Gigaba: It’s time to unite SA's efforts to focus on inclusive growth

Malusi Gigaba says incoming ANC leadership must address the fundamental problem of SA's low economic growth because it's increasing pressure on the fiscal framework.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba during the PGF Breakfast at Nasrec on 16 December 2017. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says he's confident the country will be in good hands regardless of who is elected as the African National Congress' (ANC) new leader.

He is addressing the Progressive Business Forum at the ANC’s 54th national conference at Nasrec.

The Finance Minister says he has no doubt that whoever is elected as the ANC’s new leader will be dedicated to addressing challenges the country is facing.

“Whoever emerges as our president after the vote and whichever collective is elected, I am confident they will hold the custody of our nation and country as well as it is expected of them. The country and the movement are going to be in good hands.”

Gigaba says several years of slow growth has resulted in continued jobs losses and poverty which is why radical economic transformation is imperative.

The minister says incoming ANC leadership must address the fundamental problem of South Africa's low economic growth because it's increasing pressure on the fiscal framework.

Gigaba also says necessary tough decisions will have to be taken to achieve fiscal stabilisation and consolidation ahead of the budget in February.

With the economy growing at a slow rate, Gigaba has called on the incoming leadership to take decisive action.

"I'd like to encourage the incoming leadership to be decisive in speedily implementing the resolutions adopted by the conference."

Gigaba adds South Africans are hungry for change.

"The country is looking to us for leadership; we cannot disappoint them."

Relations between the governing party and business have become increasingly strained over the last few years with debate around land redistribution, radical economic transformation and corruption dominating national discourse.

The country's credit downgrades have also caused further tension between the two sides.

Gigaba says instead of fighting one another politically or in business, it’s time to unite the country's efforts to focus on inclusive growth.

He says monopoly capital, whether white or black, must be deconcentrated.

But has pushed one central issue for the incoming ANC leadership: "The most important task for the incoming leadership of the African National Congress is the economy. All other things, I'm not saying they are not important. I'm saying all other things are dependent on the economy."

Gigaba also says SA needs to build a developmental coalition with big business and adopt a national minimum wage.

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(Edited by Shimoney Regter)