SA to pursue investments, direct funds to job-creating programmes

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says government will this year continue to pursue the investment drive which was announced last year, and that the money will be directed to programmes that will create jobs.

He said this when he led the debate on The Presidency’s budget vote in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The Presidency will continue to lead the national investment drive and to meet our goal of raising R1.3 trillion in the next five years. By focusing on specific sectors, this money should be directed to programmes that are viable and can create jobs.

“In preparation for the upcoming second investment conference, our provinces are busy devising provincial investment books to inform the national consolidated pipeline,” he said.

In his State of the Nation Address in June, the President announced government’s immediate policy milestones aimed at boosting investment. These include:

• An action plan on an effective visa regime for tourism and high skill immigration;

• A policy directive on the release of spectrum;

• An integrated and comprehensive youth employment strategy;

• A national action plan to tackle extortion and violence at economic sites, especially in the construction sector,

• Finalising the Integrated Resource Plan,

• Launching the Township Entrepreneurship Fund;

• Stabilising Eskom and detailing a roadmap for the entity’s future,

• Presenting progress on the Public-Private Growth Initiative and the country’s investment pipeline,

• Releasing the approach to land reform, informed by the Advisory Panel’s report,

• Developing ‘Re-imagined Industrial Strategy Master Plans’ in validated priority sectors, and

• Engaging with organised business on the Ease of Doing Business Roadmap.

In the coming weeks, the President will give a progress report on the implementation of the stimulus package that was announced last year.

Growing the economy at local government level

The President said government will be increasing its focus into more cross-cutting matters like local economic development so that various spheres and departments of State can account for how they are jointly creating jobs and addressing service delivery for people at local level.

From time to time, district mayors will be involved in the Presidential Coordinating Council (PCC), and not just mayors from the metros.

“I am immensely encouraged that in their State of the Province Addresses, many of our Premiers indicated that they are strengthening their own coordinating mechanisms, with districts and local municipalities now occupying the centre.

“Even more encouraging are plans by national and provincial clusters to plan jointly and coordinate their programmes.

“That is what our people deserve -- a well-oiled machinery of government where the left hand knows what the right hand is doing,” the President said.

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