This morning, President Cyril Ramaphosa introduced South Africa, and the world, to his Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan.

In a press conference delivered from the Union Buildings, Ramaphosa laid out how he intended to haul South Africa out of an economic recession.

We officially entered our first technical recession since 2009 earlier this month, when GDP growth for the second quarter decreased by 0,7%.

Despite efforts by certain ANC factions to undermine the president’s position, it’s clear that he is feeling confident. He “came out guns blazing”, remember?

Times LIVE distilled the plan down to six main talking points. Let’s see how Cyril plans on turning this ship around:

1. Immediate changes to visas

Ramaphosa announced “immediate changes to visa architecture” including removing obstacles to the travel of minors and reducing the number of countries that require visas to enter the country. The new approach would allow highly-skilled foreigners to enter the country more easily.

About bloody time, because the visa fiasco has been a long, drawn-out saga. Unless you’re a Gupta or pals with Malusi Gigaba.

2. Revised mining charter

Ramaphosa announced that “following extensive consultation”, cabinet had approved a revised mining charter that would “provide certainty to investors”.

He added that parliament would be asked to scrap the controversial Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act to remove obstacles to investment.

3. Review of the cost of doing business

Ramaphosa said measures were being taken “to reduce the cost of doing business”. He said government would review administrative prices charged for electricity, as well as reduce “ports and rail tariffs”.

It would be nice if the price of petrol would stop skyrocketing for a few months, too.

4. Rapid roll-out of radio spectrum

Ramaphosa said “high-demand radio spectrum to enable licencing” would be rolled out “in the next few weeks”.

He said the effect of this would be to reduce data costs and “increase the overall competitiveness of the SA economy”.

5. Reprioritisation of R50bn in spending

Ramaphosa said government had “limited fiscal space to increase spending or borrowing” and so it would repriotise existing budgets to focus on agriculture, the township economy and rural areas.

“We are focussing our attention on agriculture,” he said.

He said he had appointed a “top class” panel to advise on land reform which included “business-oriented” leaders as well as farmers.

He said a “township and rural entrepreneurship fund” would be created to scale up existing projects and provide capital for new projects.

Repriortised funding would also be used for hospital beds, equipment and sanitation in schools.

6. A R400bn new SA Infrastructure Fund

Ramaphosa said infrastructure funding “has, over the years been tapering down”.

He said the new fund would learn lessons from the roll-out of infrastrucre for the 2010 World Cup.

“in excess of R400bn” which would leverage more money from banks, investors. It would have “a blended finance kind of character”.

Ramaphosa announced a dedicated infrastructure investment team with project management experience to “identify and quantify shovel-ready projects such as roads and dams”.

Step Seven – rid the ANC of its most corrupt party members, and show the South African public that you’re serious about dealing with these crooks.

No, he didn’t announce that.

Off the back of his Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan, the rand rallied against the US dollar. At the time of writing, it was around R14,25 to the US dollar.

This shows the fluctuation over the past 12 hours, back from 11:45AM:

For those most interested in the land reform angle, here’s News24:

One of the most interesting announcements by Ramaphosa was of a 10-person advisory panel on land reform.

Details of the panel’s members, its mandate, and how its would work with other govt bodied are set to be made public in due course.

Ramaphosa said: “As part of the work to develop agriculture and ensure effective land reform, I have appointed an advisory panel on land reform that will guide the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza.

“The 10-person panel is to advise government on the implementation of a fair and equitable land reform process that redresses the injustices of the past, increases agricultural output, promotes economic growth and protects food security. Further details of the mandate and composition of the panel will be made available in a separate statement.”

You can follow a live feed on the announcement here.

[sources:timeslive&news24]