Zuma to announce policy shift
Feb 11 2010 07:21
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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma will indicate a change in industrial policy in his state of the nation address, but leave an expected announcement on monetary policy to the National Treasury, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Thursday.
Chabane said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was best placed to deal with the issue of the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank when he tabled his budget on Wednesday.
"When the minister of finance tables his budget, in the context of the budget and the economy as it is, he is likely to make an indication on the issues likely to confront that institution."
Gordhan indicated earlier this month that he would speak about the central bank's contested inflation targeting policy when he unveils his first budget.
The ANC and its allies, who want inflation targeting abandoned, agreed late last year to look into widening the mandate of the Bank amid pressure for it to be broadened to include job and economic growth indicators.
Chabane said Zuma would give a broad overview of South Africa's economic recovery following the global crisis, and reflect on what strategies needed to be adopted to speed it up, including a change in industrial policy. "He will touch on a new approach to industrial policy," Chabane said, adding, however, that the details would be explained by the ministers in economic portfolios later this month.
He indicated that Zuma would touch on the job crisis and, potentially, the government's failure to deliver on his promise last May to create half a million jobs.
The details would not be handled in the president's speech, though, but at the briefings.
Chabane ruled out any pronouncements on the debate over nationalisation and concerns about soaring electricity prices following Eskom's three-year tariff increase application.
"The issue of nationalisation is not a debate that is in government... I think we need to allow that debate to continue, but it has never been on the agenda before Cabinet."