Africa still crucial for South African economy

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has told factory workers that the continent is vital for the country’s economy.

“We sell R260 billion worth of goods to other African countries… That R260 billion creates more than 160,000 jobs in South Africa,” Minister Patel said.

These jobs are in clothing, car manufacturing and the selling of agricultural produce to other African countries.

Speaking at a general meeting with factory workers in Pretoria on Wednesday, he warned workers that if South Africa cuts the rest of Africa out of its economy and the rest of Africa cuts South Africa out of its economy, people in the country will lose their jobs.

“The attacks on foreign nationals must stop. We cannot take the law into our own hands and kill fellow human beings,” Minister Patel said.

He said government is hard at work to address the problems of South Africa, including unemployment, lack of housing, the provision of water and electricity. This also includes managing migration properly.

“We must make it clear to companies – don’t exploit foreign workers. Don’t pay them less than South African workers… so much so that South African workers are put aside.“Let everybody be treated equally because the law applies to everyone equally,” Minister Patel said.

“Foreign workers who are here legally belong in the union movement, in our churches, they belong in our communities.They are part of us,” he said.