Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the government has taken measures to reduce the red tape involved in doing business with the state.
Delivering the keynote address at the 22nd National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) today at Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park, Ramaphosa said the state had noted the difficulty investors had when trying to invest in the country’s economy and would be lessening the burden.
“As government, we have taken measures to reduce the regulatory burdens of investing in the country and improve the ease of doing business.
“We are, for example, implementing a lower ports tariff strategy with a view to grow the oceans economy. Through Operation Phakisa, we have thus far facilitated an estimated R24.6 billion in investment in the oceans economy, with government contributing R15 billion of this amount. The department of trade and industry is currently providing incentive support of R428.9 million for various investment projects in ports, marine manufacturing and aquaculture,” Ramaphosa said.
“Significant progress has been made to leverage ICT, energy and transport infrastructure programmes to promote manufacturing and localisation.”
Ramaphosa also said the social partners at Nedlac needed to take a stand to end corruption and punish culprits.
“Unless we tackle corruption, patronage and state capture now, we will not be able to radically transform our economy, stimulate growth and create jobs. This is the time when we must take a stand as business, government, labour and community to end wrongdoing, punish those responsible and recover stolen resources. The dividends of confidence and growth must be earned through our investment in ethical renewal across the public and private sectors and in the conduct of every individual South African,” he said, adding that social partners had a duty to demand openness and transparency in order to deepen democracy.
Earlier during the day-long summit, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) secretary-general Bheki Ntshalintshali said the country had spun out of control, especially in parastatals, not because of lack of regulations and laws but because of appointments and lack of action from law enforcement authorities.
“We [Cosatu] think crime does pay in our country. There are people who are displaying how they get rich without [being afraid] to do those things, clearly displaying arrogance about doing corrupt business, of course this is based on greed. There is a shortage of skill but that is not the real cause of corruption. The corruption raised by the Auditor-General office is not about people don’t know what they are doing is wrong, the waste and fruitless expenditure. It just clearly demonstrates that we all have to stand up and say crime does not pay,” Ntshalintshali said.