It is a blessing that last week’s election went down without a hitch and South Africans have made their choice of who they want to lead our country and provinces.
There is no doubt that the Western Cape is a province that works. It has been able to turn manufacturing, agriculture and tourism into big revenue earners. In the Overstrand, as is the case in many other prosperous regions, the current economic crunch has a definite impact. But we are not faced with an economic crisis.
The main task of our newly (re)elected leaders is to meet the challenges that the influx of people into the area bring with them. Some of the bigger challenges include spatial planning, housing, upgrading informal settlements and job creation.
This is no easy task as much of this will depend on local and provincial policies being in line with those at a national level. Leaders must be honest in terms of what can be done and what cannot as there are a magnitude of challenges and very little resources.
To help the economy grow, priority needs to be given to public-private partnerships that will not only attract investors to the region but also assist in job creation. To this end, we need all parties to work together to create a stable environment. The cost of any protest or mass action will be too high, especially during these quiet winter months. Businesses are already struggling and there is a marked decrease in tourists at this time of year.
With the first whales of the season arriving on our shores and large schools of dolphins playing in the water, all indications are that this will be yet another bumper season for whale watchers. The Overstrand needs to market its winter attractions to a wider audience in order to assist in keeping our economy ticking over.
We call on politicians and residents alike to support our local economy and ensure that the Overstrand remains a centre of excellence and a destination of note.