Zille flexes her muscles with strong employment figures

 ·19 Feb 2016
DA South Africa

The decrease in the Western Cape’s unemployment rate over the past three years may be a move in the right direction, but the figure was still much too high, Premier Helen Zille said on Friday.

During her State of the Province Address, Zille said the quarterly labour force survey by StatsSA found joblessness was at 20.6% in September 2015, compared to the 24.8% in 2012.

Since the DA took office in 2009, there had been an increase of over 200,000 more jobs in the province, she said.

“We have managed to recover from, and grow jobs, since the global recession.”

This, Zille continued, was “truly remarkable”, given the province’s rate of population growth.

“At a time of mass unemployment nationwide… our focus must be [on the economy]. A capable state delivers the services and creates the confidence is a precondition for investment, which is a precondition for economic growth, which is a precondition for job creation,” she said.

Business confidence in the Western Cape’s economy was an important indicator of whether the climate was right for investment and job creation, she said.

“In our province, we have seen an upward trend in confidence, despite declining levels nationally.

“Business confidence in the Western Cape is currently at 57 index points, 13 points above the national figure.”

A rise in infrastructure and real estate investment showed that investors were “confident and committed” in the long term and were prepared to commit their capital to create jobs, Zille said.

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