South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says Mining will bring new dawn for SA. He is addressing South Africans in his first State of the Nation address, only a day after being elected Head of State.
The former Deputy President (who was elected ANC President in December 2017), outlined plans for the creation of a million work opportunities in the next three years.
He said young people would be able to engage with leaders at the highest level in a youth working group created to challenge youth unemployment.
Ramaphosa said infrastructure investment was of key importance – and he would set up a team to speed up and implement infrastructure development.
Ramaphosa said the aim is to focus integration of all projects with business and organised labour. He pointed out that mining should be seen as a “sunrise” industry – that needed to be revitalised.
“Government was determined to work with all roleplayers to attract new investors and set the industry on a new path focussed on job creation and sustainability,” said.
Ramaphosa says Public employment programmes have provided more than 3.2million work opportunities, but steps must also be taken to reduce costs of living. While more than 17 million social grants are paid each month, benefiting nearly a third of our population, high levels of unemployment , poverty and inequality still prevail.
Ramaphosa says government will convene a job summit to align efforts around job creation.
But, he says there have been positive developments in the past 10 years. Nearly 1 million children are now participating in early childhood development programmes, and the matric pass rate stands at over 75% – from 60% in 2009 with more than a million students enrolled in higher education.
Ramaphosa says South Africa must build on these achievements, especially as we have already seen moderate recovery in our economy. In addition he said, it was important to address concerns around political instability, and committed that there will be both policy certainty and consistency.
The task for South Africans he said is to “seize this moment of hope and renewal…..”