South African finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, focused on the 2030 National Development Plan (NDP) in his mid-term Budget Policy Statement, delivered this week, stressing that it would be used to boost economic growth and create much-needed jobs.
Gordhan soberly pointed out that times are tough, for the country and internationally.
“We are living through turbulent global economic circumstances. Taking the National Development Plan as point of departure, Cabinet has agreed to a budget framework which protects our fiscal position and supports policies and programmes that support inclusive, sustainable growth.”
He said the ambitious NDP would be implemented in several ways:
Expanding electricity, transport and communications capacity;
Promoting industrial competitiveness and job creation;
Addressing challenges in mining and community development;
Supporting growth of our cities and special economic zones;
Broadening rural development and expanding agricultural opportunities; and
Strengthening public service delivery while combatting waste and corruption.
Government is now implementing the NDP, with provinces and municipalities aligning their actions to the plan.
Gordhan highlighted some of the projects in progress and fulfilling the NDP programme.
Construction of the Medupi and Kusile power stations, which is well under way.
Rail capacity is being expanded to support manganese and coal exports.
Over the next 12 years, government would replace more than 300 trains for the 2-million people who use Metrorail every day.
Tax incentives for industrial development projects amounting to R10-billion have been approved over the past three years, which will support investment amounting to R35-billion.
The manufacturing competitiveness enhancement programme has approved 387 applications since mid-2012, to the value of R2,6 billion.
The expanded public works programme created 970 000 work opportunities last year. The Jobs Fund has approved allocations of R3,4-billion to more than 60 projects, which will generate 90 000 permanent jobs and about 100 000 training opportunities over the period ahead.
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