On behalf of the City of Cape Town I would like to congratulate the creators of the Athlone Website. This will create a valuable channel through which the community and businesses can work together to tackle the challenges facing the area.
I believe that Athlone has great potential to become an area of economic growth over the next few years. This will be helped by the revampling of the stadium ahead of the FIFA 2010 World Cup, but it will also require a clean, well run and lawful environment, which the City is determined to establish.
This is kind of environment is necessary if we are to attract more businesses and new investment to the area.
In turn, more investment generates a higher economic growth rate, creates more jobs for our people, and accelerates social development.
The City therefore supports the fact that the people of Athlone are establishing a forum to help them communicate and work together.
When we consider what the Cape Town Central Improvement District (CCID) has done to clean up the city centre and attract new business, we can see that community organisations can play a major role in Athlone too.
The CCID have bolstered security in the city centre with cameras and increased patrols, and their security division now has a very rapid reaction time to reports of crime.
The CCID is also working with the City to establish a Cape Town Business Area Network, which is intended to improve communication between businesses in the City, and to co-ordinate efforts to make the environment more investor friendly.
I am always open to hearing your proposals for projects that the City can get involved with to assist economic development in Athlone, and to improve our service delivery.
I am aware that while there is a lot that you can do as residents, there are some things that are frustrating business and investment in this area which are beyond your control.
Chief among these is a recent lack of investment in infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity, and a lack of law enforcement. The City of Cape Town's budget for 2007/8 is intended to put more money into infrastructure, and more money into getting the basics right.
If we are to succeed in creating sustainable growth in Cape Town, we have to start by working at it, street by street, block by block, suburb by suburb.
Mayor of Cape Town