President Jacob Zuma says government is taking concrete actions to lower the impacts of the anegative global economic downturn on the local economy.
The President stated this when he tabled The Presidency’s Budget Vote in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
He said this as the world economy remains a difficult and uncertain environment.
“We have not sat idly since then waiting for the storm to pass.
“We have taken concrete measures to reduce the negative impact of the global economic downturn on our economy, and to prepare for robust growth when the economic cycle turns positive. We are also working hard to remove domestic impediments to growth,” he said.
President Zuma said a key attribute for the country is the fact that government and business are working together to find ways to reignite growth.
He said some key action points were identified at the ground breaking meeting that he convened with CEOs of key companies in Cape Town ahead of his State of the Nation Address in February.
After the high-level meeting, the President formed a task team and asked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Business Unity SA President Jabu Mabuza to lead government and business teams in finding solutions.
The President said he will convene a report back meeting soon to allow all stakeholders to take stock of the progress made.
“I will also convene a high level meeting with labour soon as well, to discuss the economic challenges and solutions so that we can all move together, in building a better life for all. We postponed two meetings recently due to clashing schedules,” he said.
Implementing the Nine Point Plan to ignite growth
The President said as part of efforts to reignite growth and build a better life for all, government has also been vigorously implementing the Nine Point Plan.
He said energy remains high up on the agenda.
“During last year’s Presidency Budget Vote debate our country was facing an acute energy challenge.
“We have made remarkable progress since then. Recently, the Chief Executive Officer of Eskom, Mr Brian Molefe, announced that in five years’ time South Africa will have surplus electricity,” he said.
President Zuma said the Minister of Public Enterprises has also announced the successful synchronisation of Unit 3 of Ingula Power Plant onto the grid on the 6th of March this year.
He said this meant that an additional 330 megawatts of electricity will soon be added to the grid.
“Most importantly, there has been no load shedding for close to a year now. It is clear that the decisions and steps we took are beginning to bear fruit.
“The Department of Energy is also finalising the appointment of the country’s first Independent Power Producer for coal.
“The process to procure a gas independent power producer is also underway.
“The Energy Security Cabinet Sub-Committee, which I announced during the 2014/2015 Presidency Budget Vote, is overseeing the development of a sustainable energy mix, to ensure that the gains we are making are sustainable,” he said.
Infrastructure projects creating jobs
President Zuma said government was using infrastructure as a key instrument of creating jobs and to build a better life for all.
He said through the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, government has made tremendous strides in fast tracking infrastructure across the country.
“In the past year, we can count the building of 160 new schools, 29 new clinics, the connection of 245 houses to electricity and building close to 150 000 new houses.
“The construction of three universities, 12 technical colleges as well as courts is on-going…”
The President also said the construction of economic infrastructure is also continuing as government delivers rail, road, dams, bus rapid transit systems, refurbishing ports, building boats and also the three new power stations.
“Indeed, South Africa is a nation at work, with government leading the way, in building a better life for all.”
source: Business Tech