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Over 160k jobs stand to be lost in W. Cape due to COVID-19

An estimated 70,962 jobs in the Tourism sector and 26,690 jobs in the informal sector will be cut.

Members of of the tourism, food and alcohol, and hospitality industries protested in Sandton as part of the #ServeUsPlease movement. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN – It's estimated more than 167,000 jobs will be lost in the Western Cape this year, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provincial government officials gave insight into the R3.5 billion special adjustments budget tabled by Finance MEC David Maynier this week.

Most of these job cuts will be felt in the tourism, informal and construction sectors.

As a result of the sharp and ongoing economic contraction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Western Cape expects a Gross Value Added (GVA) contraction of 10,2%.

An estimated 70,962 jobs in the Tourism sector and 26,690 jobs in the informal sector will be cut.

Head of Provincial Treasury, David Savage said: “Our models are showing that this contraction will be persistent, we will return to current levels of economic activity only by 2024, based on our current forecasts."

Maynier said the province's almost R1,8 billion reserve allowed it to sufficiently respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And it's with this R3 billion adjustment and allocation that we, of course, have been able to finance our response....the temporary hospital facilities, the testing and triage facilities, the 130,000 food parcels, the two million meals distributed through school feeding schemes..."

R310 million was allocated to the Education Department for personal protective equipment and the sanitisation of schools, while R400 million will go to the Department of Transport and Public Works for quarantine and isolation facilities.

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