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Ramaphosa vows to rebuild dwindling confidence in South Africa’s economy

Ramaphosa vows to rebuild dwindling confidence in South Africa’s economy
After a decade of low growth and deepening poverty, South Africans are looking for signs of progress, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa. He pledged “concrete things” to rebuild confidence in the economy.

This year, the economy will record growth lower than expected, Ramaphosa said. The GDP growth forecast for 2019 has been revised by the National Treasury to 1.5 percent, from an estimated 1.7 percent in 2018.

“Much of the confidence that the country had 20 months ago has dissipated as the reality of the problems we face became clearer,” Ramaphosa said in his first weekly message.

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South Africans want concrete things that can make a difference in the economy and real actions that “move the needle,” he added.

According to Ramaphosa, the government should move in a determined way to effect change while remaining committed to rooting out corruption and malfeasance.

As part of efforts to rebuild confidence, funds have been redirected to stimulate economic activity, he said, adding that the government is also increasing the value of goods and services it procures from small business and cooperatives.

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The president also said that firm action needs to be taken to grow the economy and create jobs. “I am certain that with the active involvement of all sectors of society, this will be achieved.”

Africa’s most industrialized economy is currently stuck in its longest downward cycle since 1945. Weak economic growth, a sharp drop in export volumes and a weaker currency, rising debt, and an unemployment rate of 29 percent continued to hurt the nation.

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