Sfax- Year VIII of Revolution: companies strongly affected by social demands, corruption and parallel economy
11/01/2019 21:32, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP)- Since the Tunisian revolution (17 December-14 January), the city of Sfax, which experienced an impressive march on 12 January 2011, had only reaped "promises of development and a decline in socio-economic indicators". This observation is unanimously supported by the region's business leaders, workers and residents.

Indeed, contrary to what many believe, Sfaxians in both rural and urban areas are not in a position to build a better future for themselves because the region still suffers from marginalisation, injustice and exclusion.

To quote only one figure, Sfax ranks 7th nationally, after Tunis, Ariana, Ben Arous, Monastir, Nabeul and Sousse, according to the regional development indicator, produced in 2012 by the Tunisian Institute of Competitiveness and Quantitative Studies (French:ITCEQ).

For Secretary General of the Regional Labour Union Hédi Ben Jomaâ, no progress has been made in favour of the region, which has, on the other hand, seen a decline in indicators related to health, education and living conditions.

He mentioned the laxity of successive governments in dealing with blocked megaprojects, including the project of alternative activities to replace the SIAPE factory, the development of the Skhira port and the Taparura project.

Ben Jomaâ did not rule out a social explosion given the current status quo and political conflicts between the parties.

For his part, representative of the Employers' Organisation, Anwar Triki, stressed that freedom and democracy, major achievements of the revolution, cannot avoid the negative impact of the transition on the company affected by social claims, the proliferation of corruption, smuggling, the parallel economy and political transgressions. He also warns of the risk of "tolerance of corruption" and a rapid economic collapse if the current situation persists.

For his part, the Regional Director of Development, Khaled Hachicha, explained the decline in economic indicators in the region, in particular by suspending certain projects and activities for lack of necessary funding.

However, he cited positive results achieved, particularly in terms of asphalting rural roads, which have increased from 500 to 1300 km since 2011. As for public investments, they reached 2100 MD without counting megaprojects such as the seawater desalination plant (957 MD) and the first phase of the Sfax metro project (690 MD).

The same source added that the implementation of the plan announced by the Prime Minister during his visit to Sfax in April 2017 could boost development in the region, especially since it involves some 60 decisions.

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