'Our economy will grow more than the rest of SA' - Western Cape Finance MEC
Cape Town - While the provincial economic review and outlook (Pero) and the municipal economic review and outlook (Mero) forecast a slow economic recovery, the Western Cape’s economy will grow at a faster rate than the rest of the country, according to Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier.
Maynier, who on Tuesday tabled the Pero and the Mero, said: “We can, and we will, bounce back in the Western Cape.
“Overall, the economy in the Western Cape is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 1% between 2020 and 2024, while the rest of South Africa is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 0.7% in the same period.
“The Pero and Mero outline the considerable challenges we face as a result of pre-existing risks such as an unstable national economy with increasingly unsustainable debt levels, load-shedding, the continued burden of failing zombie state-owned enterprises like SAA, together with new risks as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Maynier added.
“But they also outline the many opportunities for investment and growth that have emerged in sectors such as agriculture and agri-processing, business process outsourcing and the green economy, as well as in our regional districts.
“However, we must face the fact that too many people don’t have jobs, too many people are victims of crime, and too many people are poor and cannot meet their basic needs in the province.”
Maynier said Premier Alan Winde will on Thursday announce a new set of post-Covid-19 priorities to deliver “jobs, safety and dignity”, which together form the pillars of the province’s recovery plan.
Winde’s address to the legislature will be followed by a debate on Friday.
Good Party’s Brett Herron said: “Maynier’s commitment to create an enabling environment for private sector-led growth was so trite, it bordered on totally irrelevant.
“His presentation was a massive let down at a time when the people of this province are crying out as never before for real plans and real leadership.”
The ANC’s Cameron Dugmore added: “What concerns me is that the issue of inequality is referred to in parts of the speech, but what emphasis does the province place on inequality as a driver of many of our social pathologies in this province?”
Budget committee chairperson Deidré Baartman said: “This world-class document is a vital research and policy planning tool to help the province and its municipalities in their efforts to rebuild the economy in light of the impact of Covid-19.
“Opportunities for economic investment are prevalent in the province, and sectors such as the green economy and special economic zones such as that in Atlantis are poised to create jobs and drive economic growth in the province.”