The Who’s Who of the province’s business community gathered at Fusion Boutique Hotel to attend a Monetary Policy Meeting and Business Roundtable Discussions, presented by the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (Ledet) and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), last Friday.
Distinguised guests like Premier Stan Mathabatha, Lesetja Kganyago; Governor of the SARB, Seaparo Sekoati; MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Thembi Nkadimeng; Polokwane Executive Mayor and Barend Petersen; Executive Chairperson of De Beers Group, shared the floor.
Seaparo Sekoati, MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (Ledet) said that Statistics SA’s labour force survey shows that the province lost 97 000 jobs and at the same time created a total of 70 000 jobs. “In other words, the province shed 27 000 net jobs in the first quarter of 2015. Despite these economic challenges, I firmly believe that the province will be able to create 429 000 jobs by 2019 as targeted in the Limpopo Development Plan.
The slow growth rate in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 was mainly due to severe drought but we are recovering well in the aftermath of the sluggish global economy and the energy crisis in the country resulted in a growth decline in most sectors of our economy. The energy crisis impacted heavily on the mining and manufacturing sectors as they rely heavily on electricity for production. Research shows that in 2013, our provincial contribution to the National Gross Domestic Product stands at 7,3% and we aim to increase this share to 9%,” Sekoati said.
In addressing the meeting, Nkadimeng said that the major contributor to the municipal economy is the community services sector, which is responsible for about 29% of the value of contribution. It incorporates a wide range of activities from economic development, infrastructure and community upliftment projects by both the private and public sector.
The second largest contributor with 27,6% is finance followed by trade as the third largest sector with about 17,6% which includes wholesale and retail. Transport is the fourth largest sector with a contribution of 10,9%. The other economic sectors are relatively small. Manufacturing only contributes 3,6% to the local economy and agriculture a small 2,6%. The construction sector contributed 4,2% to the local economic value of production and mining is also very small, with a contribution of only 0,5%.
Nkadimeng referred to the Limpopo Development Plan and said: “We also note and appreciate the fact that this plan will serve as a single referral point for policy-makers in government, the private sector, civil society and donors with regard to developmental priorities for Limpopo and thus creating a sustainable economic development, reduce unemployment and eradicate poverty. To us this further means that as a city we have a local economic development plan that is aligned to and contribute towards the growth of the provincial plan.
Story: BARRY VILJOEN