12 February 2010
Goverment measures to help businesses and individuals weather the effects of the recession will remain in place for now, while further steps will be taken to boost South Africa’s economic recovery, says President Jacob Zuma.
Delivering his State of the Nation address in Parliament, Cape Town on Thursday, Zuma said that while economic indicators suggested the worst was over, and labour statistics showed the economy had now begun to create rather than shed jobs, it was too soon to be certain of the pace of recovery.
“Now is the time to lay the groundwork for stronger growth going forward, and for growth that gives rise to more jobs,” he said.
Industrial policy action plan
Zuma said that while the government’s infrastructure programme would help the country to grow, education and skills programmes would help boost the country’s productivity and competitiveness.
The government’s new industrial policy action plan, approved by Cabinet this week, along with the focus on “green” jobs, would help build “stronger and more labour-absorbing industries”, he said.
The county’s rural development programme, meanwhile, would improve productivity and the lives of people living in rural areas.
Capital investment, cheaper broadband
Zuma said South Africa’s capital investment programme, which will see R846-billion spent on public infrastructure over the next three years, would underpin the government’s strategy for economic growth and recovery.
He added that the government was working to reduce communication costs which would help encourage greater economic growth.
The government would also work to increase broadband and ensure a high standard of internet service, in line with international norms.
“The South African public can look forward to an even further reduction of broadband, cellphone, landline and public phone rates,” he said.