Operation Vulindlela reaches several key milestones

Operation Vulindlela has made significant progress by reaching several key milestones in the second quarter of 2023.

The Presidency and National Treasury on Sunday released the progress report for quarter two of 2023 on the implementation of economic reforms through Operation Vulindlela.

According to the report, over 70% of the reforms have have been completed or are on track to be finalised within the next year.

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

“Operation Vulindlela is now approaching its third anniversary. In that time, progress in the implementation of priority structural reforms has gathered pace. As it stands, over 70% of OV [Operation Vulindlela] reforms have now either been completed or are on track to be finalised within the next year.

“A minority of reforms – those in the municipal space and the additional reforms that Operation Vulindlela has taken on in the last year – will run beyond the 2023/2024 fiscal year,” stated the report.

The progress report outlines several key milestones that have been reached as part of government’s economic reform agenda.

The first of these came with the gazetting of the final date for the analogue switch-off (ASO) on 15 June 2023.

“Gazetting of the final date for analogue switch-off, 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,” the report said.

In the transport sector, President Ramaphosa directed the establishment of the National Logistics Crisis Committee (NLCC) to oversee implementation of the Freight Logistics Roadmap, which is being developed by government and Transnet.

The roadmap incorporates proposals to resolve the immediate operational challenges while developing interventions to fundamentally restructure the logistics sector to support inclusive economic growth.

“A key milestone was reached with the 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,” the report said.

Another key milestone was reached in the establishment of the 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.

In the water sector, the National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency (NWRIA) Bill received approval from Cabinet to proceed to Parliament.

The Bill, which seeks to establish an agency to manage national bulk water resource infrastructure and attract investment in water resource development, is expected to be tabled in Parliament by August 2023.

“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,” the report said.

Another milestone reached is the 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.

The full Operation Vulindlela 2023_24 Q2 Report can be downloaded at https://www.stateofthenation.gov.za/operation-vulindlela .

Source: South African Government News Agency