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2018 MERO and PERO


What is MERO & PERO?

The MERO provides a comprehensive overview of the recent economic performance and outlook for the Western Cape economy at a district and municipal level.

The PERO is useful to understand trends, patterns and developments within the Western Cape and provides more clarity in an uncertain environment. PERO and MERO enables evidence-based practices and serves as economic intelligence which informs the policy, planning and budgeting processes of Western Cape departments and municipalities.

The Economy, Tourism and the WC Drought

  • Economic output in SA improved from 0.6% in 2016 to 1.3% in 2017 but the economy contracted in the first two quarters of 2018, entering into a technical recession.
  • Due to the Western Cape drought, output in the agriculture, orestry and fisheries and food and beverage manufacturing sectors are expected to contract sharply in 2018. The West Coast, Cape Winelands, Overberg and Central Karoo districts are expected to contract in 2018, whilst the Cape Metro and Garden Route are expected to record modest growth in 2018.
  • Notwithstanding the impact of the drought, agriculture exports is the fastest growing export sector in the Western Cape, increasing by 15.2 per cent compared to 2016. More than half (52.7 per cent) of South Africa’s agriculture exports originate from the Western Cape.
  • The private service sector contributed more than three-quarters of the growth generated by the Western Cape economy between 2013 and 2017.
  • More than one-third of exports from the Western Cape are destined for Africa.
  • The number of international arrivals in the Western Cape increased by 10.2 per cent from 2016, the number of jobs in the tourism sector increased by 11 292 from 2016 to 2017 whilst the estimated Gross Value Added increased by 7.5 per cent.
  • “Despite the tough economic times we are seeing the net effect of a competent government governing and good financial governance. A capable state and a clean government does matter to investors and impact positively on business and investor confidence” says Finance Minister, Dr Ivan Meyer.
  • The Western Cape economy cannot escape the risks facing the national economy. The Western Capegrowth moderated to 1.3% in 2017 but growth of 0.2% is expected in 2018 due to the drought.


  • Employment growth in the Western Cape has expanded by 3.9% between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2018 compared to the 2.2% growth in the working-age population.
  • The Western Cape has the lowest narrow unemployment rate in SA, estimated at 19.7%. Provincially, the unemployment rate decreased from 23.1% in 2013.
  • Creating public value through good financial governance and budgets that are responsive to the socio-economic environment and fiscal constraints.

The Western Cape Government remains steadfast in its commitment to unlocking and driving growth opportunities and jobs through implementing economic initiatives, pursuing a coordinated infrastructure-led growth path and equipping the province’s labour-force with the necessary skills to fully participate in key sectors.

The Western Cape Government is committed to the principles of good financial governance to inspire investor and citizen confidence.

To read the full speech as presented by Minister Ivan Meyer, click here: FULL SPEECH. 

The Mero and Pero documents are at the bottom of the speech.


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