Pretoria: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday said all South Africans must be mobilised to work together to achieve total freedom and economic growth.
Addressing the Freedom Charter Forum held at the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape, Deputy President Ramaphosa said: “If we are to realise the vision of the Freedom Charter, we need an unrelenting focus on the economy. It must be placed at the centre of all our efforts.
“The 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter is about celebration but it is also about reflection and mobilisation.”
The Deputy President said more value should be added to the mineral resources extracted through greater beneficiation, reducing South Africa’s dependence on the export of unprocessed commodities, boosting domestic manufacturing and creating jobs.
He said the productive sectors of the economy like manufacturing, agriculture and mining need to account for a greater share of economic output and employment.
“Through the Industrial Policy Action Plan and the New Growth Path, we are implementing measures to reconfigure the industrial landscape. We need to reduce the cost of production.
“This includes the work currently underway to ensure a more efficient regulatory framework and lower the prices of key inputs like electricity, telecommunications, education and health,” he said.
Deputy President Ramaphosa said government and business will be working more closely to incentivise research, development, innovation and the more effective application of technology, among other things.
“We are developing new markets for our products especially on the African continent, which has just become our biggest trading zone.
“We are working to achieve greater economic integration and diversify the range of goods and services that we export. Faster growth is essential if we are to realise the vision of the Freedom Charter,” he said.
He said industries that are labour absorbing such as mining, agriculture, construction, hospitality and small businesses have to be promoted and grown. The more advanced sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, financial services, telecommunications and businesses services also had to be supported to realise even bigger returns, Deputy President Ramaphosa said.
SOURCE: South African Official News