South Africa to finalise new growth strategy in few weeks – Ramaphosa

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The South African Government will finalise a clear economic growth strategy within the next few weeks, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday as the country aims to boost confidence in an economy facing lower growth and job cuts.

In the first of his weekly messages to the nation known as “From the Desk of the President”, Ramaphosa said people were looking for signs of progress after a decade of low growth and deepening poverty.

“Building on the stimulus and recovery plan, government will finalise a clear economic growth strategy within the next few weeks,” Ramaphosa said.

Investor confidence in South Africa’s economy had been fragile, with the economic growth outlook clouded by a lack of clarity and progress on reforms.

He said the economy would this year record growth that was lower than expected and much lower than what the country needed.

Ramaphosa said government finances were stretched about as far as they could go and several industries were looking at cutting jobs.

Last week, miner, Sibanye-Stillwater, said it planned to cut around 5,270 jobs as it restructures its loss-making Marikana operations that it acquired this year.

Without giving specifics of his plan, Ramaphosa said the work was “taking place at a time when government’s finances are under great strain, and there is very little room to increase spending or borrowing.”

“This, therefore, means the government needed to spend resources more smartly, get rid of wastage and shift more resources to infrastructure investment,” Ramaphosa said.

Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, said this month that South Africa’s economic growth was unlikely to reach the treasury’s target of 1.5 per cent in 2019 because conditions had changed and the country was facing increasing headwinds.

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