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ANC Lekgotla tackles SA’s economic woes

The African National Congress has vowed to take action against economic challenges facing the country. It is one of the key decisions taken at the ruling party’s three day National Executive Committee Lekgotla which ended last night in Pretoria.

The lekgotla is an annual meeting that determines government programmes and priorities to ensure consistency between government work and the ANC. The state of education, economic growth and the upcoming local government elections were at the top of the agenda.

The lekgotla received a report on the domestic economic situation from the National Treasury and one on global factors from the Department of Trade and Industry.

The party’s Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says they are concerned by the current economic look, “The creation of decent
work, more jobs and sustainable livelihoods remains a key priority of the ANC. While accepting the challenges emanating from a depressed global economic climate, the pressure on emerging markets and sluggish economic growth; bold actions are expected from government to grow the economy inclusively and avert the possibility of a credit ratings downgrade. More needs to be done to create an enabling environment for more jobs, decent work and sustainable livelihoods.”

The Lekgotla now wants a review of trade agreements between South Africa and other countries. This is due to a recent fall out
between Pretoria and the United States of America over the implementation of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Mantashe further states, “The NEC took a decision that there must be a review of all trade agreements entered into by the democratic government since 1999. The review must the assess socio-economic impact and the extent to which the agreement advances South Africa’s economic interests. At all times, government must be alive to the need for an exit strategy where agreements have a potential to defeat the core objective which is to expand, increase and grow our domestic industries and markets.”

With local government elections expected to take place later this year, the ruling party plans to retain all its metropolitan
municipalities and also reclaim the City of Cape Town.

“National and provincial government have intervened decisively where necessary to ensure that weak or dysfunctional municipalities are capacitated and in the interest of better governance, political leadership has been changed. Our efforts in the coming year must be on consolidating the gains of the Back to Basics programme and creating thriving and sustainable local economies. The ANC is confident of retaining all metropolitan municipalities. We currently govern and will be fighting to win the City of Cape Town,” says Mantashe.

– By Amos Phago

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