Protect our economy and jobs | Western Cape Government


Protect our economy and jobs

12 May 2023

Joint media release: Protect our economy and jobs

The Western Cape Government has noted the serious allegations made by the United States Ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety alleging that South Africa has supplied weapons to Russia.

“We cannot afford to risk our economic and diplomatic relationships with key trading partners such as the United States of America (USA). Our economy is struggling following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and is under grave risk as a result of severe rolling blackouts. Our priority must be to protect our economy and jobs. Trade is a critical part of our path to economic stability,” said Premier Alan Winde.

“I will be writing to the President to request an inquiry into these allegations and for a firm commitment that we will protect critical trading relationships in the interests of the many jobs that benefit, for example, from our export and tourism sector,” added Premier Winde.  

Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said “The trade, investment, and tourism ties between the USA and the Western Cape are significant. The US was the Western Cape’s top foreign export market in 2021 with a value of R16.98 billion, the top source of foreign direct investment into the province over the last decade, investing more than R37 billion into the province and a major source market for international tourists. Our links with the US generate billions, contributing immensely to our economy and supporting thousands of jobs. It makes zero economic sense that national government would even consider putting the relationship with the US at risk.”

“South Africa was the largest trading partner to the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act in 2021,” added Western Cape Minister for Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer.

Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s Senior Agricultural Economist, Tshepo Morokong has highlighted that South Africa’s top exported agricultural products to the US are significant. “At the top of the list were oranges and macadamia nuts, accounting for 10% and 8% of the total export value respectively. These are followed by mandarins, white wine, ice cream, apple juice, ethyl alcohol, and red wine each at 4%. Most of these products are produced in the Western Cape”, said Minister Meyer.

 “National government should be acting in a manner which is in the best interests of our farmers, producers, and agri-workers and not threatening the agricultural economy and its potential for job creation in the Western Cape and South Africa”, concluded the Minister.