South Africa’s economy is the principal focus at this time and this will  become clear next week when the budget is presented. Replying to the debate on the State of the National Address, President Jacob Zuma said in the National Assembly on Thursday that the current deficit and debt levels needed to be addressed in the budget next Wednesday.

Grant Thorntorn's International Business Report 2013 suggests that the inflows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) climbed US$5.8bn from up from US$1.2bn. The economy index ranked 63 which is an improvement from 72. Grant Thorntorn's report surveys more than 12500 businesses in 44 economies around the globe. The economy is forecast to have expanded by 2.6% in 2012, with the exposure of key sectors such as mining and manufacturing to global trade head winds weighing on growth. Growth is expected to accelerate to 3.1% in 2013 and 3.8% in 2014 in line with a modest global recovery, although further strikes represent a major downside risk.

Ernst and Young also said fundamentals were sound, with a steady acceleration expected in the medium term. Recently R800m was invested in Boksburg by Unilever, one of their largest commitments. Nestle had also opened two new factories in Babelegi near Pretoria as part of R500m investment, creating 130 jobs, he added.

Restoring stability in the mining sector was important, President Zuma said in response to some of the points raised by MPs during the State of the Nation debate.  “We want to arrive at the South Africa envisaged in 2019, 25 years after 1994. As we move to the 20th anniversary of freedom there should be a common thread of patriotism that binds us all, that we can rally around,” President Zuma said.

He promised to act against those who asked for membership cards, when unemployed people applied for public jobs. “South Africa must benefit all of us. We must be constructive and help the country to move forward. Elections come and go, but we all have a patriotic duty to build and promote our country,” he said.
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