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President Jacob Zuma calls 2016 successful & productive

The president says one of the year’s key achievements was the collaboration between government, business & labour.

FILE:  President Jacob Zuma during a press conference at the Union Buildings. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – President Jacob Zuma has described 2016 as a productive and successful year, saying the country’s economy remains resilient despite the difficult climate at home and abroad.

In his end-of-year statement, Zuma says one of the year’s key achievements was the collaboration between government, business and labour to stave off sovereign downgrades by ratings agencies.

The president says significant strides have been made to support the manufacturing sector while the easing of visa regulations and a weaker rand helped lure more tourists to South Africa.

Zuma says agriculture has been hard-hit by the drought with negative growth rates and a jump in food prices but the sector is expected to return to normal in coming months with the summer rainfalls.

He has also committed government to ensuring that all financially needy and academically deserving students can attend university and technical and vocational education and training colleges, and says he’s expecting a final report from the fees commission looking into the feasibility of free higher education, by the middle of next year.

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