Davies calls for ‘fundamental’ changes in structure of SA economy

Minister Rob Davies says it’s important that government and the private sector work together to keep the country afloat.

Department of Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has told African National Congress (ANC) members and business leaders that South Africa needs to take a radical approach to economics to survive the current turbulence.

Davies says the country cannot continue in its trajectory as the global changes are disruptive.

The minister addressed the Progressive Business Forum's breakfast briefing in Nasrec, amid preparations for the start of the second day of the fifth national ANC policy conference.

Davies says the future of South Africa lies in radical economic transformation.

"It can place us on a higher growth path which can deliver high levels of more inclusive economic growth. If we don't do this we can't be in the position to solve poverty, inequality and unemployment. I think this is what's staring us in the face."

The minister says it’s important to empower small businesses to ensure stability.

Davies says it’s important that government and the private sector work together to keep the country afloat in the current economic climate.

He adds the country must also take note of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“We’ve got to bring about fundamental changes in the productive structure of our economy. This includes changes to the patterns of ownership and management in favour of the majority of the population.”

On Friday, day one of the ANC’s policy conference, President Jacob Zuma told the conference the party still represents the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the majority despite some problems facing the ANC.

He has also urged ANC delegates to spend a significant amount of time discussing how to grow the economy and redistribute land.

The president mentioned the technical recession and the ratings downgrades, saying delegates can't afford not to spend time on the economy.

“Our deliberations in this conference on the economy will need to look at what needs to be done to reignite growth over the next five years.”

On redistributing land, Zuma says the pace of land restoration and redistribution remains a sore point for millions of South Africans.

The ANC believes it can find "radical solutions" to redistribute land to black people while remaining within the framework of the Constitution.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)