SUNDAY TIMES - Western Cape economy expected to grow despite drought‚ says finance MEC
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Sunday Times Business By Aphiwe Deklerk, 2017-03-07 15:34:23.0

Western Cape economy expected to grow despite drought‚ says finance MEC

Western Cape Finance MEC Ivan Meyer’s said his province was seriously concerned about the drought.
Image: Sunday Times

Despite facing a serious drought‚ the Western Cape is expecting a 2% growth in its economy by 2018 - higher than that of the national government‚ projected at 1‚8%.

This emerged at press briefing ahead of Finance MEC Ivan Meyer’s budget speech in the provincial legislature on Tuesday.

Meyer said his province was seriously concerned about the drought‚ adding that last year he had highlighted drought‚ raging fires and bleak global economic growth projections.

The province had budgeted R75 million over the next three years to deal with these risk factors. The projected economic growth is expected to be boosted by growth in the finance‚ insurance‚ real estate and business services sectors‚ the province said in its budget.

This year’s budget is over R59 billion‚ up by more than R4 billion over last year. Meyer said the province would invest more than R28 billion in infrastructure‚ focusing on education‚ health‚ social development‚ public works and roads‚ broadband and human settlements.

This investment would boost investor confidence: “[if an investor] travels from the airport to Cape Town and he must face 50 potholes‚ that’s what turns investors off.”

At the briefing‚ Meyer and the province’s treasury head‚ Zakariya Hoosain‚ signed a good governence pledge‚ saying they were committing to effective and efficient financial management and good governance practices.

- TMG Digital/The Times