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The Western Cape increased employment by 330,000 – this is according to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, released by Statistics South Africa yesterday.


Western Cape, South Africa (01 March 2023) – Mireille Wenger, Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities says that she is elated that employment statistics in the Western Cape increased by 330,000 year-on-year, representing an increase of 14.7%.

In addition, the Western Cape recorded the largest employment increase in the country quarter-on-quarter, with an additional 167,000 employed persons in our province – this is according to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, released by Statistics South Africa yesterday.

“It is further good news that the unemployment rates, both on the official and expanded definitions, decreased by 2 percentage points and 2.7 percentage points respectively, quarter-on-quarter and by 5.5 percentage points and 3.6 percentage points respectively year-on-year,” Mireille Wenger exlained.

This represents a decrease in the number of unemployed people by 129,000 on the official definition, and by 35,000 on the expanded definition, year-on-year.

“To build on this momentum and to ensure that we continue to enable the creation of more job opportunities in the Western Cape, the Provincial Government is in the final stages of completing our new ‘Growth for Jobs’ Strategy. The Strategy envisages a provincial economy that is sustainable, resilient, diverse, inclusive, and thriving. To fully realise this, the Strategy aims to achieve break-out economic growth by enabling the private sector, ultimately generating confidence, hope and prosperity for all.

While we do face significant challenges nationally, including the debilitating energy crisis and the recent greylisting by the Financial Action Task Force, which may increase the cost of doing business with South Africa and act as a disincentive for investment, the Western Cape Government will continue to work to remove obstacles to growth and to create the right conditions for the private sector, businesses big and small, to thrive.”

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says the City is encouraged by unemployment in Cape Town declining by 2.6 percentage points, with the city maintaining the lowest unemployment rate of the metros.

However, much work still lies ahead to ensure more economic growth that lifts people out of poverty over time. The latest StatsSA Quarterly Labour Force Survey for Oct–Dec 22 shows Cape Town to have a 26.9% unemployment rate, down 2.6% from the previous quarter. This is based on the expanded unemployment definition, which offers the most complete estimate.

“Governments that have successfully lifted people out of poverty have all understood a simple truth: that good government underpins investment, investment underpins economic growth, and economic growth lifts people out of poverty. Our higher purpose in Cape Town is to support meaningful economic growth that helps more people into work and out of poverty, over time. Having the lowest unemployment means we are making progress, and we take encouragement from these figures, but they are still far too high. We must keep doing more to drive economic growth,” said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

Hill-Lewis said Cape Town continues to lay the foundation for economic growth through several priority programmes, including:

  • Ending load-shedding over time, including the 3-phase procurement for load-shedding protection and ‘cash for power’ programmes
  • Good financial governance, with a clean audit for 21/22 to underpin reliable basic service delivery and investor confidence
  • A R120 billion pipeline of planned infrastructure projects over 10 years
  • Improving ease of doing business, including enhanced e-services for development applications, municipal billing, and reporting of service delivery issues
  • Investment incentives including one-stop investment facilitation, incentivised electricity tariff, waiving of fees, and fast-tracking of development applications
  • Advocacy for policing powers and control of passenger rail to be devolved for the metro to fix these critical sectors

Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, said the City’s strategy for growth is both broad and industry-specific.

“This allows us to gain a large-scale understanding of what is needed within the metro for opportunity to flourish, while simultaneously nurturing industries that have shown huge growth potential. These include greentech, business process outsourcing (call centres), tourism and marine manufacturing,” said Alderman Vos.

Alderman Vos added that the City will also ramp up its business and investment support programmes, workforce development initiatives, and steps to make Cape Town the easiest place in Africa to do business.

“Through City programmes such as Jobs Connect and the Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator, we are helping thousands of Capetonians to source skills training and work opportunities in and around the metro. Entrepreneurs have ready access to City-funded training and investors can speak to our Investment Facilitation Branch about growing their developments in Cape Town. Through these programmes and platforms, we have built avenues of access for thousands of people and we are going to keep pushing,” said Alderman Vos.

Sources: Mireille Wenger | Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis
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