Premier Alan Winde and the MEC of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, and MEC of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers, on Monday officially introduced the Western Cape Government’s new Growth For Jobs (G4J) strategy.
The bold new plan aims to dramatically lift the provincial growth rate and to decouple the province’s growth trajectory from that of the rest of the country.
The core of the plan is the understanding the private sector are the ones that create jobs, while the provincial government will play an enabling role, making it as easy as possible to do business.
According to Premier Winde, this will be done by ensuring that the private sector has access to the energy, water, infrastructure, skills, and technology they need to grow and succeed.
The G4J Strategy sets an ambitious target of building a trillion-rand jobs-rich, inclusive, sustainable, diverse, and resilient provincial economy, that is growing at between 4 and 6 percent per year in real terms by 2035. This has the potential to create over 600 000 jobs.
Winde says the Western Cape is endowed with a wealth of resources and people, and it is this potential that needs to be unlocked.
“We have proven that despite adversity, together we can still endure and succeed. G4J will provide us with renewed vigour and guidance to achieve break-out economic growth.”
MEC Wenger explains what sets G4J strategy apart is that it has been worked on with the private sector, both formal and informal, including township economies, to ultimately fast track economic growth.
“The fact is that we need to drastically boost economic growth to generate sufficient employment that can pull people out of poverty. The Strategy takes cognizance of the rural and urban dimensions in its approach with a clear spatial lens, with an aim to connect people in our towns, cities and rural communities to economic opportunities. It also takes a much longer view, going all the way up to 2035, and our plan of action involves the whole of government.”
The MEC of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers added that investment in infrastructure will be the catalyst.
“The Western Cape Infrastructure Framework 2050 (WCIF2050) is the overarching guideline that will ensure infrastructure becomes the catalyst in the growth of jobs creation. Furthermore, we will look to strengthen public and private partnerships so that the Western Cape becomes the economic hub in South Africa.”
The Premier labelled the plan ”courageous”, but much-needed given the sluggish economic growth South Africa has been languishing in for far too long. He says the ultimate aim is to lift people out of poverty.
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The strategy is based on seven priority focus areas (PFAs), each with a strategic goal in mind, as detailed in the table below:
The Growth For Jobs plan is guided by founding principles, first agreed to in a strategic framework. These include:
- An open market economy that makes it possible for an open opportunity society that is aimed at improving competitiveness and productivity.
- ”Horizontal enablement” that places government as an enabler of the economy offering support to the private sector to ensure growth and opportunities.
- Equality of opportunity will see a state that facilitates economic opportunity for citizens and expands choice and the independence of residents.
- Redress through active economic participation that pulls more people into the economy, stimulating competition, improving skills and productivity, raising investment, and reducing poverty.
- Partnerships should be nurtured with the various spheres of government and the private sector to increase the speed and scale of change.
- Innovation to ensure new ideas are embraced and to push the boundaries of the Western Cape’s constitutional mandate to enable private-sector-led growth and job creation in tourism, trade, and industrial policy.
- Agility and flexibility in how government pursues break-out growth.
- Sustainability entails growth being decoupled from wasteful resource usage and fossil fuel dependency.
- Data-led decision-making in making sound decisions. This requires a data management and reporting capability that pulls together and utilizes the excellent data that the province already has.
- Responsiveness to impactful opportunities which sees that government is responsive to all private-sector-led opportunities, while being selective about which support levers are deployed based on the extent of private sector involvement.
The Premier concluded that while a long road lies ahead, he has confidence in the Growth For Jobs plan.
“This strategy provides us with a clear, brave blueprint for what our government and our partners need to do over the next 12 years. We are all on the same page, aiming to pour considerable resources into seeing G4J succeed in its mission to boost our economic growth and create more jobs. This strategy belongs to all the citizens of the Western Cape. Businesses big and small, entrepreneurs and civil society are all a part of G4J. Working together to create employment is the driving force behind this initiative.”
We are doing everything we can for the people of the Western Cape.
Enabling the private sector's success will guarantee the prosperity of our province. This is what our Growth for Jobs strategy aims to achieve! 🌟 pic.twitter.com/Zflzz5CUxe
— Premier Alan Winde 🇿🇦 (@alanwinde) July 24, 2023