Time to reopen and recuperate in WCape – David Maynier – POLITICS

Today (September 30, 2021), Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier tabled the 2021 Provincial Economic Review and Outlook in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.

The Provincial Economic Review and Outlook 2021 is a world-class annual research publication produced by the Provincial Treasury, aimed at educating policymakers, departments and municipalities on key economic trends and developments in the Western Cape.

What the Provincial Economic Review tells us and the outlook for 2021 is that:

We forecast an average annual economic growth rate of 2.9% between 2021 and 2025 in the Western Cape.

We expect the economy to grow 3 percent this year in the Western Cape.

This means that this year the provincial economy will grow at a slower rate than the national economy in South Africa.

Which illustrates the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdown restrictions on the tourism and hospitality sector, which accounts for 4.5% of GDP and 6.6% of total employment in the Western Cape.

That is why we must do all we can to revive the tourism and hospitality sector in the Western Cape.

And we must do it urgently.

First, the UK must remove South Africa from the “red list”.

The decision to keep South Africa on the “red list” seems blatantly unfair, unnecessarily strangling a key source market for tourism in the Western Cape.

Second, President Cyril Ramaphosa must immediately raise South Africa to Alert Level 1.

It needs to go further and, with appropriate security measures, consider increasing the capacity of large conference rooms, accommodating spectators at major sporting events and reopening ports for the cruise season.

Third, we must remove the obstacles to growth in the tourism sector.

This includes:

Increased connectivity, with the urgent review and approval of the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, of the request for the Delta Air Lines Atlanta – Johannesburg – Cape Town triangular route; and

Attracting digital nomads, with Home Secretary Aaron Motsoaledi introducing a ‘remote work visa’ to allow international visitors to stay longer and work remotely while traveling to South Africa.

Fourth, we need to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible in order to avoid a possible fourth wave and ensure a successful summer season in the Western Cape.

Finally, now is the time for the national government to trust the provinces, end the National State of Disaster, and allow the provinces to handle the Covid-19 pandemic with a response proportional to the threat.

We need a new differentiated approach that avoids a brutal instrument that kills jobs.

Because every day of delay costs businesses, jobs and livelihoods in the Western Cape.

The 2021 Provincial Economic Review and Outlook comes at an extraordinary time in our history in the Western Cape.

We have the opportunity to get things done in the Western Cape.

And, our recovery plan for the Western Cape and its three pillars “Jobs”, “Security” and “Well-being” puts us on a clear path to reopen and recover.

Media Notes:

Please read Minister David Maynier’s full speech and download the Provincial Economic Review and 2021 Outlook documents here: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/provincial-treasury/news/minister-david-maynier -tables-provincial-economic -review-and-outlook-time-reopen-and-recover

Posted by Francine Higham on behalf of Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities, September 30, 2021

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