Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma of South Africa on Thursday pledged that “the pursuit of economic transformation will continue” to redress the imbalances of the past.
In his New Year message to the nation, Zuma said his government would continue to focus on economic growth and jobs creation.
“We will need labour and business to work with government closely, as we create an enabling environment for inclusive growth and job creation,” he said.
He pledged to “build a South Africa where economic opportunities increase for all and not just a few.
“We have to work further in 2016 to achieve broader and more meaningful black economic empowerment and participation in the economy.’’
The president added that Pretoria would explore opportunities in agriculture, mining, small business development, energy, growing the country’s ocean economy, transport, water and sanitation and telecommunications.
“We will also work further to improve the functioning, performance and governance of state owned companies,” he said.
Zuma had come under enormous criticism for sending the economy into a tailspin toward the end of the year by firing respected Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.
Similarly, Mmusi Maimane, who is the leader of the official opposition Democratic Alliance, in his New Year message, called for a focus on economic growth, job creation and sound macroeconomic policies.
Maimane said such focus was necessary to give hope to the 8.4 million unemployed South Africans.
“Building a thriving economy starts with electing the right leaders for the country.
“As we mark 20 years of the country’s Constitution, it is important that we work toward upholding and respecting its various and important provisions,” Maimane said. (PANA/NAN)