‘Economic structural reforms and unemployment rate should be Ramaphosa’s focus’

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Some economists say President Cyril Ramaphosa should address the implementation of economic structural reforms and measures to deal with government debt.

Ramaphosa will deliver the State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) at 7PM.

With the country’s economy growing below 1%, Ramaphosa is expected to address the high unemployment rate and crises at state-owned enterprises.

Statistics South Africa on Tuesday released its Labour Force Survey which revealed that the unemployment rate remains at 29.1%.

In the video below, recently unemployed queue at the Department of Labour to claim unemployment insurance benefits: 

Wits School of Business’ Lumkile Mondi says the President should also discuss the opportunities that the Free Trade Area Agreement will present and South Africa’s chairmanship of the African Union.

“In addition to him talking about Eskom, (and) his investment drive, we expect him to address the socio-economic reforms specifically relating to how the state should be conducting its financial affairs around consolidating its expenditure, and also looking at negotiating wage freeze within the state employment area and more importantly, also signalling that going forward, there is a lot of restructuring around departments.”

Analysts say the President needs to give a clear indication of what government is going to do to stimulate the economy.

Chief Economist at the Centre for Risk Analysis Ian Cruickshanks says Ramaphosa must give action plans.

“He has to say that these are his plans for growing the economy, getting it at a higher tempo and then by that way manufacturing the possibilities of new jobs.  Job creation; he must show us the plans that they have. They keep talking about it, but nothing ever happens. All we see is even higher unemployment. So, clearly the strategy of the recent past has not been working.”

In the video below Econometrix Chief Economist Dr Azar Jammine talks about the issues facing SA economy: 

Watch the SONA coverage on the video below: