ANC Lekgotla calls for bold action to grow economy

The African Natioinal Congress (ANC) Lekgotla has called for bold government action to grow the economy and avert the possibility of a credit ratings downgrade.

The Lekgotla that includes alliance partners and cabinet ministers held a three-day meeting ahead of the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Economic growth forecast is at less than a percent for the year and rating agencies have warned that any fiscal missteps could see the country downgraded to junk status. The party has expressed concern with the Eskom tariff hike application saying affordable and accessible energy is crucial to economic growth.

Mantashe says they must deal decisively with state-owned enterprises. “We must deal decisively with the threat of state capture, resolve governance problems in SOE’s implement stringent cost cutting measures and consolidate the implementation of sound fiscal parties to strengthen the people’s confidence in the South African economy.”

The ANC Lekgotla has reflected on the recently renewed trade agreement between South Africa and the United States in the form of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria, Mantashe says all trade agreements entered into since 1999 must be reviewed.

“There must be a review of all trade agreements entered into by the democratic government since 1999. The review must assess socio-economic impact and the extent to which the agreement advances South Africa’s economic interest. 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.”

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