​Presidency reports on progress with 9-point plan

President Jacob Zuma. (Troy Enekvist, M&G)

President Jacob Zuma. (Troy Enekvist, M&G)

The South African government is making steady progress in the implementation of its Nine Point Plan to reignite growth and create jobs, the Presidency said on Monday.

The plan, which forms part of the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP), was announced by President Jacob Zuma in his 2015 State of the Nation Address.

Some of the areas addressed in the Nine Point Plan include: energy; tourism; agriculture; boosting small, medium and micro businesses (SMMEs); science and technology; industrialisation; and transport.

In its feedback on progress with the plan, the Presidency said work is being done in all segments of the Nine Point Plan.

Energy
The drafting of the Integrated Energy Plan is continuing. This policy has been under development since 2012.

“Once completed, it will provide answers to various questions our country has been grappling with regarding our energy future,” the Presidency said in a statement.

In its view, the Department of Energy (DoE) is marking great strides with the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme towards the development and empowerment of the youth. About 52% of total job opportunities in this programme have gone to the youth so far, the Presidency said.

The energy contribution of independent power producers is expected to grow to about 7 000MW in 2016, while private investment in the programme currently exceeds R194-billion.

The DoE will announce the preferred bidders from the first bid submission for domestic coal projects in July 2016. The bids will have a combined capacity of 900MW at an investment of R45-billion, rolled over the next four years.

The Biofuels Regulatory Framework will be submitted to Cabinet during this financial year and the nuclear energy expansion programme remains part of the future energy mix in terms of the Nine Point Plan.

The Presidency emphasised that the procurement plan for a 9 600MW nuclear build programme will be implemented at a pace determined by what the country can afford.

The DoE has also worked on facilitating the gas-to-power programme.

“The exploitation of our country’s indigenous gas - coal bed methane and shale gas - as well as the regional natural gas resources must be seen in the broader context of regional integration,” the Presidency said.

Contracts for the supply of the first 9 000 baseline solar water heating systems have been placed. The next step would be to start training local communities - especially the youth, women and other designated groups - in the installation of the systems.

“The electrification programme has made remarkable progress in increasing access to electricity in SA by connecting over 6.7-million households between 1994 and March 2016. As of February 2016, access to electricity stands at 88% since 1994,” the Presidency pointed out.

Tourism
The travel and tourism sector in general attracted capital investment of R63-billion in 2015 and contributed R118.6-billion directly. The industry generated 703 000 jobs directly in 2015, which comes to 4.5% of total employment.

“The total contribution of Travel and Tourism to employment, including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts, was 1.5-million jobs in 2015, which is 9.9% of total employment,” the Presidency said.

Agriculture
The Land Bank is making progress with regards to financing for agriculture, according to the Presidency. In its view, internal governance and control processes at the Land Bank have improved considerably as reflected in unqualified audit opinions since the 2012 financial year.

“Reduced non-performing loans now represent about 5.5% of the now significantly larger loan book, down from 22.5% in 2009,” the Presidency said.

The loan book has expanded from R16-billion in 2008 to approaching R40-billion to date. About R2.5-billion (6.5%) of the loan book is devoted to development loans compared to no investment eight years ago.

The cost to income ratio has dropped from 82% in 2011 to around 58% currently, and the Land Bank Group posted a profit of R352-million for the financial year ended March 31, 2015.

“The process of transforming the Land Bank into a strong development finance institution that plays an even bigger and more effective role in rural and agricultural development will be accelerated and deepened,” the Presidency said.

“The Ministers of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as well as Rural Development and Land Reform will work closely with the Minister of Finance to ensure better alignment between the policy objectives of their departments and the activities of the Land Bank, whose executive authority is the Minister of Finance.”

Science and technology
The Department of Science and Technology recently launched the SA’s first Bio-Manufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC) in Pretoria. The centre supports SMMEs involved in bio-manufacturing by enabling them to exploit market opportunities.

Currently the BIDC is supporting 19 enterprises of which 16 are owned by black entrepreneurs – of which 10 are black women-owned enterprises. About 55 permanent and 171 temporary jobs have already been created, with 54 interns trained. The initial phase will result in the creation of permanent and temporary jobs with the economic impact projected at R250-million per annum in the next five years.

SMMEs, cooperatives and township development
A total of 117 black women-owned enterprises have been supported through the Co-operative Incentive Scheme to the value of R35.9-million, while 325 women-owned enterprises were supported through the Black Business Supplier Development Programme to the value of R45.2-million.

The Department of Small Business Development has provided support to 992 informal retailers and 45 informal trader organisations in the past financial year. Of these, 559 were women-owned and 213 were young traders.

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) are now co-located in all nine provinces. This is to improve the ability of SMMEs and co-operatives to access services provided.

Industrial Policy Action Plan and Investment promotion
According to the Presidency, Zuma has welcomed recent investments in SA. These include the investment by Toyota for a new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner manufacturing plant in Prospecton, Durban.

“This was made possible through the support provided by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), which has attracted investments of over R25-billion in the automotive industry in the past five years. This investment will support more than 4 000 jobs with total employment in the plant already exceeding 8 000 jobs,” the Presidency said.

Toyota injected R6.1-billion into SA’s manufacturing industry and local vehicle production.

BMW has also announced the construction of a R6-billion a new, state-of-the-art body shop. The expansion will enable BMW to produce and export the next generation of the BMW X3.

“This demonstrates that the Rosslyn Plant is highly competitive within the global BMW production network, both in terms of cost of production and quality,” the Presidency said.

Another investment is for a R100-million Dursots & All Joy Tomato Processing Plant in Modjadjiskloof near Tzaneen. Dursots is using supplier development to encourage 15 black emerging farmers into the value chain.

To support the upgrade and expansion of the rail locomotive programme, Gibela Rail Transport consortium has commenced the building of a R1-billion factory at Dunnottar in Ekurhuleni. The factory will be utilised to manufacture trains for Prasa.

Aberdare Cables launched its new production line in Pietermaritzburg. The production line will produce cables for Prasa and Transnet’s locomotive build programme.

According to the Presidency, the Investments Inter-Ministerial Committee, which is chaired by the president, continues its work – supported by business – to remove obstacles to doing business in SA.

Operation Phakisa
Within the oceans economy, government says it continues to try and ensure that it creates an enabling environment to promote and attract investments. Over the last 18 months, about R17-billion in investments had been attracted, creating approximately 4 500 jobs.

Within the Marine Transport and Manufacturing Focus Area investments in the port infrastructure had been committed through the Transnet National Ports Authority.

Within the aquaculture sector, ten aquaculture projects had been implemented. This secured investments totalling R444-million from government and industry, creating around 521 jobs (23% women and 66% youth) and a projected production of 2 901 tonnes.

Rural development
In May 2016 Zuma officially handed-over the state of the art Beaufort West Youth Hub to the Kwa-Madlankosi community in the Western Cape. The hub is part of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s programme of revitalising rural towns.

An amount of R52-million was invested in the project to enable young people to acquire skills training in various fields, as well as using it for sports and recreational activities, the Presidency said.

Also in May, Zuma handed over compensation for land as part of Phase 1 of the settlement of claims in the Kruger National Park. A total of R84-million was awarded to six communities – three from Limpopo, and three from Mpumalanga.

In May the Women in Maize project was launched under the Department of Small Business Development in partnership with SA Breweries and the Agricultural Research Council. The programme seeks to empower 5 000 women. – Fin24

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