Johannesburg, 29 November 2023 – In a recent bi-monthly meeting, President Cyril Ramaphosa and key Cabinet members engaged with senior business leaders to assess the progress made in tackling critical challenges within the South African economy. The collaborative efforts, spearheaded by Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and its implementation platform, Business for South Africa (B4SA), aim to unlock the country’s economic potential.
President Ramaphosa highlighted significant strides in establishing structures, mobilizing resources, and implementing key actions. Notable achievements include adding 2×800 MWs of power generation capacity, advancing toward the goal of ending load shedding by the end of 2024, and establishing a Rail Infrastructure Manager for Transnet to facilitate third-party train operators in 2024.
While acknowledging early successes, BUSA President Adrian Gore emphasized the need for urgency, pointing to delays in regulatory approvals and slippage in implementing strategic plans. Both parties committed to addressing these issues promptly.
In the energy sector, the meeting emphasized the release of Bid Window 7 for the renewable energy program, Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for battery storage and gas power, and the clarification of grid access rules. The focus on the transport and logistics network urgency led to the finalization of the Freight Logistics Roadmap, aligning with the Transnet Recovery Plan for increased efficiency and competitiveness.
Addressing crime and corruption, the establishment of the Joint Initiative against Crime and Corruption (JICC) faced delays, but progress is underway. Initiatives include infrastructure crime interventions and enhancing investigative capabilities.
Looking ahead, both government and business have committed to additional resources in 2024 to accelerate progress. The collaboration aims to create 300,000 jobs by 2024, emphasizing the critical need for swift implementation.
A follow-up meeting in early 2024 is planned to assess progress and establish an action plan for the year ahead. The success achieved in the focal areas could contribute significantly to GDP growth, reinforcing the importance of continued support for the Energy Action Plan, freight logistics sector reform, and strengthened law enforcement.
About Business Unity South Africa (BUSA): BUSA represents the interests of South African businesses, fostering an enabling environment for economic growth through engagement with government, labor unions, and civil society.
About Business for South Africa (B4SA): B4SA, a BUSA platform, unites key South African business leaders to address national challenges, collaborating closely with the government to find innovative solutions and drive economic recovery.