South Africa: MEC David Maynier - Western Cape Economic Development and Tourism 2020/21 Budget Adjustments

press release

Dept. of Economic Development and Tourism 2020/21 Budget Adjustments (Vote 12)

I am pleased today to table the adjusted estimates of Vote 12: The Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism has played a critical role throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to support business, and back business, not just to open, but to open safely in the Western Cape.

From the start we have actively engaged with national government so that where sectors were able to open safely and responsibly, they were allowed to. Through our persistent efforts, we had considerable success with ecommerce, construction and the tourism sector.

The Department also played a critical role in enabling the opening of the George Airport which is a critical transport link for business travellers working in the Garden Route District, and a critical enabler for the oil and gas sector which is engaged in exploratory drilling off the coast of Mossel Bay.

And the Department also played a critical role, working closely with Transnet Port Terminals management and the Department of Health, to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the performance of the Port of Cape Town which is critical to the export / import industry in the Western Cape.

And tomorrow, we will be hosting the second annual Port Stakeholder workshop to identify further opportunities for collaboration across the sector to prioritise port congestion challenges that need to be addressed in 2021.

But alongside these efforts by the Department to get the economy back open, we have also put an immense amount of effort behind workplace safety:

We have continuously engaged with key sectors such as tourism, hospitality and retail on the strict adherence to implementing Covid-19 health protocols;

we have helped businesses find Personal Protective Equipment suppliers through our PPE Marketplace;

we have made several valuable resources for the workplace so that businesses can keep staff and customers safe; and

we have provided the mechanism for the public to report businesses that are not following the necessary health guidelines to stop the spread of the Covid-19 in the workplace.

This work will continue as we now turn our attention to rebuilding our economy in the Western Cape.

Allocations and adjustments

The main appropriation of R604.6 million was adjusted down by R57 million in the first adjustments budget to R 547.5 million. That revised appropriation has now been adjusted down further by R 4.9 million for the 2020/21 financial year.

While there has been an overall reduction to the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, this is largely as a result of Cost of Employment reductions. Alongside these reductions there have also been significant increases linked to the Western Cape Recovery plan and our goal to recover and move forward in the Western Cape.

From the policy-based funding facility:

R12 million has been transferred to the Department for an additional allocation to the Western Cape Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises Covid-19 Business Relief Fund.

What is important to note is that these are additional allocations over-and-above what has already been provided in the department's budget in this financial year in the Western Cape.

What this means is that we have mobilised a total of R39 million to support small businesses hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Western Cape.

Which is made up of R27 million in the first adjustments budget, and an additional R12 million in the second adjustments budget, in the Western Cape.

Which will support about 230 small businesses and save at least 2 000 jobs in the Western Cape.

The Department has also received funds shifted from other departments:

R2 million is shifted from the Department of the Premier and the Department of Community Safety for facilitating the establishment of area-based teams for the Safety Plan in support of economic development, through the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership for safety initiatives.

And, finally, the Department's own receipts have increased as reflected in this adjustment as a result of funding received from outside of government.

Specifically, the Department has received:

R1 million from the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Sectoral Education and Training Authorities (MERSETA) for the support and rollout of the work and skills projects undertaken by the department.

Celebrating Entrepreneurial Resilience

Every year, at this time, I have the pleasure of attending the Western Cape Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards, and this year was no different.

After tabling the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement last Thursday, I headed across to the Cape Town International Convention Centre to recognise and reward twelve inspiring entrepreneurs for their hard-work and resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic, with Ntombi Nonxuba from Rise Uniforms winning the title of "Business of the Year".

Rise Uniforms is based in the Philippi area, employs 46 people from the surrounding area and is a manufacturer and supplier of locally produced uniforms, corporate wear and complementary garments.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Ntombi pivoted her business to also provide Personal Protective Equipment and in so doing was able to keep her business going and her staff employed during a very challenging time.

Entrepreneurs like Ntombi deserve to be celebrated because they play a critical role not only in creating jobs, but they also support skills development and provide opportunities for those who need it most.

And they are role models for others, especially young people, who can learn from them and be inspired to start their own businesses.

I'm incredibly proud that we have been able to help our entrepreneurs, because it is their brave leap into the unknown that results in disruption, in competition, in better ways of working and in the new ideas that we need to bounce back in the Western Cape.

Conclusion

We have worked hard to open our economy safely during the Covid-19 pandemic in the Western Cape.

What we cannot afford is another hard lockdown and so, we now all have a critical role to play in ensuring that the economy remains open.

Getting out and supporting local businesses has never been more important and I encourage everyone to do so over the festive season - but please make sure to do so responsibly.

Please wear your mask, sanitise, social distance and stay home if you're sick.

I thank you.

More From: Govt of SA

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.