Union and business representatives have welcomed President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address to Parliament and, while the speech was held by some observers to be uninspiring it contained a lot of detail about the government's plans to boost jobs and invest in infrastructure.
The key facets of the government's current plan are:
- R300bn in capital projects for Transnet. Transnet says its balance sheet is sufficiently strong to finance this investment;
- Expanding the rail network in Mpumalanga and Limpopo to carry coal to power stations or for exports;
- A R83 000 subsidy for home-buyers who do not qualify for bank finance;
- Spending R300m on two new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape;
- The implementation from April this year of a R1bn housing fund to guarantee home loans;
- Phased development of a new manganese line to export the mineral from Port Ngqura (Coega) in Nelson Mandela Bay.
- Negotiations with Eskom to reduce the electricity prices while investing in renewable energy projects
- Five geographically-focused programmes in different provinces to increase mining and agriculture and improve transportation
- No details were released on the planned National Health Insurance but hospitals and nurses homes are being refurbished.
- Land reform targets had not been met with just 8% of land targeted for redistribution changing hands out of a target of 30%.
The projects are aimed at creating millions of jobs in South Africa. For more: