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South African Presidency, National Treasury release progress report outlining advances in economic reform through Operation Vulindlela

The report provides a detailed update on each of the priority reform areas in Operation Vulindlela, including reforms to the energy, logistics, telecommunications, and water sectors

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PRETORIA, South Africa, August 27, 2023/ — The Presidency and National Treasury have today, Sunday 27 August 2023, released a progress report for Q2 2023 on the implementation of economic reforms through Operation Vulindlela.

In October 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the establishment of Operation Vulindlela as a joint initiative of The Presidency and National Treasury to accelerate the implementation of reforms to revive economic growth and create jobs.

The progress report outlines several key milestones that have been reached as part of government’s economic reform agenda, including the following:

● Gazetting of the final date for analogue switch-off (ASO), which has enabled analogue transmission to be switched off for all frequencies above 694 Megahertz (MHz) on 31 July 2023 to enable the use of spectrum for mobile telecommunications. This key reform will improve network quality, reduce data costs and expand digital access for all South Africans.

● Selection of an international terminal operator to partner with Transnet at the Durban Pier 2 container terminal. This will crowd in private investment and management expertise to improve the performance of South Africa’s largest container terminal, handling 72% of the Port of Durban’s throughput and 46% of South Africa’s port traffic.

● Establishment of the National Logistics Crisis Committee (NLCC) to oversee short and long-term interventions to fix South Africa’s freight logistics system. The NLCC has eight work streams focused on immediate operational improvements in the logistics system as well as longer-term reforms to improve efficiency and competitiveness, and will report to the President.

● Approval of the National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency (NWRIA) Bill for tabling in Parliament. The establishment of the NWRIA as a dedicated agency to manage and invest in bulk water resource infrastructure is the centrepiece of institutional reforms in the water sector.

● Establishment of the One Stop Shop for energy projects to accelerate private investment in new generation capacity. The One Stop Shop will facilitate regulatory authorisations for energy projects, with the aim of establishing a single, fully electronic application process.

● Progress in procuring new generation capacity to close the gap in electricity supply, with nine projects from Bid Window 5 having reached financial close to date and a further four expected to close by September 2023.

The report provides a detailed update on each of the priority reform areas in Operation Vulindlela, including reforms to the energy, logistics, telecommunications, and water sectors as well as the visa regime.

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