South African
finance minister
Pravin Gordhan
Durban, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 May, 2011 – Mining and agriculture have the potential of creating a great many jobs in the future, according to finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

“We believe that the mining and agricultural sectors have a potential of creating jobs,” he said here during a May Day rally at King’s Park Stadium, organised by the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa).

Gordhan said the government’s New Growth Path (NGP) placed employment at the centre of economic policy, stating that there was a need to change how things had been done. The approach to economic growth had remained pretty much the same as it had been during the apartheid era, he added. “We need to work together around the growth path to create jobs.”

Gordhan said the Growth, Employment and Redistribution (Gear) economic policy introduced after the dawn of democracy had failed to create enough jobs and had widened inequalities.

South Africa’s unemployment was currently around 25%.

Gordhan said there was a need for South Africa to utilise opportunities presented by being a member of Brics group “’ Brazil, Russia, India and China. South Africa officially joined Brics in December.

The grouping offers a lucrative market for South Africa’s goods and services, and opportunities to implement the NGP framework. The NGP is designed to create five million jobs in South Africa by 2020 and reduce unemployment to 15%.

Gordhan warned, however, that being a Brics member would mean facing tough competition.

“These people are our friends, but they are competing with us.”