President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President David Mabuza, Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Directors- General and Senior Government officials convene at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House for the Extended Cabinet Meeting (Lekgotla) taking place from Thursday. Photo: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday urged the government to prioritise actions that accelerate inclusive economic growth and has called for a public service that is more responsive and delivers services of quality to citizens.

The President issued this call to Cabinet as he opened the final Cabinet Lekgotla of the current administration in Pretoria on Thursday. The Lekgotla, which the President is co-chairing with Deputy President David Mabuza, is an extended Cabinet meeting in which Deputy Ministers and Directors-General participate.

The Lekgotla is a critical component for the preparation of the last State of the Nation Address for the fifth and current Parliament, which the President will deliver to a joint sitting of Parliament on February 7.

President Ramaphosa called for the creation of an economy that will create opportunities for women, young people and millions of unemployed South Africans who should be productive participants in the economy.

The President said that at a time when the global economic outlook was gloomy, South Africa presented significant opportunity which, if squandered, would perpetuate low growth, unemployment and severe inequality.

President Ramaphosa called for the strengthening of the capacity of the state and the entrenchment of clean governance.

He said the public service should, as agents of change and agents for building a better society, be more responsive and deliver quality services to the nation.

The President reiterated government’s prioritisation of education and health and said the education system should enable learners to take advantage of opportunities in digital transformation.

The President identified the disastrous effects of substance abuse and gangsterism on communities and the negative impact of crime on the economy as challenges on which government should work more closely with communities and civil society, including religious leaders, to achieve meaningful impact.

Turning to international relations and co-operation, President Ramaphosa committed that government would work through regional, continental and multilateral forums to bring about a more just and humane world.

On Friday, President Ramaphosa and Deputy President Mabuza will co-chair a session of the President’s Co-ordinating Council, in which Cabinet will be joined by Premiers, members of provincial executive councils (MECs) and the leadership of the South African Local Government Association.

These deliberations will ensure that the outlook and programme of action adopted by the Cabinet Lekgotla is internalised and implemented across all spheres of government.