Achieving A Common Vision For KZN
The annual KZN Growth Coalition breakfast, sponsored by Investec, was held at the Coastlands Hotel in Umhlanga on the 18 August 2017. The event was attended by a wide range of representatives from the private sector as well as local and provincial government officials.
In his first official role, Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry President elect, Musa Makhunga was the programme director.
Moses Tembe Co-Chair of KZN Growth Coalition requested that there be closer consultation with the private sector by government department and entities, which would promote an injection of capital into the economy.
Tembe also commented, "Business and government have to show more seriousness and vigour in ensuring that the National Development Plan is implemented speedily and successfully. Business has to be seen to be in the forefront of addressing the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. This is not a function of government only."
The KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala, reassured businesses operating in KwaZulu-Natal that the province remained a sound investment destination that had their interests at heart.
Zikalala said government, working with business, had the urgent task of stimulating economic growth and ensuring stability in light of the technical recession facing the country.
He said while government would continue to ensure the creation of an environment conducive to investment, it was also critical for businesses to ensure that communities benefitted meaningfully from their operations.
"Our approach to radical economic transformation entails a change of mind set in approaching the economy and accepting that, if more people are given space to meaningfully participate, the size of our economy and its rate of growth will increase. It is also about deserting our comfort zones and appreciating that, as we deal with the legacy of apartheid misrule, all of us will have to make concessions and ensure that Black Africans in particular hold a more discernible stake in the economy."
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu, in his capacity as Co-Chair of KZN Growth Coalition, affirmed the commitment of government to work with big business to ensure inclusive economic growth.
Mchunu remarked: "I believe that we have already caste a strong foundation in this province for government and business to work together to achieve the common vision we have for our province."
"I do, however, wish to indicate that even in the challenging times we have experienced since 2011, with a sluggish world economy, slow domestic growth, currency volatility and continuing declining resource prices, we still managed to grow the total output value of all sectors of the provincial economy from 400 billion in 2010, to a corresponding Rand Value of just under 500 billion in 2017. Formal employment in our economy grew from 2.3 million in 2010 to 2.6 million in 2017 with the most significant gains made in the tertiary sector of the economy."
Mchunu also stressed the importance of skills development as part of ensuring socio-
economic development. "This is an area that requires our collective action. We are working with our tertiary institutions through the Human Resources Development Council to ensure a better output of required skills, but there are some structural challenges that may take some time to correct."
"In the interim we have an opportunity to explore more partnership arrangements for both formal private sector training opportunities as well as creating experiential work and training opportunities through an extended internship programme. I must acknowledge that this an area where the private sector has stepped forward and has already made a significant contribution. Much more is however still needed to ensure that we can achieve both our employment and unemployment targets."
Mchunu further called for government and business sector to work together to develop common and yet specific KZN identity.
He emphasized: "We want a unifying identity that will bring us together without expecting any individual to denounce their own individual cultures and values. We must emphasise that this matter can't be regarded as an optional extra because this could spark a reaction that none of us will be able to contain. It is therefore in our best interest and that of the people of this Province to ensure that we unite in action towards a prosperous KZN and RSA."
MEC Sihle Zikalala, Peter Staude, Premier Willies Mchunu
Vivian Reddy, Sipho Nzuza, Premier Willies Mchunu, Moses Tembe, Anant Singh