by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa will commit R100 billion ($5.8 billion) to create over 800 000 job opportunities, embark on a massive infrastructure drive and fight corruption as part of efforts to revive an economy ravaged by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced this in Parliament on Thursday as he unveiled the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.
The presentation came on the back of Statistics South Africa’s announcement that the economy declined by 16,4 percent from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2020.
More than 2 million people lost their jobs in the second quarter of this year.
“As even the darkest of clouds has a silver lining, we need to see this moment as a rupture with the past and an opportunity to drive fundamental and lasting change,” Ramaphosa said at Parliament in Cape Town.
He said his government had committed the R100 billion ($5.8 billion) over the next three years to create jobs through public and social employment, as the labour market recovered.
“The employment stimulus is focused on those interventions that can be rolled out most quickly and have the greatest impact on economic recovery,” the president said.
He also announced the establishment of the Infrastructure SA (South Africa) and the Infrastructure Fund to prepare and package projects as the country embarked on a massive infrastructure drive.
Government is also working to clamp down on the illegal economy and illicit financial flows, including transfer pricing abuse, profit shifting, value-added tax (VAT) VAT and customs duty fraud, under-invoicing of manufactured imports, corruption and other illegal schemes.
“Law enforcement agencies are being strengthened and provided with adequate resources to enable the identification and swift prosecution of corruption and fraud,” Ramaphosa assured.
Africa’s most advanced economy, South Africa has the continent’s most severe COVID-19 outbreak with 696 414 cases and 18 151 deaths at the time of publishing.
– CAJ News