Western Cape Government launches new economic growth strategy, ‘Growth For Jobs' | Western Cape Government



Western Cape Government launches new economic growth strategy, ‘Growth For Jobs'

24 July 2023

Joint Media Release: Western Cape Government launches bold new economic growth strategy, ‘Growth For Jobs’

Today Premier Alan Winde, Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, and Provincial Minister of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers, officially introduced the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) new Growth For Jobs (G4J) strategy.

Given South Africa’s declining growth rates and rising unemployment, the Western Cape Government identified the need for a strategy to dramatically lift the provincial growth rate and, to the extent that growth continues to falter in South Africa at large, to decouple the province’s growth trajectory from that of the rest of the country.

At the core of this bold plan is the understanding that it is the private sector that creates jobs, while the role of the WCG is to enable this by making it as easy as possible to do business in the province. This will be done by ensuring that the private sector has access to the energy, water, infrastructure, skills, and technology they need to grow and succeed.

The vision set out in the strategy is of a provincial economy that achieves break-out economic growth, resulting in sufficient employment and opportunity and an economy that is sustainable, resilient, diverse, inclusive and thriving – generating confidence, hope and prosperity for all.

The G4J Strategy sets an ambitious target of building a trillion-rand jobs-rich, inclusive, sustainable, diverse, and resilient provincial economy, that is growing at between 4 and 6 percent per year in real terms by 2035. This has the potential to create over 600 000 jobs. 

“The Western Cape is endowed with a wealth of resources and people. The aim is to unlock massive potential through this ambitious strategy. We have proven that despite adversity, together we can still endure and succeed. G4J will provide us with renewed vigour and guidance to achieve break-out economic growth,” said Premier Winde at the briefing.

Minister Wenger added, “The fact is that we need to drastically boost economic growth to generate sufficient employment that can pull people out of poverty. What sets G4J apart is that it has been worked on with the private sector, by which we mean formal and informal, including township economies, because ultimately, our goal is to enable and rapidly grow the economy. The Strategy takes cognizance of the rural and urban dimensions in its approach with a clear spatial lens, with an aim to connect people in our towns, cities and rural communities to economic opportunities.  It also takes a much longer view, going all the way up to 2035, and our plan of action involves the whole of government.” Continued Minister Wenger.

Minister of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers said: “Investment in infrastructure allows the Western Cape Government to create an environment that enables jobs and economic opportunities. The Western Cape Infrastructure Framework 2050 (WCIF2050) is the overarching guideline that will ensure infrastructure becomes the catalyst in the growth of jobs creation. Furthermore, we will look to strengthen public and private partnerships so that the Western Cape becomes the economic hub in South Africa.”

The Premier continued, “This is a courageous plan, much-needed given the sluggish economic growth South Africa has been languishing in for far too long. Through this strategy the Western Cape aims to lead the way for our residents, especially the most vulnerable, to prosper through seeking out economic opportunities that lift them out of poverty.”

The strategy is based on seven priority focus areas (PFAs), each with a strategic goal in mind, as detailed in the table below.

Priority Focus Areas

Objective Statement

Goal Statement

Driving growth


through investment

The Western Cape is the investment destination of choice for local and

international investors in a range of growth opportunities, providing an enabled environment and strong networks of ecosystems.

Private-sector investment will be 20% of regional GDP (translating to R200- billion) by 2035

Stimulating market

growth through

exports and

domestic markets

The Western Cape, with a strong domestic market capability, is a leading global export region in a diversified basket of goods and

services and a sought-after tourism destination known for its quality, reliability and cost-effective goods and service offerings.

The value of Western Cape exports of goods and services (inclusive of tourism) will triple by 2035.

Energy resilience

and transition to net

zero carbon

Energy is low carbon, reliable, competitive, accessible, enabled, supplied at scale, and meets the energy-efficient demands of the

economy, using data, analytic tools and new models of delivery and contributing towards net zero carbon targets.

Reduce reliance of energy from Eskom of between 1800 – 5700 MW by 2035, estimated to attract between R21.6 billion and R68.4 billion in related investment.

Water security and


The province will have optimised and

increased water supply, integrated the management of water resources, and enhanced the adaptive capacity of business and citizens with respect to water usage to improve resilience, competitiveness, and

quality of life for all its people, so that it has sufficient water supply to achieve its economic growth aspirations.

Double the amount of water available for secondary and tertiary economic sectors (primarily from non-productive use) by 2035 and honour existing allocations to agriculture.

Technology and


The Western Cape is the tech, start-up and venture capital and innovation and design capital of Africa, through robust business,

government, and community innovation (supported by academia), with strong technology ecosystems and centres of

excellence in a range of industries and opportunities, with a supportive enabling environment and where the adoption of appropriate technology and accessible innovation leads to an improvement in the Global Innovation Index and the productivity and competitiveness of the regional economy.

By 2035, research and development expenditure will increase by 300% in real terms, reaching R35 billion and venture capital deals will total R20-billion.

Infrastructure and

connected economy

To coordinate, prioritise, plan and implement the timeous delivery of relevant and smart infrastructural solutions (physical, digital and hybrid) to support break-out economic growth and a connected economy, providing flexible, resilient infrastructure that intelligently

connects spaces, places, and people, transforms lives and delivers sustainable value to the economy and ecology of the Western Cape.

By 2035, the Western Cape economy will have the infrastructure required to support and enable a R1-trillion economy and public sector capital investment in the Western Cape will be 10% of regional GDP.

Improved access to


opportunities and


A thriving society where capable, economically active citizens can access economic opportunities and employment, including the skills of the future, and where barriers to accessing information, to developing competencies and skills, and to finding work, have been reduced or removed.

All citizens who want to be economically active have improved access to economic opportunities and employability through at least one pathway, with pathways comprising improved employability assets (knowledge, skills, experience, and/or competencies), career management skills, workplace-ready capabilities and skills, economic opportunities more accessible to communities, and entrepreneurship.


The plan is guided founding principles, first agreed to in a strategic framework. These include:

  • An open market economy that makes it possible for an open opportunity society that is aimed at improving competitiveness and productivity.
  • Horizontal enablement that places government as an enabler of the economy offering support to the private sector to ensure growth and opportunities.
  • Equality of opportunity will see a state that facilitates economic opportunity for citizens and expands choice and the independence of residents.
  • Redress through active economic participation that pulls more people into the economy, stimulating competition, improving skills and productivity, raising investment, and reducing poverty.
  • Partnerships should be nurtured with the various spheres of government and the private sector to increase the speed and scale of change.
  • Innovation to ensure new ideas are embraced and to push the boundaries of the Western Cape’s constitutional mandate to enable private-sector-led growth and job creation in tourism, trade, and industrial policy.
  • Agility and flexibility in how government pursues break-out growth
  • Sustainability entails growth being decoupled from wasteful resource usage and fossil fuel dependency.
  • Data-led decision-making in making sound decisions. This requires a data management and reporting capability that pulls together and utilizes the excellent data that the province already has.
  • Responsiveness to impactful opportunities which sees that government is responsive to all private-sector-led opportunities, while being selective about which support levers are deployed based on the extent of private sector involvement.

The Premier remarked, “While unemployment in the Western Cape is lower compared to the rest of the country, we must acknowledge we still have a long road ahead of us. Intolerably high levels of poverty and unemployment, caused by years of maladministration, neglect and corruption at a national level, will continue to pose considerable challenges. But I have all the confidence in G4J. This strategy provides us with a clear, brave blueprint for what our government and our partners need to do over the next 12 years. We are all on the same page, aiming to pour considerable resources into seeing G4J succeed in its mission to boost our economic growth and create more jobs. This strategy belongs to all the citizens of the Western Cape. Businesses big and small, entrepreneurs and civil society are all a part of G4J. Working together to create employment is the driving force behind this initiative.”

He concluded, “All our citizens want to prosper. Equipped with G4J, we will be able to offer opportunity and hope.”