Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Saturday, 9 January 2010

Zuma warns South Africa's economic recovery to be slow

A football stadium in South Africa under construction
Building new World Cup stadiums has protected the construction industry

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has warned his country's recovery from the global economic crisis will be slow.

Addressing tens of thousands of members of his governing African National Congress, he said there would be a lag in job creation following the recovery.

About one in four South Africans are jobless in Africa's largest economy, which entered recession last year.

Mr Zuma also stressed the need for party unity as the country prepares to host the football World Cup this year.

"There are some indications that we may be recovering from the worst of the crisis but this recovery may be slow and perhaps even temporary," he said in his speech delivered in Kimberly, some 380km (236 miles) south-west of Johannesburg.

'Sharp slowdown'

"It should also be expected that the creation of new jobs on a massive scale will lag behind the economic recovery," he said, speaking on the 98th anniversary of the creation of the African National Congress Party.

Mr Zuma has pledged that his party will create four million jobs by the end of 2014, although because of the downturn he has been unable to fulfil his aim of creating 500,000 new jobs last year.

The South African economy officially went into recession for the first time since 1992 in May 2009, following a sharp slowdown in the manufacturing and mining sectors.

Only the construction sector has remained strong, bolstered by a huge programme of government investment ahead of the World Cup.

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