From job creation to vaccine rollouts — five important takeaways from Cyril Ramaphosa's budget vote
R11bn has been set aside to extend the presidential employment stimulus package to promote youth employment and alleviate poverty.
This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the delivery of his presidency budget vote on Wednesday. He said more than 700,000 youth have benefited from the stimulus with more than 400,000 jobs created or retained.
The package was introduced last October to protect existing jobs and create employment.
Here are five important takeouts from the budget vote:
Real affect on real people
Ramaphosa said the employment stimulus package has had a positive affect on the lives of young people who are now able to support their families.
“We speak of owners of early childhood development centres across the country who are receiving grants to keep their doors open and pay their staff. Small scale farmers have been issued production input vouchers to keep their businesses afloat or even to expand them.”
Ramaphosa said the government is making progress with land reform. He said the government will do everything in its power to address the need for land for the dispossessed.
“The interministerial committee on land reform, which is headed by the deputy president, is driving the recommendations of the expert advisory panel which has reported on land reform and agriculture. We commend the hard work that has been under way in the National Assembly and through public hearings across the country on amendments to section 25 of the constitution to enable the expropriation of land without compensation”.
Turning the tide on corruption
Ramaphosa said the government is strengthening its law enforcement agencies to enable them to deal with corruption. He said the ongoing investigations on Covid-19 related corruption charges demonstrate this.
“South Africans are seeing action being taken against people accused of wrongdoing and we are seeing funds being recovered. While it is disheartening to read about corruption every day, it is significant that much of what is now in the public domain is the result of work being done by institutions like the SIU, the Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority, the auditor-general and others.”
Vaccine rollout is in full swing
Ramaphosa said the vaccine rollout programme is going well, despite initial challenges and delays.
“Despite the several challenges that have delayed the vaccine rollout, and there have been many, the public vaccination drive is now gathering pace. Within the past 48 hours, we passed a significant milestone. More than 1 million people in SA have now received the vaccine dose.”
Ramaphosa said the economic support measures introduced by the government at the start of the pandemic helped prevent severe damage to the economy.
“Additional social grant payments alone reached more than 18 million South Africans while wage support protected the jobs of almost 5 million workers.”