The Western Cape has done it again. The Stats SA quarterly labour force survey shows that the province has created 95 000 new jobs in the past year, with the drought-hit agricultural sector showing promising signs of recovery.
While there is lots more work to be done, unemployment in the province declined from 20.7% to 20.4% in the third quarter of 2018. More importantly, unemployment has declined by 1.5 percentage points year on year, from 21.9% at this time last year, to its current 20.4%. This is far lower than the national unemployment rate of 27.5%, which saw an increase of 0.3 percentage points since last quarter.
The statistics also show that there are more active jobseekers here than anywhere else in the country, which suggests that the job environment here is not as discouraging as with our neighbours.
Further good news is that the Western Cape agricultural sector created 24 000 of the new jobs over the past year, despite the severe drought. Other major contributors to job creation in the province were the finance sector, which created 32 000 new jobs, community and social services, creating 53 000 new jobs and trade which gained 20 000 jobs, year on year.
The now former MEC of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde has thanked businesses and entrepreneurs for playing a big role in not only retaining staff, but also creating new opportunities for those looking for work.
A total of 188 000 new jobs were created in the South African economy in the past year.
What’s more is that the Western Cape contributed to approximately half of the new jobs created in South Africa over the past year, despite only making up 14% of the national economy.
Winde says initiatives like Project Khulisa, which was kick-started under his tenure, are starting to pay dividends for the people of the province.
Winde, who has now moved on to take care of the Community Safety Portfolio, while Dan Plato takes over as Mayor, says it’s been an honour to serve in this portfolio as MEC of Economic Opportunities for nearly ten years.
“It’s rewarding to see that the province continues to create meaningful change through job creation. Growing the economy and creating jobs will continue to be the provincial government’s number one priority going forward”.
He’s also got much bigger things waiting for him. Should the DA retain the province after the 2019 elections, Winde is set to take over from Helen Zille as Premier. He’ll have a major task on his hands to help uplift all of the residents of this province.