* If you were to advise President Zuma on 3 strategic areas of focus for South Africa, what would they be and why?
I have been asked to advise President Zuma on three strategic areas of focus and the reasoning behind my choices. There are many areas that need attention in our country, however, I believe that addressing unemployment, encouraging foreign investment into South Africa and improving the extensive problems that we have with our government’s service delivery should be addressed as priorities.
I believe that the most critical area of focus is for the government to address the unemployment crisis. South Africa’s unemployment rate was measured at 24.9% for the second quarter of 2012*, with approximately 42 per cent of young people under the age of 30 unemployed. With such a large proportion of young people without jobs, there is a real possibility of a Tunisian or Egyptian style uprising where the youths revolted against their governments demanding jobs. There are many people in this country that are living in abject poverty, and policy change regarding employment is imperative in addressing this problem. There is too much focus on employed people and the rigorous labour laws and minimum wages are a disincentive for employers to hire. The government needs to provide incentives for job creation, and to loosen labour laws instead of tightening them. The price of labour needs to be determined by market factors, as many workers’ have been priced out of a job. Brazil was in a similar position with regard to unemployment and the Brazilian government used the stimulation of small businesses to create jobs. We need to follow suit and offer incentives and less barriers of restriction for the small business owner, as equipping South African’s with the ability to create their own sustainable business will go a long way towards reaching a solution.
The next area of focus is for President Zuma to encourage and stimulate foreign investment into South...
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