Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

We need single-mindedness on jobs, says Gordhan

South Africans need to become as single-minded about creating jobs as they are about cricket and soccer, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Monday.

“South Africans need to become a lot more passionate, more single-minded about what we want to do,” Gordhan told a business breakfast in Johannesburg.

“If we were as single-minded on the economy as we were on the soccer World Cup and how we pulled it off … or about the cricket World Cup that’s going on … can we get single-minded about job creation in South Africa and transforming the economy?” he asked.

As business controlled 70% of the economy, it should take responsibility for its role, he said.

The private sector and labour, not necessarily the government, should be grappling with issues like productivity, he said.

Not playing its role
The private sector was not playing its role in growing jobs and creating opportunities, as there were too few firms that were too dominant.

“The issues aren’t just about the labour market and the cost of doing business,” he said.

“How do we really create the space for small and medium enterprises? How many big businesses are allowing the space for small business opportunities?” he asked.

He did, however, admit that government had been “pathetic in terms of helping small businesses” and needed to get rid of red tape and other impediments to doing business.

Gordhan said both business and government should not tolerate mediocrity and should strive for excellence.

“Don’t just look at government. If you control 70% of this economy then how you operate counts,” he said. — Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Gillian Jones
Guest Author

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

Hawkish Reserve Bank sees South Africa edge towards a rates...

Analysts say the Reserve Bank could start tightening monetary policy as early as next month

More top stories

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

Greenpeace investigation exposes countries trying to dilute climate report

Greenpeace team says it has obtained leaked records of countries asking scientists to water down upcoming scientific report on climate change

Zondo responds to Fraser’s objection to his nomination as chief...

The deputy chief justice said all the former spy boss had to do to respond to bombshell testimony implicating him in state capture was to apply for a turn to testify

Immunocompromised finally prioritised for Covid-19 booster shots

Organ recipients are at greater risk of death from Covid-19, while waiting lists for transplants grow

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…