Leading economists have told KwaZulu-Natal businessmen that the country and the province would remain shielded from the global market crisis if they rallied together.
The economists appealed to consumers to save more and spend less.
Addressing the first KwaZulu-Natal Investor's Summit held at Durban's Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre yesterday, leading investment and economic expert Bonke Dumisa said the country's economic policy, especially the National Credit Act (NCA), had contributed to saving the country from the crisis that has hit First World markets.
The summit was hosted by Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal and is geared to attract foreign and local investments, and to facilitate the export of local products and services to grow the province's economy.
"When the NCA was introduced many people were not happy, but today they see the results," said Dumisa.
He said the country' s credit status of 31percent was indicative of the improvement in consumer spending.
"We have survived bad times, especially in 1998 when the bond rate went up to 31percent. It's painful to see some cars and houses being repossessed because people cannot pay," said Dumisa.
"South Africa has the potential to remain stable but only if we work together and stop throwing missiles at each other. We can swim or sink together."
Dumisa's sentiments were echoed by Rhodes University professor Matthew Lester. "South Africa should not be worried as we have been doing very well. And I'm still positive that we will survive the global market crisis," he said.