Briefing Paper

Enterprising Cape: Building an Inclusive and Vibrant Economy

The Western Cape strives in its efforts to become a more cohesive high-income society and economy. Hence, the province is faced by two interrelated sets of development challenges. The first is unequal access to basic services and economic opportunities and the second is an economic environment with inadequate technology, skills and governance to enable it to move rapidly from middle-income to high-income status. Many of the province’s residents, particularly those in rural areas, still lack access to essential services, such as health care, basic education and basic infrastructure, such as electricity and sanitation. This Futures Cape policy brief analyses these two sets of challenges and explores some of the outcomes of pursuing policies designed to address them – first in isolation and then in combination. It compares these outcomes with a Base Case, which is how the future might be if no significant changes were made to the Western Cape’s current mix of policy strategies. Under such a Base Case scenario, the Western Cape won’t reach high-income status until around 2040. This paper uses the International Futures (IFs) forecasting model to create and explore three scenarios for the Western Cape up to 2040. These have been titled Inclusive Economy, Vibrant Economy and Enterprising Cape. These scenarios provide pictures of how policy interventions might have a foreseeable impact on the development challenges outlined above.