Fin24

SA not focused on real issues: economist

2011-01-26 13:01

Johannesburg - South African debates could be focusing on more important economic issues, Econometrix chief economist Azar Jammine suggested at an Economic Outlook 2011 conference on Wednesday.

He said that debates - such as an earlier suggestion by the government that wage subsidies be established to encourage businesses to employ young graduates - were important.

"Instead the debate has shifted to nationalisation, whether of mines or banks, and monetary policy. You will not get businesses investing in SA if they see it being an unattractive option for employment creation," Jammine said.

The government has drawn up a new economic plan, the new growth path, which is expected to grow the local economy and create jobs.

While many sectors have welcomed the framework, which is still under discussion, concerns have been raised, especially around monetary policy and job creation proposals.

Jammine said more attention should be given to education, skills development and job creation. He also highlighted the role small businesses can play in job creation.

"(The) small business sector has the highest employment propensity," Jammine said, adding that small businesses need a friendlier operating environment.