Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (File, AFP) ~ AFP
Cape Town - It was disappointing that no announcements were made in the medium-term budget speech about new measures to boost economic growth, the Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.
“Despite the minister [Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan] committing to decisive action, it is disappointing that there were no announcements about new measures to boost economic growth and to create jobs,” DA spokesperson for finance David Maynier said outside Parliament.
Maynier said this was a major blow for the 8.9 million people in the country who do not have jobs or who have given up looking for jobs.
“I think the real test of the medium term budget policy statement was the extent to which progress had been made on structural reforms to boost economic growth and to create jobs,” Maynier said.
He also added that, “the minister effectively has both hands tied behind his back by a government that is literally at war with itself and killing the economy in South Africa".
There were no major announcements about reforming state-owned enterprises, he said.
He said what was needed was a more concrete statement committing to a private equity partner for South African Airways.
Gordhan stated on Wednesday in his mini budget, that the unemployment rate rose from 25% to 26.6% in the 12 months to June 2016.
According to the June 2016 Quarterly Employment Statistics, all sectors apart from construction shed jobs in the second quarter of 2016. A return to employment growth requires higher economic growth and renewed private-sector investment.
Private sector investment has yielded a number of job opportunities, most notably through the Independent Power Producers (IPP) programme. Other areas include automotive assembly.
Firms have pledged investments of R15.4bn, which would create an estimated 4 675 jobs.
Public and private investment totalling R17bn has been targeted towards the “oceans economy” over the past two years, creating about 5 000 jobs.
Investments support shipbuilding and training of marine engineers and artisans.
Another job-creating initiative includes a R1.5bn fund to support small firms with the ability to scale up and create jobs, and a private-sector programme to create one million internships over a three-year period, focused on improving the job-readiness of young work seekers.
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