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Increasing domestic savings, energy capacity will create jobs: SA ruling party

Date: Feb 29, 2024

The South African ruling party, African National Congress’ Economic Transformation Committee has detailed plans on how the party intends to create jobs as outlined in its manifesto.

Committee members say the focus on job creation will be on the back of a revitalised industrialisation strategy.

South Africa’s official unemployment rate rose to 32,1%  in the fourth quarter of 2023 leaving 7,9 million people in the country currently unemployed. The ANC has promised voters that it will create 2.5 million jobs in the next five years.

Members of the ANC’s Economic Transformation Committee gave a detailed briefing to the media about priority number one of its manifesto which focuses on job creation.

Chairperson of the ANC Economic Transformation Committee, Mmamoloko Kubayi, says the party’s overriding economic objective is to accelerate job creation, especially for young people.

Kubayi says enhancing public infrastructure and reviving the party’s industrialisation strategy have been identified as key areas to drive job creation.

“This further entails the creation of multiple and diverse pathways and instruments for black industrialists to enter strategic, targeted industrial sectors. In seeking to accelerate industrialisation and enhance infrastructure, boosting investment and job creation to significantly higher levels, structural reforms will be complemented by various mechanisms which mobilise additional private sector investment towards building an inclusive economy.”

Domestic savings

The ANC says boosting the country’s industrial capacity to create jobs will require adequate domestic savings.

Deputy Chairperson of the ANC Economic Transformation Committee, Zuko Godlimpi, says the ANC’s manifesto recognised the current fiscal constraints including low growth and tax revenue.

Godlimpi says the amendments made to Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act must be reviewed.

“Economic theory proceeds from the understanding that investment is positively related to national savings. S0, the higher the savings are, the higher the levels of investment in the productive economy are supposed to be. But what the amendment of regulation 28 has done, unintentionally, is to lead to the off-shoring of increasing quantities of South African savings to foreign markets. This means an industrial South Africa that is starved of significant quantities of capital is not a strategic approach to managing our national pensions and savings. So, we’re going to have a discussion with the pensions industry, not that it will be an arbitrary move on regulation 28.”

Electricity system

A member of the ANC Economic Transformation Committee, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says the rehabilitation and expansion of the country’s electricity system will stimulate demand for industrial jobs.

He says ongoing plans by government to expand the country’s transmission line, and the transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles are set to increase industrial jobs.

“The success of our industrial policy is predicated on the existence of sufficient supply on the electricity side. So, you know that we need to expand and modernise the transmission by about 14 000 kilometres in the next 10 years. And we know that size of the investment that we need to afford the size and the scale of that expansion is in the order of R400 billion, but we know that part of the major input for the expansion on transmission is the manufacturing of the wires and the towers. So, essentially, what we’re doing is that we are stimulating demand.”

--SABC--

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