Gordhan: Mining can create jobs

Agriculture and mining have the potential of creating many jobs, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in Durban on Monday.

“We believe that the mining and agriculture sectors have a potential of creating jobs,” he said during a poorly attended May Day rally at Durban’s King’s Park Stadium, organised by the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa). Only a handful of people were present.

Gordhan said the government’s new growth path (NGP) placed employment at the centre of economic policy, saying there was a need to change how things had been done. The approach to economic growth had remained pretty much the same as it was during apartheid, he said.

‘We need to work together around the growth path to create jobs.”

He said the Growth, Employment and Redistribution (Gear) economic policy introduced after the dawn of democracy had failed to create enough jobs and widened inequalities.

South Africa’s unemployment was currently around 25%.

Gordhan said there was a need for South Africa to utilise opportunities presented by being a member of Brics group—Brazil, Russia, India and China. South Africa officially joined Brics in December.

The grouping offers a lucrative market for South Africa’s goods and services and opportunities to implement the NGP framework. The NGP is designed to create five million jobs in South Africa by 2020 and reduce unemployment to 15%.

Gordhan warned being a Brics member would mean facing tough competition.

‘These people are our friends, but they are competing with us.”

Gordhan urged Fedusa members to vote for the ANC on May 18.—Sapa

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