Zuma must focus on economy: Seifsa

2014-06-16 23:08
Parliament (File, Dan Calderwood, News24)

Parliament (File, Dan Calderwood, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Zuma will be ready for SONA - Mantashe

2014-06-12 15:46

The ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe has said said that President Jacob Zuma is resting and that “we want him ready for the State of the Nation” next Tuesday. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma must use his State of the Nation address to send a strong message to the local and international markets that government would turn the country's economy around, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) said on Monday.

"By far the biggest challenge confronting South Africa today is economical, and definitely not political," Seifsa chief executive officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said in a statement.

"Therefore, the State of the Nation address presents the president with a great opportunity to send a message to the country and the world that his government is alive to our economic challenges and that it will do everything possible to turn the situation around."

Nyatsumba said Zuma's seventh Sona address, which would take place on Tuesday evening in Parliament in Cape Town, would come a few days after the country's credit rating was downgraded to "near-junk" status.

"South Africa certainly cannot afford yet another downgrade by the international ratings agencies, nor can it afford another shrinkage in our economy," Nyatsumba said.

Zuma should indicate, in his Sona address, the clear actions that government would take to stimulate economic growth, to support manufacturing, to protect existing jobs and to provide an indication on what government would do to prevent labour strikes, such as the one in the platinum sector.

He said government also needed to work hard to build a strong partnership between itself, business and labour, and to ensure that they would work with state-owned companies to support local manufacturers.

Government should acknowledge that its primary responsibility was to create a climate conducive for job creation, with business focusing on enhancing its international competitiveness and job creation.

Nyatsumba said the local manufacturing sector, especially the metals and engineering industries, were facing unfair competition from eastern countries which subsidised their businesses.

This made it important for government to implement incentives that enabled local manufacturers to be competitive. Treasury also had to ensure that the necessary steps were taken to protect local businesses from such unfair competition.

"It is our hope that the president will use the opportunity presented by the State of the Nation address not only to re-affirm the government's commitment to the National Development Plan, but also to spell out concretely how the NDP and its ambitious infrastructure plans will be rolled out as a matter of extreme urgency," he said.

Seifsa is a national federation representing 27 independent employer associations in the metal and engineering industries, with a membership of over 2000 companies employing over 200 000 employees.

Read more on:    seifsa  |  jacob zuma  |  parliament 2014

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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.


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.