MERO: Data driven decisions key to governing for growth in the Western Cape
Last week, I tabled the Municipal Economic Review and Outlook 2022/23 (MERO) in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.
The MERO, consisting of 6 publications, and over 1 000 pages, is a veritable treasure trove of invaluable insights, providing new data and analyses for each of our five district municipalities, 24 local municipalities and the City of Cape Town.
Together with the Provincial Economic Outlook Review, these impressive documents form the foundation on which the Western Cape Government bases critical decisions, strategies, as well as the next steps of the budget process, in the run-up to the provinces’ main budget next year.
The data contained in the MERO also supports private sector development by providing succinct analysis on the investment potential, comparative advantage, and economic specialisation of each region.
Innovations for the MERO this year, include the number and average income of taxpayers, mobile location data for the tourism profiles, new investment data, and housing market studies within the Garden Route and Cape Winelands districts, as well as public expenditure trends.
This data provides a spatial lens to strategic decisions and shines a light on new opportunities and challenges in each municipality.
It empowers us to identify what plans are working and where, so we can replicate them, to spread success across the province. It also allows us to measure the impact of the challenges we face and furnishes us with the evidence we need to formulate responses.
Ultimately, the MERO empowers us with the information that we, and our municipalities, need to govern for growth in the Western Cape.
Select insights contained in the MERO include:
- Between 2011 and 2021, the Western Cape was one of only three provinces that increased its contribution to national Gross Domestic Product.
- With the largest population and an economy valued at R502.0 billion, the Cape Metro made the largest economic contribution to the provincial economy.
- The West Coast District is expected to have had the largest GDP expansion at 6.2 per cent in 2021, largely owing to significant growth in the agriculture (8.6 per cent) and manufacturing (8.7 per cent) sectors.
- Four out of five district municipalities, namely the Cape Winelands, Central Karoo, Overberg, and the West Coast, are net exporters, with the Central Karoo exporting goods to the value of R114.1 billion, almost three times as much as they import.
- There was an impressive rebound in domestic visitors, across the province in 2021, reflected by growth in bed nights. The Central Karoo experienced an increase of 12 per cent compared to the previous year, the Cape Winelands and the Garden Route increased by 12.7 per cent, the City of Cape Town by 12.8 per cent, and the West Coast by 13.5 per cent.
- In 2021, 96.6 per cent of residents had access to electricity, 99.4% per cent had access to basic levels of water, 95.2 per cent to basic levels of sanitation, and 87 per cent to refuse removal at least once a week, in the Western Cape.
- Overall, the Western Cape had the highest Human Development Index score in the country, at 0.71 out of a possible 1.0, which was also above the world average.
This rich data further informs municipal planning and budgeting, through municipal integrated development plans, local economic development strategies, and the budget processes of municipalities, and enables evidence-based decision making.
Next month, I will host the first meeting of the newly established a Provincial Budget and Governance Forum which will gather all finance mayco members across the province.
Together, we will unpack the MERO, so that we can land responses in municipal budget processes, enable opportunity, and continue to govern for growth across the Western Cape.
Click here for the Minister’s full MERO speech
Click here to view 2022/23 MERO document
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Cell: 076 423 7541