Invest in local economy, says Zuma

iol news pic Zuma business President Jacob Zuma interacting with the media at the end of the forum. Photo: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has called for local businesses to invest in the local economy and stabilise the currency.

Zuma also called for more discussions with business to fix the economy. There was no magic bullet to the economy, but a strong partnership between all parties involved.

Zuma told CEOs of top companies in Cape Town on Tuesday that the discussions government began with business were bearing fruit.

He said the challenges faced by South Africa required a strong partnership with business.

“As business you are the backbone of the economy as you contribute 85 percent to our GDP,” said Zuma.

“As government our job is to create an enabling environment,” he said.

The meeting with business leaders in Cape Town on Tuesday was a follow up to the meeting government had with the CEOs in January.

This was before Zuma and business leaders left for the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Zuma said he was also happy that the meeting business had with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was successful.

The government did not want discussions to end up being talk-shops, but must produce tangible results.

“The story of the global economy is known to all. Our short-term economic outlook is not inspiring,” he said.

The solution has to be found to grow the economy.

Statistics show that the economy will not grow above 1 percent this year.

This is a revised figure from an earlier projection of 1.4 percent.

The economy has been battling for some time with jobs losses in mining, low commodity prices in that sector and the drought situation in seven of the nine provinces.

Zuma called for partnership with business.

He said both business and government have to find solutions to the low growth in the economy.

If the economy grew there would be more jobs for people.

The currency is currently under pressure from the markets.

The rand has lost more than 35 percent of its value in the last two years.

The government was under pressure to turn things around.

But Zuma said the solution did not lie with government only, but key partners like business.

He said government and business will have to work together.

He also told business that government would continue to invest in infrastructure projects.

There were a number of projects in the pipeline in electricity, bulk water, ports and rail infrastructure.

He said South Africa remained open for business to local and foreign investors to grow the economy.

Political Bureau


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