Task team set up to finalise urgent economic recovery plan

This is the outcome of Ramaphosa’s meeting with social partners at Nedlac.
Covid-19 has exacerbated SA's already fragile economic position; it is now time to pick up the pieces. Image: Siyabulela Duda

Social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) have agreed to set up a high-level team that will put together an economic recovery programme following a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday. 

The meeting between government, organised labour, business and the community constituency comes ahead of a highly anticipated national address where Ramaphosa is expected to inform the nation about how the country will proceed after government’s national state of disaster lapses on August 15. 

Ramaphosa is facing pressure to fully reopen the economy with operations in the alcohol, tobacco, and tourism and hospitality sectors largely restricted even under advanced lockdown Level 3 of government’s Covid-19 risk-adjusted strategy. 

Open up the economy

Cosatu’s parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks said task team would consolidate the proposals made by the social partners into one position that will form the basis for the economic recovery trajectory for the country. 

This should be done in the next three weeks, after which the social partners will hold a meeting to consider and adopt the plan. The plan will then be presented to cabinet. 

Parks said there was a large consensus between labour, government and business on most issues regarding the economic recovery.

“Nedlac constituents agree that the economic crisis is increasing levels of vulnerability, including extreme poverty and hunger and that measures are required to stem further declines in GDP, a worsening of the budget deficit and deeper job losses,” the presidency said in a statement.

It said the team – which will be made up of “senior leadership” – will focus on job creation, having a sectoral approach, prioritising infrastructure, energy security and working on the bottlenecks to economic growth.

Read: Ramaphosa prepares to ease lockdown restrictions: sources

“We want to see as much of the economy opened up as possible,” said Business Unity South Africa CEO Cas Coovadia. He said there is no reason that alcohol or tobacco products should not be sold. 

In advocating for an opening of the economy, Coovadia said this should be done in line with strict adherence to the requisite Covid-19 health protocols. 

“There [has] been the second wave of infection in other countries, we can’t discount that, but I think if we manage issues like transportation and ensure that the health protocols are in place and are abided to I think we can manage this effectively,” said Coovadia, adding that the country should not allow the economy to get to a point where parts of it will not be in a position to recover.

He said more employees returning to work would also allow the government to leverage on the resources of the private sector to screen people, provide sanitation, supply masks and so on, particularly because a lot of employed South Africans live in townships and informal areas where social distancing is not possible. 

“It manages a bit better in our view the health side but also the economic impact has been devastating,” he said, adding that while the government had the rescue package in place it’s clear that this support cannot be sustained much longer. 

Action and save jobs

In a joint presentation to Nedlac and Ramaphosa on Wednesday trade union federation Cosatu, the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu) and the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) – which together represent three million workers across the economy – provided the government with a list of priority areas for the country’s economic recovery. 

Labour expressed its concern about the number of “economic papers” coming from Treasury, government and the governing party’s economic arm while the same fervour is not being applied to implementation. 

“We will not create jobs through a festival of papers,” said labour. 

The proposal calls for the immediate implementation of the Jobs Summit agreement, particularly with regards to upscaling local procurement, propelling greater digitisation through the rollout of spectrum, decreasing data costs to allow work and learning at home, and supporting the commercial and emerging agriculture sector.

Read: UIF to process July and August Ters claims from Monday

Parks said there also needs to be dedicated sectoral support for sectors that “are still bleeding”, such as tourism and alcohol. 

Should restrictions in the economy be extended beyond August 15, labour says the government must extend the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Covid-19 Temporary Employment Scheme (Ters) for businesses and workers that will be impacted by full or partial restrictions.

Support to businesses should also come with conditions to retain workers, with labour saying that businesses cannot continue to receive bailouts using taxpayer money only for them to retrench workers.

“Equally we must use incentives to incentivise employers to create new jobs and to look at measures which can avoid overburdening companies with unaffordable levels of debt.”

Read: Government’s miserable small business assistance put to shame by private sector

Labour also wants the removal of blockages to the Covid-19 guarantee loan scheme for small businesses, which has failed to have the necessary take-up despite being the biggest component of the government’s economic support package. 

Parks said it is also critical for the government to show that it is dealing with corruption, saying that the personal protective equipment (PPE) covidpreneur episode is just one issue and that the infrastructure programme is likely to become “the next epicentre of looting”.

“One thing we said we want is for the rapid response courts to deal with corruption, as we had [with issues related to] the 2010 World Cup,” he added, saying that reports of widespread corruption without consequence are demoralising and dampen confidence, which the country cannot afford.

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An economic recovery program!?!? This while the ANC is hellbent on pursuing its economic destructive policies of NHI, EWC, expanding the catastrophic failure that is BBBEE, prescribed assets, cadre deployment and industrial scale theft with zero consequences for anyone.

What an absolute joke! You cannot trim around the edges while the entire foundation is being destroyed.

Another team, another committee and very little action. Seems to be what CR is famous for.
You would have thought the government had this worked out long ago, seeing they have been off for 6months now (I mean apart from plundering South Africa)
I bet you, private companies had this planned, worked out and are ready since April already.

True; but in this case a task team is justified; just like the task team assembled for COVID.

Business works in the same way; you get consultants who are EXPERTS in the field to guide you.

How may times have to did a DIY job and the wife called in the expert? haha

Only the corrupt EXPERTS are considered.The knowledgeable ones are left out in case they make sense.

Absolutely. The ANC loves having talkfests/discussions/committees, then doing absolutely nothing. Here’s what is needed instead. Forget about presenting to our useless Parliament. 1) Specify what jobs are to be done 2) Appoint experienced (preferably private sector) people to head each section 3) Set up dates by which XYZ must be accomplished. 4) Have brief reportbacks at specified dates to ensure progress is happening. 5) Release feedback to the media at each stage so there is transparency re progress.

Was forced to read word for word, question remains, please have whoever clarify if recovery plan for before ANC Government destruction or for after Ms Corona fear was let loose on the streets ?

Just another plan no one will implement.

Pick one item. Spectrum is a good on and hound the officials who have to run tbe process and just get it implemented. Even better call everyone with temporary spectrum in ask them if they are ok with there numbers. Ask them what discounts they will give if they pay R1 for their spectrum.

Item 1 implemented

you’re making way too much sense, Gina.

If the ANC had competent civil servants (:) there would be no need for task teams, committees etc.

lets stay positive…..someday evolution will do its work……right?

First, the one “high-level team” of Central Planners in the Coronavirus Central Command Council attack entrepreneurship, destroy economic activity and create massive unemployment with unnecessary lockdown measures. Then, they appoint another “high-level team” to try to put Humpty-dumpty together again. These communists just don’t get it, do they? A thriving economy cannot be built from the desk of a consensus-seeking Central Planning office. Many entrepreneurs, acting independently, in their self-interest, satisfying the interests of the consumer, builds and sustains economic activity.

Entrepreneurship is about making mistakes and adjusting the strategy to adapt to ever-changing consumer demand. Big errors go bankrupt. Are these members of the “high-level team” from another planet? Are they imbued with superhuman powers? Do they not make mistakes like entrepreneurs do? These Central Planners also make mistakes in judgement. They direct scarce and precious resources in the wrong direction, depending on which “social partner” promises the most votes. The cost of the policy mistakes is nationalised while the gain is centralised in Luthuli House. Central Planning of economic activity is just another way to plunder the public to strengthen the position of the political elite.

Central Planners lack the most important messenger in the economy. The price signal carries a message from consumers to entrepreneurs, to motivate them by means of the profit objective, to satisfy the needs of the consumer with the best product at the best price. Without this messenger to tell them where they should allocate and apply scarce resources, the Central Planners just thumb-suck and allocate resources where it benefits themselves, and where it serves their own interests. Without the price signal of the market economy, the Central Planners mimic the action of entrepreneurs. They use scarce resources to benefit themselves, by buying votes, instead of serving the consumer by delivering services or growing the economy.

We need no government intervention in the economy. We need a small government that is no burden on society. We don’t need endless, clueless “high-level” teams prescribing to us where we should invest our capital. Just get out of the way, and let entrepreneurs identify opportunities and make mistakes in the process of serving the consumer. We need a market economy, not a Centrally Planned disaster.

Sensei, as usual your comment is spot on. The sad reality is that none of the communists get it – including the comrade whose portfolio used to be explicitly named “economic development”

It got changed when development failed to materialise…..

Sensei, agreed!Have you ever noticed, when peace talks takes place? Usually TV broadcasts the splendour of the participants arriving in their jets and sitting in high back chairs with the finest porcelain, etc. Wondering?; should these peace talks take place in the trenches, were the bombs explode how quickly will peace be restored? Wake up people! These puppets demonstrate their importance. Mascarading as if they “care”? Whoppy and well quoted: a festival of paper!!!! Hardly ever reports of achievements of actions taken?

This is what you end up with when incompetence meet ZOOM.

A whole lot of ZOOMA.

This must be the biggest government per square kilometre in the world.

All that is needed is a few good men, there are corporations with a bigger turnover in the world that are run by a few good men.

Yep…yet another plan…
The success of this plan will depend on who the “ senior leadership” team is made up of??
I’m not hopeful this new “plan” stands a hope in hell of implementing let alone succeeding. Especially if past “plans” are anything to go by.
It’s just another excuse to look like someone is in control of the runaway train that is South Africa’s Economic and Political future!
Nice try….but no cigar! I hope I’m wrong….

must say they have become experts in setting up a task team

Thats how CYRIL roles….

I just love comedy.Task team can’t even plan a weekend camping trip.lol

The likes of Trevor Noah have given up trying to compete. Govt have taken stage.

Hmmm… Setting up another task team once again. What will their endeavors cost the tax payer this time? Money that could have been used to improve education in SA and/or create jobs and/or build houses for the many homeless in the country.

To anybody who has a vague idea of how macro economics works, it is not necessary for a multi-billion rand task team, to know what is necessary to revive the economy. Just do the right structural changes in the existing economy and whallah! The rest of the economy will look after itself?

Just bring in more Cubans.

This is what the ANC did for: Water / Energy / Health.

Here we go again and again and… again!

Another new day and another new task team, commission or simply put a group of highly paid individuals who gather their collective brain farts and a brain Farting session.

We know the facts:
21,000,000 unemployed
29,000,000 people face starvation
R10,000,000,000,000.00 Total debt
R6,323.00 interest per second Federal Debt
Of the Highest Tax Nations in the world
2 murders per hour
0.86 Gini Coefficient 2nd most unequal society in the world

Here are the solutions:
1) Tax to be capped at maximum 9% per company or per individual
2) No BEE for companies who have revenue of Less than R100million a year
3) Auction off SOE
4) No less than 4 companies may dominate any given sector per Province
5) Request a R20 Trillion Bailout and repay it over 99 years, bailout every bit of debt starting with consumer. Then cap new debt at 18% + 1 with a repayment period not exceeding 5 years.
6) setup special corruption courts and ensure that decisions are reached with in 12 months and criminalise corruption to the same degree as murder.
7) Ban Political Parties in municipalities and government who fail to achieve at least 3% economic growth per year for a period of 5 years.

A leader that does not know himself in terms of his strengths and weaknesses, is unable to lead effectively. One thing we do know is that the ANC is unable to introduce growth to an economy (Rhamaphosa should acknowledge this, accept it and embrace it). Hence the ANC should stop trying to implement policies that only serve to hinder economic growth. They must return to the basics e.g. maintenance, good governance, and stop theft. Otherwise, the ANC and SA will continue to walk in circles in a desert of economic deterioration. We are now 26 years into the liberation of our people. Do we choose to continue stubbornly down this road or do we pursue a different path? Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

The easiest way to grow the economy. Stop stealing and hindering it with ridiculous policies.

This lot couldnt organise a ps-up in a brewery.

Which is why they closed those as well. To help hide their incompetence.

Master Plan No. 57 now conceived (after Master Plan No. 56 failed to get off the ground).
Behind the scene, it is rumoured that planners are preparing Master Plan No. 58 in anticipation that Master Plan No. 57 just might not be implemented.
Also, it has been rumoured that another five conferences are being planned, along with the set up of a new “war room II” and a “fusion center”, coupled with three new commissions of enquiry.
These initiatives will definitely solve the unemployment problem and lead to growth rates of at least 5% pa.

Yipeeeee another meeting where they talk. And talk is all they do !!!!!!!! It’s implementation that the ANC has a HUGE problem with!!
Parks said there was a large consensus between labour, government and business on most issues regarding the economic recovery. Yipeeeee we have a consensus !!!! No plan just a consensus

To murder a euphemism “Procrastination is the mother of all interventions” epitomises the government of the day

Another Team – Another Nothing!

Is anybody else sick of the president creating more toothless teams?

Another recovery plan, how many do we need?

It is a waste of time and resources to have a plan that will never be implemented! One of the phases of a project plan is execution stage, followed by measure and monitoring stage. We are permanently stuck on planning stages!!

VEry simple…. Disband the ANC… they nothing more than criminals running this country

I started to despair when I saw the word ” plan “…. I don’t feel sorry for this lot anymore but hope someday evolution will do its work.

typical left wing socialism, talk, talk, talk followed by Commissions of Enquiry, hawks investigations, long winded court cases. We have the most bloated civil service anywhere in the world, and probably the most incompetent,

So while all this is being planned, polished and refined to perfection, why does super-hero Gwede Mantashe (who even fully recovered from the virus) not just slip into his fancy study at his state-sponsored residence, find his gold-plated Parker pen and sign the Permission to Generate Own Power document that mines and the western cape has been waiting for for years??!!?
That alone will go far – without Ramaphosa and any new committees – in attracting investment and boosting GDP growth!

Yes Sir. Mr. President, all good, but has She approved the task team or is she going to lead it ?
The tides are powerful forces and change is not negotiable, in a generation from now the current villains Mr. Trump and Balsonaro will be the declared the great heroes and the rest hopefully all burn in high slow heat oil for their opportunistic free for some max grab.

A economic recovery plan. GEE why has no one thought of this before ?
Oh sorry they have, they have, they have, they have, they have. Its just the rather vital action part that’s missing !!!!

End of comments.

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