‘Positive attitudes key to sustained economic growth’
Statistics from the George Planning Department show a steady annual growth in the number of building plans submitted since the beginning of 2015, a trend that corresponds with the lively building activity being witnessed in the city. Business Chamber chairman Dr Willie
Cilliers says due to the influx of families into the Southern Cape, demand for housing is outweighing supply, hence the need for more new houses. Furthermore, commercial expansion is experienced due to the development and relocation of business head offices to George. "This is a definite indication that there is investor confidence in our city." This has all been good for economic growth and has helped position George as one of three core growth points in the Western Cape. But, says Cilliers, our city will not escape the prevailing macroeconomic conditions in the country that are created by the instability of government as well as the junk status of the country. "Investors will maintain a wait-and-see position that will suppress economic growth. The positive attitude of businesses in the Southern Cape will determine if we will have sustained economic growth."
He said cooperation between businesses as well as the different towns in the region will also be a determining factor. "The creation of new opportunities for entrepreneurs in an inclusive economy must be the solution to the unemployment in our region. Work can only be created if the economy grows." Cilliers said strong leadership in local government, business and labour will be needed.
Work can only be created if the economy grows.
Building plans submitted
In the 12 months of 2015, a total of
1 737 building plans were submitted
(1 531 residential, 151 commercial and 55 industrial) and in 2016 a total of 2 136 (1 942 residential, 107 commercial and 74 industrial).
In the first six months of this year, the planning department received a total of 1 191 plans (1 114 residential, 51 commercial and 26 industrial).
Plans submitted under the amnesty period to have illegal building work approved amounted to 835 out of 4 023 applications between 1 July 2015 and 12 July 2017. The amnesty period has been extended till the end of this year.
Dr Willie Cilliers