Business urged to invest in economy

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Johannesburg – Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has encouraged business leaders to invest in South Africa’s economy.

Sharing insights with the business fraternity on building collective action for inclusive growth, Minister Gordhan said South Africans needed an investment of 30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for it to achieve growth as stated by the National Development Plan.

The county’s investment is currently 20 percent of GDP.

Minister Gordhan was speaking on Tuesday in Johannesburg at a business breakfast hosted by the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in association with Earnest & Young.

He called on South Africans to stop focusing on the negative and move to a level of cohesion and common purpose.

“We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot all the time and shift from reinforcing what economist call the vicious cycle… [We need] to shift to a virtuous cycle, notwithstanding the challenges that we face.

“In other words, if we keep on with the negativity, we will only get negativity as a result. We will get immobility as an answer. We will not get dynamism either in thinking or in leadership as we go forward,” Minister Gordhan said.

He said it was in the country’s interest to ensure that inclusion works because South Africa will benefit from it, as it will increase the country’s market, which will in turn get investors for the country.

“Let’s use the immense resources we have as a country to do things in a way which will both ensure that those who are already in the mainstream of economic activity benefit … [and those] that are excluded [must be] increasingly included,” Minister Gordhan said.

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He said government is looking at ways to make it easier to do business in South Africa.

“Government is trying to find a workable solution to create a one-stop shop for particularly foreign investors but South African investors as well. That process has started. The institution is there,” Minister Gordhan said.

He said the current global environment was tough but not impossible to navigate.

Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Ernest Mahlaule said business wants to create jobs and make a contribution, but it needs to operate in an enabling environment.

Mahlaule said the private sector should share its profit with its employees to encourage a happy workforce.

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