Radical economic transformation aimed at inclusive growth

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pretoria - Government’s radical economic transformation should not bring about disquiet, given that many had been excluded from participating in the South African economy, says Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

“The debate about radical economic transformation is an ongoing discussion in South Africa and I don’t think we need to fear that discussion. We need not suppress it,” Minister Gigaba.

Addressing Parliament’s Finance Committee on Tuesday, Minister Gigaba said South Africa comes from a history where the majority were excluded from the economy and as a result, many were left outside the  mainstream economy.

He said a large group in the population participates in the second economy, with many of them being black and women with “no bridge to join the first economy, even though they are living in a democratic dispensation”.

“Over the years, we largely have had these people remain marginalised from participating in the formal economy,” he said, adding that many still did not have access to land and assets.

The Minister said this group remains unemployed and without skills. “This plight does not confine itself to unemployment. It also includes their desire to own land, assets and have access to the financial sector so that they become self-sustaining and independent.”

What government is trying to address now is how to get the majority of South Africans not just to be employed but how to get them to participate in the economy, to own assets and become self-sustaining.

“The debate around radical economic transformation is ongoing. Issues that are discussed shouldn’t cause disquiet from any quarter,” he said.

Minister Gigaba said in present day South Africa, about 10% of the population owns about 42% of the wealth of the country. The debate, he said, ought to be around how to industrialise the South African economy in order to eradicate poverty, inequality and unemployment.

Nuclear energy

Addressing the issue of the nuclear build programme, Minister Gigaba said the programme is a decision of government linked to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2010).

He said what is of importance is that the nuclear programme will be implemented at a scale the economy and fiscus can afford.

South Africa plans to introduce 9 600 Megawatts of nuclear energy onto the grid in the next decade.

SAA

Responding to questions on South African Airways, Minister Gigaba expressed confidence that the fortunes of the national carrier can be turned around.

“I do believe that SAA can and will be turned around and we need to be firm in how we move in that regard in terms of their financial position, routes and the maintenance of their fleet,” said Minister Gigaba. – SAnews.gov.za

 

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