Government records progress on programme of action

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Despite the various emergent disruptive circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic, flood disasters, the July 2021 unrests and the conflict in Ukraine, government is steadily making inroads towards meeting its targets of its five-year programme of action.

“The South African economy has started to show signs of recovery with real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reaching pre-pandemic levels in quarter one of 2022. Notwithstanding the prevailing challenges such as the flood disasters, COVID-19 and the unrests, a total of 648 000 jobs were created between the first quarter of 2022 and the second quarter of 2022,” Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said on Thursday, in Pretoria.

He was presenting the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation's (DPME) bi-annual performance progress reports, as the department has translated the priorities of government into a five-year programme of action known as the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2019-2024.

The MTSF disaggregates these priorities into clear indicators and targets and link them to the National Development Plan's (NPD) developmental outcomes.

Although government is making inroads towards meeting its targets, the Minister noted the government’s concerns about the high levels of unemployment in the country.

“Hence there is renewed focus on the National Employment Policy to assess appropriate procedures and reforms that should be undertaken to ensure that investments lead to sustainable growth and decent jobs.

“Apart from the labour market regulation, government has up scaled its public employment programmes to create work opportunities, particularly for the youth through the implementation of phase four of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) which has created almost 3 million work opportunities, as well as the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES) which created a total of a total of 857 833 opportunities by the end of January 2022,” Gungubele said.

The Minister said to accelerate economic growth and development, the 6th administration remains steadfast in its bid to support the development of sectors with greater potential to create growth and job opportunities through the implementation of infrastructure development and science innovation as critical conditions for reindustrialisation.

“Importantly, all our interventions including the work that we are doing in the Just Energy Transition should be inclusive by enabling Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and empowerment companies to participate in the emerging opportunities right from the beginning.

“As we open new opportunities in the green economy, we will continue to attend to some of the emerging burning platforms, especially in the electricity and the transport industries.

“In particular, Transnet is emerging as another challenge following on what happened in the electricity industry. South Africa’s rail and port infrastructure has been in decline for a range of reasons including underinvestment and the vandalism of infrastructure,” the Minister said.

Given the limited budgets, government has to find new efficient ways to maximise the use of the current resources.

“While we have made strides in the provision of the social wage to protect the most vulnerable in society, it is important that we place more emphasis on achieving sustainable economic growth to particularly deal with youth unemployment,” the Minister said.

Gender-Based Violence and Femicide

The Minister called on all stakeholders to work with government in dealing with the scourge of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF).

“The MTSF also directs us to address social ills, which have a potential to divide us as a nation and undermine our transformation agenda. The high rate of GBVF affects the full participation of women and deprives the nation of the benefits of an inclusive active nation,” he said.

Government has introduced a number of interventions to deal with GBVF and advance women empowerment, including the passing of crucial legislation.

Education

The Minister said government has made great strides to move towards universal access to education.

“While we have made significant strides to improve access to education, we are still concerned about quality which includes the fact that many young people are opting for Maths Literacy as opposed to Mathematics.

“We are also concerned about the levels of output due to the rate of dropouts at the basic and PSET levels. Our report also indicates that some of the learners take longer to complete their PSET qualifications,” the Minister said.

He welcomed the introduction of new subjects such as robotics, coding, new technical subjects and focus schools.

“Government recognises the need to upscale connectivity at our schools and create a conducive environment for learners to embrace technological innovations. This is being considered as part of the SA Connect programme,” the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za

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