Marcus: SA has a lot going for it

Johannesburg – South Africa has great growth potential compared to most countries but people underestimate it, Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus said on Wednesday night.

“We have a lot going for us… We have the ability to be a haven for people who need it,” she said at a function in Sandton, Johannesburg.

“South Africa is a place for real growth opportunity… and right now in terms of inflows… almost R55bn has come in.”

In comparison, Europe was not growing and this could affect South Africa as 29% of its manufactured goods is exported there. If Europe stops buying, South Africa suffers, she said.

Proper leadership is needed to maintain and improve South Africa’s growth so as to not follow in the footsteps of Europe and other declining economies.

“Many people think leadership is a position… or office or title. It’s none of those.

“Leadership isn’t someone at the top of the tree. Leadership is each one of us… when you serve the whole, you serve yourself.”

She noted that a lot needed to done to build the future citizens wanted for themselves and the country.

“The future is what we envision and what we work towards,” said the governor.

“Yes, we have challenges… but we have created jobs. It’s just not at the level you want.”

The more businesses strive for knowledge and skills, the better South Africa will be.

“The outcome is determined by what we do.”

Training and “maintaining” youth was important, she said, as young people are turned away by employers because they lacked experience.

“We have to get people working, give them experience and help them get their foot in the door.”

She also said the move by the Reserve Bank to keep interest rates steady since late 2010 has helped create certainty over its mandate to balance price stability with economic growth and job creation.

“It’s not just a question of raising rates or lowering rates… As you see, we’ve held rates for a very long period of time, but in our view that has created the greatest certainty around the framework,” Marcus said.

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