She said the government’s transformative efforts, which include the equity fund, were to ensure that black business played a much more meaningful role in the economy.
“Our economy will only experience sustainable and inclusive growth if, in its quest to grow the economy and pursue more profit, it draws on the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in South Africans of all races,” she said.
“You will remember that the economy grew by 1.5% in the fourth quarter, following a revised 13.7% rise in economic activity recorded in the third quarter of 2020.
“However, the positive growth recorded in the third and fourth quarters was not enough to offset the devastating impact of Covid-19 in the second quarter, when lockdown restrictions were at their most stringent.”
Economic activity decreased by 7% in 2020 compared with 2019, she said.
According to the minister, before the pandemic hit, SA’s economy was not growing at a sufficient rate to respond to the country’s needs. The pandemic has worsened this situation.
“Broadly, we are working on aligning industrial incentives and the infrastructure programme, including services, so that we can boost investor confidence.
“According to Stats SA, our GDP per capita peaked in 2014 and has since been declining. This means that economic growth has been struggling to keep up with population growth. GDP per capita decreased in 2020 to a level last seen in 2005.”