Budget claims progress with confidence-boosting measures

2018-02-21 15:17 - Jaco Leuvennink
sa economy,sa businesses
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Cape Town - The National Budget states that progress has been made in steps announced in July 2017 by Cabinet to restore the sustainability of fiscal policy, promote transformation by implementing sector reforms, manage risks associated with state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and create policy certainty to boost economic growth.

Progress is listed in the following:

  • A new board and acting chief executive officer have been appointed at Eskom.
  • The minister of energy has instructed Eskom to conclude all power-purchase agreements with independent power producers.
  • The Budget Facility on Infrastructure received 64 large infrastructure project submissions. Of these, 38 projects that met submission requirements were assessed.
  • Government is working to ensure that the public-service wage agreement does not disrupt compensation ceilings.
  • A Public Procurement Bill will be presented to Cabinet in 2018.
  • The Financial Sector Regulation Act, signed into law in August 2017, aligns South Africa with global best practice. It creates prudential and market conduct authorities and gives the South African Reserve Bank a financial stability mandate.
  • The Financial Sector Codes have been gazetted. The National Economic Development and Labour Council plans a financial sector summit in April 2018.
  • The Insurance Act, signed into law in November 2017, strengthens the insurance market through higher prudential standards, makes the industry more accessible to new entrants and aligns the sector with international standards.
  • Work has been completed on a fund to benefit small and medium enterprises, with a particular focus on start-ups.
  • Government granted South African Airways R10bn to settle its short-term debt obligations. A new board, chief executive officer and restructuring officer have been appointed. A turnaround strategy is being implemented.
  • Cabinet has approved a private sector participation framework for SOEs.
  • The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has completed a study on spectrum availability and open access.
  • The Competition Commission’s market inquiry to investigate data prices will be completed by end-August 2018.
  • Draft legislation is being prepared to allow Postbank to apply for a banking licence. The National Treasury, the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services have met the banking registrar to discuss a Postbank.