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ANC: We need to mobilise society around an infrastructure-led recovery

The ANC’s economic transformation committee has released a document on building a new inclusive economy. This follows a similar publication issued by Business for South Africa on Friday, proposing an economic recovery plan which requires R3.4 trillion in funding over the next three years.

The Sandton CBD in Johannesburg. Picture: Aki Anastasiou/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As the country’s already fragile economy buckles under the COVID-19 pressure, the African National Congress (ANC)’s economic transformation committee has released a document on building a new inclusive economy.

This followed a similar publication issued by Business for South Africa on Friday, proposing an economic recovery plan which requires R3.4 trillion in funding over the next three years.

The ANC’s document titled 'Reconstruction, growth and transformation', supports recent utterances by President Cyril Ramaphosa and government leaders that post the COVID-19 pandemic, the country should emerge with a new inclusive economy.

In the document, the party said its first pillar of the new policy framework was to mobilise society around an infrastructure-led recovery with new investments in energy, water, sanitation, roads and bridges, among others.

The reliance on infrastructure is meant to create jobs, with emphasis on localisation and public-private partnerships to mobilise funds.

The thinking is similar to the announcements made by Ramaphosa recently when he hosted the infrastructure summit where government agreed to prioritise the sector as part of its economic revival mission.

It also suggests that the country needs to deploy a macro-economic policy as it works towards restoring its fiscal sustainability.

Meanwhile, Business for South Africa, which is made up of the majority of businesses in the country, with partnerships with existing organisations, has warned that public sector debt could increase from R4 trillion to more than R6.4 trillion over the next three years, with reassurances that the private sector can fund development and operate economic infrastructure to reduce the strain on the fiscus and state-owned companies.

As organised business, Business for South Africa collaborates with government to use business resources and capacity to support public sector initiatives.

"We have mobilised volunteer resources from across South African business bodies and organisations, member companies large and small, professional services firms as well as communication specialists, to form focused working groups that are driving a coordinated and proactive programme.

"Our primary goal is to update the country’s business community and other stakeholders on progress made across the various working groups, challenges faced, calls to action, business resources to assist in these profoundly challenging times, and links to other important information from government and other role-players," the group states on its website.

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