Sona update: Economic growth is likely to increase, says Zuma

Jacob Zuma says economic growth is likely to increase to at least three percent over the next three years.

President Jacob Zuma at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria on 11 August 2015. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma says economic growth is likely to increase to at least three percent over the next three years as electricity constraints ease.

Zuma is giving feedback at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria on the promises he made during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) in February.

The president says the 1,5 percent growth rate attained last year was a far cry from the national development plan's expected five-percent growth.

"Economic growth is likely to increase to at least three percent over the next three years because we expect electricity constraints, which is our major obstacle, to ease."

Zuma says renewable energy projects will come online in the next few years.

"Within the next two and a half years the 92 projects of renewable energy programme will bring 6,327 megawatts to the grid."

The president says the South African economy continues to struggle to regain its pre-financial crisis growth.

"Government support has improved motor vehicle unit production by about 100 percent since 2000."

He says mining remains the backbone of the economy and threats of job losses were a serious concern.

Zuma also touched on the electricity issue, saying that since the adoption of a plan in 2014, substantial progress has been made with the electricity challenge.

ZUMA ANNOUNCES NEW COMMITTEE ON VISA LAWS

The president has at the same time announced the creation of a committee to investigate the impact of the new visa requirements on the economy.

The tourism sector has blamed the new policy requiring parents travelling with children to have unabridged birth certificates for the decline in tourists visiting South Africa.

Zuma says government will identify bottlenecks as well as remove administrative barriers and regulatory inefficiencies.

Meanwhile, the president says government has implemented programmes to prevent another flare-up of violence against immigrants, as seen in April this year.

Zuma adds that government is also concerned by the rate at which police officers are being killed and says government will act with urgency to address this.