Black South Africans need to be more patriotic: Zuma

President Jacob Zuma says South Africa’s population should be in control of the country’s economy.

He said this following his meeting on Friday with Black Professionals at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.

He said Black professionals have got more roles to play in the country.

“We need the blacks, in particular, to play a role in shaping and constructing South Africa. We need to be more patriotic in what we do,” said the President.

He said the meeting focused much on how can government and professionals do to address the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment, which can only be addressed through growing the economy.

“We must deal with poverty, we can’t stay with it permanently,” said the President.

He said both government and the sector have agreed on developing a small, temporary group comprising members from both sides. The group will look into issues raised from the meeting, put them on record properly, and workout how will the issues be taken forward.

“Once that small group has concluded the work, we will then recall this meeting in which they will come and report, and make resolutions on how do we work together and coordinate, going forward,” he said.

He said government will, in the meantime, continue to meet different organisations dealing with specific issues.

The President said such meetings are crucial as they deal with specific issues relevant to certain sectors, and allow details to be dealt with.

“We are hoping that by the time the small group returns to report, we would have met all sectors,” said the President.

President of National Society of Black Engineers, Siza Qawe Mthethwa, said the deliberations from the meeting were a great start, and that shows South Africans want to address challenges facing the country.

He noted that the key focus in the engineering industry is manufacturing development, which is the second biggest sector in terms of employment.

The group was pleaded with the President’s focus on manufacturing, a sector that would modernise the economy and create more jobs.

Philani Mbhele represented the Association of South Africa Black Actuarial Professionals (ASABAP). He said his organisation was excited that they will be assisting in implementing the National Development Plan (NDP) and will ensure that they are getting the ball rolling.

He said if the economy is not growing by the end of the year, they would need to accelerate the plan.

Phuthanang Motsielwa of African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA) said a myriad of issues were brought up in the meeting.

She said the the President called on Black Professionals to assist government in addressing issues faced by people in communities, especially rural areas.

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Black South Africans need to be more patriotic: Zuma