PERO 2022/23: Our Pathway from Recovery to Growth
Today, the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, tabled the Western Cape Provincial Economic Review and Outlook 2022/23 (PERO) in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.
The document provides key data on the impact of international and national developments on the provincial economy, as well as a detailed analysis on trends in the Western Cape and forms the basis for the upcoming budget process discussions.
Beginning her address, Minister Wenger said: “This document also makes clear some of the challenges that face South Africa and, by extension, the Western Cape. This week, those challenges are as stark as ever before – as we face an unprecedented energy crisis brought on by years of mismanagement and corruption at a national level.”
“We will not shy away from facing these challenges head-on, because only by doing so – with determination – can we really effect the change our people need and deserve. And so, in this way, this document is a unique source of confidence and hope – a sober hope, if you will. Because delivering hope does not require the absence of adversity, but in my view, the willingness and courage to respond to it and prevail. That is what we continue to do here in the Western Cape” continued Minister Wenger.
Minister Wenger set out how there is a clear pathway for the Western Cape – from recovery to growth, following the devastating COVID-19 pandemic which caused significant job losses in the province. This is “a pathway that creates hope and confidence,” added Minister Wenger.
• As the third largest economy in the country as of 2021, the Western Cape was one of only three that increased its contribution to the national GDP over the last decade.
• The agricultural sector’s growth has outperformed all others over the last ten years.
• Between 2012 and 2021, real exports in the Western Cape expanded by almost 40%, with significant contributions from agriculture
• As a global destination of choice, tourism is expected to rebound this year, exceeding 2019 figures in 2023.
• The Western Cape is pushing ahead with bold plans to be energy resilient and attracting high levels of renewable energy investment.
• A key focus will be to substantially increase fixed investment in the province with a specific emphasis on social infrastructure investments. There has been a recent positive uptick in building plans approved in the province.
Minister Wenger also reflected on the need for the Western Cape to exceed South Africa’s economic growth rate to create jobs and roll-back poverty. She said, “as we move on this pathway from recovery to growth, we need to de-couple our province’s economic growth trajectory from the country’s by delivering break-out economic growth that creates jobs.”
This as the PERO projects sluggish growth in South Africa, with growth rates of 1.7 per cent in 2022 and 0.3 per cent in 2023, with the Western Cape expanding at a higher rate of 2.2 per cent in 2022, before dipping to the national growth rate of 0.3 per cent in 2023.
“In doing so, we need to ensure that we prioritse, doing more with less, and use the policy levers that we have available to us to effect this rapid change. We also need to enable partnerships, especially with the private sector, and embrace innovation” added Minister Wenger.
Commenting on the safety and well-being priorities, Minister Wenger pointed out that all three priorities are inter-connected, with the response to one having a real impact on the other.
On the safety priority, the PERO sets out that:
• Between the 2017/18 and 2021/22 financial years, sexual offences, robbery at residential premises, drug-related crime and driving under the influence of alcohol all declined in the Western Cape.
Minister Wenger said: “The Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) is also working. An average hotspot to Western Cape crime ratio comparison between nine quarters of LEAP implementation with nine quarters prior to LEAP interventions shows a decline in murder of 2.3 percentage points, a decline in attempted murder by 4.0 percentage points, and a decline in assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm by 1 percentage point.”
On the well-being priority, the PERO sets out that:
• The Western Cape recorded an improvement in the human development index between 2012, 2016 and 2020, and that this increased across all districts of the province.
• In 2021, the Western Cape had a larger portion of dwellings with electricity including a generator, access to flush or chemical toilets, access to refuse removals at least once a week, and piped water inside a dwelling than the rest of South Africa.
• The Western Cape has the highest life expectancy for both males and females in South Africa.
• There has been an increase in the ratio of doctors per 100,000 people in the Western Cape between 2012/13 and 2021/22, and a recent improvement in the ratio of nurses per 100,000 people between 2019/20 and 2020/21.
• There has been a significant improvement in learner retention over the last decade, meaning more learners are staying in school in the Western Cape.
Minister Wenger noted: “…Inward migration into the province means that the growth in learner numbers is exceeding the expansion of schools and teachers. To address this, the largest share of new infrastructure assets budget over the 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework has been allocated towards the education department. The PERO confirms this need for infrastructure investments, especially social infrastructure investments.”
In conclusion, Minister Wenger reminded members of the provincial parliament of the province’s coat of arms, which have the words ‘Spes Bona’ – or Good Hope’ etched at the bottom, “reminding us that this is a place of resilience. A place that doesn’t back-off and never gives up”, said the Minister.
Source: Government of South Africa