“Significant progress” recorded in Operation Vulindela reform initiative

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Director-General (DG) in the Presidency Phindile Baleni says Operation Vulindlela has made significant progress in reforming the economy since its announcement nearly four years ago.

She was speaking during a media briefing aimed at providing an update on progress in the implementation of economic reforms through Operation Vulindlela.

Operation Vulindlela is a government-driven initiative aimed at accelerating the implementation of structural reforms in key sectors to achieve inclusive growth in the economy.

“Significant progress has been made in reforming our economy since the President announced the establishment of Operation Vulindlela in October 2020.

“Our economic challenges are complex and deep rooted. However, the progress that we have made in implementing the economic reforms through Operation Vulindlela give us confidence that they will be overcome. While the impact of these reforms may not be immediate, they will be significant.


In the electricity sector, government has moved to do away with some barriers to private electricity generation – resulting in massive investment in that space.

“In the energy sector, regulatory changes have resulted in a massive increase in private investment in electricity generation with a pipeline of more than 22 500MW of confirmed projects in development.

“The reform of the energy system has now far advanced with the passage of the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill and the establishment of the National Transmission Company of South Africa, amongst other key milestones.

“We are already seeing the impact of these reforms in reduced load shedding and in the proliferation of new energy projects across the country,” Baleni said.


Regarding logistics, Operation Vulindlela is aimed at growing exports in the country through the improvement of efficiency.

“Greater private participation in port terminal operations has been enabled and the freight rail network is being opened to competition. These reforms will allow more volumes to be transported via rail and support export growth while making our logistics systems more efficient and competitive.

“The Freight Logistics Roadmap, which was adopted by cabinet in December last year, continues to guide the implementation of these reforms,” the DG said.

Telecoms and water sector

Baleni asserted that strides made through Operation Vulindlela in the telecoms sector are already bearing fruit with decreased costs in data just but one example.

“One of the earliest milestones in the economic reform programme was the completion of the spectrum auction – ending a more than 10 year delay and contributing to reduced data costs and improved network quality and reach,” she said.

Turning to the water sector, Baleni said reforms have led to the clearing of the backlog in water use license applications which stood at more than 1000.

“[The] license application system has been improved to reduce processing times. Concrete steps have been taken to strengthen institutions in the water system, to improve regulation as well as to encourage investment in the infrastructure,” she said.

Visa reforms

Government has also embarked on reforms for South Africa’s visa regime in order to attract skills and to encourage growth in tourism to the country.

“The e-Visa system is now available in 34 countries while visas have been waived for visitors from 135 countries. The recommendations of the work visa review task team, which was completed last year, are now being implemented including the establishment of the Trusted Employer Scheme and a points based system for work visas,” Baleni said.

Working together

The DG emphasised that one of the key drivers to achieving the progress that Operation Vulindlela has produced is collaboration.

 “Perhaps the most important lesson of Operation Vulindlela is that we can achieve significant progress by enabling collaboration across government and putting in place clear, time bound plans and by establishing systems to support delivery and ensure accountability.

“More than 15 government departments and entities have contributed to the implementation of these reforms through new ways of working and a singular focus on implementation and results. Above all, this report demonstrates that government is fully committed to staying the course on the reform agenda and removing constraints on growth,” Baleni said. – SAnews.gov.za