The Western Cape Government is passionate about giving more people in our province the opportunity to escape poverty and live better lives. We believe that the best and most sustainable way to do this is to create an environment in which businesses can grow – because growing economies create jobs.
In this term of office, we have taken a bold new approach to growing the economy and creating jobs.
While we will still focus on our initiatives aimed at supporting all businesses, we are also putting in place a set of high priority, practical projects to unlock opportunities in sectors where we have a clear but unrealised competitive advantage.
We called this Project Khulisa, which, translated from isiXhosa, means "Project Grow".
Project Khulisa falls under our Provincial Strategic Goal 1, which focuses on job creation and opportunities to help improve the province's economy. The four other goals are improving education, improving community wellness, improving quality of life and promoting good governance.
According to Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde, "the Western Cape Government believes it is our role to create an environment in which the private sector can grow the economy and create jobs".
Our focus areas
In the first phase of Project Khulisa, which runs between now and 2019, we are focusing on what government and the private sector can do together to improve growth and job creation in the following three sectors:
This sector includes business and leisure tourism, which is already a major contributor to the economy of the province. It directly contributes R17 billion to the region and has so far created 204 000 formal jobs in the province. It was chosen for initial focus because we believe that, by working together, we can grow these figures substantially. Tourism also creates jobs on all skills levels, but especially among medium- and low skilled residents.
We are currently working with the tourism industry to decide on how we will improve this sector. We are considering:
- Developing cultural and heritage tourism
- Focusing our marketing plans on a few, new specialised markets
- Boosting local business tourism
We are aiming to ensure that the Western Cape becomes an all-year destination.
With a focus on food, beverages, exports and domestic product potential, agri-processing currently contributes R12 billion to the local economy and has created 79 000 jobs in the province. By helping this industry to grow, we can create jobs for residents in our rural areas. Through Project Khulisa, we aim to grow agri-processing in the Western Cape by:
- Exploring new infrastructure projects
- Improving regulation for this industry
- Promoting and supporting Western Cape products locally and abroad.
Oil and gas
This sector is a national focus area that has created 35 000 formal jobs in the province and we are focusing on this sector as many jobs can be created for artisans in midstream services such as rig repair. We believe Project Khulisa can help generate growth and jobs in this sector by:
- Ensuring that the government remains on track with its plan to transform Saldanha into a rig repair hub.
- Developing the skills we need to service rigs.
The next steps
Over the next six months, we will meet with representatives from industry and other spheres of government to ensure that we work towards the same goals and become the best-run regional government in the world. In this first phase of Project Khulisa, we will finalise the work we plan to roll out to communities over the next five years.