Transformation SA: Zuma Worries About SA’s Ailing Economy


South Africa’s ailing economy has become a troubling issue to the entire citizens, particularly to the President, Jacob Zuma who discussed South Africa’s economic and social ills with his Cabinet Ministers and business leaders.

At the Business Luncheon held on Tuesday to promote inclusive economic growth, radical socio-economic transformation & job creation in SA, the president acknowledged the fact that despite an improved economic outlook, SA’s ailing economy has failed to improve fast enough to significantly reduce the country’s challenges including poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

The president went on to call on business cabals in the country to work hand-in-hand with his government in order to proffer a solution to the ailing economy

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He also called for the country’s transformation policies to be streamlined to cover majorly the Black South Africans who, according to him, still remain outside the mainstream economy.

Business leaders attending the event include Barclays Africa CEO Maria Ramos, Telkom chairperson Jabu Mabuza, businessman Vivian Reddy and JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King.

Cabinet ministers present included Ramaphosa and ministers Rob Davies (trade), Lynne Brown (SOEs), Ebrahim Patel (economic development), Lindiwe Zulu (small business) and Naledi Pandor (Science and Technology). Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan joined Zuma’s luncheon following his speech at a lunch held at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town.

One of the most important challenges we need to confront head on this year is the scale of inequality and exclusion in this country. It needs urgent action, said Zuma who also noted that social justice cannot be achieved if the country allows the status quo to persist.

“We have, though, failed to ensure that the growth is shared. As we begin a new phase of economic recovery we have to make sure we take everyone along. We have to rework and sharpen our transformation model and more importantly demonstrate commitment and empathy”

The president also emphasized the importance of regional integration and trade with other African countries to the benefit of the country’s economy.

The presidency looks forward to seeing an economic growth of 1.3 per cent in 2017 following an estimated 0.5 per cent in 2016. This according to him will help solve the problems facing SA’s ailing economy.

It also expects improved commodity prices, and stronger global growth should encourage both investment and employment, and provide necessary support for exports. Agriculture is also expected to recover following improved weather conditions, while tourism and the manufacturing sector should be supported by the weaker rand and a recovery in economic activity in the region. We have reason to be optimistic. Despite the improved outlook, we have to acknowledge that we are not growing fast enough to significantly reduce our triple challenges of poverty,

We have reason to be optimistic. Despite the improved outlook, we have to acknowledge that we are not growing fast enough to significantly reduce our triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

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Unemployment currently stands at 27.1%. This is the highest rate since June 2004. Our youth unemployment stands at 44% for 18 to 29-year-olds.

Low economic growth and pressure on revenue suggest that the public sector can no longer be the main engine of jobs growth. We used to rely on government to absorb the unemployed. The public service is also facing pressure as the largest employers of unskilled workers are shrinking in importance.

“This puts more workers in the job market, being not only unemployed but also largely difficult to employ due to lack of skills,” he said.

“We should never rest until the vision for a better life for all is realized [for] all of us as labour, business, community sector and government” the president tell business cabals