SA a strong economy, says Zweli Mkhize

2013-09-13 16:30

South Africa remains a strong economy and is considered to be one of the most developed countries in Africa, ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize has said.

“South Africa benefited from its tight monetary policy, which effectively ensured that the financial-services sector was insulated from the global financial crisis,” Mkhize said in a speech prepared for delivery at a private equity conference in Mauritius.

“The banking system continues to be among the most respected in the world.”

He said the fact that the country hosted the Fifa soccer World Cup in 2010 had created a “comfortable cushion” for the economy and helped it weather the storms of the 2008 global financial crisis.

Mkhize explained the role of the National Development Plan (NDP), which aimed to eliminate poverty and reduce unemployment and inequality by 2030.

“According to the plan, South Africa can realise these goals by drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society.”

He said the NDP integrated with the initiatives of the African Union in terms of various infrastructure initiatives and programmes of governance.

“I believe we all have a role to play in the NDP, and that this role can be extended to global investors as investment opportunities arise from the NDP.”

Mkhize said government’s commitment of R3 trillion was an unprecedented quantum of investment in the history of the country.

“The figure will be compounded when private sector commitments come on to stream, with large investment expected in the mining sector, manufacturing, and value addition and various social and economic infrastructure projects,” he said.

“Many of the NDP projects are already in progress, making the NDP a practical programme rather than a pipe dream or political rhetoric.”

Private equity in South Africa continued to be a significant industry, which provided much-needed capital to grow the economy.

As of December 2012, the country’s private equity industry had about R127 billion in funds under management, with the financial sector dominating approximately 60% of the total funds, Mkhize said.

Sectors such as energy, telecommunications, consumer goods and services, and healthcare remained underexplored from a private equity perspective.

“This presents potential opportunities for investors looking for exposure in these sectors,” he said.

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