Presidency Reflects on the State of South Africa's Economy
President Cyril Ramaphosa, chaired the meeting of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) on 11 January 2023. This was the first meeting of the PEAC for the year where the country's economic prospects and advancements were discussed.
Within the meeting, the President reflected on the impact on social and economic issues globally on the IMF’s ‘darkening outlook’ for the global economy in 2023, including COVID-19, natural disasters and conflict.
Despite the issues experienced in South Africa last year, there were encouraging signs of recovery shown in the increase of economic activity during the third quarter of 2022.
Within the sectors of agriculture, finance, insurance, real estate and business, promising activity has allowed for the expansion of the real GDP by 1.6 percent.
Also addressed at the meeting were some recovery drivers that ought to be sustained in 2023 onward, which include:
• The creation of 1.5 million jobs over the past year, and the 10.4 percent increase in the total employment.
• The Presidential Employment Stimulus, reached over one million participants.
• The Just Energy Transition Investment Plan that will pave the way for additional investments into renewable based energy infrastructure.
National Energy Plan update
"President Ramaphosa deeply regrets the current energy situation which has placed the country into stage 6 load shedding. The President acknowledges the frustration of households, parents and learners who have commenced the school calendar year facing power shortages. The devastation to small businesses and the adverse impact to the economy remains severe for South Africa’s recovering economy," said the Presidency.
Issues of sabotage and theft are still at the top of the agenda with matters that ought to be addressed at Eskom.
According to the Presidency, "NATJOINTS is coordinating the work of multiple agencies to address sabotage, theft and fraud at Eskom. Some arrests have been made, with progress driven by increased deployment of private security by Eskom" .
Despite the energy crisis South Africa finds itself in, the National Energy Crisis Committee work streams have made progress in the following:
• The removal of the licensing threshold through amendment to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulatory Act.
• Eskom has identified up to 1000 MW of additional power to be imported from Mozambique and other countries in the SADC region, in addition to the 300 MW already secured through the Southern African Power Pool.
• Significant potential capacity has already been identified for the standard offer and emergency generation programme (potential of 1600 MW) developed by Eskom, which will be implemented as a matter of urgency by the utility.
To read the full statement issued by The Presidency of South Africa, visit www.thepresidency.gov.za