President Jacob Zuma is, this month, October 2014, prioritising the economy and local government.
In his State of the Nation address delivered in June 2014, Zuma said the economy would take centre stage this term and announced a target of 5% growth by 2019. He also announced that local government, the sphere of government closest to citizens, and the “engine of service delivery” would be revitalised and strongly supported.
Kicking the initiatives off, on Friday 3 October, Zuma launched Phase 3 of the Expanded Public Works Programme in Keiskammahoek in the Eastern Cape. The programme is expected to create six million work opportunities between now and 2019.
On Tuesday, 7 October, the president will hand over the operator permit for the Dube Trade Port Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) to Senzo Mchunu, premier of KwaZulu-Natal. Last year the president launched the Saldanha IDZ in the Western Cape. The IDZs will promote industrialisation and raise awareness around the Special Economic Zones programme, which aims to grow the economy and create jobs through creating a conducive environment for foreign direct investment. The Saldanha IDZ, still in development, has already attracted the interest of 19 potential investors.
On 8 October, the President will relook the Back to Basics campaign targeting local government performance. He has convened a meeting of the President’s Coordinating Committee, the statutory body that brings together national government, premiers and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) association, to discuss strengthening local government to improve service delivery and promote economic growth and development at a local level.
On 9 October Zuma will host a meeting of the Mining Sector National Consultative Forum in Pretoria. He had announced in his State of the Nation address that he would lead the government-labour-mining sector interface, and would prioritise revitalising and rebuilding distressed mining towns and communities.
In August this year Zuma launched Operation Phakisa, aimed at “unlocking the potential of the country’s ocean economy”. Teams from government, business, labour and academia have been exploring the potential of the country’s oceans to boost economic growth and job creation. Zuma will release their findings on 15 October at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.
In his State of the Nation address, Zuma had announced that he would convene the Presidential Business Working Group to discuss joint action for economic growth. The working group will meet on 24 October in Pretoria, where teams from business and government will report back on their findings.
Zuma will later this month also meet with the South African Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the South Africa-Turkish Business Association. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa also recently convened the Joint/NEDLAC Working Group, which brings together business, labour, community and government to collaborate on inclusive economic growth. Ramaphosa will lead the group.
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