SA economy set to improve

South Africa’s economy has been forecasted to grow somewhere between 3.5 and 3.8 percent this year, up from -7.1 and 2.8 percent over the last two years respectively.

The Financial and Fiscal Commission disclosed this on Monday, suggesting the fact that growth confirmed the economy was healing from the recession.

In spite of the optimistic picture, a great deal still is required to be accomplished as unemployment, poverty, inequality and low growth continued, it stated.

The commission tabled before Parliament its unbiased and professional recommendation for 2012 and 2013.

Responding to the media, the commission’s Deputy Chair Bongani Khumalo stated that it was up to Parliament to implement their recommendations. Khumalo revealed that in spite of the provision of social grants, poverty continued to be high among “black and female-headed households.”

Sub standard educational and health outcomes are in the same manner skewed against the poor, he explained, adding that “distorted settlement patterns” meant those same people happen to be located out of towns as well as in rural areas.

 

He explained that although government had made steps in accomplishing its social goals, it ought to focus on challenges of inequality, poor educational attainment and child maternal mortality.

Looking into the future, Khumalo said, the critical concern for the country would be to “strike an equilibrium around inclusive growth and job creation along with fiscal sustainability and low inflation.”

He emphasised that national, provincial and local government will need to “further prioritise expenditures with respect to equitable share and conditional grants for 2012/13, in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

He advised government to prioritise the achievement of universal education and propel the fight against HIV and Aids.

In dealing with local government concerns, Khumalo said the commission thought that “sustainable development is anchored in a well-functioning local government sector and lively urban economies specifically.”

He explained national and provincial treasuries’ attempts to enhance the credibility of municipal budgets as a result of annual benchmarking will need to continue to be supported combined with results made public.

Furthermore, government need to “develop and support peer learning and support programmes that will help poorly performing municipalities.”

He suggested that increases in education spending ought to be redirected towards “investments designed to have the most significant influence on quality.” That, he said, involved learner and teacher support material and scholar transport.

Source: BuaNews

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