Eugene Von Brandis MPP
DA Western Cape Spokesperson for Economic Development in the Provincial Legislature
Since the successful launch of the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP), on 26 April 2012, over 120 organisations have applied for membership. The EDP has a confirmed membership of 107 members ranging from predominantly business, industry & professional representation, civil society, public sector representation but also includes trade union representation. This is according to a presentation by the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Development today, 25 July 2012, at the Provincial Parliament of the Western Cape.
As DA spokesperson on Economic Development and Tourism, I welcome the EDP’s adopted mission which is captured in the “One Cape 2040” challenge: “Creating a resilient, inclusive and competitive Western Cape with higher rates of employment producing growing incomes, greater equality and an improved quality of life”. This challenge realises the current situation of a poorly skilled, factor/efficiency driven, resource intensive regional economy and what changes is required to become a highly skilled, innovation driven, resource-efficient and high-opportunity regional economy.
The EDP is more than a mere Public Private Partnership (PPP) and were defined in the presentation as a cross-sector partnership that focuses mobilising a wide-range of socio-economic stakeholders towards a more inclusive and resilient regional economy. Job creation to tackle rising unemployment, especially among the youth, has rightfully manifested itself as the biggest, shared goal in South Africa. To effectively and sustainably address job creation the focus should also encourage support, development and growth of the job creators. The relationship between especially government and the EDP is a mutually beneficial one.
I am delighted to see that the DA-led Western Cape Government is again at the forefront of providing workable solutions to the growing problem of job creation. Not only is the EDP helping to redress the current situation marred by unemployment, inequality and poverty; it is also incorporating long term development planning for all spheres of society to improve the lives of all in the Western Cape.
I thank all validated members of the EDP for their proven interest in moving our province forward. I urge all organisations that are able to contribute to our province to engage with the EDP. I would also like to wish the EDP all the best with their upcoming election and announcement of the new EDP board and chairperson on the 2nd of August 2012.