We welcome you to the post State of the Nations Address media briefing. This briefing is an opportunity to share with yourselves and the rest of the country progress and plans with regard to government’s commitment to achieving key government priorities which are:
- Decent employment through inclusive growth (Outcome 4)
- An Efficient, Competitive and Responsive Infrastructure Network (outcome 6).
The Cabinet Lekgotla held in February evaluated the impact of the New Growth Path since its adoption in October 2010 and considered progress with implementation of the National Infrastructure Plan. It reaffirmed the dynamic relationship between the National Development Plan as the overall vision of government and the strategies to achieve that vision, namely the New Growth Path as well as its key jobs drivers such as the National Infrastructure Plan and the Industrial Policy Action Plan.
The President in the SoNA highlighted the centrality of the NDP common vision for driving government priorities.
Despite signs of improvement, the world economic situation and prospects continue to be challenging. Global economic growth remained tepid in 2012, with most countries experiencing a below par growth or no growth at all. In the face of this subdued growth, the joblessness continues, with global unemployment still above its pre-crisis level and unemployment in the euro area rising rapidly.
Reducing the number of unemployed South Africans is our central challenge. Unemployment means that too many of our people, especially the youth, are excluded from core economic and social relationships, from the opportunity to contribute to our country, their communities and their families. We need to create the conditions in the economy and society that will sustain the growth in jobs and indeed accelerate it.
The New Growth Path was introduced in October 2010 and since then 603,000 more jobs were created.
Overall economic growth has recovered from the 2008/09 downturn. In the past two years, it has averaged well over 2.5 percent a year. That said the second half of 2012 saw a fall in the growth rate, largely due to the recession in Europe and the slowdown in US growth. These global trends affect South African exports, especially through lower mineral prices. In turn, that will increase the obstacles to job creation and growth in the coming year.
7th March 2013