President Cyril Ramaphosa. File Image: IOL

PRETORIA – President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday that the government would re-direct resources towards addressing priority areas including health and education as part of stimulus plans to reignite sluggish economic growth.

"To address some of the shortages in our hospitals, funding is being made available immediately to buy beds and linen, while the Minister of Health and the National Health Council will immediately fill 2 200 critical medical posts, including nurses and interns," Ramaphosa said.

"Additional funds will be directed to addressing the dire state of sanitation facilities in many public schools, ensuring the completion of 1 100 sanitation projects in the current financial year."

Ramaphosa said the R50 billion stimulus plan consisted of a range of measures, both financial and non-financial, to be implemented immediately in a bid to ignite economic activity and restore investor confidence. 

He said the package had four broad parts, including the implementation of growth enhancing economic reforms, reprioritisation of public spending to support job creation, the establishment of an infrastructure fund, and addressing urgent matters in education and health. 

"In total, the plan will result in reprioritised expenditure and new project level funding of around R50bn. The minister of finance will provide more detail about the final amounts involved and the specific areas affected during the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (next month)," said Ramaphosa.

He said the government would establish an infrastructure fund and municipal infrastructure improvement package in a bid to boost confidence in sectors affected by regulatory uncertainty and inconsistency. 

"We are decisively accelerating the implementation of key economic reforms. We have taken decisive steps to rebuild investor confidence, end corruption and state capture, restore good governance at state-owned enterprises and strengthen critical public institutions," Ramaphosa said. 

"The measures we are announcing give priority to those areas of economic activity that will have the greatest impact on youth, women and small businesses." 

President Ramaphosa’s unveiling of the stimulus package will be followed by a jobs summit and international investment conference next month. 

– African News Agency (ANA)