Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 10:41am
President Cyril Ramaphosa will appear before Parliament this afternoon to map out the country’s long and difficult path to Economic Reconstruction and Recovery following the pandemic's path of destruction.
Last week the President wrote to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairperson Amos Masondo to discuss his intention to call a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament.
“We need to take extraordinary measures towards a speedy and sustainable economic recovery,” President Ramaphosa said.
Government’s swift actions to try and limit the spread of the virus by implementing strict lockdown regulations and restrictions have impacted the country’s economy, leading to a 51% decline in the second quarter of 2020.
Last week’s Cabinet Lekgotla focussed on coming up with a reconstruction and recovery plan focussing on infrastructure, job creation and industrialisation.
Speaking to SAfm on Tuesday, Prof Raymond Parsons from the North-West University School of Economics said South Africans was looking forward to a “credible and implementable” plan.
“[A] way that is going to make a difference in our economic prospects,” he said. “It needs to help turn our economy around, implement key economic reforms, it needs to build investor confidence and, indeed, jobs.”
Parsons added that the plan was to create confidence, “it is to show that there are new and better ways in which we can guarantee delivery of what we are promising and have promised in a way that will make a difference on the ground”.
“Another important dimension - a test that will be applied on Thursday for the successful implementation of what has been promised - will be the extent to which the private sector is involved and is used to help generate the outcome that we want. How the private sector and the markets will react this week will also depend on the timelines on the implementation of what has been promised and to what extent it breaks new ground. We know already graft and delay have been the enemy of delivery,” he said.
In September, the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) agreed on a plan of action to repair the economy as well as building confidence and placing South Africa on a path of investment and growth.
During the meeting, social partners have identified important areas of the economy that need to be rebuilt, along with structural reforms and other programmes that will encourage sustainable and inclusive growth, with an intensive focus on job creation.
The partners also agreed on a plan that commits government, business, labour and community to mobilise funding.
This will address Eskom’s financial crisis in return for an efficient, productive and fit-for-purpose Eskom that generates electricity at affordable prices for communities and industries.
SA's economic recovery plan will identify the roles and responsibilities of key players - government, community, labour and business - who declared their commitment to the implementation of the plan.