ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN: ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

STATEMENT BY BRETT HERRON, GOOD SECRETARY-GENERAL

15 OCTOBER 2020

The Economic Recovery Plan announced today to a joint sitting of Parliament by President Ramaphosa consolidated several long spoken of interventions, with the only real surprise being the commitment to boost South Africa’s energy production by 20% in two years.

South Africa’s version of a “new deal”, with which much of the world is presently grappling, contains all the elements upon which our economy can possibly be rescued: Infrastructure, energy supply and diversification, employment stimulus, industrialisation, inclusivity and localisation.

Coupled with a commitment to the rule of law, tackling fraud and corruption, fiscal sustainability measures, and reigned in and viable SOEs, the plan addressed all touch points South Africans have been talking about for at least a decade.

The playbook is familiar. Key to successfully turning our economy around will be implementation by the President and his cabinet.

We welcome the extension of the Covid-19 social grant. But the three-month extension is very short-term considering the millions of South Africans living day-to-day without access to any income.

Implementing a basic income grant as a permanent solution is unavoidable in a country with such high unemployment and poverty. Our government must be bold in working towards achieving this, rather than simply encouraging “talks” about it.

Recent events have demonstrated that our criminal justice system is beginning to make public progress in tackling those who have defrauded us through corruption. We welcome the unequivocal statement from the President that there would be no political interference in the process of pursuing the corrupt.

We welcome the Economic Recovery Plan, but even more than that we welcome the President’s commitment to its urgent implementation.

Ends…