South Africa’s socio-economic recovery details will be thrashed out over the next two to three weeks at the National Economic Development and Labour Council. But the government’s opening gambit has been a little more than disappointing. Patience is running out.

Entitled “Economic Reconstruction, and Recovery Plan”, the government’s economic recovery proposals to National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) sets out three phases:

Engage & preserve;

Recover & reform and;

Develop & transform.

Short on detail, long on rhetoric dressed in PR words such as “value proposition” and “leveraging”, it sets out priorities in each phase, including “ensure social stability” and “massive healthcare response” in phase one, with phase three listing, among other, “SOEs (state-owned enterprises) Reform” and “cutting red tape and “ease of doing business”.

A closer look reveals little detail, nor any indication of a time frame. Much of what the government’s Nedlac submission for what President Cyril Ramaphosa in his 15 August address to the nation described as an “urgent economic recovery programme” has been around. In some cases, for a long while.

But some exceptions are raising eyebrows, particularly the repeat mention of gas, and gas-to-power projects.

“Implementing price and market regulatory changes to increase usage…

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