The Western Cape has consistently outperformed seven of the nine provinces in South Africa in terms of average yearly growth from 2001 to 2011, according to trade, investment and promotion agency Wesgro’s 2013 report.
The province’s economy averaged 4.1% growth from 2001 to 2011, outperforming the national economy, which averaged 4% during the same period.
The Western Cape economy has been forecast to grow continuously at an average rate of 3.6% a year, compared with 3.3% growth expected at a national level, according to the Wesgro 2013 report.
Further, the province’s manufacturing sector, which has been depressed in recent years, is showing signs of growth. With the provincial government driving economic growth through infrastructure development, the construction sector will also show growth.
“With the tertiary sectors of the Western Cape showing investment stability and with the addition of new sectors and new markets for exports, its economy is certainly on the rise,” says business solutions provider Caban Investments director Lizelle Coombs, who is also a Cape Chamber of Commerce member.
Coombs highlights that, historically, the largest contributors to the Western Cape economy have been the finance, real estate and business services sectors, followed by the manufacturing sector.
“Caban Investments has noticed a growing number of smaller companies entering these fields, and I would say that these areas of the economy will continue to grow at a decent pace,” she says.
Meanwhile, the investment opportunities in the renewable-energy industry, particularly with regard to solar projects in the Western Cape, are estimated to amount to tens of billions of rand in the next decade. As investment in this sector is being realised, growth will be substantial.
The City of Cape Town has consistently been rated as the most entrepreneurial city in South Africa. A study by the University of Cape Town, which was published under the Scientific Analysis of Entrepreneurship programme, has found that Cape Town’s early-stage entrepreneurial activity is 190% greater than the national average. “Small businesses thrive in the Western Cape, owing to entrepreneurial opportunities,” says Coombs.
Another growth area is in the creative space – Cape Town has been voted the Design Capital for 2014.
“Cape Town is a dynamic city and a pleasure in which to do business. The rest of the country might regard Cape Town as slow-paced, but our personal experience is very different,” says Coombs.
She says there is a strong spirit of entrepreneurship in Cape Town and in the rest of the province.