* *The National Economic Development and Labour Council has agreed on
an action plan for the country’s economic recovery.
* *President Cyril Ramaphosa met with the council on Tuesday.
* *Details of the plan will be announced once it is finalised by Cabinet.
The National Economic Development and Labour Council has agreed to an
economic recovery plan for South Africa.
According to a statement issued by the Presidency on Tuesday, following
a meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nedlac – a body
comprised of representatives of government, business, labour and
community – the details of the plan will be announced once it is
finalised by Cabinet.
The country’s economy is set to contract anywhere between 7% and 13%
this year due to the damaging impact of the lockdown that was instituted
to curb the spread of Covid-19. Most recent data from Stats SA showed
that the economy contracted by 51% quarter on quarteron
an annualised basis as a result of the lockdown, which saw economic
activity grind to a halt for five weeks.
The country has had to borrow from multilateral institutions such as the
International Monetary Fund, the African Development Bank and the New
Development Bank, in order to fund responses to the pandemic as well as
buoy the economy.
“The social partners’ action plan is founded on significant convergence
on what needs to be done to set the economy on a new, accelerated,
inclusive and transformative growth trajectory.
“Social partners have identified priority areas for rebuilding the
economy as well as structural reforms and other programmes which will
enable sustainable and inclusive growth with an intensive focus on job
creation,” read the statement from the Presidency.
Notably, Nedlac agreed on a social compact to mobilise funding to
address Eskom’s financial crisis “in a sustainable manner”, according to
the statement. Eskom is facing a growing debt burden which currently
stands at some R480 billion. It’s been battling with operational
challenges, impacting its ability to supply power with detrimental
effects on business confidence and economic growth.
Commenting on the agreement and the commitments made by social partners
to implement the plan, the president said it “is a great achievement
that rises to the challenge of the moment”.