Pretoria – Government is making steady progress in the implementation of the Nine-Point Plan to reignite growth and create jobs, the Presidency said on Monday.
The plan, which was announced in the 2015 State of the Nation Address, as part of implementing the National Development Plan, focuses on areas such as energy, tourism, agriculture, boosting SMMES, science and technology, industrialisation and transport.
In the area of energy, the drafting of the Integrated Energy Plan continues. The plan represents the overarching energy policy that has been under development since 2012 when Cabinet approved the commencement of the public consultation process.
“Once completed, it will provide answers to various questions our country has been grappling with regarding our country’s energy future,” said the Presidency.
The Department of Energy (DoE) is also making progress on the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP), which is making strides towards youth development and empowerment. The country is currently commemorating Youth Month. According to the Presidency, 52% of job opportunities in this programme have gone to the youth so far.
The energy contribution of IPPs is expected to grow to approximately 7 000 MW in 2016, while private investment in the programme currently exceeds R194 billion.
The DoE will announce the preferred bidders from the first bid submission for domestic coal projects in July 2016. The bids will have a combined capacity of 900 MW at an investment of R45 billion, rolled over the next four years.
Meanwhile, the nuclear energy expansion programme remains part of the future energy mix. The procurement plan for 9 600 MW nuclear build programme will be implemented at a pace informed by what the country can afford.
Solar water heating has taken off, with contracts placed for the supply of the first 9 000 baseline systems. The next step is to commence with the training of local communities in the installation of the systems, with a specific target being the youth, women and other designated groups.
The electrification programme has made remarkable progress in increasing access to electricity in South Africa by connecting over 6.7 million households between 1994 and March 2016. As of February 2016, access to electricity stood at 88% since 1994.
The travel and tourism sector in general attracted capital investment of R63 billion in 2015 and contributed R118.6 billion directly.
This primarily reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels, restaurants, leisure activities, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services (excluding commuter services).
The total contribution of travel and tourism to employment, including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts, was 1.5 million jobs in 2015, which is 9.9% of total employment.
With regards to financing for agriculture, the Presidency said the Land Bank is making progress.
Internal governance and control processes at the Land Bank have improved considerably, as reflected in unqualified audit opinions since the 2012 financial year.
The bank’s loan book has expanded from R16 billion in 2008 to approaching R40 billion to date. About R2.5 billion or 6.5% of the loan book is devoted to development loans compared to no investment eight years ago.
Science and Technology
The Department of Science and Technology recently launched the country’s first Bio-Manufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC) in Pretoria.
The centre supports SMMEs involved in bio-manufacturing by enabling them to exploit market opportunities. Currently, the centre is supporting 19 enterprises. Sixteen of these are owned by black entrepreneurs, including 10 black women-owned enterprises.
At the same time, 55 permanent and 171 temporary jobs have already been created, with 54 interns trained.
Unlocking small enterprise potential
A total of 117 black women-owned enterprises have been supported through the Co-operative Incentive Scheme to the value of R35.9 million, while 325 women owned enterprises were supported through the Black Business Supplier Development Programme to the value of R45.2 million.
The Department of Small Business Development has provided support to 992 informal retailers and 45 informal trader organisations in the past financial year nationally. Of these, 559 were women-owned and 213 were young traders.
The Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) are now co-located in all nine provinces. For the 2015/16 financial year, 29 co-location points were established — a moved that is intended to greatly improve the ability of SMMEs and co-operatives to access the services provided by these agencies.
Industrial Policy Action Plan and investment promotion
President Jacob Zuma has welcomed the recent investments, which have been announced in the country. These include the investment by Toyota for a new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner manufacturing plant in Prospecton, Durban.
This was made possible through the support provided by the Department of Trade and Industry, which has attracted investments of over R25 billion in the automotive industry in the past five years. This investment will support more than 4 000 jobs, with total employment in the plant already exceeding 8 000 jobs.
Toyota injected R6.1 billion into South Africa’s manufacturing industry and the country’s local vehicle production.
BMW has also announced the construction of a R6 billion state-of-the-art body shop. The expansion will enable BMW to produce and export the next generation of the BMW X3.
This, said the Presidency, demonstrates that the Rosslyn Plant is highly competitive within the global BMW production network both in terms of cost of production and quality.
Meanwhile, the Investments Inter-Ministerial Committee, which is chaired by the President, continues its work, supported by business, to remove obstacles to doing business in South Africa.
Operation Phakisa boosts oceans economy
Within the oceans economy, government continues to ensure that it creates an enabling environment to promote and attract investments, either through an enabling policy regime and legislation or by providing incentives.
Over the last 18 months, approximately R17 billion in investments had been attracted, creating approximately 4 500 jobs. Within the marine transport and manufacturing focus area, substantial investments in port infrastructure had been committed by Transnet through the Transnet National Ports Authority.
In the aquaculture sector, 10 aquaculture projects have been implemented. This secured investments totalling R444 million from government and industry, creating around 521 jobs (23% women and 66% youth).
New rural development projects launched
Last month, President Zuma officially handed over the Beaufort West Youth Hub to the Kwa-Mandlenkosi community in the Western Cape. The hub is part of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform programme of revitalising rural towns.
R52 million was invested in the project, which is now being used by the young people in the community to acquire skills training in various fields, as well as for sports and recreational activities.
On 21 May 2016, the President handed over compensation for land as part of Phase 1 of the settlement of claims in the Kruger National Park. R84 million was awarded to six communities, three from Limpopo and three from Mpumalanga.
Due to the status of the Kruger National Park being a flagship of South African National Parks, Cabinet took a decision in 2008 not to restore any of the land within the park to claimants.
The claim is settled in two phases, with Phase 1 being the financial compensation and Phase 2 in the form of projects aimed at ensuring the communities continue to benefit in the longer term from business opportunities within the park.