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SA needs local investment before it can focus on foreign investment: Mokonyane

01 July 2017 - 13:02 By Genevieve Quintal
ANC national executive committee member Nomvula Mokonyane.
ANC national executive committee member Nomvula Mokonyane.
Image: Sunday Times

South Africa needs local investment before it can start focusing on foreign investment‚ ANC national executive committee member Nomvula Mokonyane says.

Mokonyane‚ who after the recent Cabinet reshuffle which saw the rand plummet said if the rand falls “we will pick it up”‚ said South Africans needed to be loyal to the country.

“Let’s use all our resources to invest in the development of this country‚ let’s use our skills‚ let’s believe in ourselves‚ let’s attract people because we can show them that we are capable.

“We need co-operatives‚ we need industries‚ we need local investment before we can even talk about foreign investment‚” she said on the sidelines of the ANC’s 5th National Policy Conference in Soweto‚ Johannesburg.

Following the decision by President Jacob Zuma to remove former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas‚ the economy went into a tailspin. This led to some rating agencies downgrading SA’s sovereign credit rating to junk status.

Some of Zuma’s allies in the ANC‚ which include Mokonyane‚ tried to downplay the effect of the downgrade.

During his opening address to the conference on Friday‚ Zuma said discussions on the economy at the conference have to be centred around how to reignite growth.

SA is in a technical recession‚ after the economy contracted in the first quarter.

"At the time of the budget in February the economy was expected to grow at a low 1.3% in 2017. Given the current difficulties‚ even this low growth rate may not be achieved‚" Zuma said.

Mokonyane changed her tune a bit this week when she said SA needed to show its neighbours and the world that it was “at work” and this would start with government and the private sector working together to make sure investors had confidence in the country again.

“Let’s create political stability‚ let’s make sure that everybody works in a manner which contributes towards unemployment‚ poverty and inequality.

“Let’s review our institutions‚ if our institutions including our legislative or regulatory structures are a problem we have an opportunity to come here [to the policy conference] and reform so that we are able not to do what is good for those who are deployed but we must also begin to adapt and do what is good for the ordinary South African‚” she said.

Mokonyane said the way to improve political stability would be by assuring South Africans about the internal democratic processes of the ANC.

During the policy conference the party will be looking changing how it elects leaders.

- BusinessLIVE