The latest figures from Statistics South Africa are further proof that our economic recovery efforts are bearing fruit. Read more below:

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for January to March 2021, employment in Cape Town’s formal and informal sectors increased by 20 000 (from 1, 364 million to 1,384 million) at a time when the national economy shed jobs quarter on quarter.  The latest findings also reveal an increase in overall employment (including formal, informal, agricultural, private household employment) of around 8 000 quarter-on-quarter in Cape Town in the first quarter.

The city also maintained the lowest unemployment rate on the expanded definition of all metros, at 29,6%.

These findings – notable for the fact that Cape Town and the country are still reeling from the global pandemic – show that the City is on the right track with its business-friendly programmes.

One of my main goals since 2018 as the Mayco Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, which includes Enterprise and Investment Department, was to spark sustainable and inclusive growth to help transform Cape Town’s economy. Behind the statistics are real people for whom jobs create dignity. It’s allowed them to provide for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Together with the officials in the department, we identified high growth sectors – business process outsourcing, clothing and textile, renewable energy production, marine manufacturing, aviation, tourism, and technology – and got to work with our Strategic Business Partners (SBPs) in those industries.

Through training and job creation initiatives with these partners, R11,27 billion worth of new investments came into Cape Town in 2020. Simultaneously, almost 8 000 new jobs were created, and 3 000 people were trained in work readiness.

City programmes create more opportunities

We must acknowledge that there is still a great deal more work to be done. This is why my team and I help to create platforms and programmes that will upskill more people, help them to find work where they are, and allow small businesses to keep their doors open.

The first of these is the recently launched Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator Project, which will see R55 million will go towards training, paying stipends and doing job placements in the BPO, and clothing and textile sectors.

Cape Town is the first municipality to work with the National Skills Fund to roll out this programme that will see meaningful training provided for those in the city who need it most.

The City designed this programme to provide skills’ pipelines for high growth sectors and to supply trained and work-ready employees.

Then, there is the Jobs Connect Workforce Development Programme, which launched just over a month ago.

Jobs Connect has two distinct purposes: to link businesses, particularly SMMEs and corporates to the appropriate talent; and to provide knowledge, training and employment opportunities to job seekers across the City, particularly those who do not have the means to access such opportunities.

The third is the Productivity Efficiency Programme, which assists small businesses by helping them to proactively address challenges and prevent possible liquidation, closure or job losses. Small businesses are a vital segment of the local economy as they employ between 70% to 80% of South Africa’s workforce.

With this continued focus on skills development and connecting work seekers with employers, Cape Town will ensure that it remains a leader in job creation and building back the economy better than ever.

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