SA accord sounds warning bells

The South African Government's New Growth Path Accord should signal alarm bells for President Robert Mugabe's Government of National Unity and force it to move quickly to implement the Tripartite National Forum, a senior official has warned.

The SA Government has established the South African Supplier Diversity Council which will be supported by companies who are the largest producers of goods and services in the country.

Munyaradzi Hwengwere, General Manager of the Buy Zimbabwe Campaign, said the GNU should now move quickly to enforce the TNF objectives before Zimbabwe is left behind.

On October 31, the SA Government signed the NGP, an accord aimed at promoting local procurement by firms based in that country. Under the accord, meant to accelerate the creation of five billion new jobs by 2020, as well as the attainment of a "strong and vibrant industrial policy", the social partners in SA aspired to achieve a 75 percent localisation in the procurement of goods and services.

The accord shows that this would be by both the public and private sectors in South Africa. It was signed by the SA Government, labour, business, and civic society on Monday, October 31, and is already binding with some issues to be implemented as early as December 7, 2011.

Commenting on the accord, Hwengwere said: "If South Africa, which has a much stronger economy than Zimbabwe, is now taking these steps to protect itself from cheap imports and save jobs, we need to do more to revive our local industry."

Hwengwere is former Chief Executive of the cash-strapped Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, currently the nation's sole broadcaster. He now leads the Buy Zimbabwe Campaign whose mandate is for local companies to buy local goods and avoid those from other countries including South Africa.

According to the Accord which is in our possession, the first high level meeting for all partners will be held by June 2012.

Already 15 South African companies, some of which are listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, with an approximate market turnover of 350 billion South African Rands, have already pledged their support.

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