President Cyril Ramaphosa says progress has been made in implementing the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.
“The Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is a necessary response to the severe economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Plan aims to ensure a swift and lasting economic recovery, with measures to limit the immediate impact of the pandemic on vulnerable workers and households, and to revive economic growth in the short-and medium-term.
“Significant progress has been made since the announcement of the plan less than eight months ago,” said the President, when responding to oral questions in the National Council of Provinces on Thursday.
The President said the Infrastructure Fund has been established, and its investment committee has been constituted.
“A total of R18 billion has been allocated to the Infrastructure Fund over the next three years for blended finance arrangements that will leverage private sector funding.”
To achieve greater energy security, a total of 1 200 MW of new generation capacity has now been connected to the grid from projects approved through Bid Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (IPP) Programme.
“A request for proposals has been issued for 2 600 MW of power from wind and solar PV projects through Bid Window 5.
“Eleven preferred bidders have been approved as part of the emergency power procurement programme, which will together deliver nearly 2 000 MW of power to the grid over the next 18 months.
“As I announced earlier this afternoon, Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act will soon be amended to increase the licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1 MW to 100 MW,” said President Ramaphosa.
Presidential Employment Stimulus
The Presidential Employment Stimulus, meanwhile, has supported close to 700 000 work opportunities across a range of programmes, through the creation of new work opportunities, the protection of existing jobs in vulnerable sectors, and support for livelihoods.
Four sector Masterplans are currently in implementation in the automotive, sugar, poultry, and clothing, textiles, footwear and leather sectors.
“This approach, which relies on close collaboration with stakeholders to develop a tailored action plan for high-growth sectors, is already demonstrating results.
“According to data released by the South African Revenue Service, South Africa experienced a cumulative trade surplus of close to R150 billion for the first four months of this year.
“This reflects a massive increase in our exports to the rest of the world, driven largely by the unique strategic value of our mineral resources,” President Ramaphosa said.
The President said funding for the measures contained in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is included in the budgets of all national departments for their areas of responsibility, ensuring that the plan is mainstreamed in the work of government.
“Through the effective implementation of this plan, as well as the structural reforms that form part of Operation Vulindlela, we are reviving our economy and placing South Africa on a new growth trajectory.
“The success of the recovery plan is based on a strong partnership with business, labour and other social partners, as a whole-of-society effort to promote our economic recovery.”
Source: South African Government News Agency