President Jacob Zuma has promised that government will do all it could to reduce policy uncertainty in order to boost SA’s economy. The steady drop in the state’s economy alongside the huge increase in unemployment has been of much concern to the government but president Zuma pledge to address the issue by providing a short term remedy.
Speaking at a media briefing following a meeting between government, labour and the business sector Zuma highlighted some short term strategies government will employ one of which is the reduction of policy uncertainty.
“To further respond to the challenges we face, we have decided on some short-term interventions… One of these is to reduce policy uncertainty and shore up confidence in the government’s ability to deliver on its promise of boosting growth,” Zuma said during a press briefing at the Union Buildings.
In addition, Zuma said the government will pay much attention on some concrete initiatives that will ensure a turnaround in our economic fortunes.
The cooperation between the government and the other two, became necessary after the meeting between chief executive officers of major companies and captains of industry where issues of how to boost economic growth and create job opportunity was discussed.
Unemployment has turned out to become a nightmare to both the government authorities and the citizens. With the sudden rise of unemployment reaching 26.7% in the first quarter of the year, government has been criticized for not doing too well in curbing the rise.
Pali Lehohla, statistician-general of Stats SA, said: “Government will have done enough when you see a change in the unemployment trend. There is no indication of a turning point and the current economic climate is not helping. She added that the unemployment rate was a far way off from the 2030 target set out in the National Development Plan (NDP) of 6%.
But at the press briefing, president Zuma said the engagement came up with initiatives that that will boost SA’s Economy. These include the establishment of a joint private and public sector fund for small business support, with roughly equal contributions by the partners.
According to him, the initiative focused on providing venture capital-type funding and mentoring to the target groups, especially black entrepreneurs. Also to accelerate inclusive growth and expand investment. “In this regard, the model we used for renewable Independent Power Producers offers valuable lessons”
“As part of scaling up investment, we will move with speed to extend the model to coal and gas as I had announced in the State of the Nation Address in February. We have agreed to expand government and private sector co-investment in infrastructure,” said Zuma.
He added that ways are being explored to strengthen and boost SA’s economy and enterprises in avenues that would reduce the risk they pose to the fiscus and help them play a stronger role in driving development.
“The credit ratings work stream will identify potential areas of reforms and interventions to avert further credit rating downgrades. South Africa is now beginning to realize how we can work together as Team South Africa in the interest of our country and people.”