The Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is designed to drive growth that is inclusive and transformative.
President Ramaphosa emphasized this in an address to a joint sitting of parliament on South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.
The Plan aims to expedite, in a sustainable manner, the recovery of South Africa’s economy that was, like most economies, deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the president, objectives of the Plan include creating jobs, reindustrializing the economy, speeding up economic reforms to unlock investment and growth, fighting crime and corruption and improving the capability of the state.
The president confirmed that all the objectives are linked to the vision of South Africa set out in the National Development Plan.
“The South African Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan builds on the common ground established by the social partners – government, labour, business and community organisations – through intensive and detailed consultations over the last few months,” he said.
The president added that the Plan is “informed by the work of Cabinet’s Economic Cluster working together with government departments and Cabinet itself and draws on the contributions of the leading economists who make up the Presidential Economic Advisory Council”.
A key objective of the Plan is the creation of jobs.
The president pointed out that this requires “unleashing the potential of our economy by, among others, implementing necessary reforms, removing regulatory barriers that increase costs and create inefficiencies in the economy, securing our energy supply, and freeing up digital infrastructure”.
Steps to be taken include a major infrastructure programme and a large-scale employment stimulus, coupled with an intensive localisation drive and industrial expansion.
Interventions outlined in the Plan aim to:
• achieve sufficient, secure and reliable energy supply within two years;
• create and support over 800,000 work opportunities in the immediate term to respond to job losses;
• unlock more than R1 trillion in infrastructure investment over the next 4 years;
• reduce data costs for every South African and expand broadband access to low-income households;
• reverse the decline of the local manufacturing sector and promote reindustrialisation through deeper levels of localisation and exports; and
• resuscitate vulnerable sectors such as tourism, which have been hard hit by the pandemic.
The Reconstruction and Recovery Plan consists of four priority interventions:
• A massive rollout of infrastructure throughout the country;
• The rapid expansion of energy generation capacity;
• An employment stimulus to create jobs and support livelihoods; and
• A drive for industrial growth.
The president also announced that the Special COVID-19 Grant will be extended by a further 3 months; localisation targets for goods in areas like agro-processing, health care, basic consumer goods, industrial equipment, construction materials and transport rolling stock will soon be published to boost local procurement; supplier development programmes for large companies and in key sectors will be set up; masterplans in the digital economy, forestry, agriculture and agro-processing, creative industries, aerospace and defence, renewable energy, steel and metal fabrication and furniture to be finalised; the Draft Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill to be finalised to unlock the country’s enormous untapped potential in upstream oil and gas reserves; the implementation of an efficient e-visa system and extending visa waivers to new tourism markets; an expanded list of countries from where resumption of international travel will be permitted, which will be supported by targeted marketing in partnership with the private sector to be published; high-frequency spectrum to be released by March 2021 and the completion of digital migration to reduce data costs for firms and households; draft Public Procurement Bill to be fast-tracked and the National Anti-Corruption Strategy to be finalised and implemented.