state of disaster

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation (SONA) address at the opening of the parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, 10 February 2022. – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers a State of the Nation address on Thursday facing demands for a master plan to reverse widening disillusionment with his government. (Photo by Nic BOTHMA / POOL / AFP)

SONA 2022: Ramaphosa says government does not create jobs

In his SONA speech, Ramaphosa said it is the government’s duty to create an environment that will allow private businesses to thrive.

state of disaster

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation (SONA) address at the opening of the parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, 10 February 2022. – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers a State of the Nation address on Thursday facing demands for a master plan to reverse widening disillusionment with his government. (Photo by Nic BOTHMA / POOL / AFP)

President Cyril Ramaphosa bemoaned the state of economic growth and investment in South Africa during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) at Cape Town City Hall on Thursday evening, 10 February.

SONA: GOVERNMENT MUST CREATE ‘CONDUCIVE’ ENVIRONMENT

Ramaphosa said the government does not create jobs but businesses do. To back this up, he said approximately 80 percent of the employed people in South Africa work in the private sector.

“We all know that government does not create jobs – business creates jobs.”

This line in the SONA speech was met with scattered applause but the most noticeable reaction came from disgruntled Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members.

The President said it is the duty of the government to create a conducive environment that will enable privately-owned businesses – both small and large – to grow and access new markets and hire new employees.

Ramaphosa said the problems with the country’s economy are deep and “also structural.” He listed the unreliable electricity supply,  the struggling port and rail network and expensive broadband as detrimental factors.

He also referred to the unemployment rate, which hit an all-time high in 2021. Ramaphosa blamed the increase in unemployed people on a long-term decline in investment in the South African economy.

“Low economic growth and investment in the country, as well as unreliable electricity supply, have heightened the unemployment statistics,” said Ramaphosa.

When the Quarterly Labour Force Survey Quarter 2 results were announced in August 2021, it was widely reported that South Africa had the highest unemployment rate in the world at 34,4 percent

The Q3 results, which were released in November 2021, saw the unemployment rate increase by 0,5 percent to 34,9 percent – the highest it has ever been.