Two years before SA growth will improve

2012-10-25 14:22 - Mzwandile Jacks
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Pretoria - The South African economy still has two years to go before reaching a moderate improvement in gross domestic product (GDP) growth, it emerged on Thursday.

This is bad news, as it means South Africans will have to brace themselves for a longer period of slow growth in the economy.

The national treasury on Thursday said the South African economy was projected to grow by 2.5% this year, with GDP growth reaching only 3.8% by 2014. It will grow by 3% in 2013.

This means the economy still has a hard slog ahead before reaching growth rates that prevailed before the 20007/2008 global economic downturn.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, speaking at the 2012 medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) in parliament on Thursday, said the government would re-establish orderly labour relations in the country, among other measures to improve confidence in the economy, expand investment, create employment and broaden economic participation.

This also means the government will introduce new plans aimed at curbing the wildcat strikes threatening to engulf all the sectors of the economy.

The strikes have negatively impacted most of South Africa’s major mining companies, where the strife started.

“We are also going to invest in strategic infrastructure programmes, including energy generation and transport capacity needed to open up new mining and industrial opportunities,” Gordhan said.

“We are also strengthening municipal finances and investing in residential development and urban infrastructure.”

The government is promoting special economic zones with industrial and export development potential, and is also accelerating youth employment opportunities.

“We are also going to improve the living conditions for miners and upgrade informal settlements,” said Gordhan, seeming to accede to the demands of the Bench Marks Foundation, which has emerged as an effective pressure group in the mining unrest.

The foundation, which comprises many church groups, has called on the government and the private sector to work together to improve miners' lives, and particularly the communities around mining operations.

 - Fin24

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