6 August 2012

South Africa: SA 'Improving Investment Climate' - Zuma

South Africa will continue to create an environment that encourages investment in the country's economy, President Jacob Zuma said in Pretoria on Friday.

"We are already doing a lot to achieve this. We are changing regulations to make it easy for the private sector to do business," Zuma said during a meeting with diplomats stationed in South Africa.

More than 120 ambassadors and high commissioners attended the meeting at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House.

"Departments have been instructed to grant approvals for licences on time. They must pay suppliers on time and generally remove hassles and make it easier for investors to start their business," he said.

He noted that South Africa was currently investing in a massive infrastructure programme which he said would further attract investors to do business in the country.

The National Treasury has allocated more than R77-billion over the next three years to help several infrastructure programmes get off the ground.

"While changing the landscape of the country, we also intend to create more job opportunities," Zuma said, adding that the success of the country's economy depended on its performance in education.

While the government was pleased with some achievements recorded in this sector, more needed to be done to improve education outcomes.

"One of our preoccupations currently is to improve the quality of learning and teaching in schools ... The role of teachers is critical, and we will continue to invest in producing more teachers who can teach mathematics, science and African languages."

The government had also realised that the target of producing more than 40000 teachers by 2014 was not sufficient to meet the future demand for teachers, particularly in the foundation phase.

To address this, institutions offering foundation teacher education would be increased from 13 to 21 in the next four years.

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