Radebe: Budget 2018 will reflect two govt priorities

Cape Town - Rest assured that Budget 2018 will reflect the priorities set by the SA government, namely to focus on job creation and economic growth, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe told Fin24 on Thursday.

Speaking from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos by phone, he said the energy issue is a big theme this year.

"We need to move significantly towards independent alternative energy - to project the planet. In SA we have to ensure that the Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme continues in order to provide energy security," said Radebe.

He said the water crisis in Cape Town was also raised at the WEF.

"National government will work closely with the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town so that our people can have access to water," he said.

"Infrastructure spend - including on maintenance - must increase to boost our economic growth."

Rabebe is most pleased with the positive manner in which the South African delegation - led by Deputy President and newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa - has been received at Davos.

"There is a positive sentiment towards SA. We must take advantage of that and continue to build this confidence," he told Fin24.

"Business, government and communities must rally behind the call for the future [as set out in] the National Development Plan (NDP)."

At a press conference in Davos earlier on Thursday Radebe provided more information on the NDP.

“Since 2014 we started the first 5-year programme of implementing the NDP,” he said.

Every quarter a presentation is made to government to report on the progress being made in implementation and the obstacles to that.

“Going forward we need to accelerate the implementation of the programme,” said Radebe.

“The success of the NDP does not rely on government alone, it requires collaboration and partnership with the private sector and other organs of civil society and labour.”

On the general atmosphere at WEF, Radebe said the major difference between this year and last year is there is more confidence and hope and more coherence and cohesion in team SA. In his view, this is driven largely by the political developments since December 2017.

To him the questions from investors even indicate more confidence in the ability of government to ensure the NDP is driven forward.

Radebe sees the main challenge as jobs, which are at the top of the agenda for the next 12 months.

Other areas include small and medium enterprise (SME) and infrastructure and maintenance.

"The confidence boosting measures introduced last year are beginning to bear fruit, government is dealing decisively on matters of corruption," he said.

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