The Cape would be not only economically viable as a country but with independence it would flourish.
At present the Cape is being drained of over 42% of its taxes. In the City of Cape Town, the only metropole in the Cape region, we receive the lowest share of all South African cities. Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson (Mayco Executive member for Finance) had this to say about the injustice that Cape Town suffers under the ANC government:
“The disadvantage to Cape Town of the clearly skewed formula for the equitable share is not acceptable. No matter what the arguments are made for relative levels of poverty, it is not acceptable that Cape Town only receives half of what Johannesburg receives and 60% of Ethekwini (Durban) and Ekurhuleni(Mpumalanga). Cape Town taxpayers are entitled to their fair share of VAT and income taxes, irrespective of redistribution needs.”
- City of Cape Town Budget, (2009/10 – 2010/11) Page 9
According to the latest data, in 2010 the Gross Domestic Product of the Western Cape was R290 Billion. Financial intermediation, insurance, real estate and business services was the largest producing sector at R54 billion. Manufacturing came second at R30 billion. Wholesale and retail trade, catering and accommodation produced R29 billion, followed by an established agricultural, forestry and fishing sector. These are hallmarks of a well balanced developed economy. This confirms that in spite of the government’s extraction of wealth and destructive economic policies, the Cape is by itself a first world economy.
Compared with some of the most successful economies in the world such as Singapore, Switzerland and Hong Kong (high income per capita, low unemployment), collectively the Cape has a distinct advantage in land, resources, natural energy sources, intrinsic tourism appeal and trade position.
- Singapore: only 707 km2 in size, with a population of 4,8million. In 1965 Singapore became independent. They were a handful of destitute islands with mass unemployment, few natural resources and a shortage of land and clean water. Today they are one of the strongest economies in the world with an income per capita of $57 238*.
- Switzerland: 41 284 km2 in size, with a population of 7,6million. They are a small country surrounded by ice-capped mountains with few natural resources aside from fresh water. They have one of the most stable economies in the world and an income per capita of $41 765*.
- Hong Kong: 1104 km2 in size, with a population of 6.9million. Hong Kong is a collection of overpopulated mountainous islands with few natural resources. They are consistently ranked as one of the most successful economies in the world with an income per capita of $45 277*.
*(International Monetary Fund 2010 – PPP income per capita)
South Korea: In 1960 South Korea’s GDP was the same as that of the newly independent African state of Ghana. Today, through sound economic management it is now a trillion Dollar economy with full literacy and employment. South Korea has no natural resources and is roughly the size of the Western Cape. During the 1960’s Korea’s economic prospects were disregarded by economists the world over.
Nobel Prize winning economist Gunnar Myrdal gave this advice:
“Asia’s prospects are bleak. Countries such as Korea should stick to what they’re best at: Growing Rice”
- Making Globalization Work (Joseph Stiglitz, 2007:30)
In spite of these fallacious economic perceptions that a country is built purely on resources, Korea confounded these sceptics and has become one of the most prosperous nations on earth, with an income per capita of $29 791.
- Mauritius: 2040 km2 in size, with a population of 1,3million. Since the 1970’s Mauritius developed from a low-income economy to an upper middle income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial and tourist sectors. Annual growth has been in the order of 5% to 6%. The small Indian Ocean Island has one of the highest living standards in Africa. With few natural resources, this country has managed to outstrip the growth of its resource laden African counterparts attracting considerable offshore investment with the banking sector alone at over $1billion. Unemployment is 7.5% and the Mauritian Economy grew by 3.6% in 2010*, during a time of global economic decline.
*(CIA – World factbook)
None of the above countries have the latent and collective potential that the Cape has in land, resources, natural energy sources, trade position and tourism. The common traits these countries share are good political and economic policies. The Cape has the potential to have one of the highest incomes per capita in the world offering all of its citizens the best standards of living in education, housing, security, employment and health.
GDP Income Per Capita: $ 428 *
* (Singapore Govt. Dept of Statistics)
GDP Income Per Capita: $ 43 867 *
*( Singapore Govt. Dept of Statistics)