Department Of Economic Development And Tourism
The Department Of Economic Development And Tourism is the department of the South African government responsible for economic policy, economic planning and economic development. It was established in 2009 after the election of President Jacob Zuma.
As of June 2012 the Minister of Economic Development is Ebrahim Patel and his deputy is Madala Masuku. In the 2011/12 budget the department had a budget of R595 million and a staff complement of 45 civil servants.
A Bold Vision
Employment is critical to South Africa’s development and growth.
The fundamental departure point of government’s approach is that employment should not be the residual outcome of other policies but the overarching goal of economic policies. There is also a dynamic relationship between growth, employment and development. Rising employment and living standards have positive economic outcomes and are a vital source of sustainable economic growth.
A New Approach
This vision necessitates a new approach of integration instead of “silo” based departmental programmes. Government seeks to avoid ad-hoc policy development in many different sites within the state, policy coherence is the new focus, including in respect of macro and micro economic policies and economic and social policies.
The creation of an Economic Development Department with policy and planning functions provides further means to strengthen government efforts to implement its economic programme. The Department has new functions not taken on within the state previously as well as responsibility for certain existing functions carried out by other departments. This is achieved in the context of an evolving model of co-operative and effective governance, which ensures both horizontal co-operation and integration of policy across national institutions of government and state, as well as vertical co-operation between different spheres of government, at national provincial and local levels.
Structure of the Department Of Economic Development And Tourism
The aim of the Economic Development Department is to promote economic development through participatory, coherent and coordinated economic policy and planning for the benefit of all South Africans:
It will therefore:
- co-ordinate the economic development contributions of government departments, state entities and civil society;
- contribute to efforts that ensure coherence between the economic policies and plans of the state and state entities on the one hand, and the government’s political and economic objectives and mandate on the other; and
- promote government’s ability to achieve its goals of advancing economic development with decent work opportunities.
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s vision is a Western Cape that has a vibrant, innovative, and sustainable economy, characterised by growth, employment and equitable opportunities, and built on the full potential of all. The department’s organisational structure encompasses:
- Integrated economic development
- Trade and sector development
- Business regulation and governance
- Economic planning
- Tourism, arts and entertainment
- Skills development and innovation
- Strategic initiatives
To achieve this vision, the department leads the Western Cape economy using its understanding of the regional economy, its ability to identify economic opportunities and potential, and its contribution to government economic priorities.
The department is the critical link between communities, business and government. It not only implements projects and programmes, but also influences economic growth, development and inclusion, a key strategic objective of the Western Cape Government.
The goal of the Department is to create the opportunities for businesses and citizens to grow the economy and employment. This will be achieved by embracing five key focus areas:
- Economic strategy and policy
- Enabling business environment
- Demand-led private sector driven support
- Infrastructure-led growth
- Decreased skills gap