By Beverley Schäfer, MPL, DA WC Spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture:
The Western Cape is moving against the stream and providing far more jobs, in a country that is facing a major jobs crisis.
On Wednesday, Stats SA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, and the numbers confirmed yet again that the Western Cape is the best performing province, where the amount of employed persons relative to the population (absorption rate) now stands at 52.9 up from 52.5 from last year.
When compared to the national absorption rate of 43.5, there is no wonder why people are moving from the whole of South Africa to the Western Cape to seek opportunities. In the face of the national jobs crisis, the Western Cape Government continues to create an enabling environment to grow the economy and ultimately create jobs.
Although this is positive news with ten percentage points higher than in the rest of the country, the job for this Province is far from being over. When we look more closely at the job numbers created in South Africa, they fall mostly in the category of insecure informal jobs, with the numbers in formal jobs declining. This is not sustainable and merely keeps people stuck in a poverty trap.
A major reason for the decline in job numbers is national government’s economic policies and its continuous efforts to kill jobs with more onerous regulations and red tape that hampers business. Such an example is the Department of Home Affairs refusal to take heed of the outcry from the tourism sector regarding the Amended Visa Regulations and unabridged birth certificate requirement. These regulations especially hurt the Western Cape Economy where tourism is a dominant employer.
That is why I have written to the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, to urgently respond to the call from the tourism industry, to change the onerous Visa Regulations before it kills off more jobs in the formal sector.
Ministers such as Malusi Gigaba must be held account for their role in the labour numbers going forward, until such time that legislation such as this is immediately appealed and a new attitude towards economy growth is taken.