Western Cape makes biggest job gains in the face of rising national unemployment

Despite the announcement of a 26.4% spike in the national unemployment rate, the Western Cape has come out on top in terms of job gains in the first quarter with 91 000 working opportunities created in the province.

According to figures released by Statistics SA, the Western Cape has made the biggest job gains in the country between January and March this year and Gauteng comes in second place with a reported 30 000 jobs created.

CapeTalk’s Africa Mleane spoke to Alan Winde, Western Cape MEC for Economic Opportunities, about this.

Western Cape farmworkers. Image credit: EWN/Aletta Gardner.

Western Cape reaping the fruits

Winde says that the Western Cape has managed to secure employment opportunities through the agricultural harvesting and tourism industry. He says that work in both sectors provides for seasonal employment.

According to Winde, provincial government’s economic growth plan, Project Khulisa, has identified agriculture and tourism to be key areas of focus.

Project Khulisa has identified those two engines in our economy, and we have our government plan in our five year plan, focusing on what we need to do in those two areas. Its only one quarter in the year but we really are working hard at pushing our numbers.

Load shedding paints a black picture for SA’s economy

Winde says that although the Western Cape is boding well, the national economic figures are cause for concern and that a gross domestic product (GDP) of only 1.3% is not a good indicator.

Quite frankly, the stats aren't rosy. We might be happy in the Western Cape but generally for South Africa, the picture is not good.

According to Winde, Eskom’s load shedding is a contributing factor to the country’s poor first quarter performance and the lack of dependable provision of power has negative consequences on unemployment.

Listen to the full conversation with Africa Melane, standing in, on Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

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