SA clearing economic growth impediments, says Godongwana

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana, has called on businesses leaders in Southern Africa and Europe to strengthen investment, and support industrialisation and the development of sustainable and resilient value and supply chains in the two regions.

The Minister made the remarks while opening the 9th Southern Africa/Europe CEO Dialogue in Johannesburg on Thursday.

For its part, Godongwana said the South African government is implementing a series of interventions aimed at untangling several challenges stifling the country’s economic growth prospects.

In response to present day challenges, Godongwana said government’s focus has been on the implementation of structural reforms to improve competitiveness, industrial policy to boost manufacturing and measures to strengthen the capacity of the State.

“We are doing this within a clear and stable macroeconomic framework, including a stable and flexible exchange rate, low and stable inflation, and sustainable fiscal policy.

“On structural reforms, we are creating a competitive energy market, dealing with inefficiencies in our ports and rail network, addressing our visa regime to attract skills and investments and are reforming our water and telecommunications sectors. Work continues to build a capable and developmental State, which is a necessary precondition for inclusive growth,” he said.

Government, the Minister said, is also intervening to reverse the decline in fixed investment, including through ensuring policy certainty and addressing the cost and ease of doing business.

“The capacity of our State-owned enterprises to invest in the economy, to unlock growth and job creation is being enhanced.

“Infrastructure budgets across government are being increased, while capacity for project planning, preparation and execution is being enhanced. Spending on capital assets is the fastest growing expenditure item on our budget. Action is being taken to modernise procurement and improve contract management,” he said.

The Minister said government’s investment in fighting crime and corruption is “being strengthened as part of removing impediments to investment and growth”.

“The African continent is devastated the most by the worsening effects of climate change, which pose an existential threat to humanity. We are committed to the goal of a just transition.

“Our approach envisions accelerating investment in new generation capacity, while preserving the livelihoods of communities adversely affected by the transition from coal and other fossil fuels,” he said.

Reiterating President Ramaphosa’s call at COP27 in Egypt earlier this week, Godongwana said Africa needs to build adaptive capacity, foster resilience and address the loss and damage due to climate change. For this to happen, the continent needs a predictable, appropriate and at-scale funding stream, and technological support.

“This places a responsibility on developed nations to honour their commitments to those countries with the greatest need and that confront the greatest environmental, social and economic effects of climate change,” he said. –