President Cyril Ramaphosa is presenting government’s coronavirus economic recovery plan to a joint sitting of Parliament.
FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS
CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa said that despite the lower rate of coronavirus infections in the country, it was too soon declare victory in the fight against COVID-19.
Speaking in Parliament where he was presenting the country’s economic recovery plan, the president said that rather than a further easing of the current coronavirus protocols in place, South Africa needed to intensify its measures to reduce cases to less than 1,000 a day. He said that the virus would remain part of our lives for some time to come.
The president said that the World Health Organization had warned that South Africa was entering a new phase in the fight against the virus and that it required heightened measures to prevent a resurgence as seen in the rest of the world.
WATCH: Ramaphosa presents COVID-19 economic recovery plan
JOBS KEY TO RECOVERY
Ramaphosa has acknowledged that extraordinary measures needed to be taken to restore the economy to inclusive growth following the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking in Parliament where he was presenting the country’s economic recovery plan, Ramaphosa said that the plan had clear objectives that included the creation of jobs, acceleration of economic reforms, fighting crime and corruption and improving the capability of the state.
The president said that job creation was at the centre of the reconstruction and economic recovery plan and would be achieved through aggressive infrastructure, investment and mass employment programmes.
“We must get our people back into the jobs they lost in the pandemic,” the president said.
Ramaphosa said that one of the interventions outlined in the plan would see the creation and support of over 800,000 work opportunities in the immediate term to respond to job losses.
Another intervention would attempt to reverse the decline of the local manufacturing sector and promote reindustrialisation through deeper levels of localisation and exports.
Ramaphosa said that large-scale job interventions driven by the state and social partners had proven effective in many countries that had faced devastation from wars and other crises.