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Country needs new generation of industrialists

Young, black people need to learn skills so a new generation of industrialists can be created in South Africa.

This is one of the solutions for South Africa’s sliding economy that Prince Mashele, executive director of the Centre for Politics and Research, talked about at the University of the Free State Thought Leader Series on Thursday (04/07).

The discussion focussed on the imput from panel members on how to fix the South African economy and create jobs.

The session was facilitated by Max du Preex, editor of Vrye Weekblad. Other panellists were Annabel Bishop, chief economist: Investec, Prof. Philippe Burger, vice-dean strategic projects: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the UFS and Dawie Roodt, director and chief economist at the Efficient Group.

Mashele said one of the obvious problems of the South African economy is that this country do not produce their own products. He gave South East Asia as an example of countries who produce their own cars and cell phones. “In South Africa we rely too heavily on imports and do not make stuff ourselves,” he said.

Roodt said the focus must be on economic growth. “If the economy grows, jobs will be created in the process,” Roodt said.

In response to a question from the audience on the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) on the amount of available jobs, the panel agreed that 4IR does not create a threat for jobs, but will rather lead to the creation of new and different kinds of jobs.

Mashele reiterated that people need to have skills to be employable. “Highly skilled people have the capacity to re-envent themselves and will find things to do for themselves.”

Burger warned that South Africa now must solve its huge fiscal problems, or else someone from the outside like the International Monetary Fund will come and prescribe a solution.

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