Mboweni releases economic blueprint, promises stronger growth if reforms are implemented

Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni on Tuesday afternoon released an economic strategy blueprint for South Africa to boost growth and create jobs. 

"This paper is a detailed examination of the structural reforms that can reverse the downward trend in South Africa’s growth potential and competitiveness," said National Treasury in an accompanying statement. 

Treasury said that if the proposals contained in the report "Economic Transformation, Inclusive Growth and Competitiveness: Towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa" are implemented, annual economic growth could be raised by up to 3 percentage points and one million job opportunities created. 

The 77-page report was released on National Treasury's website on Tuesday afternoon. Many of the proposed reforms draw on existing proposals in other documents including the National Development Plan.

The document states that a combination of low growth and rising unemployment means that South Africa’s economic trajectory is unsustainable. 

"The bulk of the interventions are realistically executable in the medium term, and include reforms in the telecommunications, agriculture, services, and transport industries. Short-term interventions are important as they lay a foundation for other reforms, while long-term interventions address competitiveness," the report said.

It deals with six main themes:

  • Modernizing network industries to promote competitiveness and inclusive growth;
  • Lowering barriers to entry and addressing distorted patterns of ownership through increased competition and small business growth;
  • Prioritizing labour-intensive growth: agriculture and services;
  • Implementing focused and flexible industrial and trade policy to promote competitiveness and facilitate long-run growth;
  • Promoting export competitiveness and harnessing regional growth opportunities;
  • Quantifying the impact of proposed growth reforms.

Mboweni has called on members of the public to submit comments on the document by September 15. 

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