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Gordhan: GDP not the only measure of growth

The finance minister also pledged to work more closely with business and encourage foreign investment.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2011. Picture: World Economic Forum.

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says South Africa should stop using only gross domestic product (GDP) as a measure of the success of the economy.

On Wednesday, Gordhan spoke at a briefing at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

He told delegates that a country's GDP numbers did not tell the full story.

"I think more and more we need to talk about inclusivity. We need to talk about who benefits from growth and in which sections of society. All of us across the world are looking for answers on inclusivity and creating less inequality."

There have been calls from academics to look at using a 'happiness' or national wellbeing index instead.

But details around how to properly measure those factors have not yet been finalised.

At the same time, Gordhan said government was determined to work with business to grow the economy.

He said he wanted to improve clarity in policy to make South Africa an attractive destination for foreign investors.

"We've got to find the right balance which will ensure that we get the investments that are required and, certainly from a government point of view, we want to create even higher levels of policy certainty which will encourage that kind of investment."

Encouragingly, Goldman Sachs South African head Colin Coleman said it was not too hard to sell the country to investors such as those in Davos, saying South Africa has a "very balanced, good story to tell".

But he added his company's projection of three percent growth for South Africa meant the country was not doing well enough.

"We have to get the game up," he said.

Click here for a special feature on this year's World Economic Forum in Davos.