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Budget Speech 2021

4. Progress on Economic Reforms


Madam Speaker, honourable members, I am also hopeful because we are making meaningful progress in the implementation of our structural economic reforms. Our structural weaknesses limit the rate at which our economy can grow. Our structural reform agenda, as articulated in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, is aimed at removing these brakes on growth.


Operation Vulindlela, which I introduced to you last year, has already made demonstrable progress in accelerating the pace of implementation of high‐impact structural reforms.


Much of this progress was outlined in the State of the Nation Address (SONA). I want to thank my Cabinet colleagues for their support of Operation Vulindlela and assure members that Deputy Minister Dr David Masondo and the team from the Presidency and National Treasury remain hard at work together with the relevant departments to ensure that implementation of the remaining reforms is appropriately funded and accelerated.


We will not rest until we have fundamentally altered the structure of this economy by lowering barriers to entry, broadening ownership patterns, raising productivity and lowering the cost of doing business.


We face many challenges as a developing country. We are confronting these head‐on. Our country has a network of highways and byways which are the envy of many. The mighty N1 from Cape Town to Beitbridge, the scenic R71 that meanders through the misty mountains of Makgoebaskloof and delivers us to the Kruger National Park, and the expansive N4 that stretches from Botswana across our country into Mozambique. They are part of the lifeblood of the regional economy. Our great dams, bridges and railway lines have supported our economy for decades. However, much of this infrastructure now needs repair or replacement.


Government has committed to a R791.2 billion infrastructure investment drive to this end. We are already partnering with the private sector and other players to rollout infrastructure through initiatives such as the blended finance Infrastructure Fund.


However, all these efforts to expand infrastructure will be wasted if the end user does not pay a cost‐reflective tariff for usage.