The government of the Western Cape is pushing on with efforts to encourage economic growth through the creation of the Economic Development Agency.
On Wednesday, 17 August, provincial government approved the proposed creation of the EDA with a view that it will lead, coordinate and drive economic growth throughout the province.
This partnership-based provincial organisation, the first of its kind in South Africa, will look to facilitate closer cooperation within the public sector as well as between government and business.
If approved by provincial authorities in March 2012, when the proposal will be presented to Cabinet, the EDA is expected to help the Western Cape to speak with one economic voice, making it competitive.
“Success will be measured by economic growth, economic development as well as economic inclusion in the province, we will focus on all three,” said Alan Winde, the Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism.
Authorities called for the creation of the EDA as the Western Cape region is seen not to be growing as fast as it could be, and needs to, in the competition-fierce post-recession global economy. The region’s relatively weak business brand is one focus and the well as the crisis of jobless growth another.
“Breaking the cycle of poverty means expanding incomes and jobs, not just the provision of more household and welfare services to more people,” Winde said.
The intention behind this is to increase levels of employment, present a more competitive, productive and resilient economy and provide greater support for all levels of economic activity – from single-person start-up businesses to multinational corporations.