South Africa needs to clarify its position on key policy issues such as nationalisation to restore foreign confidence in the country’s investment environment, said the ruling ANC’s treasurer general Mathews Phosa.
“We speak with two voices on nationalisation. We speak with two voices on Wal-Mart. One of the voices must die,” Phosa told an ANC business forum meeting in Johannesburg.
“Let’s speak with one voice on policy.” Investors have been unnerved by calls from within the African National Congress – led by suspended youth wing leader Julius Malema – to nationalise mines in Africa’s biggest economy, Reuters reports.
Phosa said policy uncertainty was hurting investment.
Competition authorities approved a $2.4 deal between retail giant Wal-Mart and local discount chain Massmart but some government departments are challenging the conditions of the deal.
Phosa said South Africa also need to tackle its labour market regulations to fast track job creation in a country where a quarter of the labour force is unemployed.
“The longer we fail to tackle the issue, the longer it will take us to find a sustainable solution to our fundamental challenges of job creation and poverty reduction,” he said.
South Africa has shed more than a million jobs since its recession in 2009 – the first in nearly two decades.
Phosa said it will be difficult for South Africa to create new jobs given the ongoing debt crisis in the euro zone.
He said the country should see Moody’s lowering of the outlook on its A3 rating as a wake-up call to “act proactively to address some of the risks to our long-term growth”.