Political and economic crisis is not peculiar to South Africa alone says Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu who believe that,like many other countries, will scale through the current turbulent periods in a short while.
It’s no news that the deepening political crisis sparked by the recent reshuffling of the cabinet by President Zuma has greatly affected the nation’s economic growth and expert say more damning effects are underway.
Nevertheless, Lindiwe Zulu, who was speaking at a business forum between South Africa and Qatar in Pretoria on Wednesday, said South Africa will weather problems and that the recent credit rating downgrade to junk status will soon be a thing of the bast.
She said government was already working effectively to get the country out of junk status and that it was ready to deal with concerns raised by investors and rating agencies.
“It is not the first time that we are finding ourselves in this,” Zulu said to jilttering investors and assuring them of government’s quick intervention in the matter.
“The government has taken upon ourselves as government, the private sector and our communities to work together to weather the storms. It is going to be a very difficult period for us. We shall weather the storm working together.” she said
Zulu’s assurance came at the time President Zuma hosted the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, who’s visit was among other things, to further strengthen economic relations between the two countries.
The presidency said while receiving the Emir, that the visit will further review progress in South Africa-Qatar bilateral political and economic relations and identify three short-term projects in the fields of trade and investment, agriculture and oceans economy and that it anticipated to provide the two Heads of State with a platform to discuss matters of strategic interest related to regional and global security.
In a statement released on Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani’s arrival, the Presidency said that the total trade between South Africa and Qatar had increased from R4 billion in 2012 to R7 billion last year and that one of SA’s largest investments in the Middle East is Sasol’s joint venture gas-to-liquid facility located in Qatar.
“[The] two heads of state have agreed to advance our relations to a strategic level in demonstration of our commitment towards strengthening our economic relations.
“Inasmuch as fostering partnership among business communities is important, it is equally imperative that we emerge from these engagements with a structured programme of co-operation,” said Lindiwe Zulu.
Areas that need to be strengthened between the two countries include agro-processing, financial services, mineral benefits, petrochemicals, aerospace and defence, infrastructure development and tourism.
She said South Africa’s focus on radical economic transformation opened up opportunities to all South Africans, with focus on black South Africans and in line with the country’s commitment to radical economic transformation, government and investors must ensure adequate participation of black entrepreneurs.
“The bottom line is that and there is no compromise land was taken away from the majority of our people. That has to change if we are to make sure there is peace, security and stability in South Africa. ”
This should not scare any of our investors. Your investment in South Africa will always be safe, because in South Africa we have very strong institutions, whether its institutions of governance or financial institutions. We make sure that anybody who comes to South Africa with their investment is protected, she said.
South Africa had prioritized the creation of black industrialists and the integration of small- and medium-sized enterprises, thus, black industrialists must be actively engaged in the process, she added.