Government to redouble efforts to improve material conditions of South Africans

Friday, June 10, 2022

President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated government’s vision for South Africa, which is laid out by the National Development Plan (NDP), aimed at eliminating poverty and reducing inequality.

“In these intervening years, we have to redouble our efforts and work harder, because as elected representatives, we have an obligation to improve the material conditions of every South African man, woman, and child,” the President said on Friday.

He was replying to the Presidency Budget Vote debate at the Good Hope Chamber in Cape Town.

He emphasised that the enablers of this vision are an inclusive and transformed economy, enhanced State capacity, and partnerships across society.

The President said that in recent times a number of reports and studies have indicated that government will not meet its 2030 targets under the NDP.

“But this should not stop us from trying. We must ensure that the NDP is implemented,” the President said.

The President further thanked some members of Parliament for acknowledging the strides that have been made in reviving the economy through the Investment Conference, Youth Employment Service, and others.

“We have positioned ourselves as a transformative Presidency, and transformation takes time. It does not happen overnight. But when the right decisions are made, at the right time, guided by the right course of action, progress results,” he said.

Most importantly, the President said the foundations upon which any economic recovery is built have to be solid and coherent, and catalytic policy is critical.

Operation Vulindlela well underway

In the Presidency Budget Vote last year, President Ramaphosa outlined key economic reform measures that were underway or were in process, driven by Operation Vulindlela, in partnership with National Treasury.

He said the majority of these have subsequently been passed in key areas such as transportation, electricity, energy, telecoms and water infrastructure.

“This year, through Operation Vulindlela, supported by the Project Management Office in the Presidency and the Red Tape Reduction team, we aim to deliver even more,” he said.

 Energy supply

Turning to energy supply in the country, President Ramaphosa said security of energy supply has had a direct and material impact on domestic and international investor confidence, which in turn leads to a favourable business environment that creates more jobs.

“That is why supporting the process of structural reform in the energy sector has been one of our foremost priorities as the Presidency. The energy reform process is aimed in part at addressing our immediate challenges,” he said.

In his Budget Vote speech on Thursday, President Ramaphosa outlined progress in the renewable energy procurement programme, the conclusion of power purchase agreements for three risk mitigation projects, and measures that we will be taking to close the electricity gap.

He said that the ultimate objective is to fundamentally transform the energy landscape, create a new competitive electricity market, and most importantly, decarbonise the economy.

“For this reason, the Just Transition partnership that the new Climate Finance Office in the Presidency will be mobilising resources for, will be a game-changer.

“This is the work being undertaken by a Presidency committed to transformative, inclusive, sustainable development,” he said. –