Nicolette Dirk, finance writer, Justmoney.co.za
Leading up to tomorrow’s election, the Democratic Alliance (DA) can boast being at the helm of a province where the employment rate has increased by 79.1%.
According to a survey released yesterday by StatsSA’s Quarter 1 2014 Labour Force Survey, the Western Cape is the leading province in terms of job creation in South Africa.
Alan Winde(pictured), provincial minister of finance, economic development and tourism, said that while South Africa has seen a drastic increase in its unemployed population (in the last quarter, the number of employed people decreased by 122 000 and the number of unemployed people rose by a further 237 000) the official unemployment rate in the Western Cape declined by 0.1%.
“In South Africa, the narrow unemployment rose by 1.1% to 25.2%, and the broad unemployment rate has grown to 35.1%. This means that over a third of working age South Africans are now jobless.
In the Western Cape, narrow unemployment (people actively seeking employment) now stands at 20.9% and broad unemployment (includes discouraged job-seekers and people who have stopped looking for work) now stands at 22.6%. In our province, there is a very low rate of discouraged work-seekers, demonstrating that our residents remain hopeful of finding employment,” said Winde.
He added that year on year, the Western Cape created the most jobs in South Africa with 146 000 between January and March 2014 while in, Gauteng, the largest economy in South Africa, created only 62 000.
“We are focused on creating a province in which there are more jobs and more opportunities for all people. We are pleased with these latest statistics as they confirm that these, and the many other policies we have introduced over the last five years, are growing our economy and are creating opportunities for more and more people in our province,” said Winde.
What is the Western Province doing right?
Dawie Roodt, Efficient Group economist, said that while he may not agree with all the DA’s policies, they do get the job done.
“The DA is in charge of a province with a good infrastructure, compared to Gauteng, which makes things easier. The Western Province also has a high percentage of skilled people. People in the Western Cape also appear to be employed based on merit rather than who they know,” said Roodt.
But according to Roodt the country’s overall employment rate is a concern because it is high and he predicts that it will remain high for years to come.
“The only way to improve the unemployment rate is to stop focusing on employment itself and start focusing on improving the country’s economic growth,” said Roodt.