By SA News
South Africa is encouraged by the Group of Twenty’s (G20) commitment to an Action Plan for growth and jobs, says President Jacob Zuma.
“We are pleased with the commitment to an Action Plan for Growth and Jobs, which is an undertaking to renew efforts to combat unemployment and promote decent jobs, especially for the youth and others who have been most affected by the economic crisis,” said Zuma at the conclusion of the G20 summit on Friday.
According to the Presidency the focus on job creation is in line with South Africa’s domestic focus on transforming the economy to promote inclusive growth and decent jobs.
Zuma said the sovereign debt crises as well as credit rating downgrades of Eurozone economies have raised fears about a deepening financial crisis in the region.
“We welcome the progress made by European leaders in their effort to resolve the current crisis. We urge them to continue to take decisive actions that will build confidence in the global economy,” explained the President.
The two-day summit which ended on Friday took place against the background of risks to the global economy which includes financial sector weakness.
“We have also urged all G20 member countries to play their part to prevent the negative spill-over effect of the crisis on developing and low income countries in line with the action plan,” he said.
South Africa was concerned that slow growth in the world economy is affecting Africa’s trade, growth and job creation prospects. South Africa’s real GDP growth was expected to remain below its pre-crisis 5 % average at 3.5 % over the next two years.
Zuma welcomed the news that unemployment dropped 25.7% to 25% in the third quarter. According to Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) Quarterly Labour Force Survey released on Tuesday, total employment rose by 193 000 in the quarter ended September, making it the highest increase seen since the recession in 2009.
“This indicates that we are doing something right in our efforts to intensively promote employment-creating growth. The South African Government shares successes in this regard with business and labour in our country, as we work together to promote growth and sustainable development.”
South Africa also supports calls for ways to address the loose monetary policies in advanced economies while the country also strongly supports the continued mainstreaming of the development discourse in the G20.
Over the course of the summit South Africa participated and co-chaired the G20 Development Working Group alongside France and Korea.
“While we participate in the G20 in a national capacity, we have always been mindful of the concerns of developing countries and the special challenges faced by Africa. The success of the development agenda of the G20 is crucial for the long-term credibility and legitimacy of the G20 for developing countries.”
South Africa supports recommendations made by the High Level Panel on Infrastructure premised on the understanding that facilitating increased private sector involvement is essential for enhancing infrastructure financing.
Zuma said South Africa also supports the work of the Development Working Group on food security and building resilience in low income countries as this is critical in preventing cases of famine such as the one in Somalia.
“We welcome chairing of the Development Working Group by Mexico in 2012 and the continued implementation of the Seoul Multi-Year Action Plan to support economic growth in developing countries.”