SA’s economy must change‚ says Gigaba
Sipho Mabena | 2017-04-04 16:26:19.0
Newly appointed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba addresses the media, at the Treasury offices in Pretoria CBD, on the countries downgrade to junk status by ratings agency Standard.
Image by: Alaister Russell/The Times
Call it radical or accelerated economic growth but it all boiled down to inclusive growth‚ new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Gigaba said there were no pillars underpinning exactly what constituted radical economic transformation.
He was speaking at a press briefing at Treasury. Over the past two decades‚ he said‚ there were parts of the country’s economy that did not create a sufficient volume of jobs to address the triple challenge of joblessness‚ poverty and inequality.
Gigaba said the challenge facing the country was the structure of its economy‚ which remained in the hands of a few. The structure of the economy had to change and become more inclusive and productive.
He intends taking full advantage of institutions that have been established by his predecessors‚ such as the Business Working Group‚ focusing on agriculture‚ mining‚ small businesses and the industrial sector to create jobs.
“We need to increase our agricultural output so that employment in agriculture is also increased to be on the same par as other middle-income economies. We need to focus on the mining sector‚ on its ability to continue creating jobs. It has lost about 800 000 jobs in the last few years. We need to focus on ensuring that our mining sector recreates jobs and beneficiates the economy‚” he said.
Gigaba said the main focus was on industrialising the economy‚ which also had to be diversified. This included support for job creation in the field of tourism and seeking ways to create more entrepreneurs and industrialists.
“That is what inclusive growth entails‚” he said.
Gigaba said support for the business sector was critical as it was the private sector that had to create jobs‚ not government.
– TMG Digital/The Times