CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa must announce drastic measures to stimulate inclusive economic growth and create jobs on a "massive scale" in his state of the nation address, the Federation of Unions of South Africa said on Wednesday.
In a statement, FEDUSA said Ramaphosa needed to tell the country how he was going to stop the economy from declining further after Statistics South Africa reported a 3.2 percent contraction in gross domestic product in the first quarter of the year.
"An inclusive economic growth strategy essentially boils down to moving beyond mere rhetoric of economic transformation to tackling real exclusion in tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, energy and transport to name but a few sectors; in order to open up economic opportunities to previously excluded communities," the labour federation said.
"Such an approach would steadily build up a decent rate of economic growth and put money into the pockets of embattled consumers."
FEDUSA said government needed to strengthen its black industrialists programme into which it has pumped billions of rand by helping open up opportunities, including through the state's preferential procurement policy.
"The link is clear, these newly empowered businesses struggled to access markets for their finished goods, which is dominated and controlled by established conglomerates which often collude to shut out new entrants," it said.
"The state needs to come in and diffuse this situation as a matter of urgency because of the economic crisis that the country is going through."
FEDUSA's wish list also includes Ramaphosa announcing measures to fix the governance crises at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) which are meant to provide affordable services to South Africans.
"The governance crisis at the majority of SOEs illustrated by the billions of rands that have been pumped into the black hole that is (national airline) SAA, the energy insecurity at (electricity utility) Eskom, the crumbling infrastructure at (passenger rail company) Prasa that has often ended in fatal train accidents and elevated perpetually tardy trains to a new normal and the chaos at the public broadcaster among others; can no longer be allowed to continue," it said.
- African News Agency (ANA)