The African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) committed to continue working with business leaders to pull the economy out of the doldrums and create much-needed jobs.
The parties – represented by ANC Economic Transformation Committee Head Enoch Godongwana, DA National Chairman Athol Trollip and IFP spokesman and Member of Parliament Mkhuleko Hlengwa – addressed delegates attending the Political Parties Seminar hosted by the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) at the Johannesburg Country Club recently.
The parties collectively agreed that the stagnant economy, high levels of unemployment – particularly youth unemployment – and rampant corruption, among other socioeconomic woes, were of great concern and that Government needed to work closely with the business community to address these challenges. They also agreed that there is a need for Government to work with manufacturing sector leaders to reverse the fortunes of this sector, which has over the years struggled to operate in a low-demand and high-administered costs environment.
In addition to working closely with the business community to grow the economy, Hlengwa said Government needed to invest in infrastructure in the form of electricity and water, among others, to ensure that businesses thrive and subsequently contribute to economic growth. He said it was also of critical importance that the Government overhauls the education system to ensure that the country produces skills relevant to the fourth industrial revolution, as required by the economy.
Trollip said policy incoherence was detrimental to the economy and that the Government should do whatever it takes to address this challenge if investors were to come on board. He said the Government also needs to continue to create sector-specific incentives that reward investing in the local economy and job creation.