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Zuma stresses on job-creation as new goal of China-SA ties
February 6, 2016, 8:09 am

File photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma [Xinhua]

File photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma [Xinhua]

South African President Jacob Zuma has stressed on “common goals of economic development and the prosperity of our peoples” in a New Year message to Chinese residents in South Africa and around the world.

This year, Chinese New Year – The Year of the Monkey – begins on Monday February 8. Chinese New Year sees the largest annual human migration in the world as millions of people in China make the journey home.

“The Monkey is known as an auspicious symbol, thus heralding a year that looks forward to agility, inventive solutions, innovative endeavours, and flourishing business achievements,” said Zuma.

“The relations between South Africa and China have grown from strength to strength.  Indeed, the symbol and the spirit of the Monkey can be said to capture the energy of these relations, filled with exuberance and highly motivated and focused on achievement of common goals,” he added.

Zuma also exhorted “the South African Chinese community to make increased job creation through the establishment and growth of small businesses and individual entrepreneurs, be one such goal we can set ourselves this coming year”.

China and South Africa inked bilateral deals worth $6.5 billion after talks between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South African counterpart Zuma in December.
“As South Africans, we are appreciative of the role that the Chinese community continues to play in everyday South African life. Your investments, and job creation through the entry of many Chinese enterprises, contributes to a better life for all who live in our country. It has long been recognised that small business and private entrepreneurs are the dynamic engine room and principled force of any economy. South Africa remains deeply appreciative of the Chinese community,” Zuma said in his message on Friday.
The South African economy added 7000 formal sector jibs in the 3rd quarter of 2015.
South Africa’s government has been able to save 3,000 jobs in the mining sector, which employs more than 400,000 people, through negotiations with company executives, Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on Friday.

“2016 is going to be a hectic year with actions that will include job losses,” Zwane told a business forum.

The government has said 32,000 workers in the sector, which contributes around 7 percent to Africa’s most industrialised economy, could lose their jobs following a slump in commodity prices due to slowing economic growth in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer.

Beijing’s relations with South Africa have flourished in the past decade with massive Chinese investment across the country and the African continent.

South Africa-China trade jumped by 32 per cent between 2012 from R205 billion to R270 billion in 2013, making China the country’s largest trading partner.

South Africa through its partnership with China is joining in attempts by the BRICS bloc to upend the international order by fashioning a coalition to resist what these countries view as American arrogance.

“While the two countries are strikingly different in their cultural, political and socio-economic orientation, they are very close in the positions they take on key issues affecting mankind,” South Africa’s Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said last year, referring to common positions on Syria, Palestine and Iraq.

South Africa, one of Africa’s largest economies alongwith Nigeria, has become an increasingly important port of call for China as a gateway to the continent.

Official Chinese data shows trade between China and Africa exceeded $220 billion in 2014.

China has been Africa’s largest trading partner for six years in a row with diplomatic ties with 50 African countries.

 

TBP

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