JOHANNESBURG  – President Cyril Ramaphosa correctly prioritised efforts to revitalise the economy in his state of the country on Thursday, the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) has said.

Agbiz also applauded the focus of Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament on strengthening education and skills development, restructuring and optimising service delivery by state-owned institutions and rooting out corruption and state capture. 

"Building on his new approach adopted in the 2018 SONA of instilling a changed vision of hope, unity, service and prosperity, the president has already put in place action plans to address the daunting challenges that confront South Africa and its people," Agbiz said.

The outcomes of last year's summits on jobs and investment to address policy uncertainty and inconsistency and remove barriers to investment were critical, Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase said.

He applauded Ramaphosa's singling out of the agriculture sector for special development support as a labour-intensive industry.

“Various other cross-cutting matters and recommendations regarding water and state-owned enterprises, especially the restructuring of (power utility) Eskom, are welcomed," Purchase added.

"No economy can function without a secure and affordable supply of electricity."

SAWEA CEO Brenda Martin said plans announced by Ramaphosa to split Eskom into three separate "generation", "transmission" and "distribution"  entities as a vital step towards procuring smarter, cleaner and more affordable energy for the country were a welcome move.

She said this would pave the way for the procurement of new renewable energy underpinned by policy certainty.

"This is a welcome change from stop-start procurement over the past three years, which has inhibited investment, jobs and growth in the sector,” said Martin.

African News Agency (ANA)