Cape Town - After six years the City of Cape Town is in the process of reviewing and revising its current economic growth strategy.
Mayco member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos said that it was a priority to establish Cape Town as “the go-to city” on the African continent and globally for business, trade and tourism.
He said the strategy was last reviewed in 2013.
He said the 2013 strategy was successfully implemented and has established a platform for the City’s economic development.
“The constant changes in the local, national, and global economic environment have dictated that we review the strategy. From 2013 - 2017, Cape Town’s economy grew at an average rate of 1.8% per annum, compared to 1.7% by the Western Cape and 1.5% at a national level,” Vos said.
Another relevant trend was that of unemployment.
“Cape Town consistently outperforms the national labour market in this regard, with up to 10 percentage points separating the two. Cape Town’s strict and broad unemployment rates are only 1.3 percentage points apart, indicating a low incidence of discouraged work-seekers in Cape Town.”
Vos said while that was a positive sign, “the reality is that with almost a full quarter of the local population unemployed we are in desperate need of job creation through stimulation and support of the private sector.
“These trends must be reversed an updated economic growth strategy will help us achieve this. To position ourselves as a globally competitive city, we need to stay abreast of national and global developments,” he said.
“I am happy this new ‘inclusive economic growth strategy' recognises that addressing inequality is as important as targeting economic growth.
"It seeks to address aspects of the formal and informal local economy. The proposed approach is also aimed at addressing spatial, technological and environmental components of the economy that previous strategies may not have directly looked at.
“The policy will address a full range of economic areas and mechanisms within the City's control, as well as acknowledge the need for more public-private partnerships, which includes all spheres of government."
He added that the modest vision contained in the strategy was the need for economic growth proportional to their population growth, with more jobs created for women and children, and for a better distribution of wealth across the city.
“This vision is a commitment to infrastructure development, sustainable investment attraction, ongoing stimulation of the labour market and skills development, and better support for companies and sectors,” Vos said.
“We are confident that the updated strategy will be tabled before council before the end of the year, targeting approval and implementation in early 2020.”
Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said over the next year they would again see massive investment in the poorest areas, “especially the gang-affected ones, this time through the mayor's urban regeneration programme”.
Xolani Sotashe, ANC leader in the Cape Town Council, said communities were tired of promises. “People from Marikana informal settlement are still waiting for service delivery. Communities are tired of gangsterism.”