File image: Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba delivering his maiden Budget Speech. (IOL).

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said that private investment is the key to easing business growth in the country and will support job creation. 

"Private sector investment and job creation are critical to reducing unemployment which remains stubbornly high at 26.7 per cent", says Gigaba. 

He outlined key investment opportunities which has encouraged global development in trading partners. 

These include:

- A stronger domestic demand in the US and the euro area has supported an improved growth outlook. 

- The recovery in commodity prices has also supported developing countries growth prospects. 

- Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow at 3.3 per cent in 2018. 

Gigaba admitted that more needs to be done to ensure an enabling and conducive environment for job creation. 

He said he is inspired by President Cyril Ramaphosa's commitments mentioned in SONA toward job creation and job summits. 

However, he acknowledged that in order to allow for transformation, there has to be a fundamental shift in the way that wealth is created and shared. 


Meanwhile, the country’s unemployment rate of 26.7% has dropped in the the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Statistics SA's 2017 data. 

Chief economist at Investec told Business Report on February 13 that the impending Presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa might see the unemployment rate go further down.

“South Africa can eventually regain it’s A grade credit ratings, see unemployment drop below 22% and have sustained economic growth above 5.0% year-on-year again…but must now reduce the size of the state substantially, and allow conditions that see the private corporate sector triple in size,” said Bishop. 

In his State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa stated his commitment to work together to find jobs for the youth. 

“At the centre of our national agenda in 2018 is the creation of jobs, especially for the youth”.

“We are going to embark on a number of measures to address the unemployment challenge”. 

“One of the initiatives will be to convene a Jobs Summit within the next few months to align the efforts of every sector and every stakeholder behind the imperative of job creation”, said the President.