Unemployment stats: 121 000 job increase encouraging signs of economic recovery in the Western Cape
23 February 2021
The Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) released today (23 February 2020), reveals encouraging early signs of economic recovery with an increase in employment of 121 000 jobs in the last quarter in the Western Cape, the highest increase of all the provinces in South Africa.
The strong growth has mainly been in the Agriculture, Construction, Trade and Community and Social Services sectors, which is credit to the private sector’s resilience and adaptation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is also encouraging that at 26.8%, the Western Cape continues to have the lowest expanded unemployment rate in South Africa.
However, at the end of the day, we know that many people, especially young people, have lost their jobs and their livelihoods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the related lockdown which has severely, and at times unnecessarily, restricted the economy in the Western Cape.
This is why we have worked hard since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to save jobs and rebuild the economy in the Western Cape.
Allocated R155.9 million to support small businesses by accelerating basic maintenance and repair of infrastructure at schools;
Provided R38 million through our Covid-19 Business Relief Fund to 252 small businesses across the Western Cape, saving at least 2,000 jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic;
Distributed R3 million through our Community Economic Recovery Project, in partnership with the EDP, to provide 225 community kitchens in Covid-19 hotspots with digital vouchers for food relief that are then spent at nearby participating spaza shops. To date over 135 spaza shops have participated in the project;
Supported businesses and individuals experiencing delays with the Covid-19 UIF TERS payouts across the Western Cape, with our Red Tape Reduction Unit assisting over 173 businesses and 7 561 employees facilitating an average overall payout of R38 679 639;
And we have:
Continued to support businesses to open safely with our online resources and information materials by providing a mechanism for staff and customers to report Covid-19 health protocol non-compliance and by distributing 11 000 Covid-19 Safety Kits to businesses across the Western Cape.
These are just a few of our successful initiatives to support businesses and help them to open safely. And we will continue to work hard as we continue to support businesses and save jobs, focusing with urgency on the rebuilding of our economy in the Western Cape.
Issued by Francine Higham, Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism), 23 February 2021