Business welcomes SONA

Friday, February 13, 2015

Pretoria - The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) has welcomed the positive tone of the State of Nation Address (SONA) delivered by President Jacob Zuma.

“Sacci is pleased to note that the nine-point plan to ignite growth and create jobs includes actions that it believes will provide the impetus that South Africa so badly needs.  The SME sector can play a pivotal role in achieving the successful implementation of the initiatives,” said Sacci President Vusi Khumalo.

Delivering the SONA in Parliament on Thursday evening, President Zuma listed numerous actions the government was embarking on to address some of the challenges, including announcing a nine-point plan to ignite growth and create jobs.

The plan, President Zuma said, will include:

- Resolving the energy challenge.

- Revitalising agriculture and the agro-processing value chain.

- Advancing beneficiation or adding value to mineral wealth.

- More effective implementation of a higher impact Industrial Policy Action Plan.

- Encouraging private sector investment.

- Moderating workplace conflict.

- Unlocking the potential of SMMEs, cooperatives, township and rural enterprises.

- State reform and boosting the role of state-owned companies, ICT infrastructure or broadband roll out, water, sanitation and transport infrastructure as well as well as Operation Phakisa aimed growing the ocean economy and other sectors.

The President said he was confident the plan would help the economy, which he said “needs a major push forward”.

On Friday, Sacci appealed to government to engage stakeholders, specifically business, to assist in the execution of the programmes.

“It is encouraging to note that resolving the energy crunch is regarded as the top priority,” said the chamber in its reaction to the President’s focus on the energy challenge.

The chamber said it regards the current Migration Policy as an impediment to foreign direct investment and welcomes the undertaking given to invite dialogue on the policy and its associated regulations.

Sacci extended a hand of cooperation to government and said it is ready, willing and able to assist in ensuring that the country moves steadily towards becoming a priority domestic and foreign investment destination - the key to growth, job creation, poverty alleviation and a better life for all. - SAnews.gov.za

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