Phosa wants economists to help ease socio economic challenges

01 December 2011

Mpumalanga Department of Finance hosted a two-day congress of the Public Sector‘s Economists forum (PSEF) from 29 – 30 November 2011 at the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, Mpumalanga.

The congress which ended on yesterday (Wednesday, 30 November 2011), was attended by economists from Provincial Treasuries and Departments Economic of Development from South Africa’s provinces.

The delegates used the congress, which was convened under the auspices of the Public Sector Economists’ Forum, as a platform to share experiences, economic research findings and to harness the provincial government’s role in shaping the local economies.

The provinces are, in general, experiencing low economic growth rates and also high unemployment, poverty and inequality. Mpumalanga MEC of Finance, Mrs Pinky Phosa, challenge the forum to improve their contribution to policy development and implementation at local and provincial level in order to address these societal challenges.

She said economists occupy a critical space in the programme of shaping the local economic trajectory, given the current unfavourable world’s economic discourse.

“The role of the economists in the public sector is critical to all the efforts to overcome the effects of the global economic challenges and the fight against unemployment and poverty.

“Provincial economists must provide us with answers and solutions that are based on scientific and credible research and evidence in order for us to win the battle against these challenges,” said MEC Phosa.

MEC Phosa urged the provincial government economists should be involved in credible and relevant research; provide sound economic advice to facilitate policy implementation, in order to accelerate sustainable economic growth and development and also to improve service delivery.

“We need economists that can contribute and add value to the ongoing programme of addressing our country’s socio-economic challenges,” said MEC Phosa.

She also pointed out that the advices from the economists must be in line with Government priorities, National and Provincial Growth Paths, and also the new Development Plan of the National Planning Commission.

The economic analysis reports of the Mpumalanga Department of Finance especially on the social economic situation on local municipal level played a significant role in Executive Council decision to direct the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) to areas of need in Mpumalanga.

Last week, MEC Phosa tabled the adjustment budget for 2011/12, adding transfer allocation of R1 million for the CRDP.

The Public Sector Economist’s Forum was established in October 2009 to provide a platform for networking among provincial government economists. The objective of the forum is to enhance the role of public sector economists in policy development and implementation.

For more information, contact:

Letshela Jonas on 013 766 4243 / 079 5000 154
Issued by Communications, Department of Finance, Mpumalanga Provincial Government