Cape Town - The South African economic outlook for 2017 is improving, said President Jacob Zuma, with an expected 1.3% growth rate in the coming year.
Delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the National Assembly Chamber on Thursday, Zuma said although the economy is entering a period of recovery, growth is still not high enough to create the jobs the country need.
“There are some of our people including youth who have not worked for years. For this reason we have decided to focus on a few key areas, packaged as the 9-point plan to reignite growth so that the economy can create much needed jobs,” Zuma said.
He first introduced the 9-point plan in the 2016 SONA, which includes:
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, broadband 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.
Zuma said in this year’s speech there was considerable progress made with the various areas in the 9-point plan.
The President only managed to start his speech 90 minutes after the scheduled time, as the EFF, DA and Cope raised numerous points of order, which delayed the proceedings.
The National Assembly Chamber then erupted in violence when EFF members skirmished with security forces. They were subsequently forcibly removed.