resilient Central City businesses that have managed to survive the onslaught of COVID-19.

"The message of the campaign is that the Cape Town CBD is open for business. We've missed our patrons and we're inviting people back to do business, to shop, to work, to play and to visit. Top of mind is that safety protocols such as wearing masks, using sanitiser, social distancing and behaving responsibly," adds Evangelinos.

The CCID says that in recent months, as lockdown regulations have gradually eased, it has monitored the confidence levels of its retail stakeholders. Three surveys have been conducted since July and reveal a slow but steady recovery in confidence among local retailers.

Encouragingly, the surveys reveal that since July there has been a marked decline in the percentage of businesses indicating that they face the risk of closure by year-end. While just over 20% of local retailers were satisfied with business conditions in the weeks following the move to Level 3, within a few weeks of reaching Level 1 this had risen to a third of all businesses surveyed.

"The 'Come Back To Town' campaign is a series of reasons why to return to the City, from attending a First Thursdays event, to enjoying a latte at an iconic coffee shop, having an after-work drink or a meal at a destination-restaurant in the vibrant city center. We will also host a busking / entertainment programme over lunchtime and are looking to put on various pop-up activations and events throughout the CBD," says Evangelinos.

"When operating at full tilt, the City of Cape Town is a significant contributor to the nation's economic health. This is why we need to get her engines running at full tilt again, so that every time a visitor, [comes to] the Central City, it provides a much-needed boost," Evangelinos concludes. 

For more information, visit You can also follow the CCID on Facebook or on Twitter