Economic reforms in South Africa are beginning to put the country’s economy on a growth trajectory, according to a report on Operation Woolindle (OV).

The OV campaign was established in October 2020 as a joint initiative of the President and the State Treasury to accelerate the implementation of structural reforms.

It is a nationwide approach through which ministers, departments and agencies implement structural reforms, and the Vulindlela unit in the presidency and the National Treasury monitors progress, solves problems and actively supports their implementation.

The OV sought to accelerate structural reforms in five key areas:

  • Stabilize electricity supplies and note how important it is for economic growth and development.
  • Reduce the cost and improve the quality of digital communication.
  • Provide a sustainable water supply that meets demand in the short and long term.
  • Ensuring a competitive and efficient freight regime.
  • Provide a visa regime that attracts skills and develops the tourism sector.

In the first quarter of 2022, the OV recorded progress in various areas.

They, Guma said, include concluding an auction on spectrum use.

She said: “There was some concern that a lawsuit by one of the market players would confuse the outcome and it would negatively affect that outcome. However, we have seen that the settlement between industry players and the regulator has reached a finality and led “We are waiting for a further barrage of investments to support this distribution in this sector.”

Renewable Energy Program

In the energy sector, OV in the quarter opened a window of six applications for the renewable energy program.

“Preferred bidders [from bid window five] have been announced and are expected to reach financial completion soon, ”she said.

During the same period, a draft law on changes in the regulation of electricity was published, which is open for public discussion.

“The goal here is to provide a more competitive electricity market. This reform is taking place together with the Eskom branch, which is on schedule, ”she said.

The White Paper on National Railway Policy, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, was also adopted during this period, providing clear policy guidelines on critical third party access and the transfer of passenger rail powers.

Water progress

As for water flow, Guma said the OV has restored various water quality control systems.

“The Green Draft Report was published recently, for the first time since 2014. This improves the quality of water and wastewater treatment, as well as allows for greater accountability and allows the government to assess where municipalities may need support in implementing and improving water quality, ”she said.

This quarter, a revised list of critical skills was published for the first time since 2014, allowing the government to reflect the current skills shortage in the economy and, if necessary, allowing businesses to attract skills from outside the country in the short term.

Achievements and progress

Presidential Minister Mondli Gungubele said the achievement is an example of the sixth administration’s commitment to overcoming momentum and stimulating progress on the economic reform agenda.

He said the OV plays an important role in ensuring a clear policy direction and ensuring policy certainty in several areas.

“Agencies and structures themselves remain responsible for the implementation of reforms. Operation Vulindlela does not replace their role, but provides active support for implementation, especially where there is a lack of capacity, ”he said.

One of the most important roles of the operation is to ensure effective coordination of the reform agenda in the government, especially where there are several departments involved in a single reform, the minister said.

He added that the government has made significant progress since the establishment of the OV to accelerate the implementation of reforms needed to boost economic growth.

However, according to him, there is still a lot of work to be done, not to “fix the problems”.

Job creation

Finance Minister Enoch Hadongwana said well-implemented reform programs could boost confidence by supporting the easing of sovereign risks and the cost of borrowing in the marketplace.

This, he said, could free up much-needed fiscal space.

“Thus, with the network, it allows you to create more jobs, maintain fiscal sustainability and save the economy even in the short term. We can significantly boost economic growth beyond this anemic level and create more than 1 million jobs compared to the no-reform scenario. ”

Structural reforms

A total of 26 structural reforms have been identified as priorities for the modernization and transformation of grid sectors, including electricity, water, transport and digital communications, as well as for drawing on key skills and promoting tourism growth through visa reforms.

Of the 26 8 reforms have been completed and another 11 are ongoing.

The minister said some reforms are already bearing fruit in digital communication.

“It is estimated that the industry is investing more than 50 billion rubles. In transport, the successful introduction of third-party access to the railway network could cost an additional investment of Rs 8 billion.

In the power sector, if the government and the private sector worked together to unlock the remaining problems associated with the release of embedded generation, an investment of Rs 54 billion could be realized, he said.

He said: “While we welcome OV’s progress, it seems to have been misinterpreted as prematurely ignoring very real frustrations in places that are not progressing. In the case of restoring Eskom’s energy availability to 70% it seems completely unattainable.

“We remember these reforms, and in the coming months we will redouble our efforts to resolve the energy crisis and ensure that reforms facing implementation challenges receive the support they need to progress. Because we seek to unlock the dynamism of this economy and by resolving our growth is at a constantly high level and trajectory. ”- SAnews.gov.za

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