Cape Town is making strides towards becoming Africa’s premier business destination, with a substantial decrease in unemployment. The city’s Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, credits this achievement to maintaining the lowest unemployment rate across the metros. However, there is still work to be done to drive further economic growth, alleviate poverty, and create additional job opportunities.
Decrease in Unemployment Rate
The recent Stats SA Quarterly Workforce Survey (QLFS) for January to March 2023 revealed that Cape Town’s unemployment rate stands at 26% based on the expanded unemployment definition. This figure is 0.9 percentage points lower than the previous quarter and four percentage points lower than Q1 2022. These positive results mark the fourth consecutive quarter of employment growth for the city.
Between January and March 2023, an additional 40,000 Capetonians joined the workforce, bringing the city’s overall labor force to 1.7 million people. This achievement surpasses pre-Covid employment levels and represents the highest record of employment in Cape Town since the QLFS report’s introduction in 2008.
Investment in Economic Growth
Cape Town’s leadership has ambitious plans to become a beacon of hope for South Africa, showcasing the possibilities of reversing economic decline. In order to ensure continued economic growth, Cape Town is investing R2.3 billion in a plan to end load-shedding within three years. This plan aims to protect the city from Eskom’s first four stages of blackouts. Moreover, the city will also invest R43 billion in essential basic services infrastructure over the next three years, driving economic growth and creating jobs. This investment is projected to generate approximately 135,000 jobs in the city within three years.
Becoming the Most Business-Friendly City in Africa
Cape Town’s ambitious goal is to become the most business-friendly city in Africa. The recently launched Ease of Doing Business Index focuses on reducing the costs, time, and red tape associated with ten crucial indicators for businesses, including building plan approvals, basic service installations, and business licensing.
Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, is working closely with job-creating industries to help Capetonians access skills and job opportunities in various sectors such as call centers, craft and design, technology, green energy, boat building, tourism, clothing manufacturing, and property development. The Investment Facilitation Branch has secured over R34 billion in new investments and thousands of jobs in Cape Town since 2017. Through small business support initiatives, the city has assisted entrepreneurs in accessing the resources they need to succeed.
In conclusion, Cape Town’s decreasing unemployment rates and investment in economic growth demonstrate its commitment to becoming a premier business destination in Africa, promoting prosperity for its citizens, and setting an example for other cities in the country and the continent. Despite the challenges, Cape Town is striving to become a city of hope for all, working to make the region an attractive and thriving hub for business and employment opportunities.