ON ECONOMIC GROWTH
Ramaphosa acknowledged the fact that the South African economy has not grown in the past decade, adding that the recovery of the economy has stalled as persistent shortages have disrupted business and SOEs like SAA, Prasa, Denel, Transnet and Eskom continue to be in distress.
ON ENERGY, ESKOM AND THE POWER CRISIS
Ramaphosa said load-shedding is the inevitable consequence of Eskom’s inability over many years – due to debt, lack of capacity and state capture – to service its power plants. “We are taking the following measures to rapidly and significantly increase generation capacity outside of Eskom,” he said.
ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND
Ramaphosa said the establishment a sovereign wealth fund will ensure that many people participate in the economy and share in the country’s wealth.
ON PUBLIC TRANSORTATION
He singled out Prasa, saying government was modernising its rail network. He said government will invest R1.4 billion in each of the lines to provide a safe, reliable and affordable service.The Central Line in the Western Cape and the Mabopane Line in Pretoria have been closed for essential refurbishment and upgrades.
Ramaphosa said government has decided to establish a new University of Science and Innovation in Ekurhuleni. “Ekurhuleni is the only metro in our country that does not have a university,” he said.
ON CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
He said to improve the quality of general and specialised SAPS investigations, government will establish a Crime Detection University in Hammanskraal. Anti-Gang Units will be further strengthened, with priority given to the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Free State.
ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
He said government will amend the Domestic Violence Act to better protect victims in violent domestic relationships and the Sexual Offences Act to broaden the categories of sex offenders whose names must be included in the National Register for Sex Offenders. “We will pass a law to tighten bail and sentencing condition in cases that involve gender-based violence,” he said.
ON STUDENT ACCOMMODATION
The young people who are at university and TVET Colleges face serious accommodation challenges, said Ramaphosa. Some don’t even have places to sleep after lectures and resort to sleeping in libraries. “We are going to spend R64 billion over the next years in student accommodation and we will leverage at least another R64 billion in private investment,” he said. These building projects are ready to start.
ON SMART CITIES
Ramaphosa announced that a new smart-city is taking shape in Lanseria, which 350,000 to 500,000 people will call home within the next decade. The process is being led by the Investment and Infrastructure Office in the Presidency alongside the provincial governments of Gauteng and North West, working together with the cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Madibeng.
ON WOMEN IN BUSINESS
He said his administration will introduce the SheTradesZA platform to assist women-owned businesses to participate in global value chains and markets. Over the next five years, the Industrial Development Corporation is targeting R10 billion of own and partner funding for women empowered businesses.