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Ramaphosa's ambitious 7-pronged plan for SA

What exactly does the president have in store for South Africans? EWN summarises the president’s 7 big promises from his State of the Nation Address.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – From lower data costs to more than 100,000 jobs, President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined seven priorities for the new administration when he delivered his State of the Nation Address on Thursday night.

So, what exactly does the president have in store for South Africans? While it's not clear how exactly Ramaphosa's government will deliver on his 7 big promises, EWN has summarised what voters can look out for.

1. ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION AND JOB CREATION

• Ramaphosa announced that the private sector had committed to invest R840 billion in 43 projects over 19 sectors. This would create at least 155,000 jobs in the next five years.

• On jobs for young people, the president said government would implement a comprehensive plan – driven and coordinated from the Presidency – to create no fewer than two million new jobs for young people within the next decade.

• Ramaphosa also said government would provide employment through the Expanded Public Works Programme, especially in labour-intensive areas like maintenance, clearing vegetation, plugging water leaks and constructing roads.

• Government would also ensure that young people were employed in social economy jobs, such as early childhood development and health care. Ramaphosa said they’d take on 50,000 young people a year.

• For youth in rural areas, government would support tech-enabled platforms for self-employed youth.

2. EDUCATION, SKILLS AND HEALTH

• Every 10-year-old will be able to read for meaning, as the president promised better educational outcomes. Through initiatives like the National Reading Coalition, government aimed to improve reading among children.

• Government promised to implement the Early Grade Reading Programme, which consists of an integrated package of lesson plans, additional reading materials and professional support to foundation phase teachers.

• In addition, foundation and intermediate phase teachers will be trained to teach reading in English and the African languages.

• The president vowed to lower data costs to allow for skills development among young people.

• On healthcare, the president said government would roll-out the National Health Insurance with advances in e-health, robotics and remote medicine.

• The president said government would finalise a Presidential Health Summit Compact, to address the crisis in South African clinics and hospitals.

READ: President Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address

3. MINIMUM WAGE & BASIC SERVICES

• Services can only be delivered with money. This is why the president has vowed that public money stolen will be returned and used to deliver services and much-needed basic infrastructure to the poorest communities.

• Ramaphosa further said government would take a district-based approach – focusing on the 44 districts and 8 metros – to speed up service delivery, ensuring that municipalities are properly supported and adequately resourced.

• The president also provided a date for the report from the National Minimum Wage Commission, which is expected to conclude research on the impact of the minimum wage on employment, poverty, inequality and wage differentials by the end of September 2019.

• Government would decrease the cost of living by strengthening the social wage through reliable and quality basic services.

4. SPATIAL INTEGRATION, LAND & HOUSING

• Ramaphosa said South Africans still needed land to build homes and earn livelihoods. In the next five years (by 2024), government would increase the provision of well-located housing and land to poor South Africans.

• Government promised to release public land that was suitable for smart, urban settlements and for farming.

5. SAFER COMMUNITIES & CRIME

• Ramaphosa shocked many when he said violent crime would be least halved over the next decade. So, how does government plan to do this?

• The number of policewomen and men would be increased and a more active role would be created for citizens through effective community policing forums. Currently, there are over 5,000 students registered for basic training in the police training colleges and government envisaged that this number would be increased to 7,000 per cycle over the next two intakes.

• The president promised to improve success rates in investigating and prosecuting crimes, and to ensure better training and professionalisation throughout the criminal justice system.

• On gang violence, Ramaphosa said they would fight against drug syndicates through the implementation of the National Anti-Gang Strategy and the revised National Drug Master Plan.

6. STATE CAPTURE

• The president said government would work towards an ethical state, and would not tolerate corruption, patronage, rent-seeking and plundering of public money. To do this, Ramaphosa vowed to strengthen the NPA, SIU, Sars and State Security Agency.

• Ramaphosa said the new SIU Special Tribunal would start its work within the next few months to fast-track civil claims arising from SIU investigations, which are currently estimated to be around R14.7 billion.

• The president also said government only wanted corps of skilled and professional public servants of the highest moral standards, dedicated to the public’s interest.

7. AFRICA & THE WORLD

• In order to integrate South Africa’s economy with other countries around the world, government committed to promoting all South African products and services to the rest of the African continent and the world. Ramaphosa set the example by wearing a suit, shirt and the tie from the House of Monatic in Salt River in Cape Town.

• Within the next year, government also said it would conclude agreements with retailers to stock more South African goods on their shelves.

• Within SADC, government said it would prioritise development of key sectors such as energy, mining and mineral beneficiation, manufacturing, infrastructure and agri-processing.

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