CAPE TOWN – As day two of the Africa Investment Forum unfolded, Cabinet has championed the forum as a platform to bring together public and private sector investors to chart a new growth path for the entire African continent.
The three-day forum, convened by the African Development Bank (AfDB), is currently underway at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg and aims to draw investment to fuel the continents growth projects.
It follows hot on the heels of the Investment Conference that bagged R290 billion in investment commitments for South Africa.
This adds to the pledges of over R400 billion that were received during the investment drive by the special envoys and from various countries during state visits.
Reflecting on the investment drive initiatives, Cabinet believes these interventions will make a dent in the unemployment challenges facing the country by igniting a renewed spirit of hope and optimism.
On job creation, Cabinet expressed its confidence in the recently announced economic stimulus package and recovery plan.
The package is set to inject R50 billion into key sectors such as agriculture, public infrastructure, township and rural economies, providing the necessary impetus for job creation and sustained economic recovery.
Cabinet also welcomed the recently launched R50 million Phuthaditjhaba Industrial Park in the Free State, which will promote industrialisation and increase local job creation and growth in that province.
Through these strides, Cabinet believes that the country is chipping away at the scourge of unemployment, as detailed by Statistics South Africa’s (StatsSA) third quarter Quarterly Labour Force Survey for 2018.
The survey showed both a growth in employment and an increase in the number of unemployed persons.
For the three-month period, 92 000 additional jobs were created. However, because about 131 000 previously ‘discouraged work-seekers’ re-entered the labour market in the quarter, the unemployment rate also rose by 0.3 of a percentage point to 27.5 percent.
Cabinet approves Economic Strategy Framework
On economic policy, Cabinet approved the Strategy Framework for the pursuit of South Africa’s strategic economic interests.
These interests relate to global trade, investment and industrialisation.
“The strategy aims to ensure that international engagements serve the country’s domestic policy imperatives such as poverty alleviation, unemployment and inequality,” Cabinet said in a statement.
The strategy advocates that South Africa pursue development integration in the rest of Africa, supported by an investment led strategy and build strategic alliances to advance its agenda.
It also consolidates its trade and investment relations with developed countries and pursues inward investments, skills and technology transfer and value–added exports.
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