6 February 2013

South Africa: Cabinet Mulls Economy, Development

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The state of South Africa's economy and the implementation of the country's National Development Plan will top the agenda at the special four-day Cabinet meeting which began in Pretoria on Tuesday.

"It is at this meeting that we are hoping we will be able to discuss the implementation of the National Development Plan, with the understanding that the plan in some areas calls for tough decisions to be taken," Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane told reporters at the start of the meeting.

The meeting comes at a time when there is uncertainty in the country's mining sector, with platinum giant Amplats reporting a R6.3-billion loss and facing the threat of retrenchments.

However, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu moved to allay fears of instability in the sector when she told the 2013 Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Tuesday that South Africa was committed to creating a thriving and successful mining industry.

She pointed out that the number of mines had increased from 993 in 2004 to 1 600 to date, while associated revenue grew from R98-billion in the same year to R370-billion by the end of 2011.

Chabane could not say whether the situation in the mining sector would form part of discussions in the Cabinet meeting, only saying the extended meeting would discuss ways of sustaining economic growth, with a particular focus on the upcoming BRICS summit to be hosted by South Africa for the first time.

- SANews.gov.za

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