24 January 2013
No one can say they are uncertain about the direction that South Africa is taking, President Jacob Zuma said in Switzerland on Wednesday.
“Together as business, government, labour and the community sector, we must tackle our three fierce enemies – poverty, unemployment and inequality,” he said during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) annual meeting in Davos.
He said the ruling African National Congress’s (ANC’s) 53rd national conference had adopted the National Development Plan, which would play a key role in determining the country’s policy direction.
“The conference has thus set the tone and provided the line of march, not only for the next five years, but until 2030.”
South Africa was a country of many opportunities, and was a destination of choice for investors, Zuma said, adding that the country had “achieved a comprehensive political freedom and stability and consolidated our constitutional democracy.”
Speaking on one of the findings of the Census 2011 report, Zuma said income distribution and growth was still racially skewed in favour of “white compatriots”.
“This is a cause for concern for all of us. It compels us to work together with all our social partners to attack head-on the triple challenges,” he said.
“All these challenges will be easier to tackle now under a climate of policy certainty. They are easier to tackle if there is unity in action.”
Zuma said infrastructure development was a flagship project, given its capacity to create jobs.
“Domestically there are roads, dams, power stations, schools, hospitals and more that are being built or refurbished. All these provide enormous opportunities for the business sector.”
He told delegates that South Africa was stable, friendly, resilient and able to solve its problems.
“That is the type of country and society that we are presenting to the world,” he said.
“We are presenting a South Africa that is open for business and which is open to provide entry into the African continent, a fast-growing region which is proving many Afro-pessimists wrong.”