All sec­tors must co-op­er­ate to cre­ate jobs

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Lindiz van Zilla

ALL sec­tors in South Africa need to pull in the same di­rec­tion if the coun­try is to at­tract in­vest­ment to break the back of un­em­ploy­ment.

This was ac­cord­ing to Den­nis Ge­orge of the Fed­er­a­tion of Unions of South Africa, the sec­ond-largest trade union fed­er­a­tion in the coun­try, who is at­tend­ing the An­nual Meet­ing of the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum in Davos-Klosters, Switzer­land, as part of Team South Africa.

Ge­orge, who rep­re­sents a por­tion of South Africa’s labour com­po­nent of the tri­umvi­rate which in­cludes govern­ment and busi­ness, said it was crit­i­cal that the three main play­ers worked to­gether to send the mes­sage that South Africa was work­ing and open for busi­ness.

Ge­orge said in­vest­ment was the most im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent for inclusive growth.

“We are work­ing to­gether as a so­cial part­ner team to en­sure that we pro­vide and mar­ket South Africa as a busi­ness area, where we are pro­vid­ing a sup­port­ive in­fra­struc­ture for busi­ness to come, be­cause we know there is a close link be­tween busi­ness, and busi­ness that must pros­per, and em­ploy­ment cre­ation.

Ge­orge said that the en­vi­ron­ment needed to be cre­ated for in­vestors to come on board “be­cause without in­vest­ment, which is the most im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent for inclusive eco­nomic growth, we will not be able to ad­dress the un­em­ploy­ment sit­u­a­tion in our coun­try”.

He said the Team SA part­ner­ship had be­gun when meet­ing in­vestors in the US and UK last year, and also when meet­ings were held with the in­ter­na­tional rat­ing agen­cies to pre­vent a down­grade.

“So this part­ner­ship now is grow­ing, where we are also here, where we are meet­ing with the ma­jor role-play­ers and it is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to get ev­ery­body un­der the same roof,” he said.

“This is the rea­son why we are so busy work­ing, run­ning from meet­ing to meet­ing, and that is very crit­i­cal for South Africa and for our peo­ple, that the three main play­ers, busi­ness, labour and govern­ment, are work­ing to­gether ac­tively to put South Africa up­front as be­ing open for busi­ness. That is our main ob­jec­tive here.”

Ge­orge said the fo­cus was to boost in­vestor con­fi­dence and to “re­move ob­sta­cles and the con­straints to busi­ness”.

De­spite the con­flict­ing in­ter­ests, with busi­ness fo­cused on re­turns, the govern­ment on rev­enue and labour act­ing in the in­ter­est of the work­force, he said a sta­ble en­vi­ron­ment to al­low for in­vest­ment would be to the ben­e­fit of all. – ANA

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