Government, private sector partnership yields positive results

Over the last nine months, the partnership between government and business has made significant strides in addressing the electricity supply crisis, the severe challenges in freight rail and port operations, and crime and corruption.

‘Since the partnership began, the private sector has contributed more than R170 million of direct support and has mobilised over 350 technical experts. More than 130 CEOs of the country’s leading companies have pledged their support,’ President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday in his weekly newsletter.

The partnership was established in June last year to tackle challenges that were an obstacle to faster growth and job creation.

‘Since November 2023, load shedding is 61% lower than the same period a year ago. Among other things, this has been made possible by the return of units at Kusile power station and the impact of new generation capacity from rooftop solar and private sector investment.

‘Under the leadership of its new Group CEO, Eskom is finalising an agreement with busin
ess to deploy additional independent skilled experts to support Eskom.

‘Business is supporting a number of the workstreams of the National Logistics Crisis Committee (NLCC), providing technical, security and operational expertise to Transnet’s efforts to improve the performance of ports and freight rail,’ the President said.

With all stakeholders working together, Transnet has achieved a 45% reduction in vessels anchored outside the Port of Durban and a 36% reduction in the waiting time to anchor for container vessels.

‘A major success has been the provision of security by business on the rail network, which has resulted in a 65% reduction in criminal incidents on the Northern Corridor, reducing the number of trains cancelled. Work is currently underway to ramp up the deployment of South African Police Service (SAPS) resources to secure network infrastructure in the longer term.

‘Steady progress has been made in the crime and corruption focal area. Through the Joint Initiative on Crime and Corruption (JIC
C), the private sector is providing business information and resources to assist with the fight against infrastructure crime,’ the President said.

Support has also been provided to modernise the 10111 helpline, with a pilot project initiated at the main call centre in Midrand, and the establishment with the Hawks of a forensics analysis centre.

‘Building on this progress, government and business are now focused on actions that will make a considerable and lasting difference over the course of the next few months.

‘Among other things, we are working to increase electricity generation capacity from different sources by up to 10 600 MW, which will enable a significant reduction in the severity of load shedding by the end of this year.

‘This includes improved Eskom plant performance, additional private investment in rooftop solar and large-scale power projects, and connecting projects from previous renewable energy bid windows to the grid,’ the President said.

Following the recent appointment of permanent ex
ecutive leadership, Transnet is focused on rebuilding internal capacity and drawing on private sector technical resources to restore the operational performance of strategic rail corridors.

‘An important part of the work to tackle crime and corruption will be the passage of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Amendment Bill, which will strengthen the independence and investigating capacity of the NPA.

‘It will also enable the establishment of additional infrastructure to support the Investigating Directorate as a permanent entity, including a dedicated forensics laboratory. A key focus of the partnership is to secure South Africa’s removal from the Financial Action Task Force grey list by at least June 2025,’ Ramaphosa said.

While this partnership between government and business has been focused on specific immediate actions, the President said the broader work to grow the economy and create jobs draws on the contributions and capabilities of all social partners and stakeholders.

‘As we work to rebu
ild our economy, we will strive to deepen these partnerships and to reach out to all South Africans to be involved in these efforts. By broadening the involvement of all social partners in this work, we will continue to build durable social compacts that make a real difference in people’s lives.

‘We have long believed that it is only by working together that we can make progress. The partnership between government and business has shown what is possible when we are focused and committed towards the achievement of a common goal,’ the President said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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