Cape Town’s new ‘stupid rule button’ explained

The City of Cape Town has introduced a stupid rule button for staff which aims to promote an ease of doing business mindset amongst staff, improve general customer experiences, and make it easier for businesses to thrive in Cape Town. 

‘City staff now have a red ‘Stupid Rule’ button on their desktops that they can hit to let us know about any customs, practices, ways of working, or plain stupid rules they have to follow in their daily work that need to change.

‘This is part of our ‘I mean Business’ campaign aimed at City staff. In this way, we aim to improve the ease of doing business in Cape Town, and enhance the general service delivery experience of Capetonians, by removing all self-imposed red tape that is unnecessary, inflexible, redundant, or too bureaucratic to deliver a service quickly and easily,’ said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

Mayor Hill-Lewis has set a goal of making Cape Town the easiest place to do business in Africa. The ‘I Mean Business’ campaign is part of several initiatives in this regard, which include:

  • Upgrades to digital platforms for development applications, property certification, and other important economic processes
  •  Enhancing e-services for municipal billing, and online appointment systems for, inter alia, vehicle licensing
  • The upgrading of digital platforms to report service delivery issues to the City of Cape Town
  • Advocacy for National Treasury to cut a range of unnecessary red tape provisions in municipal procurement legislation
  •  Investment incentives including one-stop investment facilitation, incentivised electricity tariff, waiving of fees, and fast-tracking of development applications.

‘Once City staff hit the stupid rule button, the report is sent to the Executive Director of the relevant directorate who will allocate a team to investigate. Once this investigation is done, steps will be actioned to either amend, explain or remove the rule. The officials who work within these parameters on a daily basis have first-hand experience of how processes can be improved. We are looking forward to receiving their feedback,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

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