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South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Social Accord to Stimulate Growth
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Friday, July 12, 2013
Country: South Africa
Created: Jul 12, 2013

The minister also congratulated the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government for being the only province in the country to have successfully spent its entire R12 billion infrastructure budget for 2011/12.

He said the province of KwaZulu-Natal was very important, as it had the second largest economy in the country.

“The KZN economy is bigger than 46 other African counties, including Ghana and Tanzania. At least 19 percent (2.5 million) of working people [in the country] work in this province. It also has a thriving and the largest manufacturing sector in the country,” Patel said.

He was happy with the Social Accord because it was properly aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP), New Growth Path (NGP) and the KwaZulu-Natal Growth and Development Strategy.

“The good thing about this Accord is that it is a negotiated action plan by all social partners.”

Patel said the NDP called for a social pact that would lead to inclusive economic growth and accelerated job creation. “So, we should applaud KZN for leading the way.”

He cautioned delegates that the huge challenge of youth unemployment called for a rethink of growth strategies. He said it was gratifying that the KZN Social Accord had the issue of youth employment, local procurement and infrastructure planning as its key tenets.

He explained that the Social Accord will be implemented in incremental stages. Other issues still to be negotiated and added include:
• Special Economic Zones and Industrial Development hubs in the districts.
• Implementing the Green Economy Accord in KwaZulu-Natal.
• Small Business Development – new support programmes.
• Implementing the Co-operative Development Strategy.

Construction industry collusive behaviour
Commenting on the recent case of wide-spread collusive behaviour unearthed by the Competition Commission in the construction industry, Patel said: “It [is] outrageous. We are investigating the possibility of launching wild-scale civil claims against all companies who defrauded various organs of state.”

He added that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had already been briefed and the process to launch civil claims was receiving attention at the highest echelons of government.
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