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Remarks by Minister in The Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, as she invited President Ramaphosa to address the BBC Awards and Dinner

Programme Director,
His Excellency, President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa,
The President of the Black Business Council, Mr Elias Monage,

Allow me to stand on the protocols already established.

Mr President,

I always find it difficult to introduce you as a President of the Republic, when you have to address your people. Tonight, I think I have figured out how to do it.

Last year, I was privileged to speak and participate at the BBC Annual Summit on “the political economy of South Africa and where we were heading”.
In that conversation, I insisted that Decades of institutionalised discrimination created vast disparities in terms of access to wealth and opportunities, hence South Africa still has levels of  economic marginalisation and exclusion. 
I reassured the Summit, that at the forefront of the government’s programme is  addressing the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality which are the legacy of Apartheid. A critical aspect of this programme is the  pursuit of economic transformation and empowerment.

I asserted that the future of South Africa's political economy:

1. Will be the pursuit of inclusive growth aimed at addressing income inequality, and empowering marginalised communities.
2. That as the nation sought to reduce its reliance on finite resources and adapt to changing global trends, economic diversification will gain importance. Encouraging sectors such as renewable energy, technology, tourism, services and green economy to increase their contribution to long-term sustainability and resilience.
3. That South Africa will focus on enhancing infrastructure networks to support industrialisation, trade facilitation, and regional integration, while also addressing historical disparities in access to services.
4. That tackling corruption and strengthening governance structures will remain crucial.
5. Reducing poverty and improving social welfare programs will also remain a political priority as we continue on a quest to break generational poverty.
6. Encouraging innovation, fostering digital literacy, and promoting the growth of the technology sector by embracing digitalisation and technological advancements is also a priority.

7. Lastly that strengthening ties with African nations, deepening partnerships with emerging economies, and pursuing mutually beneficial trade agreements will feature prominently in South Africa's economic strategy.
Of course, my contribution to the discussion on the political economy was before the Census 2022 Results that clearly articulated the progress our country has made in the last 30-years whilst point to the gaps confronting us, and the release of the Manifesto of the governing party.  

So, Mr President, it is always better to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Let me invite you to address this august gathering of an important sector of our society. 

Mr President.

 Union Building