Zuma's 9-point plan to boost economy

This article has been updated to add more context.

Cape Town - The energy challenge was the top priority of nine government priorities for the next year, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday evening.

"Our economy needs a major push forward," he said in the State of the Nation address, indicating that he would like to "share it with you (the nation)".

The priorities were:

1. Resolving the energy challenge;
2. Upping the agricultural value chain;
3. Beneficiation through adding value to mineral resources;
4. More effective implementation of higher impact industrial policy action plan;
5. Encouraging private sector investment;
6. Moderating work place conflict;
7. Unlocking the potential of SMMEs, cooperatives, townships and rural enterprises;
8. Reform of state owned companies, broad band roll out, water sanitation and transport infrastructure and
9. Operation Phakisa which aims to grow the ocean economy - such as the shipping and storage of energy products.

"We are doing everything we can to resolve the energy challenge," said Zuma.

READ: Zuma: Eskom government's top priority, to get R23bn

On the energy front, he said the government had "short and long term" responses to resolve what he described as "challenges". The shorter ones were "improved maintenance of Eskom power stations".

In addition, it would enhance the electricity generation capacity and "managing the electricity demand".

Government would be aiming to boost the balance sheet of Eskom, the state owned power company, by directing R23bn to it in the next fiscal year. "We have to work together to find solutions," he said.

Zuma said the government would be focusing on procuring gas supplies from neighbouring countries, moving to procure new nuclear power in the longer term and looking to the DRC to procure about 15 000MW of power from its hydro-electric power scheme.

READ: First new nuclear plant scheduled for 2023

He said South Africa would ultimately also benefit form the exploitation of shale gas in the Karoo.

In his State of the Nation address delayed by continuous disruptions by the opposition parties - the EFF and the DA - he said the situation was more promising on the jobs front, as the employment figures for the last quarter of 2014 showed.

"Our investment in youth employment is also paying off. The employment incentive, directed mainly at the youth is progressing very well," he said.

He said about 200 000 jobs had been created through job incentives for youths. Total employment was now at a record 15.3 million people.

"The situation is more promising on the jobs front," said the president.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders