'Job creation most important step in developing SA'

South Africa emerged from a technical recession when GDP growth of 2.5% was announced last week.

FILE: Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says the most important step in developing the country is putting more South Africans into jobs.

South Africa emerged from a technical recession when GDP growth of 2.5% was announced last week.

Gigaba told delegates at the Tax Indaba in Sandton that the second quarter GDP growth is an important step forward, but insists that this is not the time to be complacent.

“As the NDP correctly diagnosed the most important step we can take to develop our country is to get more South Africans working. We, therefore, welcome commitment by the CEO’s Initiative and Business Leadership South Africa to create jobs by growing the economy inclusively.”

REASONABLE GDP

Gigaba says while growth projection of 1.3% remains at risk, he's positive that “reasonable” GDP performance may materialise in the coming quarters.

The Finance Minister says government, as well as business and labour, need to prioritise economic growth.

“We’re increasingly optimistic that reasonable GDP performance may materialise in the coming quarters.”

He says a revised outlook may be revealed in the mid-term budget policy statement which will be released towards the end of October.

Gigaba adds that government needs to show that tax payers money is being used wisely.

He says it's often taken for granted that more than 26% of South Africans pay their taxes and that, therefore, tax payers need to know the importance of their contributions.

“Government needs to do its part in showing that the taxpayers’ money is used wisely and that efforts are taken to reduce wasteful expenditure and that taxpayers are treated fairly.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)