During his State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of Parliament last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the South African economy is three times larger than it was 30 years ago and the number of employed South Africans has grown from 8 million in 1994 to over 16.7 million today.

Meanwhile, the number of jobs created is increasing every quarter and more people are employed than before the Covid-19 pandemic. However, he admitted that unemployment is higher than it has ever been and rising. This is because more people are entering the job market each year than jobs are being created. “We have laid a foundation for growth through far-reaching economic reforms, an ambitious investment drive, and an infrastructure programme that is starting to yield results,” he said.

On the investment front, companies continue to invest, thousands of hectares of farmland are being planted, new factories are being opened and production is being expanded. “We are on track to resolve the most important constraints on economic growth by stabilising our energy supply and fixing our logistics system. As these obstacles are removed, the true potential of our economy is unleashed,” said President Ramaphosa.

In addition, the government has set out a clear plan to end loadshedding and this plan is being implemented with what the President called “single-minded focus” by the National Energy Crisis Committee. “We have delivered on our commitments to bring substantial new power through private investment on to the grid, which is already helping to reduce load shedding,” he elaborated.

Furthermore, the government has implemented sweeping regulatory reforms to enable private investment in electricity generation, with more than 120 new private energy projects now in development. “These are phenomenal developments that are driving the restructuring of our electricity sector in line with what many other economies have done to increase competitiveness and bring down prices,” the President said.

Through all of these actions, “we are confident that the worst is behind us and the end of loadshedding is finally within reach. But we are not stopping there,” he promised.

President Ramaphosa informed Members of Parliament that the government has raised R1.5 trillion in new investment commitments through five South Africa Investment conferences, of which over R500 billion has already flowed into the economy.


Mava Lukani