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South Africa: Economy is Expected to Grow – Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement, Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 14, 2013

“After we came into office during a tough time of economic recession, the past four and a half years has been a period where we have demonstrated a great deal of political leadership.
“The cabinet as a whole, and other financial authorities have managed the fiscus in a way in which we have helped growth …in our fiscal envelopes,” he said.
Through collaboration with business, labour and state-owned companies, the government has tackled short and long-term sectoral constraints to deal with economic challenges and bringing about stability.
This includes an agreement to rapid and peaceful resolution of labour disputes in the mining sector, the biggest contributor to the GDP.
Gordhan said other factors that are expected to boost growth included:
• Improving the efficiency, pricing capacity of local ports to reduce transport costs and enhance competitiveness;
• Investing in freight capacity to help alleviate bottlenecks; and
• Improving access to finance and support services for small businesses.
The cost of doing business has been seen as a major obstacle, and the ports regulator maintained the 2012/13 price structure and reduced the export and import tariffs.
Transnet’s R2.3-billion rail upgrade of the rail network servicing the port of Coega will raise annual manganese export capacity from 5 million to 20 million tons.
The introduction of a 200-wagon rail service from Mpumalanga coalfields to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal is expected to boost coal export by 30%.
Support to small and medium enterprises though the creation of 10 additional business incubators – offering a wide range of services including business and technical support – has seen the Small Enterprise Development Agency supporting 2 282 firms.
In August, Gordhan introduced a new-look customs at border posts, which he said would eliminate paperwork and other red tape to make it easy and affordable to do business and boost regional and global trade.
He said this, coupled with improved global conditions and infrastructure investment, would increase the demand for South African exports. This, he said, would crowd-in foreign investment and allow for more production and employment.
Sub-Saharan Africa, meanwhile, is expected to record economic growth from an estimated 5% in 2013 to 6% in 2014, due to improved economic management and political stability support rising investment into the continent, particularly in Angola and Nigeria.
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