PRETORIA, October 6 – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday said a solid foundation has been laid for the revival of the ailing South African economy, and the creation of significant jobs.
“Having come together in the way that we have, we were involved in an thorough-going and painstaking [programme], thrashed out many agreements that, when they are implemented will lead to the creation just on the interventions that they agreed on, of 275,000 jobs per year. They were a bit cautious about the mention of figures because they said the previous summits we have mentioned figures and we never really got to achieve them,” Ramaphosa said in closing remarks at the Presidential Jobs Summit in Midrand.
Ramaphosa said at the end of the two-day high level summit, there was a real commitment to create jobs and all the social partners – encompassing government, organised labour, business and communities – had made the commitment to focus on that goal.
“We, as a country and as a government and as social partners united in this effort, have been putting the building blocks in place for the recovery of our economy and we have been coming up with a number of enabling measures. This jobs summit is one of those enabling measures that is definitely going to contribute to the recovery of our economy,” said Ramaphosa.
On Thursday, Ramaphosa urged companies doing business in South Africa, government entities and the general populace to prioritize purchasing locally manufactured goods and products in a bid to create and save jobs.
“For the economy to grow and for jobs to be created, it is essential that there is a substantial increase in domestic demand. This means that South African companies, government and consumers must buy local,” said Ramaphosa in his keynote address as he officially opened the summit on Thursday.
“If we do not buy the food that comes out of South African soil, there will be no farms and no farmworkers. If we do not buy the goods made by South African hands, there will be no factories and no workers. The most direct way for South Africans and South African companies to create jobs is to buy only South African products.”
The President convened the summit as South Africa grapples with stubbornly high unemployment, currently at 27.2 percent of the labour force. (ANA)