Western Cape braces for an estimated 240 000 job losses
Cape Town - The Western Cape economy stands to lose an estimated 240 000 jobs as a result of national lockdown regulations, with 104 505 jobs just in the tourism sector.
During a presentation made to the ad hoc committee on Covid-19 by the provincial department of finance, economic opportunities and tourism David Savage, head official in the provincial treasury said: “From some of our earlier modelling, we do know that the lockdown has had a massive impact on our local tourism sector, which is a very significant sector of our economy as a province in terms of value added growth and the employment opportunities offered.
“We are projecting that there will be no international tourism for at least 12 months, going back to the start of the lockdown, and as a result the economy could shed 240 000 jobs of which 104 505 are in the tourism sector.”
Savage told the committee tourism accounts for 43% of all employment losses in the treasury’s projections and that international tourism activity makes up 80% of all tourism activity in the province. Savage said without international tourism, 50% of all tourism business would close down.
Committee member Deidré Baartman, MPL, urged Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to revisit regulations to allow more tourism and construction activities to resume, in line with health and safety protocols. The provincial treasury forecast a R610million shortfall in its own revenue, and a R3billion provincial budget cut and expenditure demand to fund the Covid-19 response of about R2.4bn in the Western Cape.
Finance and economic opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “To date, R1.14bn has been committed towards Covid-19-related expenditure across the Western Cape. This includes, but is not limited to: R628m to the department of health for personal protective equipment, laboratory tests, hospital beds and ventilators; and R273m to the department of education for personal protective equipment, digital infra-red non-touch thermometers, sanitisers and cleaning materials.”
R16.2m was also allocated by the department of local government in the form of a support grant for humanitarian initiatives in municipalities.