S. African economists call for economy reforms


  • World
  • Friday, 02 Oct 2020

JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- South Africa should urgently address energy shortages, low growth rate, implement economic structural reforms and restore business and consumer confidence, economists said at a webinar on investment outlook beyond COVID-19 on Thursday.

Chief economist at First National Bank (FNB) Mamello Matikinca-Ngwenya pointed out that South Africa has the potential to rise from the economic doldrums but needs to urgently take the right decisions.

"The plan to grow and recover the economy should center on creating more jobs. It is more urgent now to implement infrastructural development. This would ignite confidence in our economy locally and from foreign investors," she said.

Matikinca-Ngwenya welcomed some positive messages coming from the government but called for speedy implementation.

She said, "We welcome the opening of the spectrum. We heard the government recently talking of going to round 3 of the independent power producers. They should also quicken the unbundling of Eskom."

She emphasized that economic recovery hinges on how the government implements recovery programs.

Valdene Reddy, director of capital markets at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), agreed with Matikinca-Ngwenya on the need for implementation of recovery actions.

She warned that the country should guard against the second wave of the COVID-19 while implementing "tangible" short-to-medium term recovery strategy.

Reddy said as the economy recovers they expect more listings in the JSE from the country and Africa. She pointed out that their areas of interests are in the green bonds and suitability.

Chris Holdsworth, investment strategist at Investec Wealth and Investment, pointed out that the country should diversify as it recovers from low economic growth.

He stated that there are positive messages about recovery coming from the government to kick start the economy.

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