Ahead of the fast approaching State of the Nation Address (SONA), government and business have expressed confidence that the South African economy will see more growth with investments of at least R500 billion.
Leaders of government and business convened under the Public-Private Growth Initiative (PPGI) expressed their confidence in the economy at a meeting convened by Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma on Tuesday.
Both formations are confident that the economy can reach higher trajectories between now and 2023 with investment in specific economic sectors.
The PPGI, said the Presidency, has for several months engaged on building a closer relationship between government and the private sector in which the alignment of plans and objectives of the two sectors can be enhanced.
On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa who attended the meeting was briefed on plans by economic sectors such as manufacturing, aerospace, mining, energy, tourism and automotive to increase their respective contributions to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The President was also briefed on measures to sustain existing employment and creating new jobs; skills development in the private and public sectors. This also extended to measures to achieve broad-based transformation that will enhance economic growth, stimulate further investment and increase employment.
The PPGI believes growth of 5% and more is possible, provided certain enablers for the economy are realised, and key inhibitors are eliminated.
The PPGI update was presented to the President in the build-up to the upcoming State of the Nation Address, which the President is expected to deliver on the evening of February 7.
Pretoria said the update to the President was so as to ensure that the President’s assessment of developments in the economy include the diverse actions developed by the private sector to contribute to renewal and growth in the country.
The Midrand meeting outlined enabling and inhibiting factors that impact on growth plans and called on government to address selected inhibitors in individual sectors such as construction, forestry, tourism, manufacturing, energy/renewal energy and health.
In construction, the PPGI cited a lack of infrastructure planning and implementation alongside high tariffs that reduce South Africa’s competitiveness.
In the case of tourism, the initiative called on government to speed up visa application and eVisa processes.
President Ramaphosa welcomed the PPGI contribution to the SONA and said the initiative constituted “the real South African Davos”, given the depth of reflection on the country and the economy.
The President commended the PPGI’s “enthusiasm and confidence about where we should be going as a nation” and said the PPGI report indicated that “South Africa is about to get back to its magical winning ways”.
He welcomed the Initiative’s hopefulness about the country and said the plans represented a “coalescence of thoughts and views”. - SAnews.gov.za