South Africa Economy needs to grow faster to create jobs for youth: DDG

Caption: The Deputy Director-General of Special Economic Zones and Economic Transformation at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Mr Sipho Zikode delivering the keynote address. PHOTO: Government Media

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (ADV) – The Deputy Director-General of Special Economic Zones and Economic Transformation at the Department of Trade and Industry (the Dti), Sipho Zikode believes the country’s economy needs to develop fast in order to curb unemployment amongst young people.

Zikode stated this while delivering a keynote address at the inaugural Oil and Gas Sector Transformation Workshop held at the South African Bureau of Standard in Pretoria a while ago.

“The South African economy must grow at a faster pace in order to create job opportunities especially for youth,” said Zikode.

The workshop was organised by the Dti with the aim of highlighting the opportunities and support measures available for new entrants to facilitate transformation and shared growth in the sector. It also sought to give new entrants and emerging entrepreneurs in the sector an opportunity to dialogue with regulators, policy developers and important industry stakeholders on issues of innovation, financial support, as well market and product access in the sector.

“South Africa has one of the best policies in the world but where we are still lacking as a country with regard to implementation. The Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment and the National Industrial Policy are some of the policies that have been designed to govern and to grow the South African economy,” he said.

Zikode said these policies have been designed and benchmarked from other country but taking into account the dynamics of the South African economy and the legacy of policies on discrimination.

“As we implement these policies we need to learn and improve on implementation gaps, but we also need to strengthen partnerships between the public and private sector in order to achieve success,” added Zikode.

He further encouraged entrepreneurs to make use of opportunities and support measures available for them that are offered by government. He also advised entrepreneurs to be willing to take risks but also to deliver quality products and services regardless of whether they are emerging or established.

Also discussed during the workshop is creation of a transformation fund targeted at new entrants and emerging entrepreneurs in the Oil and Gas sector, ensuring policy coherence and simplification of legislation, a One-Stop Shop for support measures available for entrepreneurs in the Oil and Gas sector and a clear blueprint for transformation and industrialisation of the sector.

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