Western Cape finance MEC Ivan Meyer. File photo. Image by: Gallo Images / City Press / Muntu Vilakazi
CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape expects its economic growth to outpace South Africa’s in 2017/18.
Before tabling the province’s budget on Tuesday‚ finance MEC Ivan Meyer told journalists he expected growth of 2%‚ higher than the 1.8% forecast for the country as a whole.
Meyer said his close to R60-billion budget was aimed at “growth‚ people and prosperity”‚ adding: “There is consensus in this government and in this cabinet that nothing is more important than growing the economy and creating jobs.”
The education and health departments get the biggest slices of the budget‚ at R21‚6 billion and R20‚6 billion respectively.
The two departments are also central in the provincial plan to invest R28 billion in infrastructure. Meyer said they would spend a combined R7‚3 billion on building 16 schools and construction and maintenance of 14 medical facilities.
Meyer allocated R125 million for the operation of the Saldanha Industrial Development Zone‚ which was a strategic area in terms of unlocking investment in the oil and gas sector.
“The tourism sector will focus on securing direct access routes from key visitor markets; positioning the Western Cape as the cycling capital of Africa; and the development of the Madiba Legacy tourism route to maximise culture and heritage tourism‚” said Meyer.
The province was also focusing on the agri-processing sector‚ including halaal export promotion.
“Furthermore‚ exports of wine and brandy to Angola and China are being explored through market initiatives‚” said Meyer.