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SA embarks on reconstruction, recovery journey

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President Cyril Ramaphosa presented his plan for the reconstruction and recovery of the economy and country in a joint sitting of parliament and the National Council of Provinces.

He sales the objectives of the plan are clear:

* To create jobs, primarily through aggressive infrastructure investment and mass employment programmes;

* To reindustrialise our economy, focusing on growing small businesses;

* To accelerate economic reforms to unlock investment and growth;

* To fight crime and corruption; and

* To improve the capability of the state.

“The reality that we must confront is that the pandemic will not be over soon,” he says. “This has far-reaching implications in every area of human development, from education to health, from food security to poverty alleviation, from the empowerment of women to social stability.

“The pandemic continues to cause severe damage to the global economy, affecting trade, investment, production, international travel and global supply and demand.”

He adds that South Africa is now entering a phase that requires high vigilance and heightened readiness to respond.

At the same time, we need to rebuild, repair and restore our country.

“Our country had immense challenges for a number of years before coronavirus. The coronavirus pandemic has worsened these challenges.

“Poverty and inequality have deepened, threatening many South Africans with hunger and a sudden loss of income. Our economy, like other economies, has contracted sharply, businesses have closed and jobs have been lost.

“THe economic shock is unprecedented in our country, and it will take an extraordinary effort to recover from it.”

Ramaphosa says we have an opportunity to drive fundamental and lasting change. “It is an opportunity not only to recover the ground that we have lost over the course of the pandemic, but to place the economy on a new path to growth.”

The South African Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan builds on the common ground established by the social partners – government, labour, business and community organisations – through intensive and detailed consultations over the last few months.

It is informed by the work of Cabinet’s Economic Cluster working together with government departments and Cabinet itself and draws on the contributions of the leading economists who make up the Presidential Economic Advisory Council.

The creation of jobs is at the centre of the Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. It responds to the immediate economic impact of Covid-19 by driving job creation and expanding support for vulnerable households.

“We aim to do this primarily through a major infrastructure programme and a large-scale employment stimulus, coupled with an intensive localisation drive and industrial expansion.”

Sourced from: IT-Online. View the original article.

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