The latest provincial GDP figures from Stats SA, which are a year behind the national figures, reflect the Western Cape economic growth as 0.8 per cent for 2018, even though the province was experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent history.
This strong rallying of our provincial economy is very positive news, as the expectation was that the Western Cape would only grow by about 0.2 per cent in 2018.
Since 2018 there are signs of recovery and growth and our expectation is that 2019 will show even higher growth results, this despite the announcement of South Africa entering into a recession.
The positive growth rate in the Western Cape shows that this is a great place to invest and we will do everything we can to support businesses despite the challenging environment.
As outlined in the Provincial Review & Economic Outlook 2019 and the Municipal Review & Economic Outlook 2019 this growth is driven by private services – which include wholesale and retail trade; catering and accommodation; transport, storage and communication; finance, insurance, real estate and business services; as well as community, social and personal services.
We also expect agriculture and agri-processing to be the fastest growing sectors as they recover from the contraction caused by the drought in the Western Cape.
The Western Cape still maintains the lowest unemployment rate in the country, and we created 24,000 new jobs in the last quarter in the Western Cape.
We will continue to work hard to grow the economy because there are still too many people, especially young people, who don’t have jobs or who have given up looking for jobs.
That is why we have launched an investment promotion campaign, that is why we are setting up an ease of doing business unit to work on constraints to economic growth in the province and that is why we are working hard to mitigate the impact of load shedding on the economy in the Western Cape.