Africa South Africa’s ex-president urges plan to create jobs, stabilize economy

South Africa’s ex-president urges plan to create jobs, stabilize economy

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki called on the government and the business sector to work jointly in rebuilding the economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing members of the business sector in Johannesburg on Thursday night, Mbeki said all stakeholders of the South African economy, including businessmen, should work with the government in finding solutions to the current job crisis and low economic growth.

“A successful plan will require all social partners to come together and agree on a binding plan,” he said.

For instance, businessmen should commit to invest a certain amount of money into the economy for a certain period which would spur growth and create jobs, he suggested.

Mbeki, who served as South Africa’s second democratic president from 1999 to 2008, made the remarks during a campaign event for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, targeting businesspeople for the upcoming local government election scheduled for Nov. 1.

A country of over 60 million people, South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world at 34.4%.

According to Statistics South Africa, the country’s economy grew by 1.2% in the second quarter of 2021 (April-June).

Praising President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan, Mbeki said the plan has important commitments for what needs to be done to produce a positive economic outcome.

In the plan, Ramaphosa targeted to create 3.6 million new jobs in 10 years at economic growth of 3% per annum.

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