Gordhan must assure stable business environment

2010-02-16 10:27

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan must assure the business community

of a stable environment in his first Budget speech, Trade union Solidarity said

today.

Spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said the government had to give

businesses the assurance of a stable environment “to ensure that production in

the economy can be increased faster and employment can improve”.

Gordhan should clearly explain in his speech in Cape Town tomorrow

how the government will create an environment that encouraged economic growth

and job creation, the union said in a statement.

“Solidarity is especially concerned about the country’s poor

exports, low consumer spending and the uncertainty about input costs such as

electricity, which are currently preventing businesses from growing.”

Kleynhans said the country was currently seeing a very slow

recovery in the labour market with almost no permanent jobs being created in the

private sector.

“The reason for this is that businesses are uncertain about the

future, especially with electricity tariffs that could rise sharply in the near

future and consumer spending that is still very low.”

Last week Solidarity expressed its disappointment with President

Jacob Zuma’s decision to say almost nothing about Eskom in his state of the

nation address.

“We hope that the minister will announce a clear plan regarding how

the government will help Eskom go ahead with its expansion plans without huge

tariff hikes.

“The government has so far this year been quiet about the Eskom

tariff increases, while South Africans in general are very worried about the

issue,” said Kleynhans.

The trade union would like to see this year’s Budget forming the

foundation for a strong economic recovery.

“With hundreds of thousands of permanent jobs that were lost last

year, the government must now take the right steps to support consumers, help

businesses expand and improve exports.”

Solidarity said the best way for government to combat unemployment

and poverty was by helping the private sector to grow faster, which would

automatically lead to the creation of quality jobs and better government

income.

“The biggest mistake that the government can now make is making

life difficult for consumers and businesses through taxes and tariffs and

increased regulation,” Kleynhans added.


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