Finance Minister to chart way forward

Monday, June 12, 2017

Pretoria - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is today expected to hold a media briefing to chart the way forward for South Africa’s economy.

“The Minister of Finance, will hold a media briefing to talk about the way forward for the South African economy,” said the Ministry of Finance.

The briefing comes hot on the heels of rating agency Moody’s announcement on Friday that it has downgraded the country’s debt ratings to ‘Baa3’ from of ‘Baa2’, maintaining a negative outlook. The decision still puts the country at investment grade.

Minister Gigaba’s briefing is scheduled to take place at midday at the GCIS Hatfield offices in Pretoria.

The briefing follows Cabinet’s decision last week to endorse a full media briefing by the Minister to share with South Africans the interventions that government will embark upon to address the challenges facing the economy.

Briefing reporters on Thursday, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said interventions will be made within the current budget framework.

“Cabinet further reaffirms the adopted budget framework for the country,” said Minister Dlodlo, who was briefing reporters following Cabinet’s fortnightly meeting in Cape Town.

Last week, data released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) showed that the South African economy had entered into a recession following a contraction of 0.7% in the first quarter of 2017 to which National Treasury said the Minister would meet with business.

The meeting said National Treasury would seek to discuss ways of working together to achieve inclusive economic growth.

Cabinet had been briefed by the Minister on GDP figures.

In addition, Cabinet last week also reaffirmed its commitment to continue partnering with the private sector and labour in its attempts to address the country’s unemployment challenges.

This as Stats SA had previously reported that South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to 27.7 % in the first quarter of 2017 up from 26.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Cabinet said it had noted that the QLFS had shown that the economy added 144 000 jobs. These numbers were offset by an increase in the number of job seekers by 433 00 people. –

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