Minister Godongwana stresses quality rather than size of SA economy

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Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana says South Africa should focus on the quality of its economy and not simply its size. He was responding to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report that South Africa is expected to become number one in Africa in terms of the size of its economy.

He says figures show that Nigeria, with its massive population, will at some time return to being the largest economy on the continent, even if South Africa takes that position in the short term.

Godongwana says South Africa needs to do more to grow its economy. “Eventually, demographics are not enough, Nigeria is going to be the largest economy on the African continent. We should be focusing on moving forward not the size but the competencies of the South African economy. I think we can be stronger in that direction.”

The Minister adds that South Africa has a strong and stable financial sector that can compete with the rest of the continent. He says there are many economic sectors that are functioning well in the country and that will help grow the economy.

“We are strong in the retail; we are strong in the Telkom sector. We’ve got the biggest financial sector and stable financial sector on the continent. So, what we need to be talking about is how do we strengthen those competencies in which South Africa can excel.”

Regarding South Africa’s debt, Godongwana says the country is not alone in confronting such a challenge.

“The problem I’ll always emphasise at this point is not the size of the debt but the capacity of the economy to service that debt.”