Zuma focuses on economy in October

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - OCTOBER 5, 2014

President Jacob Zuma will this month, October 2014, take forward government’s commitment to prioritise the economy and local government, according to the Presidency.

"A number of key meetings and events will take place this month to take these commitments forward," it said in a statement.

On Tuesday, 7 October, the President will hand over the operator permit for the Dube Trade Port Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), at the King Shaka airport precinct in Durban, to the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Senzo Mchunu. Last year the President launched the Saldanha IDZ in the Western Cape. The IDZs are intended to promote industrialisation and create awareness about the Special Economic Zones programme and its potential to grow the economy and create jobs through creating a conducive environment for foreign direct investment.

"The Saldanha IDZ, though new and not fully developed, has already attracted interest of 19 potential investors who are keen to locate there, thus demonstrating the potential of the IDZs," the Presidency said.  

On the 8th of October, the President will take forward work done during the launch of the Back to Basics campaign at the Presidential Local Government Summit which took place on 18 September.

"He has convened a meeting of the President’s Coordinating Committee, (PCC), the statutory body that brings together national government, Premiers and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) association. On the agenda of the meeting, which will take place at the Union Buildings, is the strengthening of local government to improve service delivery and promote economic growth and development at a local level," it said.

On the 9th of October, the President will host a meeting of the Mining Sector National Consultative Forum in Pretoria. He had announced in the SONA that he would now lead the government-labour-mining sector interface, and that the revitalisation and rebuilding of distressed mining towns and communities would be a priority during this term of government.

In August, the President launched the delivery programme Operation Phakisa. The first phase of Operation Phakisa focused on unlocking the potential of the country’s ocean economy. Teams from government, business, labour and academia have been working together in Durban since 8 August exploring the potential of the country’s oceans to boost economic growth and job creation.

On October 15, the President will release the findings of the exploration at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

In the SONA, the President had announced that he would convene the Presidential Business Working Group to discuss joint action for economic growth. The Working Group will meet on the 24th of October at in Pretoria. Teams from business and government have been working since last year and will use the 24th to provide a report back to the principals in government and business.

"The President will later this month also interact with business associations such as the South African Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the South Africa-Turkish Business Association," the Presidency said.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa recently convened the Joint/NEDLAC Working Group which brings together business, labour, community and government, also discussing matters aimed at improving collaboration and taking the goal of promoting inclusive economic growth forward. The President announced in the SONA that the Deputy President would lead the interface between government, business and labour on various issues.

On Friday the 3rd of October, President Zuma launched Phase 3 of the Expanded Public Works Programme, in Keiskammahoek in the Eastern Cape. The President had announced in the June 2014 SONA that the EPWP would create six million work opportunities between now and 2019.

Photo caption: SPECIAL FOCUS... President Jacob Zuma expected to give special attention to the economy in October.