The History Of South Africa Politics Essay

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South Africa is formally the Republic of South Africa and a country situated at the southern tip of Africa. It is alienated into nine provinces with 2,798 kilometers of coastline.

To the north recline the neighboring countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mamibia; Mozambique and Swaziland are to the east; whereas Lesotho is a commune delimited by South African territory.

South Africa is the 25th largest country in the world by area and the 24th densely inhabited country with over 51 million people.

South Africa is a multi-ethnic nation and has assorted cultures and languages. Eleven official languages are documented in the constitution. Out of these two languages are of European origin: English and Afrikaans, a language that originated mainly from Dutch and is spoken by the mass of white and Colored South Africans.

All racial and language groups have political depiction in the country's legitimate democracy comprising a parliamentary republic; contrasting majority parliamentary republics, the positions of head of state and head of government are amalgamated in a parliament-dependent President.

About 80% of the South African population is of black African descent, divided among a range of cultural groups talking different Bantu languages, nine of which have authorized status.

South Africa is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. It has the biggest economy in Africa and the 28th-largest in the planet. By PPP, South Africa has the 5th highest per capita income in Africa. It is painstaking a newly industrialized country. Nevertheless, about a quarter of the population is unemployed and lives on less than US $1.25 a day.


Capital : Pretoria (executive)

Bloemfontein (judicial)

Cape Town (legislative)

Ethnic groups: 79.6% Black

9.0% Colored

8.9% White

2.5% Asian

Area : Total 1,221,037 km2 (25th)

471,443 sq mi

GDP (PPP) : Total $555.134 billion (2011)

Per capita $10,973

GDP (nominal) Total $408.074 billion (2011)

Per capita $8,066

Currency : South African Rand (ZAR)


At the closing stages of apartheid in 1994, the "independent" and "semi-independent" Bantustans were eliminated, as were the four original provinces (Cape, Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal), and nine new provinces were formed.

Each province is governed by a unicameral legislature that is designated every five years by party-list relative depiction. The legislature elects a Premier as head of administration, and the prime minister elects an Executive Council as a provincial cabinet.


Provincial capital

Largest city

Area (km2)[68]


Eastern Cape


Port Elizabeth



Free State

























North West





Northern Cape





Western Cape

Cape Town

Cape Town



The provinces are in twirl alienated into 52 districts: 8 metropolitan and 44 district municipalities. The district municipalities are additionally subdivided into 226 local municipalities. The urban municipalities, which administer the biggest urban agglomerations, execute the functions of both district and local municipalities.


South Africa is situated at the southernmost area of Africa, with a long coastline that stretches more than 2,500 km and along two oceans viz. the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. At 1,219,912 sqkm , South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world and is analogous in size to Colombia.

Mafadi in the Drakensberg at 3,450 m is the utmost crest in South Africa. Apart from the Prince Edward Islands, the country sites between latitudes 22° and 35°S, and longitudes 16° and 33°E.

The core of South Africa is a vast, flat, and meagerly inhabited scrubland, the Karoo, which is drier towards the northwest along the Namib Desert. In disparity, the eastern coastline is verdant and well-watered, which produces a climate analogous to the tropics.

To the north of Johannesburg, the altitude drops away from the escarpment of the Highveld, and becomes the lower lying Bushveld, an area of assorted dry forest and an abundance of wildlife. East of the Highveld, past the eastern escarpment, the Lowveld stretches towards the Indian Ocean. It has predominantly high temperatures, and is also the spot of absolute subtropical agriculture.

South Africa also has an ownership, the small sub-Antarctic archipelago of the Prince Edward Islands, comprising of Marion Island and Prince Edward Island.


South Africa has a usually temperate climate, as it is surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides.

Due to this speckled topography and oceanic sway, a great variety of climatic zones exist. The climatic zones vary from the intense desert of the southern Namib in the outermost northwest to the lush subtropical climate in the east down the Mozambique border and the Indian Ocean. Winters in South Africa come about between June and August.

The acute southwest has a climate astonishingly analogous to that of the Mediterranean with wet winters and hot, dry summers, hosting the well-known Fynbos biome of shrubland and thicket. This area is also predominantly known for its wind, which blows sporadically nearly all year. Further on the south coast, rainfall is scattered uniformly across the year, producing a green countryside. This area is widely known as the Garden Route.

The Free State is on the whole flat as it lies centrally on the high plateau. North of the Vaal River, the Highveld becomes healthier watered and does not experience subtropical edges of heat. Johannesburg is in the centre of the Highveld, at 1,740 m and receives an annual rainfall of 760 mm. winters in this region are cold, although snow is infrequent.

The high Drakensberg Mountains, which outline the south-eastern escarpment of the Highveld, tender partial skiing opportunities in winter. The coldest place in South Africa is Sutherland in the western Roggeveld Mountains, where midwinter temperatures can attain as low as −15 °C. The profound core has the hottest temperature of around 48.8C at Vioolsdrif in January 1993.


JSE is the prime stock exchange on the African continent.

South Africa has a diversed economy with a soaring rate of poverty and low GDP per capita. Unemployment is high and South Africa is ranked in the top 10 countries in the world for income discrimination, measured by the Gini coefficient.

Unlike most of the world's poor countries, South Africa does not have a flourishing unceremonious economy; according to OECD estimates, only 15 per cent of South African jobs are in the dusk economy, compared with approximately half in Brazil and India and nearly three-quarters in Indonesia.

The OECD attributes this dissimilarity to South Africa's extensive welfare system. World Bank research shows that South Africa has one of the widest gaps between per capita GNP and Human Development Index ranking, with only Botswana screening a bigger gap.

The South African agricultural industry contributes around 10% of official employment, moderately low compared to other parts of Africa, and providing work for casual laborers, contributing around 2.6 per cent of GDP for the nation. Due to the infertility of the land, only 13.5 per cent can be worn for crop production, while only 3 per cent is considered high latent land.

South Africa is a land of around 50 million people of varied genesis, cultures, languages, and religions. The very last census was apprehended in 2011. Although the population of South Africa has amplified in the precedent decade, the nation had an annual population growth rate of −0.412% in 2012. South Africa is an abode to an anticipated 5 million prohibited immigrants, including some 3 million Zimbabweans.

The 2010 midyear projected figures for the other categories were Black African- 79.4%, White- 9.2%, Colored- 8.8%, and Indian or Asian- 2.6%. White South Africans are offsprings of Dutch, German, French Huguenots, English and other European and Jewish settlers.

The Indian population came to South Africa as indentured laborers to work in the sugar plantations in Natal in the late 19th and early 20th century. They came from diverse parts of the Indian subcontinent, comprising of different religions and spoke different languages.


According to the 2001 national census, Christians accounted for 79.8% of the population. This includes Zion Christian- 11.1%, Pentecostal- 8.2%, Roman Catholic- 7.1%, Methodist- 6.8%, Dutch Reformed- 6.7%, Anglican- 3.8%.

Members of other Christian churches accounted for another 36% of the population. Muslims accounted for 1.5% of the population, Hindus 1.2%, traditional African religion 0.3% and Judaism 0.2%. 15.1% had no religious affiliation, 0.6% was other and 1.4% was indefinite.


South Africa has eleven official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu. In this context it is third only to Bolivia and India in number.

Though all the languages are officially equivalent, few languages are spoken more than others. According to the 2001 National Census, the three most spoken languages are Zulu- 23.8%, Xhosa- 17.6%, and Afrikaans- 13.3%.

In spite of the fact that English is acknowledged as the language of commerce and science, it was spoken by only 8.2% of South Africans in 2001, a trivial turn down from the comparable figure in 1996 i.e. 8.6%.


The impact of AIDS has caused a drop in life expectancy.

The swell of AIDS is a key problem in South Africa, with up to 31% of pregnant women found to be HIV contaminated in 2005 and the infection rate among adults projected at 20%.

The relation between HIV, a virus swell primarily by sexual intercourse, and AIDS was shorn of by prior president Thabo Mbeki and then health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who told that the countless deaths in the country are due to undernourishment, and thus poverty, and not HIV. According to the South African Institute of Race Relations, the verve anticipation in 2009 was 71 years for a white South African and 48 years for a black South African.

In 2007, in response to worldwide pressure, the government took efforts to brawl AIDS. In September 2008 Thabo Mbeki was called back by the ANC and chose to resign and Kgalema Motlanthe was chosen for the short-term. One of Motlanthe's foremost actions was to replace Minister Tshabalala-Msimang with Barbara Hogan who straight away started working to improve the Government's approach to AIDS.

After the 2009 General Elections, President Jacob Zuma appointed Dr Aaron Motsoaledi as the novel minister and committed his government to increasing funding for and widening the scope of AIDS treatment.

AIDS affects primarily those who are sexually active and is far more rampant in the black population than it is among racial minorities. Majority of deaths are experienced by economically dynamic individuals, ensuing in many families losing their primary bread earners. This has resulted in many 'AIDS orphans' who in numerous cases depend on the state for care and financial support.

It is projected that there are 1,200,000 orphans in South Africa. Many aged people also mislay the support from lost younger members of their family. According to the 2011 UNAIDS Report, South Africa has an anticipated 5.6 million people living with HIV - more than any other country in the world.


South Africa has a 3 layer system of education initiating with principal school, then high school and tertiary education in the form of universities and universities of technology. Learners have twelve years of official schooling, from grade 1 to 12. Grade R is a pre-primary underpinning year. Primary schools last for the initial seven years of schooling. High School education spans for five years. The Senior Certificate examination takes place at the conclusion of grade 12 and is obligatory for tertiary studies at a South African university.

Public universities in South Africa are divided into three types: traditional universities, which tender theoretically oriented university degrees; universities of technology, which offer professional diplomas and degrees; and comprehensive universities that tender both types of qualification.

There are 23 public universities in South Africa: 11 traditional universities, 6 universities of technology and 6 comprehensive universities. Public institutions are typically English medium, although instruction may take place in Afrikaans as well. There are numerous educational institutions in South Africa - few are local campuses of foreign universities, few conduct classes for students who write their exams at the distance-education University of South Africa and few offer unaccredited or non-accredited diplomas.

Both public and private universities and colleges register with the Department of Higher Education and Training and are ascribed by the Council on Higher Education (CHE). Rankings of universities and business schools in South Africa are mostly based on international university rankings, as they have not yet been published any exclusively South African rankings.

Under apartheid, schools for blacks were subject to prejudice through scarce funding and a separate syllabus called Bantu Education which was only designed to give them sufficient skills to work as laborers.

In 2004 South Africa initiated reforming its higher education system by merging small universities into superior institutions, and renaming all higher education institutions "university" in order to equalize these imbalances.

Public expenditure on education was at 5.4% of the 2002-05 GDP.





The Republic of South Africa held its 1st universal suffrage elections in April 1994. The African National Congress (ANC), fight against white minority rule and the apartheid system of state-forced tribal separation and won control of the National Assembly.

Nelson Mandela was elected as President of the Assembly and became ANC leader. He released from Prison in 1900 after serving 27 years.

South Africa's second universal suffrage elections were held in June 1999, and again the ANC retained control of the National Assembly. Deputy President Thabo Mbeki, was chosen by the Assembly to succeed Mandela.

South Africa's politics persist to be dominated by the ANC, which has enjoyed support among many black South Africans because of its role was to fight against white minority rule. And support apartheid system.

Further parties represented in parliament include:

The New National Party (NNP)

The Independent Democrats (ID)

The United Democratic Movement (UDM)

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP).

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is also a legislative body in SA with small amount of power. Its members are chosen by the governments of the nine provinces.

Democratic Alliances:

Democratic Alliances is the 2nd largest party in the National Assembly of South Africa.

DA was created in 2000 by a merger of the Democratic Party (DP) and the New National Party (NNP) to remove the dominant power of ANC in the political system.

The DP has largely white in its membership but it advocated a classical liberal stage and became beneficiary to the Progressive Party. They strongly opposed apartheid and campaigned on human rights issues.

African National Congress:

The ANC has long worked in an closely connecting tripartite alliance to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP). Leaders of COSATU and the SACP assemble on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC, and plays important role as the party's principal decision-making body.

Zuma Administration:

Zuma was elected as South Africa's newest President on May 9, 2009. Long-serving Finance Minister Trevor Manuel was replaced by the well respected former head of South Africa's Revenue Service, Pravin Gordhan. Manuel was heading a new national planning commission to formulate government strategy.

Parliament is concern that Zuma would modify the country's economic policy to different positive level. Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State welcomed the Zuma government's swearword to continue "a strong economic program."

Congress of People:

Numerous prestigious ANC members united to previous Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota to begin a new, moderate political party, the Congress of the People (COPE) in December 2008.

The new party did well in its first electoral contest and won one-third of the 27 seats in Western Cape municipal by-elections in December 2008. COPE selected preacher Mvume Dandala as its presidential member.

U.S. Relations:

The South African government places a strong emphasis on budget transparency which is ranking second after the United Kingdom in public spending transparency in the Open Budget Index.

The United States provides considerable support to South Africa's fight against HIV/AIDS through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) which having contributed more than $2 billion since the program's inception in FY2004. In FY2010, the PEPFAR program provided Anti-Ritro Viral therapy to an estimated 917,700 patient's and transmission prevention treatment to over 682,400 pregnant HIV-infected women. Also counselling and testing for over 5 million, and palliative and tuberculosis care for 2,160,300 South Africans. PEPFAR's South Africa program also funds public education efforts to promote self-discipline, faithfulness, and healthy behaviour to reduce the risk of transmission among high-risk groups.

In December 2010, the United States and South Africa signed a five-year Partnership Framework to improve synchronization on PEPFAR.

The Obama management has emphasized South Africa's important leadership role, both regionally and globally. The United States supports South Africa's efforts to deliver foreign assistance to other African countries through a $1.3 million Trilateral Assistance Program.


South Africa is among one of the few countries which has largely experienced a relatively smooth transition to democracy. The apartheid government which was dominated by the National Party had voluntarily agreed to democratic elections in which party had little possibility of success.

The election outcome allowed the ANC (African National Congress) majority to form the GNU (Government of National Unity) in cooperation with the National Party and Inkatha. The GNU will rule the country for next five years until new constitutional provision for South Africa are finalized for the nation. Scholars and policymakers distinguish South Africa as a model for democratic transition in ethnically divided societies.


The Union Buildings in Pretoria, The Houses of Parliament in Cape Town

seat of the executive seat of the legislatureC:\Users\FRENY CHRISTIAN\Desktop\FMCGr\South Africa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia_files\220px-Houses_of_Parliament_(Cape_Town).jpgPhoto of the Union Buildings

South Africa is a parliamentary republic, although not like most such republics the President is both head of state and head of government, and depends for his tenancy on the confidence of Parliament.

The legislature, executive and judiciary committee are having the power of the constitution and the superior court's members have the power to dismiss and work on executive actions and acts of Parliament if they are not authorized in nature.

South Africa has three capital cities: 

Cape Town: The seat of Parliament which is the legislative capital; 

Pretoria: The seat of the President and Cabinet which is the administrative capital;

Bloemfontein: This is judicial capital of South Africa.

After the end of apartheid policies in 1994, South African politics have been dominated by the ANC which continuously winning with almost 60-70 per cent of the vote of total. The Democratic Alliance is main challenger to the rule of ANC as opposition party.

The National Party ruled from 1948 to 1994 then renamed party in 1997 to the New National Party and then finally amalgamated with the ANC in 2005.

Other political parties who represented in Parliament are the Congress of the People which split from the ANC party and won 7.4 % of the vote in the year 2009 and the Inkatha Freedom Party which mainly represents Zulu voters they won 4.6 % of the vote in the 2009 election. These both parties are also major parties in SA.

Since 2004, the country had many thousands of popular opposites some were aggressive. It was also known as the "Most protest rich country in the world" at that time. Many of these kind of protests have been organized from the growing shanty towns that surround South African cities.

In 2008, South Africa placed 5th out of 48 sub-Saharan African countries on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. South Africa also scored well in the categories of various Rule of Law, Corruption, Transparency and Participation and Human Rights, but was disappointment by relatively poor performance in Safety & Security of nation. The Ibrahim Index which is a complete measure of African governance is based on a number of different variables which reflect the success with which governments bring necessary political supplies to citizens of country. In November 2006, South Africa became the first African country to legalize gay marriage.


As the Union of South Africa SA is one of the founding members of the United Nations. The country is one of the founding members of the African Union (AU) and has the largest economy of all the members.

It is also a founding member of the AU's New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

South Africa has played a key role as an intermediary in African conflicts over the last 10 years like in Burundi, the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.

After apartheid ended South Africa focused to the Commonwealth of Nations. The country is a member of the Group of 77 and leads the organization in 2006.

South Africa is also a member of the Southern African Development Community, South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, Antarctic Treaty System, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Southern African Customs Union, World Trade Organization, G20 and G8+5.

Jacob Zuma, South African President and Chinese President HuJintao build bilateral bond between the two countries on 24 August 2010 by signing the Beijing Agreement which announced South Africa's earlier "strategic partnership" with China to the higher level of "comprehensive strategic partnership" in both economic and political affairs of country and including the strengthening of interactions between their respective ruling parties and legislatures and government.

South Africa officially joined the Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRICS) grouping of countries which was identified by President Zuma as the country's largest trading partners in April 2011 and also became the largest trading partners with Africa as a whole. Zuma asserted that BRICS member countries would also work with each other through the UN and the Group of Twenty (G20) and the IBSA forum (India, Brazil South Africa).


The Republic of SA is a unitary parliamentary republic.


As an emerging nation, SA has not remained completely unaltered by the turmoil in other emerging economies worldwide, especially in Asia, and lately also in Russia. Which may negatively affected investor confidence in these countries.


SA economists in the 1980's decided the national nation as a free enterprise system in which the market, not the government, set most earnings and prices.


SA has a residence based system which basically means residents are subject to certain exclusions taxed on their worldwide income irrespective of where their income was earned. Non residents are also taxed on their income from South African source.


Political Environment refers political and Government Environment. It has close relationship with the economic system, economic policy and legal environments of country.

The Democratic government countries laws / acts are passed in the parliaments and then they are regulating rules and regulation of business according to the act.

Political stability, political responsibility and political ideology and level of political morality, the law and order situation and practice of the ruling party and major determination and efficiency of the government agencies

Political agencies' nature is mainly influence to economic and industrial act which is present in the country.

Government's various policies like fiscal, monetary, industrial, labor and export import policies \ influences to specific legal acts and structure towards the business organization Political function and degree of the effectiveness mainly influenced to generate and implement policy in the legislature.

The political environment is also based on the uncertainty that's why demographic countries consist of number of political parties.

Political parties are not got clear majority to form government. In this situation, industry and commerce collapsed their business activities due to unstable government of the country. The political parties are unable to formulate stable government if affect and vary the government policies. So business organization and public needed to the stable government.



Government policies


In spite of having eye-catching the economic, geographical, social prospects of a particular country or region but doing business in that country might prove to be financially disastrous if the host government inflict heavy financial penalties on a company or if unexpected events in the political arena lead to the loss of income-generating assets.

The political environment in which the firm operates or planning to operate will have a significant impact on a company's international marketing activities. The greater the level of involvement in a foreign markets the greater the need to monitor the political climate of the countries business is generated.

Any kind of changes in government usually result in changes in policy and attitudes towards foreign business.

When country came to know that foreign company operates in Host Company then government will become more conscious. In this case the government of the country can either encourage foreign activities by offering attractive opportunities for investment and trade or discourage its activities by imposing restrictions such as import quotas, tariffs etc. An exporter that is continuously attentive of shifts in government approach will be able to adapt export marketing strategies accordingly.

In the country's Economy almost all government play vital role to grow it. In most of the countries government ownership of economic activities is widespread in the earlier centrally planned economies as well as in many developing countries which lack a sufficiently well developed private sector to support a free market system.

Frequent change in government is one of the surest measurement values of political instability. Although a change in government need not be run by violence but usually appear a change in policy towards business and particularly global business. This kind of growth might impact negatively on a firm's long-term global marketing programme with foreign countries.

A government's attitudes and policies towards foreign business gives idea about how best to endorse national interest in the field of the country's economic and political resources as well as objectives. Foreign products and investments become important part in the growth and development of countries economic condition by receiving taxes, quotas etc.

South Africa's global relations have become normal and today other countries all over the world see South Africa as well established political power and stability.

The political environment is connected to the international business environment but there is always a risk present in that which is known as Political Risk.


The effect of political change and differences on the foreign firm's operations, production, environment and decision making process is known as political Risk.

Political risk is measured in a different way for different companies they might or might not been affected by political change in respected country.

Political risk is major when politically motivated environmental changes affect all foreign investment. It is minor when the environmental changes are proposed to affect only selected fields of business activity or foreign firms with specific characteristics.

When any business is conducted in developing countries major risk to the business are civil turmoil, war and take away rules from public and when business is conducted in industrialized countries labor disruptions and price controls are generally become greatest threats to a company's profitability and existence in the country and also affect market shares.


Government Stability:

South Africa has suffered political instability during the past 25 - 10 years but it is now stable. As an emerging economy, South Africa has not remained completely unaffected by the confusion in other emerging economies international especially in Asia and then also in Russia. This negatively affected investor confidence in these countries.

SA has stable politics which may attract the foreign business but in SA as we know Democratic Alliance is greater opposition to ANC which is continuously affecting the political growth of SA

Taxation Policy:

Taxation in South Africa mainly involves payments to a minimum of two different levels of government: Central government all the way through the South African Revenue Service (SARS) or to local government.

Revenue to Central government come primarily from income tax and value added tax (VAT), corporation tax and fuel duty by business and people.

Revenues to Local government come primarily from various grants from central government funds and municipal rates which are applicable locally.

South Africa has income tax system in which people should have to pay according to their wealth. Wealthy should give much more than the person which is poor. This basically means that the more a person earns the higher percentage tax they pay to nation.

Direct Taxation:

Normal tax

Secondary tax on companies:

It is a policy tax forced by government with the plan of encouraging companies to keep hold of profits instead of giving out dividends

Withholding tax

Donations tax

Indirect Taxation:

Value Added Tax

Fuel levy


Besides large-scale foreign investment in South Africa, foreign investors also seek other opportunities to stay in South Africa due to presence of natural resources availability.

A high quality is placed on its steadiness by the global community due to South Africa's strategic and geopolitical importance in a regional and global context. Due to South Africa's this kind of leading and stabilizing role in regional context giving positive impact to international community to grow more interest to stabilize in South Africa.

Africa has represented international investors with unprecedented opportunities for business with its relatively large and previously untapped markets. Originally political transitions were almost volatile in nature. It therefore comes as no surprise that the period since the April 1994 elections saw amid the overall sense of achievement and increasing goodwill moments of political uncertainty and pressure. However the political stability increased as constitutional democracy became more entrenched.

Politics is not everything in country. In top-level appointments of talented politicians in the private sector highlighted that the career paths of capable leaders are not confined to politics, the bureaucracy or the military. This sets South Africa apart from many other developing countries, enhancing political stability in the sense that politics is not a zero-sum contest.

A strong will of reconciliation: Nelson Mandela believed in settlement between nations which led to transformation in nation. This strong will is however evident throughout political and everyday life. Examples comprise the normality of parliamentary politics and national and community processes of co-operation and the fascinating process of soul-searching and resolution through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


The South African government seen that political and economic stability in South Africa is directly connected to political and economic stability in the country. No country can survive in a sea of poverty by being an island of prosperity.

There is greater progresss towards South Africa's political and economical integration into Southern African region within radius of Southern African Development Community (SADC). Economic policy changes the maximum political stability and joint participation in global trade and tourism are now common things in upcoming agendas of South Africa with neighbor countries.

South Africa plays a leading role in SADC which has become the key integrative mechanism in the region.


GROWTH, EMPLOYMENT AND REDISTRIBUTION STRATEGY (GEAR) is a total strategy aiming at a competitive, fast growing and job-creating economy and redistribution of resources