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Geordin Hill-Lewis Cape Town
South Africa

“Few countries in the world grapple with greater inequality challenges than South Africa, and the City of Cape Town is no exception. Our brutal history has left visible scars across society, both in terms of income inequality and the spatial inequality that still haunts our cities. It is my mission, as Mayor, to unstitch as much of this unjust legacy in Cape Town as I possibly can. Our project is to build a City of Hope for all, and the only way to do so is to direct the bulk of our budget and our care towards the communities that have been left behind.”


Geordin Gwyn Hill-Lewis (born 31 December 1986) is a South African politician who is the Mayor of Cape Town. A member of the Democratic Alliance, he was elected mayor in November 2021. He attended Edgemead High School, obtained an Honours degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Cape Town, and earned a Masters in Finance specialising in Economic Policy from London University.

Mayor Hill-Lewis served in the National Assembly of South Africa for more than a decade from August 2011 until November 2021. He held multiple positions in the Democratic Alliance and its Shadow Cabinet in the National Assembly. He worked alongside former Cape Town Mayor and Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, during her tenure as Leader of the Official Opposition as her Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2011. He served as the Shadow Deputy Minister of Public Service from August 2011 to February 2012, as the Shadow Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry from February 2012 to June 2014, and as the Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry between June 2014 and June 2017. He then joined the office of Leader of the Official Opposition, Mmusi Maimane, to become his Chief of Staff from 2017 to 2019. He subsequently became the Shadow Minister of Finance in June 2019 until he resigned to become Mayor in November 2021.

“I am extremely encouraged by the focus that the OECD Champion Mayors Initiative places on issues such as inclusive economic growth, building more inclusive environments and supporting small businesses, because these align so closely with my own objectives. We may all come from different parts of the world and face different challenges, but when it comes to creating more just and inclusive cities, we are fighting the same fight. I look forward to our collaboration.”

How is the
Mayor promoting
Inclusive Growth ?
The Integrated Development Plan

The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) is the central strategy of the City of Cape Town. The IDP communicates the City’s long-term vision to residents, businesses and investors. The IDP is made up of two parts – a strategic plan and an implementation plan. The strategic plan is informed by community needs, stakeholder inputs, a contextual analysis and an evaluation of the existing state of Cape Town, all of which help identify the challenges that the City needs to address to achieve its vision. Priorities and objectives provide focus in addressing the most critical strategic challenges.

The IDP for the Mayor’s term prioritizes faster economic growth. The most effective way to broaden economic inclusion is through job creation. We recognize that all our other priorities (safety, basic services, transport, housing, and public space, environment and amenities), together with our three enabling foundations (a resilient city, a more spatially integrated and inclusive city and a capable and collaborative city government), can support economic growth and reduce inequality. The Mayor has established five city-wide priority programmes.

Improving Energy Security for Inclusive Growth / Increasing Sanitation and Water Quality

Mayor Hill-Lewis believes that the most urgent thing we can do to achieve meaningfully faster economic growth and the job creation that accompanies it is to end load-shedding in our city.

Cape Town is planning to add up to one gigawatt of independent power supply to end load-shedding in the city over time, with the first 650MW of this within five years, including enough to protect against four Eskom load-shedding stages by 2026.

The second program focuses on sanitation and inland water quality. In addition to addressing the risk to the environment and public health and the indignity of dealing with sewer spills in high-density neighbourhoods where sewerage infrastructure has not kept pace with population growth, the City is significantly scaling up its investment in sanitation infrastructure to address both the backlog and future growth of the city.

Safety / Promoting Land Releases for Affordable Housing

Safety, our third programme, is both an enabler and an outcome of inclusive economic growth. Cape Town has passed a record R5,8 billion Safety Budget in 2023/24, with a R1,3 billion+ Make Cape Town Safer Plan over three years. The City seeks more policing powers, particularly criminal investigative powers, to build prosecution-ready case dockets for gang, gun and drug crime.

Fourth is land release for affordable housing. The goal is to create opportunities for more people to live closer to economic nodes, with more opportunities for employment and improved livelihoods.

Creating Opportunities for Micro-Enterprises

Fifth is ease of doing business. Making Cape Town the easiest city in Africa to do business will enable businesses to establish themselves, grow, thrive and create jobs and more opportunities for entrepreneurs and SMEs to grow their livelihoods. In addition to targeting the property and building value chain to unleash the potential of the labour-absorbing property development and construction sector, this priority programme will focus on business licensing and informal trading to expand opportunities for micro-enterprises.

Most of the Mayoral Priority Programmes have an impact on the sustainability and growth of micro-enterprise in Cape Town. For example, improved safety, robust public transport, an end to electricity black-outs, improved processes for trading permits, increased numbers of spaces for micro-enterprises and improved public sanitation will all facilitate business development.

Informal trading is a major area of micro-enterprise for the poorest communities in Cape Town. Reducing the average number of days to get an informal trading permit from 43 to 26 days, with an online permitting system and a R256m injection into trading bay upgrades and services over the next three years, is a key part of this programme.