The Presidency and National Treasury have released a progress report outlining several key milestones that have been reached as part of government’s economic reform agenda through Operation Vulindlela.
The report, which covers the second quarter of 2023, highlights the following achievements:
- The gazettement of the final date for analogue switch-off (ASO), which will enable the use of spectrum for mobile telecommunications. This will improve network quality, reduce data costs, and expand digital access for all South Africans.
- The selection of an international terminal operator to partner with Transnet at the Durban Pier 2 container terminal. This will crowd in private investment and management expertise to improve the performance of South Africa’s largest container terminal.
- The establishment of the National Logistics Crisis Committee (NLCC) to oversee short and long-term interventions to fix South Africa’s freight logistics system.
- The approval of the National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency (NWRIA) Bill for tabling in Parliament.
- The establishment of the NWRIA as a dedicated agency to manage and invest in bulk water resource infrastructure is the centrepiece of institutional reforms in the water sector.
- The establishment of the One Stop Shop for energy projects to accelerate private investment in new generation capacity.
- Progress in procuring new generation capacity to close the gap in electricity supply.
The report also provides a detailed update on each of the priority reform areas in Operation Vulindlela, including reforms to the energy, logistics, telecommunications, and water sectors as well as the visa regime.
The full report can be downloaded at https://www.stateofthenation.gov.za/operation-vulindlela
The release of this progress report is a positive sign that government is committed to implementing the economic reforms necessary to revive growth and create jobs. The achievements outlined in the report are significant, but there is still much work to be done. The Presidency and National Treasury must continue to work tirelessly to ensure that these reforms are implemented effectively and efficiently.
The success of Operation Vulindlela is essential to the future of South Africa’s economy. The reforms that are being implemented will help to improve the country’s infrastructure, reduce costs, and create a more competitive environment for businesses. This will lead to increased investment and job creation, which are essential to lifting South Africans out of poverty and inequality.
The Presidency and National Treasury must be commended for their efforts in implementing Operation Vulindlela. However, they must also be held accountable for the results of these reforms. The people of South Africa deserve to see tangible improvements in their lives as a result of these efforts.
Comments by Ms. Makgotso Lebajoa, CEO of Imperial Key Africa:
“I commend the Presidency and National Treasury for the progress they have made in implementing Operation Vulindlela. The milestones that have been reached are significant and will go a long way in helping to revive economic growth and create jobs.
In particular, I am encouraged by the progress that has been made in bridging the digital gap. The gazettement of the final date for analogue switch-off (ASO) is a major step forward, and will enable the use of spectrum for mobile telecommunications. This will improve network quality, reduce data costs, and expand digital access for all South Africans.
I believe that bridging the digital gap is essential to the successful implementation of the solutions to confront the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality. The digital economy offers a great opportunity to create jobs and improve the lives of people across South Africa. However, this opportunity can only be realized if everyone has access to the internet and the skills needed to participate in the digital economy.
The Huawei Technology Centre is a good example of what is needed in each community to equip and upskill the youth. This centre provides access to cutting-edge technology and training, and will help to create a pool of skilled digital workers who can drive economic growth.
I urge the government to continue its efforts to bridge the digital gap and to invest in the development of a skilled digital workforce. This is essential to the future of South Africa’s economy.”
Ms. Lebajoa also highlighted the importance of empowering women and girls in the digital economy. She said, “Women and girls are often excluded from the digital economy, but they have a huge role to play in driving innovation and growth. We need to ensure that they have the access and skills they need to participate fully in this economy.”
She called on the government to take steps to address the gender digital divide, such as providing more scholarships and training opportunities for women and girls in STEM fields. She also called on businesses to create more opportunities for women and girls in the digital workplace.