South Africa: ANC Has Plan to Grow the Country's Economy - Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses ANC supporters at the governing party’s election manifesto launch at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on 12 January 2019.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said the ANC has a plan to raise R1.2 trillion in new investments over the next five years.

Ramaphosa delivered his party's election manifesto at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.

"For several years, investment in the economy - both by government and businesses - has stagnated, stifling growth and job creation," he said.

He said they will work with all social partners to restore investor, business, and consumer confidence and "ensure policy consistency and certainty".

"We will implement reforms in economic sectors that have the greatest potential to grow and create jobs," Ramaphosa said.

He said the ANC-led government would take measures to lower the cost of doing business in the country increase productivity and improve competitiveness.

"We will implement the agreements reached at the Presidential Jobs Summit last year by boosting local demand for goods, investing more in sectors like mining, manufacturing and agriculture, and expanding export markets," he said.

It is estimated that this could contribute around 275 000 additional jobs each year, "nearly doubling the annual rate of employment creation", he said.

"We will proceed with the establishment of an Infrastructure Fund, in which we will pool government's infrastructure budget and use it to raise additional funds from other public and private sources to build roads, rail lines, broadband networks, hospitals, schools, dams and other infrastructure vital for a growing economy," said Ramaphosa.

He said the manifesto they launched was for "an inclusive economy".

He said they will build an economy in which the majority of South African can have a meaningful stake and benefit from.

"For centuries, the majority of South Africans have been deliberately excluded from economic activity, disposed of land, deprived of skills and forcibly settled far from economic opportunities. This exclusion is greatest among, women, rural people and youth," he said.

He promised that they will enable workers to own stakes in the companies they work for and "to share in the profits".

"We will open up markets for new emerging companies by ending up monopolies and behaviour that stifles competition. We will draw more women, more rural people and more youth into the economy by expanding access to digital skills training to young people," he said.

He said they aimed to do that by developing and supporting technological and digital start-ups "and a more concerted focus on SMMEs, cooperatives and township and village enterprises".

Ramaphosa said they will use government's "massive procurement spend" to support transformation and job creation, including allocating at least 30% of procurement spend to small businesses and cooperatives.

"Our manifesto has a specific focus on economies of townships and villages. We will encourage growth of enterprises in these areas through a dedicated fund that supports the development of industrial parks, business centres and incubation centre," he said.

The ANC manifesto also promised to step up the enforcement of measures to prevent illegal trading and selling of counterfeit and unsafe products.

"We will prevent displacement of local enterprises by big retail stores and will ensure that small producers have a place in their retail value chains," he said.

Source: News24

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