SHARPEN FOCUS ON IMPLEMENTATION & GREEN ECONOMY JOBS

15 September 2019

STATEMENT BY BRETT HERRON, GOOD SECRETARY-GENERAL

GOOD Movement submits formal response with recommendations…

ECONOMIC STRATEGY PROPOSALS MOSTLY GOOD; MUST SHARPEN FOCUS ON IMPLEMENTATION & GREEN ECONOMY JOBS

Last month, Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni, released a proposed strategy to add 2.3% to South Africa’s economic growth trajectory.  He shared the strategy with the public calling for comment by today.

The GOOD movement has included a series of pragmatic and constructive suggestions to fix South Africa in its formal response to the National Treasury Report, “Economic transformation, inclusive growth, and competitiveness: Towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa”.

The proposed economic strategy closely accords with the GOOD plan to fix South Africa through advancing economic, spatial, social and environmental justice, and therefore has GOOD’s broad support.

However, the GOOD submission raises a flag that the economic strategy does not deal specifically with poverty and inequality. The strategy appears to assume that GDP growth will address inequality. Rising inequality, despite growth, across the world demonstrates that this is not true.

“Implementation” is a central theme of the GOOD submission. The title of the National Treasury document raises questions as to whether this is a plan of action or the beginning of a new economic strategy.  We hope it is the former, since it is clear that what has been missing for many years is actual implementation and a sense of urgency,

Many of the proposals have previously been identified, in older documents and plans, but there has been a failure to implement them. This can be seen in the many references to proposals made by the National Planning Commission in 2012.  Seven years later, and the strategic interventions are still being presented as building blocks towards enhanced moderate growth. The lack of action since 2012 has resulted in rising unemployment and South Africans becoming increasingly poorer.

We welcome the recognition of the adverse impact of the apartheid spatial legacy on economic growth.  Spatial justice is inextricably linked to economic, social and environmental progress.

In addition to critical policy reform in the medium to long term, South Africa also needs to figure out what we can do to stimulate the economy and enable growth immediately, with the resources and funds we presently have available.

The GOOD submission makes a number of practical proposals, including:

 

  • De-monopolising electricity supply and allowing households and firms to sell excess electricity they generate;

  • Stimulating inward growth in towns and cities through releasing public land for mixed income housing developments;

  • Increasing spending on clearing invasive alien vegetation to create both water security and thousands of rural jobs immeadiately.

  • Integrating energy and water supply with immediate opportunities to create green economy jobs and cheaper and more sustainable supply.

The full report with broad spectrum recommendations can be read here

Ends…

 

Media enquiries: Brett Herron, GOOD Secretary-General, bretth@forgood.org.za / 082-5183264

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