The ANC’s national executive has identified a number of measures aimed at increasing growth and enhancing job creation, says president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Addressing a Cosatu meeting on Monday (20 September), the president said that this will cover a range of issues including the introduction of grants and access to broadband.
Universal access to broadband
The increased role of digital platforms is expected to persist even beyond the pandemic, as more and more social, economic, governance and supply chain interactions move to the digital sphere, Ramaphosa said.
“Enabling universal access to broadband should be the approach to the release of the spectrum and other digital technologies so that the development of the digital economy is inclusive and sustainable,” he said.
There continues to be significant demand on the government to continue with and expand income support measures for those living in poverty, Ramaphosa said.
“Further work needs to be done towards the achievement of Comprehensive Social Security to ensure that all South Africans can live in comfort and dignity.”
This necessarily requires better alignment and linkages between social security policies and labour market policies so that beneficiaries of social support can move more readily into employment, Ramaphosa said.
“Subject to long-term affordability, serious consideration should be given to extending further support to the unemployed, and those who are structurally marginalised, possibly in the form of an extension of the Covid-19 SRD grant, targeted food-poverty-line support. We should also consider a combination of all this with mass employment for people.”
Ramaphosa said that the government is taking steps to reduce the regulatory burden on small, medium and micro-enterprises.
“This includes ensuring that informal traders are not subject to undue and unfair regulatory requirements. Our fiscal constraints mean that we must set clear priorities, focusing on measures which will have the greatest social and economic impact,” he said.
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #RegisterToVoteANC (@CyrilRamaphosa) September 20, 2021
Ramaphosa said that transitioning to a low-carbon, ecologically friendly and socially sustainable economy presents opportunities to create jobs, inclusion and growth in the following sectors:
- Renewable energy;
- Grid construction;
- Manufacturing of renewable components;
- Battery storage;
- Green vehicles;
- Green hydrogen while assisting us to further our environmental protection objectives.
“Infrastructure development is the backbone of economic progress. We must therefore aggressively expand social and economic infrastructure to meet the needs of the economy and the South African people at large,” Ramaphosa said.
This includes new investments in renewable energy, mining, water and sanitation, roads and bridges, human settlements, health and education, digital infrastructure and public transport, he said.
“Our infrastructure investments must anchor the One-Plan approach of the District Development Model and prioritise critical network infrastructures such as rural roads and bridges, water, energy and digital infrastructure.”