President Cyril Ramaphosa says more CEOs of major companies have come forward to help the government to fight crime, improve electricity supply, revive the rail network infrastructure and other impediments to economic growth.
This comes after 115 CEOs pledged support to government in a bid to revive the ailing economy.
Ramaphosa and members of his Cabinet met with top business leaders to look at the progress made in dealing with all these challenges.
The government has over the last few months set up a number of structures that include the business sector to address problems in energy, rail and rising crime levels,
Ramaphosa set up the National Energy Crisis Committee last year. He set up the National Logistics Crisis Committee a few months ago to deal with the problems in the rail network.
It was reported that only 25% of Transnet’s railway lines were operational. The business sector had urged government to intervene because this was affecting the economy.
Cable theft and vandalism were also having a serious impact on the economy.
Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel said last year it was estimated that cable theft was costing the country more than R40 billion a year.
Illegal mining was also said to be costing the economy billions of rands.
Ramaphosa said the meeting with business was necessary to boost the economy.
“This collaboration is built on the recognition that we need to take bold and urgent action to confront these challenges and place South Africa on a trajectory of growth and job creation. It is built on a shared vision for our country – as a thriving constitutional democracy in which the rule of law is sacrosanct, as a dynamic and fast-growing economy, and as a society in which no person is left behind. We welcome the emphasis on strategic partnerships and focused interventions, which has enabled us to make significant progress in a short space of time.
“After the first year of the implementation of the National Energy Crisis Committee's Energy Action Plan, significant progress has been made on key objectives, including a focused plan to end load shedding, numerous regulatory reforms and streamlining of regulatory approvals as well as implementing key steps to rapidly increase private sector investment in energy,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said business has been providing technical support to Eskom to improve the energy security supply.
Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said recently a number of technical experts had been deployed at power stations that had a low energy availability factor.
The government wants to add more megawatts to the grid.
A number of renewable energy projects are already in the pipeline.
Ramaphosa said the National Logistics Crisis Committee will include Transnet and business to deal with problems on the rail network.
The presidency said they have also set up the Joint Initiative against Crime and Corruption, which will comprise law enforcement agencies and business.
A number of projects will be established to boost the National Prosecuting Authority and SAPS to crack down on crime and corruption and improve detection.
“The progress that is being made has led to over 115 leading CEOs already signing a pledge to support the country and assist in realising its vast potential, and ultimately enable increased investment, growth and employment. More CEOs and their companies are committing every day,” said Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.