Urgent steps needed to avoid economic downturn – Zuma

2012-10-13 07:42

Steps will be taken to improve public and investor confidence in the economy and to promote social stability, it was agreed at a social dialogue meeting on the state of the economy.

This would be done using the government, business, labour and community resources and capacities to build a partnership for development, the presidency said in a statement issued after the closed-door talks.

At the end of September, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded South African bonds by a notch to Baa1 from A3.

It referred to “increased socioeconomic stresses” in the country that were hampering the government, “relatively high labour costs despite high unemployment”, and infrastructure shortfalls.

Yesterday, Standard & Poor’s cut the country’s sovereign debt rating by one notch, and blamed unrest affecting the mining sector.

Urgent steps were needed to avoid an economic downturn, President Jacob Zuma told senior government, business, labour and community representatives at talks at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse, east of Pretoria.

He said the spate of violent labour disputes were a major cause for concern.

“I am sure that all of us share that concern. We also agree that this is not something we want to see in our country, where there are mechanisms in place to deal with industrial disputes, or any other disputes.

“Labour disputes do not need to degenerate into violent confrontations and (lead to) loss of life as what happened tragically in Marikana and other strikes.”

Delegates discussed the country’s problems, taking into account slowing global growth, the industrial relations environment, and the need to speed up the fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment, said presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj.

They emphasised the need not to deviate from collective bargaining in favour of short-term solutions which did not assist in the long run, he said.

They urged law enforcement agencies to act firmly to curb lawlessness and violence associated with unprotected strikes and protests, within the framework of the law.

Maharaj said the meeting welcomed the end of the truck drivers’ strike and welcomed efforts to resolve strikes in the platinum, gold and coal mining industries.

“They (delegates) will cooperate strongly to make these a success,” he said.

Maharaj said it was agreed to use the terms of the 2009 Framework for South Africa’s Response to the International Economic Crisis, which set out a collective response to the economic situation.

“In particular, they agreed to incorporate the lessons that were learnt in the implementation during the 2009-2011 period and to fast-track its relevant provisions as appropriate,” he said.

He said the government had drafted a framework for responding to the situation. The discussions would be finalised on Wednesday.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.