Western Cape General

January 19, 2015 Western Cape

The Western Cape (Afrikaans: Wes-Kaap, Xhosa: iNtshona Kapa) is a province of South Africa, situated in the south-western part of the country. It is the fourth largest of the nine provinces in terms of both area and population, with an area of 129,449 square kilometres (49,981 sq mi) and 5.8 million inhabitants. About two-thirds of these inhabitants live in the metropolitan area of Cape Town, which is also the provincial capital. The Western Cape was created in 1994 from part of the former Cape Province.

 

The Western Cape’s total GDP for 2008 was R268bn, making the province the joint 2nd largest contributor to the country’s total GDP, at 14%. It also has one of the fastest growing economies in the country, growing at 4% in 2008[and is expected to grow by 3.2% in 2011. At 20% the province has a substantially lower unemployment rate than the national average standing at 23% in 2009. The province’s Gini coefficient of 0.63 is lower than South Africa’s Gini coefficient of 0.7 making it more equal then the rest of the country whilst still being extremely high and unequal by international standards. The Western Cape’s Human Development Index is the highest in South Africa at 0.7708 compared to the South African average of 0.6675 in 2003.

The biggest sector in the Western Cape’s economy is the financial, business services and realestate sectors contributing approximately R77 billion in 2008. Manufacturing was the second largest contributor valued at R43.7 billion in 2008 with the agricultural sector being the fastest growing at 10.6% in the same year. High-tech industries, international call centres, fashion design, advertising and TV production are niche industries rapidly gaining in importance. The city of Cape Town is ranked as the most entrepreneurial city in South Africa with Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity being 190% greater than South Africa’s national average.

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