Premier requests that AGOA tops the agenda of upcoming PCC | Western Cape Government



Premier requests that AGOA tops the agenda of upcoming PCC

29 May 2023

Media release: Premier requests that AGOA tops the agenda of upcoming PCC

This week, Friday Premier Alan Winde will attend a meeting of the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC).

The Premier has requested that the critical issue of South Africa’s continued membership of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) be on the agenda of the upcoming PCC.

“This issue cannot be ignored and must be discussed as a matter of urgency as loss of our membership will have significant consequences for all of us,” stressed the Premier. He added, “South Africa’s access to AGOA is at risk. At stake are jobs and livelihoods, already hit hard by the disastrous energy crisis and poor economic stewardship by our national government. To not discuss AGOA at the PCC makes absolutely no sense. I urge President Cyril Ramaphosa to prioritise this critical issue at the council.”

Earlier this month, Premier Winde wrote to President Ramaphosa raising the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) concerns about South Africa potentially being excluded from AGOA. For over 20 years South Africa has benefited immensely from AGOA. In his letter, the Premier pointed  out that:

“In total, exports to the USA made up 9% of South Africa’s total exports in 2022. AGOA has led to a marked boost in our agricultural exports (which totaled R9.3 billion in 2022, and which saw a 14% average annual growth rate between 2015 and 2022), particularly in wine and citrus fruit, which are important sub-sectors for the Western Cape due to their labour-intensive nature. The USA is the largest export market for South African goods and services as well as being the top investor in the Western Cape in terms of FDI. Of the 68 FDI projects brought to the Western Cape, 82% are new investments creating more than 4 300 jobs. Exports to the USA increased by 54.14% from R11 billion in 2020 to R16.96 billion in 2021.”

Premier Winde emphasised, “This matter is of utmost importance to the WCG, the people of the Western Cape, South Africa and neighbouring countries.  We must protect AGOA and trade relations with international partners which have been beneficial to our economy and our citizens. It is also important to remind ourselves that South Africa serves as an important entry point into Africa for AGOA, so our loss of membership will also have significant consequences