Nene’s Medium Term Budget welcome: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber
The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber has said it welcomes Minister of Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene’s, Medium Term Budget Policy Statement which was presented in Cape Town on Wednesday, urging that more be done to address endemic poverty and high unemployment.
“South Africa was steered through a tumultuous time by the firm hand of Pravin Gordhan in the portfolio of Minister of Finance. Minister Nene, in his turn, has inspired in us a measure of confidence through his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement,” Kevin Hustler, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, said.
“We appreciate and agree with the Minister’s comments that as a country, we are not doing enough to reduce poverty and increase job creation.”
Hustler said that Nene’s policy statement was a candid evaluation of the country’s current economic situation.
“His frank assessment of South Africa’s current economic situation reveals some harsh truths, chief among them the reality that at 1.4%, South Africa’s economy is not growing at anywhere near the rates required to reach its growth and development goals,” he said.
“There are significant inefficiencies within government. Plug these, and we will see a significant increase in our competitiveness and sustainability as a country. Only the tangible evidence of sustainable economic growth and development will ensure South Africa’s economic success.”
Hustler said the chamber supports;
- A focus on increasing competitiveness in sectors that will contribute towards the diversification of the Eastern Cape economy, namely renewable energy and green technologies;
- A focus on accelerating the Industrial Policy Action Plan and the framework for the Special Economic Zones;
- Recognition that South Africa must shift its focus from import to export, and the emphasis on opportunities into Africa;
- A recommitment to priority spending on our health and education services. Minister Nene’s speech highlighted these critical issues, which have been on the table for a number of years;
- Acknowledgement of the vital need to strengthen capacity and accountability at all levels of government. There is evidence of gross inefficiency at all levels of government with regards to spending, and firm measures are needed to rein this in;
- A focus on support for business activity within a holistic approach to dynamic development, and the improvement of the lives of all South Africans through catalytic investments. Where government spending takes place, private sector investment will follow.
“[Local] business has a vision for the future of this country built firmly on the principles of sustainability and competitiveness.
“We look towards securing the future prosperity of South Africa through growth and development. When business thrives, the jobs will come, and we should not lose sight of the vital role the private sector plays in the South African economy,” he said.
“As the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, we advocate for a South Africa where infrastructure supports and sustains direct foreign investment and encourages local investment, where all citizens have access to essential basic services, and where collaboration between business, government and civil society leads to a unified vision and integrated, effective action.”
Photo caption: Minister of Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, presented his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in Cape Town on Wednesday. Image: www.destinyconnect.com
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