The National Treasury is working alongside several other government departments to introduce policy measures that will unlock the economic growth of South Africa, says finance minister Enoch Godongwana.
Answering oral questions in parliament on Wednesday (8 September), Godongwana said Treasury was not working in isolation and that all South Africans must work toward the economy’s recovery.
However, he said that the government was working on several specific interventions, including:
- Closing the gap: National Treasury and the Department of Home Affairs are in the process of reviewing South Africa’s visa regulations to attract skills and boost tourism. Godongwana said this includes possible replacements for the R350 social relief of distress grant, which is set to end in March 2022. However, all options must be considered concerning their affordability and their fiscal implications before a final decision can be made, he said.
- Visas: Treasury is working alongside the Department of Home Affairs to update South Africa’s visa regulations to attract skills and tourism. An updated critical skills list (CSL) is expected to be introduced for South Africa in the coming weeks. Every employer in South Africa who employs critically skilled individuals and who is tasked with attracting and retaining these skills is impacted significantly by the CSL and the immigration legislation changes that follow its release. The list enables them to source the listed skillsets from abroad and bring in specialists to fill those positions.
- Spectrum: The Department of Communications is engaging with the industry on the issue of high-demand spectrum, which is expected to increase competitiveness between the country’s mobile operators and lower data prices for the poor.
Government and the private sector are hopeful that the mass roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations and the easing of restrictions will also help boost growth.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address the nation on the relaxation of lockdown regulations in the coming days, after chairing meetings with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and the President Coordinating Council this week.
“The meetings reflected on the rate of Covid-19 infections and vaccinations, and assessed the Covid-19 prevention measures in force under the Adjusted Level 3 of the national state of disaster.”
“The NCCC agreed that government would in the coming days hold consultations with political parties and the religious sector on the observance of safety measures.”
No date or time has yet been given for the president’s address.