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SA must join forces to lift economy, says Zuma

Feb 11 2016 21:10
Liesl Peyper and Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma appealed to South Africans to come together and sort out its economic differences in-house before they escalate.

In his State of the Nation address on Thursday, Zuma attributed South Africa’s current economic woes by and large on the economic slump emerging market economies elsewhere in the world face. “Global growth remains muted. Financial markets worldwide are volatile and the currencies of emerging markets are weak and fluctuate widely.”

Zuma singled out South Africa’s BRICs partners Russia, Brazil and China as countries where growth has disappointed and which have a profound effect on the local economy. “Our economy is relatively small and that is why it is so negatively affected by all these developments.”

He said the situation requires an effective turnaround plan from all parts of society. “It’s about doing things differently and acting on what may not have been acted upon quickly before,” he said.

South Africans must promote South Africa as the preferred place of investment. “A commonality from business, labour and government needs to exist,” he said. “If there are any disagreements between us, we should solve them before they escalate.”

Zuma praised the “fruitful meetings” he has had with business leaders this week. “We have heard suggestions from the business community on how we can turn the situation around and put the economy back on a growth path.

“We have heard points to create the right investment support infrastructure,” he said. “Government will implement a one-stop shop of investment to signal that South Africa is ready for business.

“We will fast track this service in partnership with the private sector. Such an initiative requires government to remove the red tape and review any legislative blockages.

“We have established an inter-ministerial committee to look at these initiatives,” he said.

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