Johannesburg - Productivity within the South African economy
must rise, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Wednesday.
Sacci supported Trade and Industry Minister Rod Davies'
position that it was crucial for job creation that productivity be raised across
the economy, especially in the manufacturing sector, CEO Neren Rau said in a
"South Africa's historical competitive edge (cheap
electricity) is no longer available and a structural change is needed to
reposition the productive economy towards higher levels of value
addition," he said.
Programmes outlined by Davies to achieve higher productivity
included higher levels of beneficiation, more focused incentive programmes -
especially for small and medium enterprises - and the prioritisation of key sectors.
Sacci met Davies on Wednesday morning for a dialogue
Discussion topics ranged from the proposed Tripartite Free
Trade Agreement to South Africa's relationship with China, the green economy, BEE and trade promotion.
Trade policy issues, such as the need for more effective
economic diplomacy and government initiatives to address the lack of regional
infrastructure, were also discussed.
Rau said: "Currently the low levels of cohesion between
government and business do not facilitate a 'Team South Africa' approach."
Wednesday's breakfast was a continuation of fostering a
strong working relationship between government and business, he said.
Sacci's annual convention at the beginning of October was
also very important in promoting this relationship.