Parliament, Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma called for greater cooperation between all social partners to spur economic growth and create jobs, as he delivered his state-of-the-nation address on Thursday.
A flu-ridden Zuma warned that South Africa was way off track to meet its job creation targets at the current rate of economic growth.
President Jacob Zuma delivers his 2013 state of the nation address. Credit: INLSA
“In my last meeting with the business community, the sector indicated that for the economy to grow three-fold we must remove certain obstacles,” he said.
Zuma said the National Development Plan, the vision of the country for the next 20 years, contained proposals for tackling the problems of poverty, inequality, and unemployment.
“It is a roadmap to a South Africa where all will have water, electricity, sanitation, jobs, housing, public transport, adequate nutrition, education, social protection, quality healthcare, recreation, and a clean environment.”
The achievement of these goals had proven to be difficult in the recent past, due the global economic recession.
The crisis in the Eurozone affects South Africa's economy as the Eurozone was its major trading partner, accounting for around 21 percent of exports.
“Our GDP growth is expected to average at 2.5 percent cent, down from 3.1 percent in the previous year. We need growth rates in excess of five percent to create more jobs.”
The NDP outlined interventions that could put the economy on a better footing. The target for job creation was set at 11 million by 2030 and the economy needed to grow threefold to create the desired jobs.
“We will engage business, labour, and other social partners in pursuit of solutions. No single force acting individually can achieve the objectives we have set for ourselves,” he said. - Sapa