President Jacob Zuma will coordinate 40 priority investment projects across government in the agri-processing, energy and infrastructure and manufacturing and service sectors.
According to Jeff Radebe, minister in the presidency responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation, these projects were selected, as they would have high-scale economic impact and had the ability to take off within the next two years.
Radebe cited a R11bn-investment by the Independent Development Corporation (IDC) in Port Elizabeth, as well as investments in Independent Power Producer projects of R45bn in Limpopo and Mpumalanga as examples of such “high-scale economic impact” projects.
Radebe briefed the media following the cabinet’s completion of a three-day lekgotla at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria last week.
“The lekgotla,” Radebe said, “took place in the context of a continuing sub-optimal economic outlook occasioned by various internal and external factors, as well as an ever-present threat to our sovereign credit ratings.”
As head of the department of monitoring and planning, Radebe and National Treasury, did some work to align the national budget to the National Development Plan (NDP) and to the medium-term strategic framework which extends over a five year period from 2014 to 2019.
“We have identified a set of budget priorities for 2017/18, such as maintaining infrastructure spend, strengthening support for skills development and maintaining levels of expenditure on the poor,” Radebe said.
According to Radebe, cabinet also reflected on next steps in the reform of South Africa’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
He said the so-called shareholder ownership model, mooted by finance minister Pravin Gordhan in his budget speech in February this year, would have been finalised by the end of November 2016.
He added that the “strengthening of leadership to execute the turnaround strategies” were critical.
During question time, Radebe was asked to elaborate on the state of new board appointments at the South African Airways, which have been plagued by mismanagement and financial woes.
He responded that a National Treasury report was imminent which would provide guidance on the way forward.