Summit to help deal with crunch

A LANDMARK event, bringing together government, labour and business, gets under way in KwaZulu-Natal to deal with the effect of the recession in the region.

A LANDMARK event, bringing together government, labour and business, gets under way in KwaZulu-Natal to deal with the effect of the recession in the region.

Hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal department of economic development and tourism, the Economic Recovery and Jobs Summit brings together stakeholders from across the spectrum to deliberate on the effects of the economic contraction and how to mitigate them.

The two-day conference starts today and ends tomorrow at the Sibaya Conference Centre in Durban.

"The summit will come up with a road map to help the province mitigate the effect of the recession and devise ways to turn the economic scenario into an opportunity of growth," said departmental MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu.

"While the conference will be held in KwaZulu-Natal, it will be pitched at a national and global level and will look at what the country and the province can do to weather the financial storm," he said.

He said the provincial government was clear that "these are extraordinary times that require extraordinary measures".

Mabuyakhulu said the input of the business community was also important to address the challenge.

He said the provincial government would continue to use a number of economic tools, including its infra-structure, to leverage economic growth in the region.

KwaZulu-Natal has borne the brunt of the recession after it lost 117000 jobs in the past six months.

The summit will be addressed by high-profile speakers from government, civil society and business.

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