President Cyril Ramaphosa says fixing the fundamentals and deepening the reforms Government has already made, should put the country on course to achieve inclusive growth.
The President said this when he delivered his State of the Nation Address during a joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday evening.
He said this as the country’s economy remained constrained due to global pressures and domestic issues such as load shedding and high levels of unemployment.
“This State of the Nation Address is therefore about inclusive growth.
“It is about the critical actions we take this year to build a capable state and place our economy on the path to recovery. This year, we fix the fundamentals. We pursue critical areas of growth,” he said.
“As we fix the fundamentals, as we deepen the reforms we have made, we pursue critical areas of inclusive growth,” he said.
Social compacting to answer the country’s many challenges
The President said over the course of the last two years – since he first stood in the House to deliver a State of the Nation Address – government has worked to forge compacts among South Africans to answer the country’s many challenges.
Through the Jobs Summit, the Presidency brought labour, business, government and communities together to find solutions to the unemployment crisis.
The Presidency continues to meet stakeholders at the beginning of every month to remove blockages and drive interventions that will save and create jobs.
“We have brought business, labour and government together to craft master plans for those industries that have the greatest potential for growth.
“We have come together as different spheres of government, as different state entities, as business associations and community groups under a new district development model that is fundamentally changing our approach to local development.
“We have been building social compacts because it is through partnership and cooperation that we progress,” he said.
Removing impediments for investment
The President said government has been deliberate in rebuilding institutions and removing impediments to investment.
“We have acted decisively against state capture and fought back against corruption.
“We have steadily improved the reach of education, improved the quality of health care and tended to the basic needs of the poor,” he said.
President Ramaphosa said, however, that this has not been enough to free the economy from the grim inheritance of the past.
It has not been enough to spare the country from the debilitating effects of load shedding, nor from an unstable and subdued global economy.
The President said it called for the challenges to be confronted head-on. “Because we choose to confront our challenges, our immediate, vital and overarching task is to place our economy on a path of inclusive growth,” he said.
Shovel-ready projects to expand private investment
The President said the Infrastructure Fund implementation team has finalised the list of shovel-ready projects and has begun work to expand private investment into public infrastructure sectors with revenue streams.
These, he said, include areas such as student accommodation, social housing, independent water production, rail freight branch lines, embedded electricity generation, municipal bulk infrastructure, and broadband roll-out.
“The team has a project pipeline with potential investments of over R700 billion over the next 10 years, including both government and non-government contributions.
“The cranes and yellow equipment that we have longed to see across the landscape of our country will once again soon be an everyday sight.”
He said the social housing programme to build rental housing for low-income families is at implementation stage, which could leverage as much as R9 billion of private investment in the construction of 37 000 rental apartments. – SAnews.gov.za