With an energy grid still in a desperate position as Eskom struggles to meet demand with its ageing fleet of coal-fired power stations, the procurement of additional and clean forms of power remains one of the top to-do items for the year.
In a search for elusive higher growth rates, conversations in SA have been about what further spending we could squeeze out of an already stretched Treasury or to question the Reserve Bank’s capacity to use monetary policy to stimulate an economy that has failed to breach the 2% growth mark since 2013.
What was a certainty at the start of the Covid-19 crisis last March was that the pandemic would severely test the country’s public sector healthcare infrastructure to degrees that it has never been tested before.
Essential to the creation of this “new” economy is bridging the digital divide.
Economic growth will remain a pipedream if SA continues to be an unequal society, which it will unless effective interventions are implemented, says BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso in a Free Market Foundation discussion.
These are truly extraordinary times; there is nothing that could have prepared us or any other country for Covid-19 and the questions it would pose not only for our health but for our way of life.
We can only brace ourselves for what may emerge in a third wave that many experts are pencilling in for June or July.
To boost economic activity and access to services, SA needs to invest far more in infrastructure — such as transport projects — and ensure the programmes yield value for money in the long term, the authors say.
What a difference a year makes.
We’ve become disillusioned and almost numb to the years of corruption and fruitless expenditure across government departments, feeding into a confidence crisis that has tripped up efforts to propel economic growth, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The growing unease at the lack of progress in the vaccine rollout was somewhat eased by this week’s announcement that Johnson & Johnson will produce 30-million vaccines for the country.
More than a decade has passed since the last infrastructure-led boom in the SA economy, one fuelled by the need to prepare for the Fifa World Cup and to urgently begin expanding our electricity generation capacity.