South Africa is working to restore its institutions and secure private investment in order to grow the economy, President Cyril Ramaphosa told the Financial Times Africa Summit in London on Monday.
Ramaphosa, whose nation is struggling to gain economic growth momentum, also said they were open to outside investment in ailing state-owned carrier South African Airways (SAA).
“We are on record as saying we are open to the participation of the private sector. As we speak now, we’re talking to a few interested parties when it comes to SAA.”
He also said the government needs to pursue prudent fiscal policies, stabilise its debt and reduce risk with contingent liabilities in order to attract much-needed investment in the nation.
Two decades on from the formal end of the old apartheid regime, the South African economy can lay claim to being one of the wealthiest in Africa and one with a stable functioning democracy.
It is Africa’s biggest economy but also one which has deep-rooted structural problems constraining its growth and development.
South Africa appears to be struggling to raise her annual growth rate towards the five per cent or six per cent mark that most economists regard as crucial to make faster progress towards MDG goals and to address the chronic problem of very high structural unemployment in the economy.
The rate of unemployment in South Africa has remained stubbornly above 24 per cent of the labour force but this average hides an enormous disparity in jobless rates between whites and non-whites.
The government has a target of reducing unemployment to 15 per cent of the labour force but this will take a substantial improvement in economic growth.