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Presidency and National Treasury release progress report outlining advances in economic reform through Operation Vulindlela

Presidency and National Treasury release progress report outlining advances in economic reform through Operation Vulindlela

The Presidency and National Treasury have on Monday, 11 December 2023, released a progress report for Q3/Q4 2023 on the implementation of economic reforms through Operation Vulindlela.

This quarterly report marks the three-year anniversary of Operation Vulindlela, which was initiated by President Ramaphosa in 2020 as part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

Operation Vulindlela is focused on accelerating the implementation of structural reforms which have been identified for their impact on economic growth and job creation.

In the three years since OV was established, government has made significant progress in implementing wide-reaching reforms across key network industries.

In the energy sector, regulatory changes have resulted in a massive increase in private investment in electricity generation, with a pipeline of more than 12 000 MW of confirmed projects in development. These projects will result in over R220 billion of new investment once implemented.

In the logistics sector, the Freight Logistics Roadmap, which has been approved by Cabinet, outlines a sequenced set of actions for reform of the logistics system to enable greater competition and efficiency. Significant progress has been made in the introduction of private sector participation in container terminals and in the implementation of open access to the freight rail network.

In the telecommunications sector, ending a more than ten-year delay in the auction of high-demand spectrum, completing the switch-off of analogue signal for frequencies above 694 Megahertz (MHz) and facilitating the rollout of digital telecommunications infrastructure through the streamlining of regulations has enabled substantial new investment in the telecommunications sector and an improvement in the quality of mobile internet, alongside reduced data costs.

In the water sector, the backlog of water use licenses has been cleared and the license application system re-engineered. Over 70% of WULs are now processed within 90 days (from a starting point of over 300 days) which has unlocked billions of Rands in investment. At full implementation of the turn-around strategy, the WULA system is expected to unlock R43 billion to GDP per year for the next 5 years.

Finally, on visa reforms, 20 more countries have been added to the eVisa system, bringing the total number of countries in which the system is available to 34. The eVisa platform has been enhanced with system changes to improve the user experience and additional adjudicators have been employed to expedite the application process. SA is currently in negotiations with 12 countries to extend its visa waiver programme, which currently waives visas for visitors from 135 countries.

While the economy continues to face complex and deep-rooted challenges, including an electricity shortfall and an underperforming freight logistics system, the economic reforms underway through Operation Vulindlela provide a clear path to higher levels of growth.

While the impact of these reforms may not be immediate, it will be significant.Reforms in the energy sector will bring an end to load shedding through massive investment in new energy generation capacity.

Similarly, the reforms that are underway in the logistics system will restore our ports and rail infrastructure to world-class standards. This report demonstrates that government is fully committed to staying the course on the reform agenda, and removing the constraints on growth.

The full report can be downloaded athttps://www.stateofthenation.gov.za/operation-vulindlela. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Presidency: Republic of South Africa.
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