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South Africa

South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Monday he remains optimistic that the country’s National Development Plan (NDP) will assist the economic growth rate to gradually rise from the current projected two percent to about three percent by 2017/18.
south africa flag “We will continue to invest heavily in the public sector infrastructure program that has already begun to lift constraint to growth. We also want to reduce energy consumption and promote energy efficiency, Nene said at a media briefing in Johannesburg.
Economic prospects for South Africa remain positive despite tough economic times ahead, he noted.
“We expect the economy to grow by two percent in 2015 with a gradual improvement in 2017/18 reaching about three percent.
“While we anticipate moderate economic growth in our economy and an improvement in the outlook over the next several years, we recognize that part of the growth challenges are largely due to domestic structural constraints,” Nene said.
He said the government is already implementing a number of measures to ensure that the country’s economy remain in a healthy state. The measures include setting a ceiling for government expenditure
Nene said the government has recognized that the economic growth path needs to be restored. According to Nene, the government’s plan for faster economic growth over the years ahead encompasses a number of initiatives.
The minister also tried to alleviate fears on the energy crisis which has plunged the country into constant rolling blackouts over the past few months.
“The 2017/18 growth forecast of three percent has received some great scrutiny with questions on whether the energy challenges will be resolved by that time. We think these are realistic and achievable targets.
To ensure that Eskom, the country’s main electricity provider, returns to full financial and operational sustainability is the government’s top priority, he said.
The minister said, “We have invested significant time and resources in understanding Eskom’s funding requirements and what the path back to full sustainability looks like.
“We announced a broad package for Eskom that included capital injection of around two billion U.S. dollars, improvements of operational costs, additional borrowing, as well as support for the required tariff increases.” Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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