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Fri Oct 24 18:12:25 SAST 2014

Business feels left out, says Zuma

Sapa | 04 February, 2013 00:24
President Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image by: The Times / Daniel Born / Gallo Images

The South African business sector feels the government is not consulting it on major economic issues and decisions, President Jacob Zuma said in Pretoria yesterday.

"Business said in all the activities we are not being engaged as business. We have views, thoughts and ideas we have to share," he told reporters after a four-hour meeting between government officials and business representatives.

The meeting had been fruitful, the president said.

"As soon as that point was made I thought it was very important to organise this meeting as quickly as possible. It was important (to hold talks) so that business could express their feelings and for government to understand and clarify certain things."

Yesterday's meeting was attended by senior government officials including Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel.

Business was represented by the leadership of the Black Business Council and Business Unity SA.

Business unity president Jabu Mabuza pledged the business sector's support for the National Development Plan (NDP).

"We say business unequivocally endorses the National Development Plan. We want to come to government and say these are the challenges that would stop us from contributing to growth," he said.

"The meeting has been characterised by urgency [and a] quick, response from the president and we are grateful," said Mabuza.

The business community had asked for the meeting during the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, last month.

By 2030 the NDP would create a society in which people had adequate access to water, electricity, healthcare, education, safety and jobs.

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