Infrastructure key to economic recovery — Ramaphosa

The ANC wants South Africa to build its way out of the current economic crisis, using local industries as the major suppliers for a series of infrastructure projects, which it says will be central to a national economic recovery plan.

This emerged on Tuesday evening as the governing party wrapped up a two-day virtual lekgotla convened by its national executive committee (NEC) to discuss the country’s fiscal malaise and spiralling job losses, which have been worsened by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

Addressing the closing session of the lekgotla, which was attended by the ANC’s alliance partners and its deployees in government, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the party had committed to a recovery plan that was based largely on using infrastructure as a catalyst.

South Africa’s reconstruction and recovery plan, would, he said, be “an infrastructure-led strategy”, with investments in water, energy, sanitation, housing, roads, health and education, and public transport.


Projects would be driven by the localisation, using South African suppliers, materials and construction companies to increase local industrial activities, Ramaphosa said.

Emphasis would be placed on making use of small business, together with young people, women and co-operatives, as suppliers and labour intensive-labour methods would mean that projects would employ more people.

Ramaphosa said the lekgotla had drafted time frames for the implementation of the programme — the detail of which would be announced in the near future — by the government and had agreed that for the plan to succeed, state debt needed to be brought under control.

“To stabilise public finances the budget deficit must be reduced, borrowing costs must be managed and there must be pro-growth reforms,” he said.

These included large-scale, off-budget investment in energy and a continuation of reforms in sectors including telecommunications, mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. Other reforms to attract investors, and to improve their confidence in doing business in South Africa, would also be part of the package, he said.

Other major areas of focus would be stimulating the green and blue economies; agriculture and stabilising food security; macroeconomic policy interventions; the mainstreaming of gender in public programmes and increased spending on public-employment programmes.

Combating corruption

Ramaphosa said the NEC had confirmed the position that state employees should not conduct business with the state in any way and had committed to further consultation to find the “most appropriate approach” for other politically exposed persons. 

It had noted the effects of corruption and the illicit flow of funds on society and the need for a social compact between all sectors of society to prevent the continuation of corrupt practices.

He described the work being done by the law enforcement agencies — which have made a series of high-profile arrests in the last week — as commendable, saying that “we must leave no stone unturned in dealing with crime and corruption.”

The NEC had committed to an approach that balanced the need for a clampdown on corruption and stopping the illicit flow of bribes and money with the right of people to do business, including those who had left the employ of the state.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper

Related stories

The demon of cronyism in the public service must be crushed

When employees do not give their best, it is the organisation that suffers the most. In the case of government this directly affects citizens

Fort Hare students test positive for Covid after partying

The 30 students, who went to a bash at a tavern in East London, were not wearing masks, did not sanitise their hands nor keep to social distancing regulations.

Editorial: SA will be bankrupted by looters

The chickens have finally come home to roost: if we do not end the looting, it will end us

Sitting targets and lame ducks

Everybody’s staying pozi, which is making all the arrests easy for the Hawks. Only Ace is desperate to be seen

Totally gone mad: Covid-19 and the Trump presidency

Tracing America’s bungling of the containment of the coronavirus, Totally Under Control unveils the deep rot in Trump’s presidency

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Fake trafficking news targets migrants

Exaggerated reports on social media of human trafficking syndicates snatching people in broad daylight legitimate xenophobia while deflecting from the real problems in society

It’s not a ‘second wave’: Covid resurges because safety measures...

A simple model shows how complacency in South Africa will cause the number of infections to go on an upward trend again

Trouble brewing for Kenya’s coffee growers

Kenyan farmers say theft of their crop is endemic – and they suspect collusion

Unisa shortlists two candidates for the vice-chancellor job

The outgoing vice-chancellor’s term has been extended to April to allow for a smooth hand-over

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday