Economic recovery plan should have said more about implementation and timelines

Belinda Bantham -- Fri, 10/16/2020 - 11:45

Economic recovery plan should have said more about implementation and timelines

While there are positive features to the latest economic reconstruction and recovery plan, it needed to say much more about implementation processes and timelines, says North-West University (NWU) Business School economist, Prof Raymond Parsons.

“The fact that the long-awaited economic reconstruction and recovery plan announced on 15 October by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament is intended to again reflect the broad goals of the National Development Plan as an overall guide is welcome.”

Prof Parsons says there were some positive features to the key four-point plan outlined by the president to address South Africa’s huge post-Covid-19 socioeconomic challenges.

“There was recognition by Ramaphosa of the urgency required in addressing the economic crisis, the imperative need to promote job-rich growth, to steadily narrow down the priorities to make them more manageable, and to build business confidence in the period ahead.”

Prof Parsons says it is not a bold reform plan and there was insufficient emphasis on implementation and deliverables. “Given the previous failures in delivery and the extraordinary economic times in which South Africa finds itself, President Ramaphosa should have had much more to say about how policies and projects are to be handled differently and to guarantee accountability, with the biggest risk still being the tremendous problems with state capacity.”

He says the plan’s ultimate impact on South Africa’s economic performance also depends on how the medium term budget policy statement on 28 October will finance South Africa’s ability to break out of its low-growth trap without falling into a debt trap.