President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum meeting, in which South Africa will promote the National Development Plan (NDP) which is designed to enhance inclusive growth and development.
South Africa continues to be a good story to tell. In 20 years of democracy, South Africa has scored substantial achievements in improving the living standards of citizens especially the poor who had been excluded and marginalised during the period of apartheid. This has been accomplished through providing improved and expanded basic services. Through the NDP, South Africa aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030, since despite the successes; South Africa’s journey to prosperity is still not complete given the huge legacy of the apartheid past. While many lives have improved, there are still many more people to be reached.
The NDP is already being implemented by all government departments. A key goal of government is to boost economic growth to 5% by 2019 as announced by President Jacob Zuma in the June 2014 State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“The Plan shapes government’s budget allocation as we move towards 2030. Through the NDP we also aim to position South Africa as a key destination for Foreign Direct Investment. Key elements of the plan do not require additional resources and long lead times. Business has a significant role to play in the success of the NDP. It is crucial for business and the Government to work together to drive competitiveness and promote long-term growth, as well as the creation of jobs,” said President Jacob Zuma
South Africa attracted around 24% of all the FDI projects in Africa between 2007 and 2013. In this light, and notwithstanding the challenging global economic conditions, the UK’s Global Financial Times Magazine (in August 2013) voted South Africa overall winner for best investment destination in Africa for 2013 and 2014.
South Africa marks 60 years of the Freedom Charter in 2015, which was adopted at the Congress of the People in Kliptown in 1955. The Freedom Charter outlines the minimum demands for a better life, and its principles are captured in the Constitution of the Republic. The Charter promotes an inclusive South Africa, with its call that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white and that no government can justly claim authority unless it was based on the will of all the people.
“South Africa will promote this fundamental trait, our ability to turn our backs on the apartheid past and to build a new society, which has been the reason for the current success of the country. We will this year reflect on the achievements made with regards to the implementation of the Charter, in particular the clauses relating to the economy. Many of the development partners at the World Economic Forum, especially global business, are key to the achievement of our goals of moving our country forward towards inclusive growth, jobs and a better life for all,” said President Zuma.
South Africa will market its identified six job drivers that are designed to achieve much needed growth with decent jobs. These are infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the Green Economy and tourism, respectively. Under infrastructure, energy ranks high up given the challenges that the country faces with regards to energy constraints.
South Africa will also market the new flagship project, Operation Phakisa, especially the component dealing with promoting the ocean economy. Areas of focus are marine transport and manufacturing activities, such as coastal shipping, trans-shipment, boat building, repair and refurbishment, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture and marine protection services and ocean governance.
The country has further enhanced the investment legislative environment through the Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill which was concluded after extensive consultations.
The Bill aims to update and modernise South Africa’s legal framework to protect investment and ensure that South Africa remains open to foreign investment. It is also designed to ensure that the country’s legal framework does not override existing legislation protecting investment, ensures a balance between the rights and obligations of investors and of Government, particularly in respect of Constitutional obligations to advance the public interest and clarifies standards of protection for investors – both foreign and domestic – by setting out provisions ordinarily found in Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) in a manner that is consistent with the South African Constitution and existing legal framework.
The President added: “We look forward to a successful session. We are ready to communicate our country’s successes and also to share our plans to deal with the challenges that we face,” said President Zuma.
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SOURCE: South African Official News