Cabinet has welcomed the positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2.5% in the second quarter of 2017 saying it is cautiously optimistic of South Africa’s economic recovery.
Last week Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) released GDP data that showed that the economy grew by 2.5% quarter on quarter in the second quarter. The growth means that the country has exited a technical recession following a contraction of 0.7% in the first quarter and a 0.3% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“Cabinet welcomes the positive growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2.5% in the second quarter of 2017. Although cautiously optimistic, Cabinet is convinced the country is seeing the first positive signs of what is hopefully the start of the country’s economic recovery firmly built on the implementation of the Nine-Point Plan, which aims to grow the South African economy and create much-needed jobs,” said Cabinet in a statement on Thursday.
Turning its attention to the Department of Trade and Industry’s Black Industrialist Programme, Cabinet said the programme has to date supported 62 projects.
The projects have attracted R26 billion in private-sector investment and created 19 859 jobs to date. To support localisation, 21 products and sectors have been designated for local production.
The programme is specifically dedicated to supporting the growth and building the global competitiveness of majority black-owned and managed businesses in the manufacturing sector.
“We now have passed the halfway mark of the first 100. In fact, it is now 62 in terms of approvals. The target is for us to reach 100 by the end of this financial year,” Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies told a media briefing earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, Operation Phakisa has so far unlocked an estimated R24.6 billion in investment in the oceans economy, with government contributing R15 billion of this amount.
Although the investments are mainly in infrastructure development in ports, marine manufacturing in particular boatbuilding, aquaculture and scientific surveys in the oil and gas sector, several government departments have made substantial contributions to ensure the growth of this sector.
A total of 6517 jobs have been created in the various sectors.
Sustained economic growth
Cabinet has reiterated its call to all sectors of society, particularly government, business and civil society, to build on the positive momentum gained during the second quarter to sustain higher rates of economic growth and development, and to help save jobs.
In addition, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba continues to engage with various sectors on the inclusive economic growth action plan, which is set to inspire confidence in the country.
Minister Gigaba is expected to further unpack the plan when he delivers the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in Parliament on 18 October 2017.
InvestSA One Stop Shop
Cabinet on Thursday further commended the launch of the first provincial InvestSA One Stop Shop in the Western Cape which was launched by President Jacob Zuma last Friday.
The launch, said Cabinet, affirmed government’s commitment to improving the investment climate in South Africa which is an attractive destination for potential investors.
InvestSA One Stop Shop lowers the cost of doing business and eases doing business in the country by providing strategic guidance, reducing regulatory inefficiencies and cutting red tape for investors.
The aim of the provincial Invest SA office is to provide strategic guidance, reduce regulatory inefficiencies and reduce red tape for all investors looking to invest in the Western Cape.
President Zuma launched the national Invest SA one-stop shop for investors at the premises of the dti in Tshwane in March. At the time, President Zuma announced that government would open three provincial one-stop shops later in the year. These will be known as InvestSA KZN, InvestSA Gauteng and InvestSA Western Cape.
National Development Plan (NDP)
Cabinet also joined South Africans in celebrating the 5th anniversary of the NDP, which was adopted by Parliament on 12 September 2012. The NDP was adopted as the country’s socio-economic development blueprint to tackle the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality by 2030.
“As the country’s roadmap towards prosperity, the NDP belongs to all South Africans and represents the hopes and aspirations from all sectors of society, for a better South Africa.
“Cabinet calls on all South Africans to rally behind the NDP Vision 2030,” said Cabinet.