WC delivers positive economic outlook despite national government obstructions

Issued by Deidré Baartman, MPP – DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Budget
20 Sep 2022 in Press Statements

Attention broadcasters: English audio clip attached.

The 2022/2023 Provincial Economic Review and Outlook tabled by Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger,  today confirmed that bold interventions will be needed to decouple the trajectory of the Western Cape economy from the rest of the country.

This world-class document tabled in the Provincial Parliament provides an in-depth look at the state of our Province’s economy, that can then be used by the Western Cape Government to inform evidence-based policy interventions.

The Western Cape’s economic growth still mirrors trends of the national economy, although performing better, with an expansion of 2.2% expected in 2022 against a 1.7% expected expansion nationally.

There are however numerous encouraging signs for our provincial economy from this report:

  • 40% increase in real exports from 2012-2021.
  • 289 Greenfield Investments worth R122.270 billion received, which created 17 303 employment opportunities from 2012-2021.
  • 8.8% growth forecasted in Provincial agricultural sector.
  • 22 Western Cape Municipalities have Small-Scale Embedded Generation frameworks in place, representing a third of all such municipalities in the country.
  • Western Cape recorded an improvement in the human development index between with the highest score of any province, improving its score by nearly 14% from 2012-2020.
  • The Western Cape has the highest life expectancy in in the country, for both males and females at 66.3 and 71.7 years respectively.
  • Net-in migration of more than 290 000 people, representing 48.6% of total population growth from 2016-2021.
  • 4% decrease in people living below the poverty line from 2012-2021.

It is clear that there is much to be hopeful about in our province. What is also clear however, is that the massive roadblocks placed in the way of our provincial growth by the ANC national government must be overcome. It is especially encouraging that the Western Cape Government  is doing more than any other province to mitigate the disastrous effects of rolling blackouts, by making our municipalities less reliant on Eskom. This is immensely important, with Eskom generating 6.9% less on average in 2021 when compared to 2011, with the Efficient Group conservatively estimating the South African economy is 8-10% smaller than it would have been without loadshedding.

The Western Cape is already outperforming the rest of the country when it comes to jobs, dignity and well-being for our citizens, and I am excited to see even greater improvements in the lives of our citizens resulting from evidence-based decision-making, as that is the hallmark of any DA government.