Two tough years for SA on the way – Nene

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

FI­NANCE Min­is­ter Nh­lanhla Nene said yes­ter­day South Africa could be in for a very tough two years as the coun­try grap­pled with an un­cer­tain global eco­nomic cli­mate and its own in­ter­nal prob­lems, in­clud­ing high un­em­ploy­ment, anaemic growth and power sup­ply con­straints. Nene – who three weeks after pre­sent­ing his medium-term bud­get pol­icy state­ment saw the coun­try’s sov­er­eign credit rat­ing slashed by Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice last Thurs­day – said short-term pres­sures on the econ­omy had in­creased amid a slow­down in global growth. Ad­di­tion­ally, room for fis­cal ex­pan­sion has slowed. “The next two years will be chal­leng­ing,” Nene said in a speech be­fore the Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce in South Africa. “Against the back­drop of an un­even global re­cov­ery, South Africa needs to work swiftly to lift the bind­ing con­straints on growth in or­der to achieve rapid and in­clu­sive growth,” he added. He lamented what he called longer-term chal­lenges of South Africa. “Th­ese in­clude high lev­els of un­em­ploy­ment, dis­mal ed­u­ca­tion out­comes, poorly lo­cated and in­ad­e­quate in­fra­struc­ture, high lev­els of so­cial in­equal­ity and a strong re­liance on re­source-in­ten­sive growth”. Nene’s re­marks about South Africa’s out­look is his most can­did to date since his ap­point­ment in May. – Staff Re­porter,

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