On track to realising the South African dream

Friday, April 15, 2016

By Cabinet Spokesperson Phumla Williams

Within the context of the prevailing global economic slowdown it is easy to get sucked into despair.  While the global economic outlook remains cloudy, conditions in South Africa are far from the doom and gloom some seek to portray.

In his State of the Nation Address on February 11, President Jacob Zuma outlined the economic challenges confronting South Africa. He also reported on government action regarding the implementation of the Nine-Point Plan to boost economic growth and create much-needed jobs.  

On March 16, Cabinet discussed the Third Quarterly Outcomes Progress Reports for the Period October to December 2015. The progress reports from all 14 priority outcomes not only afford Cabinet the opportunity to reflect on the progress being achieved, but importantly, they also highlight areas where there is a lack of progress.

This enables the Cabinet to provide advice on the interventions that should be implemented to achieve success. The Cluster ministers will in due course provide a detailed account of the progress that has been achieved in the third quarter. It is however important to highlight that cumulatively, the Cabinet has noted progress in most of the 14 priority outcomes on the government is aware that the National Development Plan (NDP) – which aims to reduce unemployment, poverty and inequality by 2030 – will only be achieved through collective action by the government and all stakeholders to realise the South African dream.

The Government’s Medium-Term Strategic Framework.  The MTSF is a five year programme that ensures policy coherence, alignment and co-ordination across government that will facilitate the implementation of the NDP. By focusing intensely on the 14 priority outcomes of the NDP, we are intensifying our efforts to intervene appropriately in some cases or accelerate our actions in other areas.

The Cabinet meeting of March 16 provided an opportunity for the government to reflect on the progress being made to move South Africa forward and identified the challenges that remained. The Cabinet reflected on progress made in providing quality basic education, and healthcare, growing our economy through a skilled and capable workforce, providing work, ensuring safety and security, building sustainable human settlements and improving the quality of life.

Progress was noted in various Cluster. In education, during the period under review, five schools were completed and handed over to communities. The target pupil access to broadband is improving and about 80% of 450 000 targeted pupils are reported to now have access.

Good progress has also been reported on the placement of Funza Lushaka bursary recipients with the target exceeded by 1282 placements. In terms of governance and administration, transparency has been improved regarding public availability of information on procurement.

In this regard, the target of 44 national department and 22 entities procurement plan made available on e-Tender has been achieved. The target relating to capacity building and professionalisation of supply chain management (SCM) is on track, through a SCM organisational capacity development.

On the economic front, even though much has been achieved, the Cabinet has noted more work still need to be done. The government is confident that we are steadily and systematically addressing issues which constrain our economic growth.  

Hence in long term, we are still aiming to grow the economy and we have begun to lay the groundwork by implementing concrete interventions in several areas. We are mindful that the process of moving our economy forward is an all – encompassing one that requires the government, business and labour to work side by side for the common national good.

We have set the platform for higher growth by stabilising the electricity challenges. The government has also developed strong partnerships with the private sector in renewable energy generation. These partnerships have unlocked private-sector investment in excess of R194 billion.

The government has also made strategic interventions in the automotive industry has created fertile ground for investment and large multinational companies invested billions of rands.

By harnessing the collective strengths of business, labour and government we can propel our economy forward and remove the current domestic constraints to growth. Government will continue working tirelessly and calls on citizens to help make South Africa prosperous and stable.

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