Media Release: GDP contraction: We will apply the same urgency to rebuilding our economy as we did to the health response in the Western Cape

MEDIA RELEASE BY DAVID MAYNIER

WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Date: 08 September 2020

Release: immediately

GDP contraction: We will apply the same urgency to rebuilding our economy as we did to the health response in the Western Cape

The massive 51% real GDP contraction in the second quarter of this year shows just how devastating the lockdown has been on the economy across South Africa.

When the national economy contracts, the provincial economy contracts, and so there is no doubt that the lockdown will have a severe impact on the economy in the Western Cape.

However, one positive is the agricultural sector which has grown by 15% and provides a glimmer of hope as this sector contributed 209 798 jobs and R21 billion to the economy in 2019 in the Western Cape.

We have led the way in calling for the opening of the economy where it was safe to do so, with some success in the re-opening of the ecommerce, construction and tourism sectors.

We have worked hard to support businesses during the crisis with many resources and tools such as:

  • the Covid-19 Content Centre, set up with our partners at Wesgro and the City of Cape Town, to provide support and advice for businesses during the crisis,
  • the Covid-19 support finder which helps businesses navigate and access the many financial relief packages available to them,
  • our Red Tape Reduction Unit which assists businesses, including small businesses, with information such as how to start a business and where to register a business, as well as red tape related issues, such as delayed permits
  • our health guidelines and information materials on preventing and managing Covid-19 infections in the workplace, and
  • our PPE marketplace which helps businesses to find Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suppliers and which supports small businesses providing PPE to private businesses.

We have stood with business through the crisis and we remain committed to standing with business in recovery, which is why we are now moving forward and focusing on our economic recovery with all the urgency of the health response in the Western Cape.

We have launched our “We Are Open” domestic tourism campaign, and we will continue to call for the further opening of the economy where it is safe to do so. This includes calling for the opening of our borders to allow international travel, which is critical to supporting businesses in the hardest hit tourism and hospitality sector in the Western Cape.

Notes for media:
Please find soundbyte from Minister David Maynier attached.

To read the statement online visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/gdp-contraction-we-will-urgently-rebuild-our-economy-western-cape

 

Media Queries:

Francine Higham

Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities

(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)

Tel: 021 483 4327 / Cell: 071 087 5150 / Email: francine.higham@westerncape.gov.za

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