South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday outlined an economic reconstruction and recovery plan for the country in the Parliament, which envisages a massive rollout of infrastructure throughout the country, reported Reuters.
Ramaphosa said the focus of the recovery plan is to improve on critical network infrastructure such as ports, roads and rail that is important for the country’s economic competitiveness. He said a good infrastructure is crucial to boost investment and growth to develop other economic sectors as well as create sustainable employment both directly and indirectly.
He said that the new infrastructure development plan would mainly focus on schools, water and sanitation and housing, and ports, roads and railways.
The recovery plan also include local production targets in sectors like agro-processing, healthcare and industrial equipment, expanding power generation capacity to ensure reliable supplies, and pushing through reforms to ease regulatory bottlenecks, including for miners.
The South African president said 100 billion rand has been set aside over the next three years for job-creation initiatives, and a COVID-19 relief grant has been extended for a further three months, stressing that the government cannot afford to continue paying them beyond this point.
He said he expects the recovery plan will help in generating more than 1 trillion rand ($60 billion) in investment over the next four years and create more than 800,000 jobs. He said that the government will soon launch a massive buy local campaign in the coming festive season.
As far as crime and corruption are concerned, Ramaphosa said that he would make sure there was no political interference in law enforcement agencies’ work.
“In the aftermath of a fire, green shoots begin to emerge. The ash that will have formed enrich the soil and new life takes root to replace what was lost,” the South African president said while calling out South Africans to stand together, and sending a message of hope.