Mar 2018 1st Edition

Growing the economy

Written by More Matshediso

SONA 2018

Infrastructure investment is key to growing South Africa’s economy, to create jobs, empower small businesses and provide services to citizens, said President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Delivering his first State of the Nation Address in Parliament in Cape Town President Ramaphosa said government has invested heavily in new roads, power stations, schools and other infrastructure.

Some of the projects are taking time to get off the ground and are aimed at  enhancing government’s efforts to develop the country’s infrastructure.

To address this, President Ramaphosa said he will put a team together to speed up implementation of new projects, particularly water and health facilities as well as road maintenance.

“We have learnt some valuable lessons from our experience in building all the new infrastructure, which will inform our way ahead. We will focus on improvements in our budget and monitoring systems, improve the integration of projects and build a broad compact on infrastructure with business and organised labour,” said President.

Ultimately, he said, the growth of South Africa’s economy will be sustained by small businesses, as is the case in many countries.

“It is our shared responsibility to grow this vital sector of the economy,” he said.

Government’s plans for infrastructure development

  • To work with social partners to build a small business support ecosystem that assists, nourishes and promotes entrepreneurs.
  • To honour its undertaking to set aside at least 30 percent of public procurement to Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs), cooperatives and township and rural enterprises.
  • To continue to invest in small business incubation. “We encourage business to do the same.”
  • To finalise a small business and innovation fund targeted at start-ups.
  • To reduce the regulatory barriers for small businesses.
  • To expand economic opportunities for people with disabilities.

Did you know?

  • The establishment through the CEOs Initiative of a small business fund which currently stands at R1.5 billion is an outstanding example of the role that the private sector can play.
  • The Small Enterprise Finance Agency has launched a scheme to develop and fund entrepreneurs with disabilities called the Amavulandlela Funding Scheme.
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