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Ramaphosa sets out plans to revive flagging economy

‘We are undaunted by the considerable difficulties we have yet to overcome.’

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled plans to revive the flagging economy and create jobs, including removing obstacles to investing and doing business, attracting more tourists, and stepping up the fight against graft.

“We are undaunted by the considerable difficulties we have yet to overcome,” Ramaphosa said in his annual State-of-the-Nation address in Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday. “Above everything else, we must get our economy working again.”

The keynote speech came three months before general elections that will serve as a referendum on whether Ramaphosa, 66, is turning the tide against mismanagement and graft that marred his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s rule. Opinion polls indicate he’s making headway, with the ruling African National Congress poised to win about 60% of the vote.

South Africa aims to secure a top-50 position in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking within three years by reducing red tape and other hindrances to investment, Ramaphosa said. It currently ranks 82nd out of 190 nations. The government is also targeting attracting 21 million tourists by 2020, up from 10 million last year.

Ramaphosa announced that a unit will be set up within the National Prosecuting Authority’s office to investigate serious corruption focusing on evidence that’s emerging from a judicial inquiry into the looting of state funds. The new body will report to the National Director of Public Prosecutions and not the police, like the Scorpions crime-fighting unit that the ruling party disbanded in 2008 when it investigated graft charges against its then-leader Zuma.

Read: SA to set up graft-probe unit, president says

A former labour unionist who helped negotiate an end to white-minority rule, Ramaphosa took office a year ago after the ANC forced Zuma to step down. He’s won praise for his drive to secure $100 billion in new investment and for replacing the boards and top managers of state companies that have been dogged by corruption allegations.

Even so, the economy hasn’t expanded more 2% since 2013, and a divisive debate on planned constitutional changes that will enable the government to take land without paying for it has spooked investors. The ANC says that measure is needed to address racially skewed ownership patterns that persist a quarter-century after the end of apartheid rule.

Key highlights from the speech

Struggling state power utility Eskom will be split into generation, transmission and distribution entities under a single holding company, and the government will provide it with financial support, to be announced in the budget later this month. The new investigations unit will tackle serious corruption focusing on evidence that’s emerging from judicial probes into the looting of state funds. National elections will be held on May 8. The government will consider selling some state assets and bringing in strategic equity partners for others. Special economic zones will be set up for the clothing industry. An electronic visa system will be introduced this year. A rapid response team will be established to tackle water problems.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P

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“The government is also targeting attracting 21 million tourists by 2020, up from 10 million last year.”

“He’s won praise for his drive to secure $100 billion in new investment”

WOW…..not

Yipee, we have at least one politician in SA that can talk about solving problems.

To be first he said 21 million by 2030 not by next year.

Obviously the man is “undaunted” – with unlimited tax payer’s money, who wouldn’t be?

And WHY is the REDS policy at Eskom only being implemented now? Almost 20 years after inception? Too little, too late!

lets see what happens when they realize that infrastructure overhauling SUDDENLY needs to be implemented…… they are all living in a dream world..

Credit where it is due; The plan sounds great actually. Just that SA has a long long history of missed opportunities.

yes, the most positive: nothing but nothing that is promised can be done without the ” marginalized “

What will be remembered from this SONA?

(a) Fools looking and sounding ludicrous in red overalls.
(b) ANC MPs applauding the announcement of a new Scorpions like unit.
(c) Pit toilets and iPads.
(d) Loudest cheer for the immortal words of a Western imperialist bad guy.
(e) I’m not sure.

What I will remember is the stark contrast between Cyril and Zuma. A statesman addressing the real issues head on and taking concrete action (Eskom, corruption, ECD) as opposed to a rambling, corrupt fool trying to sing, giggle and jiggle his way out of jail.

Optimism doesn’t get you likes.

Although I agree with you, I also agree with teamed209.

The contradictions in the ANC are in my view too great to be overcome.

Half after them still worship the “rambling, corrupt fool” who sleeps with his friends’ daughters.

Cyril is as good as we are going to get from the ANC for sure, he is slowly reversing all the stupid decisions that Zuma made but the ANC has got us to a point where we have to unwind 10 years damage which will probably take 10 years, we could have been building on 10 years progress instead. 20 years of standing still is shocking for a market like ours.

The problem with SA politics is we are not voting for Cyril but the ANC in general. If we could have someone with Cyrils clout but the DA’s administration then we’d be in a better place. ANC just seems rotten from the ground up with bits here and there that are good, can’t suceed with that sort of structure.

Even the DA has a few dodgy councilors in Johanneburg. My suburb was better off under the ANC.

I never learn anything while I was talking- Larry King
Banks can Depoliticise and capitalize.
Step in- smart and innovative bank that want to own the agri market and “Sommer” kick start the economy in the process.

Is anyone listening to the actual issues?

Farming is not easy, Farmers have massive debt burdens with Banks and struggle to get working capital to operate (especially during droughts), Banks has the most to lose with the number of outstanding agri loans (land and working capital), new black owners will have the same issue with Working capital and the lack of expertise to compound the issue.

Take the issue away from the talkers, and give it the Doers. Bank can step in and depoliticize the whole issue and give the whole economy kick start in the process- without losing money!

For every R1 in agri land loans, there is probably R2 of working capital loans outstanding. Making debt the biggest unproductive cost to the farmer, and the single biggest reason why productive land cannot be sold for anything below market value. Most Farmers has their entire pension invested in their land (money is in the ground), taking their land or buying it at discount is like taking away their pension, which is essentially a prison sentence for them.

Step in- smart and innovative bank that want to own the agri market!

How it can work:
The bank buys the farms from the indebted farmer, The farmer signs a 10year rental agreement with the bank to rent 100% year 1, 90% year 2, 80% year 3 etc…@ rental rate of +-10% of land selling price/annum. Part of the agreement with the bank is for the farmer to open a trust for his farm workers, with the Farmer being a mandatory trustee (not beneficiary). This trust gets a 20year loan from the bank to buy back the farm at market value with Interest of 7.75% (or lower if the state intervenes with subsidies). The rental income minus loan cost equals working capital for the 10% incremental operations transfer from the farmer. The Black trust pays the residual to the farmer for total input cost to the 10% increments per year (renting his services and diluting his overhead cost on his equipment). As the yield grows for the black trust so does their expertise and working capital. 10 years later, the farm and expertise is transferred, and the black trust runs 100% of the farm, with farmer still helping hand as Trustee. (teach a man to fish and all that..)

Nothing worthwhile is easy, and without sacrifice no change is achieved

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