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Ramaphosa implores R9trn investment sector to help economy

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One of South Africa’s key problems is that a third of the population of 57 million, are excluded from the economy, said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa delivered an address at the ABSIP Summit about transformation in the investment industry, on Monday.

When it comes to addressing some of the issues the country faces, investors are the “brain trust” of the nation, said Ramaphosa. The investment sector is responsible for capital worth R9trn, and the industry is responsible for “preserving the wealth” of South Africa.

They are entrusted to “think outside the box” and use their wisdom to find creative solutions. With the economy coming under pressure, people who are well trained and have experience are needed to come forward and suggest solutions to get the economy moving and to address poverty, inequality and unemployment. Professionals should extend what they do beyond making profit and to developing the country, he said.

Government, business and labour should engage with each other to face the challenges. The country demonstrated the power of collaboration when all three stakeholders came together to face ratings agencies to avoid a credit downgrade, he said.

Some of the other challenges include youth unemployment. The majority of unemployed are black, aged between 18 and 35, he said. Another issue is to improve the poor savings rate. State-owned enterprises are “debt laden”, said Ramaphosa. Ideas are needed to fix them.

Infrastructure is also a huge problem. “These areas need answers and good ideas,” he added.

Township economies

To improve inclusiveness Ramaphosa suggested a township stock exchange, which will raise money to conduct business. “Townships should become centres of economic growth,” he said.

“We need to create township economies, where the investment sector can play a role.

“Resources need to be harnessed from the informal economies that exist in townships,” he said.

[Source: Fin24]
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