It is deeply concerning to note that the mining and quarrying sectors is some of the main contributors to why South Africa achieved a negative GDP growth of only 0,3% as revealed by StatsSA today for the fourth quarter of 2016.
On the eve of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s public hearings on the Mineral and Petroleum Resource Development Bill, it is clear that this sector must immediately be addressed. This is especially vital, seeing that the mining sector decreased by 11,5%, because of lower productions in coal, gold and other metal ores.
What is however pleasing, is that even though agriculture has declined by 0,1% nationally, in the Western Cape the growth is much more significant, with 250 000 people employed in the province’s agriculture sector from October to December 2016.
The continued negative growth is an indication that the ANC has no clear economic growth plan for the country that will in the short term, lead to positive economic growth and jobs for people in South Africa.
The recent Business Confidence Index, which has declined from 42 to 38 is evident of the political and policy uncertainty that we are currently facing. The DA-led Western Cape Government’s Project Khulisa, which focuses strategically on the oil and gas, agri-processing and tourism sectors, played a key role in bringing our broad unemployment rate down to 23,6%, the lowest in the country.
Beverley Schäfer MPP