BRIEF: SO-NA, So good

In case you missed it, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address last week covered the basics, but didn’t inspire enough confidence.

It’s the same old story: good ideas and goodwill for Ramaphosa, but a faction-riven governing party and bloated cabinet getting in the way. As Business Day’s Carol Paton points out: “What is needed is a single-minded focus on driving growth.”

Paton noted that there HAVE been some interesting successes in the past year thanks to a special delivery unit in the Presidency aimed at unblocking problems. They’ve had success with the scarce skills immigration list, changes to the visa regime, and allowing greater self-generation for independent power producers. But as Paton also points out, Ramaphosa has the backing of organised business and labour and must ask faster before his goodwill runs out.

Other than that, you need to know that social net benefits implemented for the pandemic will be extended, as expected: the R350 Covid relief grant covering the most vulnerable who are not already getting a grant, and the Covid-19 TERS benefit, will be extended until 15 March 2021 for sectors that have not been able to open and operate. Most experts agree this is necessary.

Now we need to see laser focus on growth to sustain that social net.

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 18 February 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.