STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE MAYOR, PATRICIA DE LILLE
I am delighted by the news yesterday where Statistics South Africa confirmed that Cape Town’s official unemployment rate declined for a second successive quarter (to 21,1%) while the national unemployment rate increased to 27,5%.
Cape Town’s unemployment rate is 2,1 percentage points lower than what it was a year ago. This was also the ninth consecutive quarter in which the city has shown positive employment growth.
In addition, the Quarterly Labour Force Survey 2018 for the third quarter, from 1 July to 31 September 2018, shows Cape Town has the lowest expanded unemployment rate (22,9%) of all the metros in the country.
The number of Capetonians in employment has increased by 61 000 to 1,6 million people compared to the same time last year.
Cape Town’s growing employment is testament to the City’s efforts to create an enabling environment for businesses to invest and to create new jobs. Formal employment, which represents the bulk of employment in Cape Town, has increased again on both a quarter-to-quarter and year-on-year basis.
Altogether 20 000 more people are employed in the formal sector compared to the previous period between April and June this year. On a year-on-year basis, formal sector employment grew by 46 000. At present 1,32 million people are in formal employment in Cape Town while the informal sector employs 179 000, agriculture employs 21 000 and private households employ 87 000 people.
The City is steadfast in its commitment to create an environment conducive for businesses to grow and create jobs, while we attract more local and foreign direct investment. The City’s own Department of Enterprise and Investment is supporting those sectors which are showing the most growth and potential to create jobs by assisting with skills training and other interventions.
The City’s funding to Wesgro and industry bodies through our special purpose vehicles are working closely with the private sector to promote trade and grow a more inclusive economy. Between July and September, these efforts attracted R66 million in investments, with 758 beneficiaries being trained in scarce skills, and 92 new direct jobs being created.
The City has identified priority sectors to support through its catalytic sector programmes that enables an increasing number of Capetonians to develop the required skills needed to secure employment. These sectors have shown the most potential to grow and develop Cape Town’s economy and include business process outsourcing (BPO), craft and design, clothing and textiles, fashion, and the information communication and technology (ICT) sector.
Last week, Amazon announced their new investment of building three data centres in Cape Town. The City’s officials have been working closely with Amazon for over two years facilitating this investment and we are very proud to be the location for expansion by one of the world’s leading tech giants. The tech sector has high growth potential for our economy and citizens, and we will continue to position Cape Town as one of the leading investment destinations in Africa. It reinforces Cape Town’s standing as the leading tech hub in Africa, with the most start-ups on the continent and as a home for large global tech companies to invest.
After seven years at the helm of the City, I am confident Cape Town is on a good footing to attract more and more investment.
However, we cannot rest for one minute as there are still 429 000 residents who are of working age but have not found employment yet and another 17 000 residents who have given up looking for employment. The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 3 000 compared to the previous quarter. The whole of Cape Town must continue working hard in our efforts to make our economy more inclusive so that all our residents can enjoy the fruits of our democracy.