Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

President Kgalema Motlanthe has urged businesspeople to unite and take advantage of the global economic meltdown to reposition South Africa to sustain its economy.

Addressing businesspeople in Ballito, near KwaDukuza on Saturday, Motlanthe said South Africa would not copy the United States' stimulus packages initiative.

He said South Africa's response to the economic crisis must be a home-grown solution and not copy the US.

The Barack Obama-led US government recently approved multibillion-dollar stimulus packages to rescue its collapsing economy.

Motlanthe said to deal with the issue of massive unemployment exacerbated by retrenchments caused by the economic crisis, the government would invest in infrastructural development and also improve the quality of education.

"We should invest in the construction of roads, clinics and schools for the Confederations Cup this year and the Soccer World Cup next year to boost the economy."

He said South African banks were "doing fairly well" compared to those in other countries because of the country's sound credit control regulations.

"We believe that our response to this global economic crisis must be around creating more decent jobs and investing in infrastructure," he said.

Motlanthe said the biggest difficulties of dealing with the economic crisis was that, although it had been declared that some countries were facing recession, the extent of the crisis was not yet clear.

"We have not seen the bottom of it."

Local businessman Mike Taylor told Motlanthe that their strategies to invest in infrastructure had beenhampered by the land claims.

He said as developers they were facing a huge delay due to the land claims.

"We wait for over two years to get the land. And the issue of cost rates is quite closer to be resolved with the municipality," Taylor said.

He said the high rate cost also had a negative impact on creating many jobs.

Taylor also urged businesspeople to rally together to attract more investors.

"We need to create a marketing campaign to attract foreign investors."

Motlanthe also met iLembe district sports people and donated kits for different sports codes, including soccer, karate and cricket.

He urged retired professionals to plough back into communities by instilling discipline in youth through sports.