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South Africa’s 2013 full budget speech (pdf format)

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2013 State of the Nation Address by Jacob G Zuma, President of South Africa

Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly,
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces;
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP;
Deputy President of the Republic, Honourable Kgalema Motlanthe;
Former President Thabo Mbeki and Mrs Mbeki,
Former President De Klerk and Mrs De Klerk,
Former Deputy Presidents Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Baleka Mbete,
Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic, and all esteemed members of the Judiciary;
Honourable Peeroo, Chairperson of the SADC Parliamentary Forum,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Distinguished Premiers and Speakers of our Provinces;
Chairperson of SALGA, and all local government leadership;
Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders;
The Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions;
The Governor of the Reserve Bank; Ms Gill Marcus,
The Deputy Chairperson of the National Planning Commission and Deputy President of the ANC, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and all ANC Officials,
Leaders from business, sports, traditional, religious and all sectors,
Members of the diplomatic corps, Special and distinguished guests,
Honourable members,
Fellow South Africans,
 
Good evening to you all, sanibonani nonke, molweni, dumelang.
 
Let me thank the Presiding Officers for affording me this opportunity to share our 2013 programme of action with the joint sitting of Parliament.
 
We greet all who are watching this broadcast from their homes and at GCIS viewing centres around the country, including those in Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Gugulethu here in Cape Town.
 
Let me also extend my gratitude to all who contributed to the preparation of this address.  I received several messages via email, twitter and Facebook.
 
I also spent some time with Grade 12 learners who shared their own views on what should be contained in the speech. I found the inputs very informative and enriching.
 
Honourable Members,
Compatriots and friends,
 
On the 15th of August last year, the National Planning Commission handed over the National Development Plan, the vision of the country for the next 20 years, to the President in this august house.
 
The NDP contains proposals for tackling the problems of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
 
It is a roadmap to a South Africa where all will have water, electricity, sanitation, jobs, housing, public transport, adequate nutrition, education, social protection, quality healthcare, recreation and a clean environment.
 
The achievement of these goals has proven to be difficult in the recent past, due the global economic recession.
 
The crisis in the Eurozone affects our economy as the Eurozone is our major trading partner, accounting for around 21 per cent of our exports.
 
Our GDP growth is expected to average at 2.5% cent, down from 3.1% in the previous year.  We need growth rates in excess of five per cent to create more jobs.
 
The National Development Plan outlines interventions that can put the economy on a better footing. The target for job creation is set at 11 million by 2030 and the economy needs to grow threefold to create the desired jobs.
 
In my last meeting with the business community, the sector indicated that for the economy to grow three-fold, we must remove certain obstacles.
 
We will engage business, labour and other social partners in pursuit of solutions. No single force acting individually can achieve the objectives we have set for ourselves.
 
Honourable Members,
 
I would now like to report on progress made since the last State of the Nation Address and also to discuss our programme of action for 2013.
 
I will look at the five priorities – education, health, the fight against crime, creating decent work as well as rural development and land reform.
 
Last year, I addressed the nation on government’s infrastructure plans. 
 
By the end of March this year, starting from 2009, government will have spent about 860 billion rand on infrastructure. Various projects are being implemented around the country. I will discuss just a few.
 
The construction of the first phase of the Mokolo and Crocodile River Water Augmentation has commenced and it will provide part of the water required for the Matimba and the Medupi power stations.
 
The construction of the bulk water distribution system for the De Hoop Dam began in October 2012, to supply water to the Greater Sekhukhune, Waterberg and Capricorn district municipalities.
 
We have to shift the transportation of coal from road to rail in Mpumalanga, in order to protect the provincial roads. Thus the construction of the Majuba Rail coal line will begin soon.
 
We have also committed to improve the movement of goods and economic integration through a Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistics and industrial corridor.
 
In this regard, substantial work is now underway to develop the City Deep inland terminal in Gauteng.
 
Initial work has commenced in the expansion of the Pier 2 in the Durban Port.
 
And thirdly, land has been purchased for the development of a new dug-out port at the Old Durban airport.
 
In the Eastern Cape, I officially opened the port of Ngqura and construction is now underway to develop a major new transhipment hub.
 
The Umzimvubu Dam is critical for rural livelihoods. Preparatory work has commenced for the construction to begin next year.
 
The upgrading of Mthatha airport runway and terminal and the construction of the Nkosi Dalibhunga Mandela Legacy Road and Bridge are currently underway.
 
I have asked for work in the North West to be fast-tracked further in light of the huge backlogs in that province, especially electricity, schools, clinics, roads and water in the next two years.
 
To improve the transportation of iron-ore and open up the west coast of the country, we have expanded the rail capacity through the delivery of 11 locomotives.
 
The first phase of the expansion – to increase iron ore port capacity at Saldanha to 60 million tons per annum – was officially completed in September last year.
 
Construction work is taking place in five cities – Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay, Rustenburg, eThekwini, Tshwane to integrate the different modes of transport – bus, taxi and train.
 
In the energy sector, we have now laid 675 kilometres of electricity transmission lines to connect fast-growing economic centres and also to bring power to rural areas.
 
In addition, government signed contracts to the value of R47 billion in the renewable energy programme. 
 
This involves 28 projects in wind, solar and small hydro technologies, to be developed in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape and in the Free State.
 
We established an 800 million rand national green fund last year.  To date, over 400 million rand investments in green economy projects has already been approved for municipalities, other organs of state, community organisations and the private sector across all provinces.
 
We have also rolled out 315 000 solar water geysers as of January this year, most of which were given to poor households, many of whom had never had running hot water before.
 
We have scored successes in extending basic services through the infrastructure programme. Close to 200 000 households have been connected to the national electricity grid in 2012.
 
You will also recall that Census 2011 outlined the successes in extending basic services. The report said the number of households with access to electricity is now at 12.1 million, which translates to 85%. Nine out of 10 households have access to water.
 
To prepare for the advanced economy we need to develop, we will expand the broadband network.
 
Last year, the private and public sector laid about 7000 new fibre optic cables. The plan is to achieve 100% broadband internet penetration by 2020.
 
With regard to social infrastructure, a total of 98 new schools will have been built by the end of March, of which more than 40 are in the Eastern Cape that are replacing mud schools.
 
Construction is expected to begin in September at the sites of two new universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.
 
Last week, we published an Infrastructure Development Bill for public comment.
 
We are cracking down on corruption, tender fraud and price fixing in the infrastructure programme.
 
The state has collected a substantial dossier of information on improper conduct by large construction companies.
 
This is now the subject of formal processes of the competition commission and other law enforcement authorities.
 
The infrastructure development programme has been a valuable source of learning for government. In the year ahead, we will fast-track many of the projects that the PICC has announced.
 
The lessons are that we must coordinate, integrate and focus on implementation.
 
Honourable Members,
 
The past two years have demonstrated that where the state intervenes strongly and consistently, it can turn around key industries that face external or internal threats as has happened in our manufacturing sector.
 
We have seen the revitalization of train and bus production in South Africa, largely because of the drive for local procurement. 
 
PRASA and Transnet have committed hundreds of billions of rands to improving our commuter and freight train network.
 
The clothing, textiles and footwear industry has stabilised after 15 years of steadily falling employment. A clothing support scheme provides broad financial support, saving a number of factories and jobs.
 
On broader economic transformation, revised Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act and codes are being finalised.  The development of black owned enterprises and black industrialists will be prioritised.
 
Government has several programmes of supporting small business.  A key project for the Presidency currently is to get government departments to pay SMMEs within 30 days.
 
Departments are required to submit monthly reports so that we can monitor progress in this regard.
 
We have taken a decision that accounting officers who fail to execute this directive, should face consequences.
 
In the 2010 State of the Nation Address, I announced the Job fund, and three billion rand has been approved for projects that will create jobs.
 
Honourable Members,
 
Just over a third of the population is under the age of 15. Our country, like many others, has a crisis of youth unemployment.
 
Last May I asked constituencies at NEDLAC to discuss youth employment incentives. I am pleased that discussions have been concluded and that agreement has been reached on key principles. The parties will sign the Accord later this month.
 
The incentives will add to what Government is already doing to empower the youth.
 
State owned companies provide apprenticeships and learnerships and we urge that these be increased.  We appeal to the private sector to absorb 11 000 FET graduates who are awaiting placements.
 
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform runs the National Rural Youth Services Corps, which has enrolled 11 740 young people in various training programmes.
 
The Department is also planning nine Rural Youth Hubs per province, including in the 23 poorest districts in the country.
 
We will also use the Expanded Public Works Programme and the Community Work programme to absorb young people.
 
Working together we will find a solution to youth unemployment.
 
Honourable members,
 
We identified tourism as one of our job drivers.
 
Tourist arrivals grew at an impressive 10.7 percent between January and September 2012, which is higher than the global average of 4% for last year.
 
Ironically, the very success of South Africa’s national conservation effort resulting in over 73% of the worlds’ rhino population being conserved here, has resulted in our country being targeted by international poaching syndicates.
 
We are working with recipient and transit countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and China and are intensifying our efforts to combat this increasing scourge.
 
Honourable Speaker
Honourable Chairperson,
 
Mining, which is historically the backbone of the economy, has faced difficulties in recent months.
 
Last year the sector was hit by wild cat strikes and the tragedy in Marikana where more than 44 people were killed.
 
We established an Inter-Ministerial Committee made up of senior cabinet Ministers to assist families during that difficult period. The Judicial Commission of Inquiry led by Judge Ian Farlam continues its work.
 
Through working together we were able to restore social stability in the area.
 
Government, labour in the form of COSATU, NACTU and FEDUSA, Business Unity SA, Black Business Council and the community sector met in October and reached an agreement which laid the basis for a return to work across the mining industry.
 
In particular, we agreed to work together to strengthen collective bargaining; to address the housing problems in the mining towns; to support the National infrastructure Programme; to address youth unemployment; and to identify measures to reduce inequalities.
 
Work is underway and the team will report in due course with specific plans for Rustenburg, Lephalale, Emalahleni, West Rand, Welkom, Klerksdorp, Burgersfort/Steelport, Carletonville and Madibeng.
 
Two weeks ago, I had a meeting in Pretoria with Sir John Parker, the chairman of Anglo-American Plc to discuss the reported plans to restructure and retrench 14 000 workers at Anglo American Platinum.
 
Compatriots,
 
Honourable Members,
 
We believe that at a policy level we have managed to bring about certainty in the mining sector. The nationalisation debate was laid to rest in December at the ruling party’s national conference.
 
Ensuring that the public services we provide our people today can continue to be provided to our people tomorrow, requires that we have suitable tax policies to generate sufficient revenue to pay for these services.
 
From time to time, we have commissioned studies into our tax policies, to evaluate the extent to which they meet the requirements of the fiscus.
 
Later this year, the Minister of Finance will be commissioning a study of our current tax policies, to make sure that we have an appropriate revenue base to support public spending.
 
Part of this study, will evaluate the current mining royalties regime, with regard to its ability to suitably serve our people.
 
Honourable Members,
Distinguished guests,
 
In last year’s address we raised the issue of the gap market, the people who earn too much to qualify for an RDP house and too little for a bank mortgage bond.
 
From April 2012 to December 2012, Provincial Departments committed a budget of 126 million rand of the Human Settlements Development Grant for this programme, known as the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy programme.
 
The money is being used through the National Housing Finance Corporation, which has been appointed to deliver houses to people within the Gap market in twelve registered projects.
 
A total of 70 million rand of this amount has been used to date.
 
Projects include Walmer Link in the Eastern Cape, Lady Selbourne, Nelmapius, Bohlabela Borwa, Cosmo City and Fleurhof in Gauteng, Intabazwe Corridor Housing in the Free State and Seraleng in North West.
 
The implementation of these eight GAP housing projects is currently underway.
 
Compatriots and friends,
 
Honourable Members,
 
On education, we are pleased that the Grade 12 pass rate is finally on an upward trend. We congratulate the Class of 2012, their teachers, parents and communities for the continued improvement.
 
We congratulate the top province for 2012, Gauteng and top grade 12 learner, Miss Madikgetho Komane, from Sekhukhune district, Limpopo, who is our special guest.
 
Honourable members,
 
The Annual National Assessments in our schools, have become a powerful tool of assessing the health of our education system.
 
We welcome the improvement each year in the ANA results, but more must be done to improve maths, science and technology.
 
The Department of Basic Education will establish a national task team to strengthen the implementation of the Mathematics, Science and Technology Strategy.
 
We urge the private sector to partner government through establishing, adopting or sponsoring maths and science academies or Saturday schools.
 
Compatriots,
 
We are pleased with the growth of our early childhood education programmes, including Grade R.
 
We are also pleased with our adult education programme, Khari Gude, which has reached more than 2,2 million people between 2008 and 2011.
 
We also continue to encourage people from all walks never to stop learning.  Many were inspired when accomplished musician and my special guest, Mr Sipho Hotstix Mabuse obtained his matric last year, at the age of 60.
 
Honourable Members,
 
We declared education as an apex priority in 2009. We want to see everyone in the country realising that education is an essential service for our nation.
 
By saying education is an essential service we are not taking away the Constitutional rights of teachers as workers such as the right to strike.
 
It means we want the education sector and society as a whole to take education more seriously than is happening currently.
 
All successful societies have one thing in common – they invested in education. Decent salaries and conditions of service will play an important role in attracting, motivating and retaining skilled teachers.
 
In this regard, we will establish a Presidential Remuneration Commission which will investigate the appropriateness of the remuneration and conditions of service provided by the State to all its employees.
 
I have directed that the first priority should be teachers.
 
The Commission will also assess the return on investment.
 
In elevating education to its rightful place, we want to see an improvement in the quality of learning and teaching and the management of schools. We want to see an improvement in attitudes, posture and outcomes.
 
Working with educators, parents, the community and various stakeholders, we will be able to turn our schools into centres of excellence.
 
Honourable Members,
 
Five years ago, South Africa had such a low life expectancy that experts suggested that by 2015, our life expectancy would have been exactly where it was in 1955.
 
It was with good reason that we were delighted when late last year, studies from the Medical Research Council, the Lancet medical journal and others began reporting a dramatic increase in life expectancy from an average baseline of 56 years in 2009 to 60 years in 2011. These reports also noted significant decreases in infant and under five mortality.
 
Increased life expectancy is a key to the country’s development. People are returning to work, they are being productive, economically and socially.  The family structure is increasingly stable and parents live longer and are able to take care of their children.
 
We should not become complacent, in light of these achievements.
 
Given the high co-infection rate between HIV and TB, we have integrated these services.
 
Work is also continuing on the research side. South Africa has discovered a candidate drug to treat Malaria.
 
In addition, researchers at the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa consortium, also discovered broad neutralising antibodies against HIV.
 
Deputy President Motlanthe has appointed new members of the South African National Aids Council Trust. We congratulate the team, which is led by retired Judge Zac Yacoob, as chairperson.
 
Diseases of lifestyle are on an alarming increase.  We have to combat and lower the levels of smoking, harmful effects of alcohol, poor diets and obesity.
 
Honourable members,
 
In 2014 we will create the National Health Insurance Fund. The Department of Health will accelerate and intensify progress in the pilot districts.
 
In that regard, as from April this year, the first group of approximately 600 private medical practitioners will be contracted to provide medical services at 533 clinics within villages and townships in 10 of the pilot districts.
 
Compatriots and friends,
 
In June we will mark the centenary of the 1913 Land Act which turned black people into wanderers, labourers and pariahs in their own land.
 
Former ANC President Sefako Makgatho outlined as such in his 1919 ANC conference presidential address.
 
He said;
 
“The Native Land Act still operates as mercilessly in different parts of the Union, and as a result many native families are still working for white farmers only for their food’’.
 
We are also honoured, in this year of the anniversary of the 1913 Land Act, to have present among us, Mrs Nomhlangano Beauty Mkhize, one of the veterans who together with her husband, Saul Mkhize, led the struggle against forced removals in Driefontein and Daggaskraal, in the present Mpumalanga Province.
 
The land question is a highly emotive matter.
 
We need to resolve it amicably within the framework of the Constitution and the law.
 
I received a message on Facebook from Thulani Zondi who raised his concern about the slow pace of land redistribution. He said:  “Mr President, as we are commemorating 100 years since the Land act of 1913 was introduced to dispossess the African majority.
 
I urge you to accelerate redistribution of the land to the landless African people.
 
“When we do the redistribution we need to be mindful of food security. Training and mentorship of emerging black commercial farmers must take place”.
 
From 1994, we have been addressing the land reform problem through restitution, redistribution and tenure reform.
 
As stated before, we will not be able to meet our redistribution targets.
 
Government’s mid-term review last year revealed a number of shortcomings in our land reform implementation programme. We will use those lessons to improve implementation.
 
Firstly, we must shorten the time it takes to finalise a claim. In this regard, Government will now pursue the ‘just and equitable’ principle for compensation, as set out in the Constitution instead of the “willing buyer, willing seller” principle, which forces the state to  pay more for land than the actual value.
 
Secondly there are proposed amendments to the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 1994 in order to provide for the re-opening of the lodgement of restitution claims, by people who missed the deadline of 31 December 1998.
 
Also to be explored, are exceptions to the June 1913 cut-off date to accommodate claims by the descendants of the Khoi and San as well as heritage sites and historical landmarks.
 
Another key lesson is to provide adequate post-settlement support to new landowners so that land continues to be productive.
 
We also need to provide better incentives for commercial farmers that are willing and capable of mentoring smallholder farmers.
 
Another challenge we have faced is the preference for money instead of land by some claimants, which also does not help us to change land ownership patterns.
 
As part of the Presidency stakeholder engagement programme ahead of the State of the Nation Address, Deputy President Motlanthe held a meeting with both farmers and farm workers in Paarl on Tuesday.
 
Stakeholders agreed that there should be peace and stability in the agriculture sector and that the living and working conditions of farm workers should be improved urgently.
 
It is also encouraging that even the farmers called for the fast tracking of land reform and support to emerging farmers.
 
We will continue the engagement with both farmers and farm workers.
 
Compatriots and friends,
 
We should also remain mindful of rapid urbanisation that is taking place. The Census Statistics reveal that 63% of the population are living in urban areas. This is likely to increase to over 70% by 2030.
 
Apartheid spatial patterns still persist in our towns and cities. Municipalities alone cannot deal with the challenges. We need a national approach. 
 
While rural development remains a priority of government, it is crucial that we also develop a national integrated urban development framework to assist municipalities to effectively manage rapid urbanisation.
 
As part of implementing the National Development Plan, all three spheres of government need to manage the new wave of urbanisation in ways that also contribute to rural development.
 
Honourable Members,
 
Improving the status of women remains a critical priority for this government.
 
The Bill on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment has been approved by Cabinet for public comment. The Bill criminalizes practices that have adverse effects on women and girls.
 
It also legislates the 50/50 policy position with regard to the representation of women in decision making structures.
 
Honourable members,
 
The brutal gang rape and murder of Anene Booysen and other women and girls in recent times has brought into sharp focus the need for unity in action to eradicate this scourge.
 
The brutality and cruelty meted out to defenceless women is unacceptable and has no place in our country. Last year the National Council on Gender Based Violence was established.
 
It comprises government, non-governmental Organizations, Community-Based Organizations, Faith-Based organizations, academia, research institutions, government, men’s groupings, and representation from women, children and persons with disabilities.
 
We urge this coordinating structure to make the campaign of fighting violence against women an everyday campaign.
 
We applaud all sectors for the campaigns that have taken place already, highlighting that such acts will not be tolerated.
 
I have directed law enforcement agencies to treat these cases with the utmost urgency and importance. The Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units, which were re-established in 2010, have increased personnel.
 
During the last financial year, the Units secured over 363 life sentences, with a conviction rate of 73% for crimes against women above 18 years old and 70% for crimes against children under 18 years of age. 
 
Masibhunkule sisebenze sonke, silwe nalenkinga esibhekene nayo yabantu abadlwengula omame nezingane, ngisho nezalukazi imbala. Ihlazo nobunswelaboya obesabekayo lokhu abakwenzayo. Izigilamkhuba kufanele zibikwe emaphoyiseni ziboshwe.
 
Government is adding other mechanisms to protect women, such as the Protection from Harassment Bill. While the Domestic Violence Act also provides protection, it only applies to persons who are in a domestic relationship.
 
The Protection from Harassment Bill also deals with harassment by persons who stalk their victims by means of electronic communications.
 
In addition, the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill was passed by the National Assembly last year and is now at the National Council of Provinces.
 
Once implemented, the law will  assist women and children, who are often victims of this heinous crime.
 
Compatriots and friends,
 
There is increased visibility of the police which contributes to the reduction in the levels of serious crime.
 
The operations focusing on illegal firearms, stolen and robbed vehicles, liquor and drugs which are regarded as main generators of crime have assisted in crime reduction.
 
Compatriots and friends,
 
Government continues to wage a war against corruption.
 
The capacity of the Special Investigating Unit has grown from an initial 70 staff members to more than 600 at present.
 
I have since 2009, signed 34 proclamations directing the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption, fraud or maladministration in various government departments and state entities.
 
Criminal Investigations were initiated against 203 accused persons in 67 priority cases under investigation by the end September 2012.
 
In total, pre-trial proceedings have been initiated against 191 persons. A total of 66 persons under investigation are alleged to have received R5 million or more benefits through corruption. Freezing Orders were obtained against 46 persons.
 
In other successes, in the past financial year, 107 officials working within the criminal justice system were convicted.
 
The Asset Forfeiture Unit seized assets valued at more than R541 million. A total of R61 million of these assets have already been forfeited to the State. The assets are channelled back to fighting crime and corruption through the Criminal Asset Recovery Account.
 
Last year, additional funding of R150 million from the Criminal Assets Recovery Account was approved for the work of the Anti-Corruption Task Team which comprises the Hawks, the Special Investigating Unit and the National Prosecuting Authority.
 
These resources are aimed at strengthening the capacity of these law enforcement agencies in our resolve to fight corruption.
 
We urge the private sector to also take this fight against corruption seriously so that we tackle it from all angles.
 
To further boost the fight against corruption, we will fill all vacant posts at the upper echelons of the criminal justice system.
 
Compatriots and friends,
 
Honourable Members,
 
There are some lessons from Marikana and other incidents that we cannot allow to recur in our country.
 
Our Constitution is truly one of our greatest national achievements.   Everything that we do as a government is guided by our Constitution and its vision of the society we are building.
 
We call on all citizens to celebrate, promote and defend our Constitution.
 
Our Bill of Rights guarantees that “everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed,  to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions”.
 
We therefore call on our people to exercise their rights to protest in a peaceful and orderly manner.
 
It is unacceptable when people’s rights are violated by perpetrators of violent actions, such as actions that lead to injury and death of persons, damage to property and the destruction of valuable public infrastructure.
 
We are duty bound to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic. We will spare no effort in doing so.
 
For this reason, I have instructed the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to put measures in place, with immediate effect, to ensure that any incidents of violent protest are acted upon, investigated and prosecuted.
 
Courts will be allocated to deal with such cases on a prioritised roll. The law must be enforced and it must be seen to be enforced – fairly, effectively and expeditiously.
 
The citizens of our country have a right to expect that their democratic state will exercise its authority in defence of the Constitution that so many struggled so long and hard for. We cannot disappoint this expectation.
 
The JCPS Cluster has therefore put measures in place at national, provincial and local level to deal with such incidents effectively.
 
Let me hasten to add that government departments at all levels must work closely with communities and ensure that all concerns are attended to before they escalate.  That responsibility remains. We are a caring government.
 
Honourable Members,
 
This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Organization of African Unity which has been succeeded by the African Union.
 
We pay tribute to the OAU for its relentless struggle for the decolonization of our continent, including contributing to our own freedom.
 
We will continue to work for a stronger and more effective organization of our Union.
 
The NEPAD programme as well as the African Peer Review Mechanism have just celebrated their tenth year of existence.
 
As the convener of the NEPAD Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative, South Africa continues to work with other champions to implement high impact infrastructure projects in the continent.
 
On peace and security, we stand by the people of Mali in their effort to claim and assert the territorial integrity of their country.
 
We urge the leadership in the Central African Republic, Guinea Bissau and Somalia to continue their march towards lasting peace for the sake of their people. We remain firmly opposed to unconstitutional change of government.
 
We are encouraged by the developments between Sudan and South Sudan. We commend our former President Thabo Mbeki and other members of the AU High Level Panel for the dedicated manner in which they have been working with the two sides.
 
We are in solidarity with the DRC as the country battles the menace to its security.
 
South Africa will continue supporting Africa’s peace efforts including through mediation, troop contribution for peace keeping, and by providing material and financial assistance.
 
In this regard, we look forward to the conclusion of political dialogues in Zimbabwe and Madagascar.
 
Our vision of a better Africa in a better world will receive great impetus when we host the 5th BRICS Summit next month in Durban.
 
We are inspired by the exponential growth of bilateral relations, diplomatically and economically, between South Africa and other BRICS countries.
 
Strengthening North-South relations remains central to our foreign policy agenda.
 
We reaffirm our partnership with countries of the North, especially the USA, Europe and Japan.
 
The UN’s 70th anniversary provides an opportunity to take forward the transformation of the UN Security Council.
 
We shall continue to use the G20 to represent the aspirations of the people of Africa and push for the transformation of Bretton Woods institutions.
 
South Africa’s internationalism has a strong element of solidarity to it.  We stand with the people of Palestine as they strive to turn a new leaf in their struggle for their right to self-determination; hence we supported their bid for statehood.
 
The expansion of Israeli settlements into Palestinian territories is a serious stumbling block to the resolution of the conflict.
 
The right of self determination for the people of Western Sahara has to be realised.
 
We remain firm in our call for the lifting of the economic embargo against Cuba.
 
Working together we can do more to create a better Africa and a better world.
 
Compatriots,
 
In the year 2012, we focused on preserving and promoting our country’s cultural heritage with particular emphasis on our liberation heritage.
 
We also hosted a historic National Summit on Social Cohesion, focusing on building a socially inclusive, caring and proud nation.
 
In the implementation of our programme we will work with our Social Cohesion Advocates; eminent South Africans drawn from a variety of sectors within our society.
 
We are proud to have in our midst this evening, two of our eminent social cohesion advocates, Judge Yvonne Mokgoro and Advocate George Bizos.
 
Compatriots,
 
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Raid on Liliesleaf Farm, the Escape from Marshall Square as well as the Start of the Rivonia Trial.
 
A series of events are being planned throughout the year to mark the three events, culminating in a national commemoration on the 11th of July.
 
Honourable Members
 
We have just concluded a highly successful Africa Cup of Nations tournament. We extend hearty congratulations to the African champions, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and also to all participating teams for their contribution to showcasing the standard of African football.
 
We thank all our people for being excellent hosts and fans.
 
I had the opportunity to personally thank CAF President Honourable Issa Hayatou for affording us the honour of hosting the AFCON.
 
Compatriots and friends,
 
As I said earlier, this programme of action will be implemented differently as the activities of departments must be aligned with the National Development Plan.
 
Compatriots,
 
Before concluding, let me take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of struggle stalwart and prominent human rights lawyer, Comrade Phyllis Naidoo who passed on today.
 
Only recently, we lost Comrade Amina Cachalia.
 
We are truly saddened by the loss.
 
Honourable Members,
 
Compatriots,
 
As South Africans, we should continue to have one primary goal – to make our country a truly great and prosperous nation.
 
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!
 
I thank you.

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Kommetjie Road, Fish Hoek – call to action *petition*

Dear Residents/NGOs/NPOs/Community groups/Churches/Taxi drivers/Business people etc.
Our community has been shocked and shattered once more by the death of another innocent victim on Kommetjie Road in Fish Hoek. Over the years this notoriously dangerous road has been the subject of actions, meetings and letters to the media. Measures have been taken, but tragic accidents are still occurring. We realise that it is driver behaviour and attitude that needs to change. Even so, we are driven to use whatever means we can to make this road safe for motorists, pedestrians and the residents living in its vicinity.
We have a website, we have passion and we have a voice. We have set up a petition calling those who have political and civic clout to do what they can to prevent further human suffering and financial loss through accidents on Kommetjie Road:
http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/scenicsouth
We  realise that the issue is complex, that the City’s funds are limited, that there are many urgent projects in dire need of financing, that the traffic department is understaffed and underpaid… so we are calling on you to to do what you can do within your sphere. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt:

“Do what you can with what you have where you are”.

We have a website, we have passion and we have a voice. We have set up a petition calling those who have political and civic clout to do what they can to prevent further human suffering and financial loss through accidents on Kommetjie Road and we ask you to add your voices to ours. Please sign the petition, the link of which is below, and, if you have been involved in an accident or a near-miss/hit  on Kommetjie Rd, please note down the details as we wish to give as much evidence to the authorities as we can of the severity of the problem. The signing will take less than a minute of your time, but in the long run could add years to the life of someone else.

The link is
http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/scenicsouth

Please send it on to all in your network of friends and contacts. Twitter it, Facebook it – get it out there! For those not on the internet, letters of support or petition, of constructive ideas re resolving the problem and of information regarding accidents can be dropped into the postboxes at Fish Hoek Veterinary Clinic on Kommetjie Rd or at 93 Kommetjie Rd.

For more see our forum  http://www.scenicsouth.co.za/forum-2/#/news/

and

http://www.scenicsouth.co.za/2011/06/kommetjie-road-fish-hoek-a-deathtrap-sign-our-online-petition/

“Though the way is full of perils, and the goal far out of sight, there is no road to which there is no end: do not despair.” (Author unknown)

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Filed under community development, Crime, Education, Politics, SA Roads, South African Government

Full 2011 Budget speech by Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordan, 23 Feb 2011

(I’ve added an expenditure chart at the bottom of the speech, 25/02/2011)

Honourable Speaker

It is my privilege to introduce the Second Budget of President Zuma’s administration.

Mister President, you outlined our programme of action in the State of the Nation Address two weeks ago. Your vision for the future is abundantly clear:

“We want to have a country where millions more South Africans have decent employment opportunities, which has a modern infrastructure and vibrant economy and where the quality of life is high.”

This Budget, Mister President, reflects the collective determination of the Government to address with energy the challenges of creating jobs, reducing poverty, building infrastructure and expanding our economy.

The Budget sets out a financial framework for implementing this vision, a framework that is sound and sustainable. It recognises that building South Africa is a multi-decade project that must invigorate our capacity to grow, and must include all South Africans in that growth.

This Budget sets us on a path, Honourable Members, that will be neither easy nor uncontested – hard work and difficult choices lie ahead. But the journey is under way. We have embarked on the long walk to economic freedom. All South Africans aspire to these freedoms:
2011 Budget Speech Freedom from poverty,
* Freedom from need,
* Freedom to exercise our talents and thrive as individuals,
* Freedom to work together as communities, as organised social formations, as business enterprises, as a proud and forward- looking nation.
This Budget is about making South Africa work smarter, harder, and differently.

What does this Budget offer?

Mister Speaker, the 2011 Budget ensures

* That government can intensify activities that make a difference to the lives and prospects of all South Africans,
* That priority programmes required for implementing the New Growth Path are funded,
* That macroeconomic stability is maintained, with necessary adjustments supporting enterprise and job creation.

In tabling another weighty load of documentation today, our aim is to display transparently how South Africans benefit from government’s programmes and policies and how their tax contributions are spent.

For the poor, the Budget continues to expand spending on housing, rural development, better community services and social assistance grants for the elderly, the disabled and children in need.

For workers, the Budget emphasises job creation and expenditure on the “social wage,” including access to health services, education, social security, transport and municipal infrastructure.

For the business sector, the Budget expands investment in modernising our infrastructure and transport logistics, accelerating further education and skills development and supporting research, technology and industrial investment. For the small business sector, there are targeted financial and enterprise development programmes, and tax relief measures.

For the youth, there is expanded access and financial assistance for further education, and a range of initiatives aimed at expanding job opportunities.

All of this, and more, we must do within a sound fiscal framework. We must also recognise that we are taking steps, this year and next, on a long-term growth path, a decades-long transformation and expansion of our social and economic possibilities.

In reflecting on commitments made in last year’s budget, we can point to progress on several fronts:

* Savings have again been identified in low-priority categories of spending, releasing over R30 billion to frontline service delivery allocations.
* Support for the Industrial Policy Action Plan is further enhanced. Tax and spending measures are proposed to improve investment and trade performance, enhance science and technology, accelerate job creation, boost small enterprise development and to strengthen rural development and emerging farmer support.
* Education and skills development are bolstered over the period ahead through expanding further education colleges and student financial assistance, and a new school building programme.
* Spending on economic and social infrastwcture of over R800 billion is projected over the next three years.
* A new community-based family health-care programme is to be introduced as part of national health insurance, while work is proceeding on the design and consolidation of our social security arrangements.
* At Parliament’s request, we are tabling guidelines on long-term fiscal sustainability and debt management.

An opportunity to create hope for young people

Mister Speaker, we live in an extraordinary time in human history – a time of immense transition, of profound risks, but also of great opportunities.
We are in the midst of epoch-changing shifts in the global economy as large fast-growing countries, particularly China and India, have become major world producers and consumers. Their weight in world trade, finance and investment and in restructuring the world’s industries affects every country, every firm and every family.

Fast-growing economies that are raising living standards and creating jobs have one thing in common. They are continually moving into new products and improving the ways of producing the things they sell. Adaptation to the disciplines and the productive possibilities of the new global economy opens up new vistas of opportunity for improving living standards and expanding employment. But it also presents great challenges.

We shoulder the responsibility to build a better South Africa. We have taken on the challenge that the legacy of apartheid left us – a legacy of disempowerment, landlessness, inequality of opportunity, and millions of unemployed young people who cannot see a realistic prospect for a decent life. Confronting these realities is not about blaming the past or denying our own shortcomings.

It is about recognising that now is the time to do extraordinary things, in dealing with our particular development circumstances. It requires new ideas and bold efforts from all: government, business, labour, communities and every family.

We must show, across the economy, the game-changing strengths we have shown on big issues, from creating our democracy to hosting Africa’s first Soccer World Cup festival.

Now we have to ignite the flame of higher inclusive growth, and sustain it.

We cannot view the fact that 42 per cent of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 are unemployed as merely a statistic. Young men and women in cities, informal settlements, towns and villages may not have jobs, but have skills in life. They possess the awareness and the ability to learn, they drive fashion and inspire with their music, yet they know their local traditions. And they have hope, and look to us to give meaning to that hope.

In response we must take measures to ensure that our young people can look forward to decent work in productive, competitive enterprises. It means that we will continue to strengthen social expenditure, enabling families to commit to participating in education and community activities, while supporting the old and sick.

Inclusive growth means strenuous efforts to cut back poverty and shrink the inequality that continue to blight us. The South African growth path we envision is not measurable by GDP alone. It must be an inclusive growth, which especially benefits the many South Africans who have been left behind.

Inclusive growth also means addressing the climate change challenges that confront the long-term global outlook. This year South Africa will host the 17th United Nations Conference of the Parties on climate change. Our own efforts to green our economy will come under special scwtiny. Mitigation initiatives are not just about reducing the dangers associated with a hotter future, but they also offer significant opportunities to create jobs and reduce costs in our economy.

And so in mapping a New Growth Path that will lead to rapid creation of jobs, that will ensure an equitable distribution of benefits, that will reduce inequality, ignite industrial development and transform rural and urban communities – in charting this course, we are mindful of the specific realities of our circumstances and the changing shape of the global economy.

As comrade Chris Hani so rightly said, “We want to build a nation free from hunger, disease and poverty, free from ignorance, homelessness and humiliation, a country in which there is peace, security and jobs.”

It is time to celebrate and embrace the potential of our unemployed young, knowing that they are our future. How we meet this challenge will shape the quality of life that our children and their children will enjoy.

Economic outlook

Mister Speaker, there are encouraging signs of stronger recovery in the global economy as we enter 2011. But it remains essentially a two-speed recovery. There is moderate growth in the United States and parts of Europe again, whereas China and many other emerging economies continue to expand rapidly.

The roots of this divergent growth pattern lie in the unbalanced structure of world growth in the years leading up to the financial crisis. World growth came to rely too heavily on countries that exhibited overly high consumption, financed by countries with high savings and large trade surpluses.

The financial crisis and subsequent recession brought painful adjustments. However, the shift in world trade, investment, manufacturing, incomes and consumption is a structural transition that will take many years, as a multi-polar world evolves.

Up until the turn of the century, developing countries accounted for about 20 percent of global output. This will increase to 40 per cent by about 2015. Developing economies in Africa, Latin America and South Asia will play an increasingly important role in the global economy in coming years as incomes rise and poverty falls.

South Africa’s invitation to join the BRIC economies [Brazil, Russia, India and China] reflects this broadening of the sources of economic growth. Over the next five years, these economies will account for 36 per cent of world economic growth. We have to construct our own growth and development strategies to propel our economy forward, create jobs and compete on the global stage.

The New Growth Path outlines our approach to accelerate growth and employment, focusing on several key drivers:

* Continuing and broadening public investment in infrastructure,
* Targeting more labour-absorbing activities in the agricultural and mining value chains, manufacturing, construction and services,
* Promoting innovation through “green economy” initiatives, and
* Supporting rural development and regional integration.

The latest estimate released by the Statistician-General is that the domestic economy grew by 2.8 per cent in 2010. Strong commodity prices, low interest rates, and faster global growth, have been the main forces behind our economic recovery. Improving household consumption and accelerating investment will support an increase in economic growth over the medium term. Real GDP growth is projected to reach 3.4 per cent in 2011, 4.1 per cent in 2012 and 4.4 percent in 2013.

Steady employment gains – of about 2 per cent a year – will raise disposable incomes, supporting household consumption and investment.

Private gross fixed-capital formation increased in the second and third quarters of 2010 – a marked turnaround after five successive quarters of decline. Total investment is expected to grow by 3.9 per cent in 2011, rising to 6.8 per cent in 2013. The buoyancy of the investment recovery is an important determinant of future economic growth.

Real growth in exports is expected to average 6.5 per cent a year over the medium term as commodity exports benefit from strong demand and high prices.

Inflation is forecast to remain within the target range of 3 – 6 per cent, edging towards the upper end of the range in 2013 as the economy strengthens. Increasing food and oil prices represent risks to the inflation outlook. The price of Brent crude reached US$107 yesterday – further increases will put upward pressure on prices more broadly.

The improved terms of trade for South Africa contributed to a better current account deficit for 2010 than was expected a year ago. As it widens from the 3.2 per cent of GDP expected this year to 5 per cent in 2013, we would like it to reflect rapidly rising investment rather than higher consumption.

Macroeconomic stability in an uncertain world

Mister Speaker, the growth and transformation of financial markets in recent decades has seen increased volatility of exchange rates and capital flows. Global commodity markets now account for significant fluctuations in prices for our energy imports, mineral exports, and food supplies.

The macroeconomic environment facing South Africans – through interest rates, exchange rates, inflation, and credit conditions – can be destabilised by those international shocks. The macroeconomic policy task is to provide a stable and predictable economic environment by offsetting such shocks as far as possible.

Our monetary policy, designed to target inflation, has been conducted successfully by the South African Reserve Bank, achieving the current low rate of inflation and interest rates.

Fiscal and monetary policy will continue to work in partnership. Monetary policy, operated by the Reserve Bank, will continue to be focused on controlling inflation, and we will continue to ensure that fiscal policy is counter- cyclical within a sustainable long-term framework.

Movements in the exchange rate affect different sectors of the economy in different ways, and present difficulties in macroeconomic policy for many countries.

Recognising the impact of rand strength on the manufacturing industry, in particular, we announced measures in October to moderate the potential effect of capital inflows.

* Foreign exchange regulations were amended to permit greater foreign investment by South African institutions.
* Stepped up foreign exchange purchases by the Reserve Bank have partially offset upward pressures on the rand.

As a result of these policy adjustments, and in line with shifts in investor sentiment globally, the rand depreciated from December 2010 to midF ebwary 2011 by about 10 per cent against the US dollar, the euro and sterling.

During 2010 South Africa received net inflows of R92 billion in liquid foreign capital, which contributed to upward pressure on the exchange rate. Since the fourth quarter of last year, South Africa experienced capital outflows. Along with uncertainties and volatility in global financial markets this contributed to the depreciation of the rand.

Furthermore the increase in oil and food prices is posing new risks to the inflation outlook.

Government will continue to assist the Reserve Bank to accumulate foreign exchange reserves when market conditions are favourable and engage in foreign currency swaps to moderate the effect of capital flows on the exchange rate.

Overly rapid currency depreciation carries risks to macroeconomic stability, however, and so we expect the Governor of the Reserve Bank to be vigilant in monitoring inflationary pressures and ensuring that monetary policy is effective in meeting our inflation targets. The credibility of monetary policy in achieving our target inflation range, combined with our commitment to fiscal discipline, are important foundations for moderating exchange rate volatility.

Changes in the volume and direction of capital flows may be significant over the year ahead, and are largely beyond our control or influence. We will allow the actions announced in the MTBPS to have their full effect and continue to monitor capital flows.

Other countries, too, experienced high capital inflows in 2010. Several, including Brazil, South Korea, and Thailand, introduced tax or regulatory measures to deter such investment flows and currency speculation. We have examined these options and their impact, and will continue to monitor the adjustments made in other countries, while recognising that circumstances vary from country to country. National Treasury is cognisant of the risk that financial instability and currency volatility can arise from large capital movements. If necessary, appropriate steps to moderate these effects will be taken, together with the Reserve Bank.

Transformation of the financial sector

Mister President, you pointed out in your State of the Nation Address that our financial sector proved to be remarkably resilient in the face of the recent financial crisis and the global economic meltdown.

In line with global developments, there are further steps to be taken to enhance the regulatory framework and improve financial services. The proposed reforms include a shift to a “twin peak” system of financial regulation, with market conduct under the Financial Services Board, and prudential regulation in the Reserve Bank. An inter-agency financial stability oversight committee will be formed, and a Council of Financial Regulators. A policy discussion paper sets out the new framework for how the financial sector could better serve South Africa.

Among the issues to be addressed are the findings of Judge Jali’s Enquiry into Competition in Banking – findings that are echoed by many people’s complaints that bank charges are high and opaque. As senior citizen Mr Bill Nobile wrote to me last week, “We do not fully understand the complexity of the payment systems for credit and other cards but there does appear to be considerable leeway in reducing costs to the consumer, including the elderly.” I have met with the chief executives of our banks to take up this issue, and I believe it is time to put in place measures that will ensure that banking charges are fairly set, are transparent and do not create undue hardship.

As part of the work of modernising and harmonising our investment framework, Treasury is releasing two further discussion papers – one on the regulation of foreign direct investment, and another on the prudential framework for institutional investors. We look forward to consultation with stakeholders on these issues over the coming months.

The fiscal framework

South Africa adopted a countercyclical fiscal stance two years ahead of the crisis. We entered the recent recession with a healthy fiscal position and a comparatively low level of debt. This allowed us to maintain government spending despite a sharp deterioration in revenue.

Government spending continues to grow over the next three years, though at a slower rate than in the recent past. Since the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, several additional spending allocations have been made, including provision for a response to the damage caused by last year’s floods.

The impact of slightly slower growth in revenue and the additional expenditures is that the deficit for next year is half a percentage point of GDP higher than we projected in October. The trend remains downwards however, with a deficit of 3.8 per cent of GDP expected in 2013/14. This reduction in the deficit over the next three years is consistent with stabilising the growth in our debt and the conduct of a countercyclical fiscal policy. National government net debt is set to rise from R526 billion at the end of 2008/09 to over R1.3 trillion in 2013/14.

Mister Speaker, to ensure that our spending on schools, hospitals and roads is not crowded out by an ever-rising interest burden, government debt needs to be managed sustainably. We don’t want an unmanageable increase in expenditure, nor do we want the severe austerity measures some western countries have had to adopt.

In view of these considerations, Parliament asked the National Treasury to investigate how we might reinforce long-term sustainability of our public finances. For the further consideration of the House, I will be proposing a set of fiscal guidelines, informed by three principles:

* A counter-cyclical fiscal stance, to counteract variations over the business cycle,
* Long-term debt sustainability, to ensure that financing costs do not crowd out expenditure on public services, and
* Inter-generational equity, so that our children’s wellbeing is not compromised by short-term interests.

Developing fiscal and budgetary guidelines will strengthen parliamentary oversight, encourage transparency and enhance accountability.

Division of revenue

Mister Speaker, our Constitution sets out specific criteria for the sharing of nationally-raised revenue between national departments, provinces and municipalities. Proposals for this division are set out in the Division of Revenue Bill.

Total expenditure from the National Revenue Fund of R889 billion is provided for in 2011/12, which is 9.8 per cent more than the revised estimate for 2010/11.

* Debt service costs will amount to R77 billion next year, rising to R104 billion in 2013/14. Though our overall debt burden remains moderate, the size of the budget deficit at present results in debt service costs rising faster than any other category of spending over the period ahead.
* In keeping with established practice, the budget framework includes an unallocated contingency reserve of R4 billion in 201 1/12, Ru billion in 2012/13 and R23 billion in 2013/14. This allows for unforeseeable and unavoidable spending requirements next year, and future policy priorities over the medium term.
* This leaves R808 billion to be allocated between national, provincial and local government in 2011/12, up from R743 billion in 2010/11 and rising to R926 billion by the end of the MTEF period. National departments are allocated 47 per cent of the total, provinces 44 per cent and municipalities just under 9 per cent. National transfers to local government have increased substantially, and will amount to over R70 billion in budgetary assistance and infrastructure grants in the 2011/12 year.

Revisions to baseline, savings and reprioritisation

Mister Speaker, the proposed medium-term expenditure framework has been structured to enable government’s policy priorities to be implemented, in accordance with delivery agreements.

The 2011 Budget makes available R94 billion in addition to baseline allocations over the next three years. Savings of R30.6 billion were identified, of which R21 .6 billion was reprioritised within departmental baselines to meet existing commitments. In order to accommodate additional funding for the National Student Finance Aid Scheme, all departments were required to effect unprecedented spending cuts of 0.3 per cent, amounting to R6 billion. I want to place on record our appreciation to Cabinet colleagues and departmental accounting officers for their co-operation.

Part of this revision to baseline allocations is the carry-through cost of the 2010 wage agreement, which requires an additional R39.4 billion for remuneration of employees over the MTEF period. The public service salary bill has doubled over the past five years, from R156 billion to R314 billion. This constitutes just under 40 per cent of consolidated non-interest expenditure.

Consolidated government expenditure

Members of the House will know that the spending plans of national government departments, public entities and social security funds are set out in considerable detail in the Estimates of National Expenditure. Estimates of consolidated government expenditure for the period ahead are set out in chapter 8 of the Budget Review.

Consolidated expenditure is projected to increase from R897 billion in 2010/11 to R1.2 trillion in 2013/14, with non-interest spending on public services growing by an average of 8 per cent a year.

Creating jobs

As you have emphasised, Mister President, our aim is to put development first, and not dependence on welfare.

The Budget therefore proposes a range of measures to accelerate employment creation over the period ahead:

* As announced by the President, R9 billion has been set aside over the next three years for a Jobs Fund to co-finance innovative public- and private-sector employment projects.
* Further education and training colleges are allocated over R14 billion for the period ahead, and student financial assistance will be stepped up.
* Over R20 billion goes to Sector Education and Training Authorities and R5 billion to the National Skills Fund, which have key responsibilities for training work-seekers.
* The expanded public works programme is R73 billion over the next three years, including community-based projects, environmental and social programmes and maintenance of roads and infrastructure.
* Tax incentives have been renewed for manufacturing investment of R20 billion, with a focus on job-creation potential.
* Investment will be increased in housing, and residential infrastructure and services.
* Small enterprise development initiatives will be strengthened, including a focus on employment activation by the National Youth Development Agency.
* Initiatives are under way to promote rural employment, and provide stepped up support for agricultural producers.
* Funding is allocated for renewable energy, environmental protection and “green” economy initiatives.
* As promised last year, details of a R5 billion youth employment subsidy are set out in a discussion paper, for further consideration in the House and at Nedlac.

We must offer young work-seekers real hope where at present there is despair. We need to do things differently. We need to have the courage to pilot new approaches and build new partnerships, promoting innovation throughout our economy.

Improving the quality of education

Education takes up the largest share of government spending – 21 per cent of non-interest allocations – and receives the largest share of the additional allocations.

* An amount of R8.3 billion over the MTEF period is added for schools infrastructure. A programme to address backlogs in school facilities over a three-year period will be administered by Minister Motshekga’s department.
* Just under Ri billion is added for funza lushaka teacher bursaries and bursaries for postgraduate students in natural sciences.
* R9.5 billion is provided for expanding further education and training colleges and skills development.

Including adjustments for the remuneration of teachers, a total of R24.3 billion will be added to education and skills spending over the next three years, which rises from R190 billion next year to R215 billion in 2013/14.

Minister Nzimande and Minister Motshekga exercise stewardship, Mister Speaker, over the largest network of service providers in our economy, and the most important programme of investment in future growth and redistribution.

Enhancing health services

Several further steps in implementing Minister Motsoaledi’s ten-point plan for reform of health services are accommodated in this Budget.

Total spending on public health services has increased strongly over the past three years, from R63 billion in 2007/08 to Ri 13 billion projected for next year. In addition to provision for higher personnel expenditure over the period ahead, over R8 billion is added to specific health service interventions, laying the foundations for National Health Insurance. This includes:

* R1.2 billion to introduce family health care teams,
* R2.9 billion to improve quality in health facilities, medical equipment and hospital systems,
* R1.4 billion for improved district-based maternal and child health services,
* A new Office of Standards Compliance to inspect and certify hospitals,
* Funding for the Department of Health to lead the necessary institutional and management reforms,
* Revitalising health infrastructure, including a new infrastructure grant for provinces,
* Expanding capacity to train medical doctors and nurses.
Total expenditure on the Comprehensive HIV/Aids conditional grant will amount to R26.9 billion over the MTEF period, based on an increase in the number of people on treatment from 1.2 million this year to 2.6 million by 2013/14.

The phasing in of National Health Insurance will require substantial reforms to address imbalances across the public and private sectors and expand health professional training. The financial and organisational implications of these reforms are being jointly addressed by the Department of Health and the Treasury.

Making communities safer

Additional resources are also allocated to the safety and security cluster led by Ministers Radebe, Mthethwa, Cwele and Mapisa-Nqakula for the period ahead. A total of R12.8 billion goes to the departments of Police, Justice and Constitutional Development, Correctional Services and the Independent Complaints Directorate. The budget provides R2.1 billion for the increase in police personnel to 202 260 in 2013/14, from about 190 000 at present. An additional R670 million is allocated for the upgrade of information technology over the MTEF period, and R490 million is for construction of courts, including new high courts in Nelspruit and Polokwane.
Total expenditure on public order and safety functions will amount to R91 billion next year, rising to R105 billion in 201 3/14.

Defence

On Minister Sisulu’s Defence vote, further allocations are made for assistance in safeguarding the country’s borders, and to upgrade and maintain border facilities and equipment.

Additional funding of R1.3 billion in 201 1/12, rising to R2 billion in 2013/14, will bring total expenditure on defence and state security to R38.4 billion next year, rising to R43.9 billion in the outer year.

Economic development and industrial promotion

Additional allocations in support of industrial and economic development over the period ahead include:

* R600 million for enterprise investment incentives,
* R735 million for the Competition Commission and other economic regulatory agencies,
* R250 million to the Industrial Development Corporation to support agro-processing businesses,
* R120 million for the national tooling initiative,
* R282 million for the Micro-finance Apex Fund, and
* R55 million for Khula Enterprises to pilot a new approach to small business lending.

Under the guidance of Minister Davies, about R10billion will be spent on Industrial Policy Action Plan investment promotion over the MTEF period, including the automotive production and development programme, clothing and textiles production incentives, the film and television production incentive and support for small manufacturing and tourism enterprises.

Small businesses are an important source of jobs. Businesses that employ fewer than 50 workers account for 68 per cent of private sector employment.

We need to get our small business sector growing. Allow me to share just a few inspiring examples.

* Miondolozi Kosi is a young man with a passion for building skills in his community, Willowvale. He has set up a small ICT training Centre where he has trained more than 120 people IT skills.
* Norman Mpedi is an ex-MK combatant, who after being forced to live off the bush in Angola discovered the umviyo fruit and has grown this into a thriving juice-making, Nguni Juice.
* Antonio Pooe started Exactech Fraud Solutions in 2007 as a small one-man business operating out of his home and has since grown it to a company with offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban and he now employs 24 people.

These are a few examples of thousands of small and micro businesses which have taken root and fill a vital place in our economy. In many instances they have been supported by financing from both the private sector and programme of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Rural development and agriculture

Under Minister Joemat-Petterssen and Minister Nkwinti, government’s land reform and agricultural development programmes are focused on rural job creation and poverty reduction, while expanding agricultural production and improving food security.

Additional allocations amounting to R2.2 billion go to these functions, including a further R400 million for the comprehensive agricultural support programme and the land care programme grant and funding to enable a further 5 000 recruits into the National Rural Youth Services corps.

Including provincial allocations for agricultural support, a total of R19 billion will be spent on rural development and agriculture in 2011/12, rising to R21 billion in 201 3/14.

Transport

Additional allocations of R10.3 billion are made over the MTEF for transport infrastructure and services on Minister Ndebele’s vote.

* This includes R3.8 billion for maintenance of the coal haulage road network, financed from the increased levy on electricity collected from Eskom.
* An additional Ri .5 billion goes to provinces for road maintenance and weighbridges, as part of a new conditional grant for roads infrastructure.
* Funds are also stepped up for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, for replacing signaling infrastructure and refurbishing rail coaches.
* A further R2.5 billion goes to municipalities for public transport systems and infrastructure.
Consolidated government transport spending will amount to R66 billion next year, rising to R80 billion by 201 3/14.

Environmental protection and adapting to climate change

Funding amounting to R800 million has been set aside over the next three years for “green economy” initiatives. Specific allocations will be made in the Adjustments Budget.

Additional allocations for research into energy-efficiency technologies are proposed, efforts to prevent wildlife trafficking and improved air quality, waste disposal and coastline management. A total of R2.2 billion is allocated for environmental employment programmes over the medium term period and funding is provided on Minister Molewa’s vote for hosting the Conference on Climate Change in November this year.

Total spending on the integrated national electrification programme will increase to R3.2 billion in 2013/14.

Housing and community amenities

Mister Speaker, recent research published by the Development Policy Research Unit confirms that significant progress has been made in the delivery of housing, water, sanitation and electricity.

* The proportion of poor households living in formal dwellings has increased from 47 per cent in 1994 to 66 per cent,
* Households with piped water have increased from 28 per cent to 53 per cent,
* Those with electricity for lighting, from 20 per cent to 75 per cent, and
* With flush or chemical sanitation, from 18 per cent to 37 per cent.

Additional allocations to Minister Sexwale’s vote for human settlements upgrading and municipal services amount to R4.9 billion over the MTEF period.

Two new grants to provinces and municipalities are proposed under Minister Shiceka’s oversight, to respond more rapidly to disasters.

A further R3.6 billion is added for water infrastructure and services, including funding for the acid water drainage threat associated with abandoned underground mines. A report on this by a team of experts has been approved by Cabinet, and Minister Molewa is taking the lead in consulting with industry on a shared and coordinated response.

Government aims to upgrade 400 000 homes in informal settlements by 2014. A new urban settlements development grant contributes R21 .8 billion over the next three years for these projects.

Total spending on the housing, water and community amenities social wage will amount to R122 billion in 201 1/12, rising to R138 billion in 2013/14.

Social protection

The social protection budget is another substantial part of the social wage. This practical expression of a caring society amounts to R147 billion in 2011/12, rising to R172 billion in 2013/14. Income support to poor households has been extended over the past decade, mainly through the phased extension of the child support grant to older children.

At present close to 15 million fellow citizens receive social grants on Minister Dlamini’s vote, equivalent to more than a quarter of the population. Social grant payments mainly go to pensioners (38 per cent), children in poor households (35 per cent) and the disabled (19 per cent).

With effect from April:

* The monthly state old age grant and the disability and care dependency grants will rise by R60 a month to R1140,
* For pensioners over the age of 75, the old age grant will rise by a further R20 a month to Ri 160,
* Foster care grants will increase by R30 to R740,
* The child support grant will increase from R250 to R260 in April, and to R270 in October.
* Revisions are also proposed to the means test thresholds, which will benefit households with modest incomes that reduce their grant entitlements.

Social protection also includes unemployment insurance, occupational injury compensation and the road accident fund. Proposals are now well advanced for alignment and consolidation of these social security arrangements, together with the introduction of a mandatory basic retirement savings plan. Over R9 billion a year is currently spent in administering our fragmented social security system. An integrated and better coordinated social security system will offer better protection to vulnerable households, at a lower administrative cost.

Revenue estimates and tax proposals

Let me turn, Mister Speaker, to the revenue required for these spending plans.

Members of the House have been very patient, and may be thinking of the need for liquid refreshment, and the cost thereof! I will say something about that in a moment. But first let me report on revenue.

Revenue outcomes and tax expenditures

I am pleased to report that tax revenue has recovered during 2010/11. The revised estimate is R672 billion, or 12.3 per cent higher than last year. Personal income tax has increased strongly as have VAT receipts and customs duties. However, corporate income tax revenue has remained below projections, indicating the effect of the 2009 recession on company profits.

Total budget revenue, including provincial receipts, and income of social security funds and public entities, is R755 billion, or 13.6 per cent above the 2009/10 estimate.

This Budget Review includes, for the first time, a tax expenditure statement. This is a summary of potential tax revenues foregone as a result of various tax incentives. The purpose of the statement is to make transparent those fiscal incentives or indirect subsidies that lie behind the headline revenue and spending numbers. The initial estimate puts the value of tax expenditures at R78 billion a year. We are also publishing the latest edition of the annual Tax Statistics which provides the most detailed view to date of our tax base and revenue contributions and helps to complete the overall picture of the budget system.

Tax proposals – individuals, trusts and non-business entities

Mister Speaker, revisions to the personal income tax brackets and rebates are proposed which represent relief for individuals of R8.1 billion. These adjustments compensate for the effects of inflation for the coming year and the balance of the fiscal drag effect that could not be accommodated last year.

From March 2011:

* Tax will be payable only on income above R59 750 for taxpayers below age 65, and R93 150 for those 65 and older.
* A third rebate of R2 000 per year is proposed, increasing the tax threshold for taxpayers aged 75 and older to Ri 04 261.
* An increase in the annual tax-free interest income to R22 800 for individuals below 65 years is proposed, and to R33 000 for individuals 65 years and over. The treasury is exploring the possibility of incentivised savings schemes for housing or for education as alternatives to this exemption.
* The tax-free lump sum benefit upon retirement will increase from R300 000 to R315 000.
As in past years, inflation-related increases will be made to the monthly thresholds for tax-deductible contributions to medical schemes. These deductions and those for qualifying out-of-pocket medical expenses will be converted into tax credits with effect from March 2012. A tax credit is more equitable since it provides for an equal benefit to all taxpayers regardless of their income.

Changes to the tax treatment and administration of contributions to retirement funds are also proposed. These will simplify administration and improve the fairness of the system. There will be extensive consultation on the matter. The proposals include treatment of employer contributions as a fringe benefit, limits on tax deductible contributions and alignment of the tax treatment of provident and pension funds.

From March 2012, an employer’s contribution will be treated as a taxable fringe benefit, and employees will be allowed to deduct up to 22.5 per cent of taxable income for contributions to approved retirement funds. A maximum of R200 000 a year will be deductible. With a view to protecting workers’ savings, it is proposed that the one-third lump-sum withdrawal limit applicable to pension and retirement annuity funds should also apply to provident funds.

The following capital gains exclusion amounts will be increased from 1 March 2011:

* For individuals and special trusts, from R17 500 to R20 000 annually,
* On death, from R120 000 to R200 000,
* On disposal of a small business when a person is 55 years or older, from R750 000 to R900 000.

The annual trading income exemption for public benefit organisations will increase from R150 000 to R200 000, and for recreational clubs from RiCO 000 to R120 000.

Withholding tax on gambling winnings

Mister Speaker, last year we indicated that the taxation of gambling winnings would come under review. With effect from April 2012, all winnings above R25 000, including pay-outs from the National Lottery, will be subject to a final 15 per cent withholding tax. This is in line with practice in a number of other countries, such as the United States. I hope it will assist in discouraging excessive gambling. Despite the obvious merits of this argument, I expect vigorous debate dunng the Parliamentary process.

National health insurance

Proposals are under review for a national health insurance system, as part of the broader restructuring and enhancement of health services. There will be substantial cost implications. We will consider and consult on options for meeting the funding requirements, including a payroll tax (payable by employers), an increase in the VAT rate and a surcharge on individuals’ taxable income. The fiscal and financial implications of health system reform, and alternative revenue sources, will be examined in the year ahead.

Tax proposals – businesses

For businesses, the following is proposed:

* As indicated in previous years, a dividends tax will take effect on 1 April 2012, replacing the secondary tax on companies.
* Dividend schemes that undermine the tax base will be closed by treating the dividends at issue as ordinary revenue. These include dividend cessions, where taxpayers effectively purchase tax-free dividends without any stake in the underlying shares.
* Government introduced the concept of a venture capital company into the Income Tax Act in 2009, but the response has been poor. The approach will be refined so as to facilitate greater access to equity finance by small and medium businesses and junior mining companies.
* From March 2011, the turnover tax for micro businesses with annual turnover up to R1million will be adjusted so that tax will be payable only if turnover exceeds R150 000 a year. The rate structure will also be reviewed.
* Also, from 1 March 2012, micro businesses that register for VAT will no longer be barred from registering for turnover tax.
* The learnership tax incentive, designed to support youth employment, will expire in September 2011. Government proposes to extend this for a further five years, subject to an analysis of its effectiveness with all stakeholders.
* A youth employment subsidy is proposed. Subject to completion of consultations, it will take the form of a tax credit costing R5 billion over three years to be administered by the South African Revenue Service through the PAYE system.
* To support the objectives of the industrial policy action plan and the New Growth Path, certain investments qualify for tax relief. Consideration will be given to expanding such incentives for labour intensive projects in Industrial Development Zones (IDZ5).

Indirect taxes

* The transfer duty exemption threshold will be increased from R500 000 to R600 000.
* Excise duties on alcoholic beverages will be increased by between 4.5 and 10.3 per cent – an increase of 6.4 cents for a 340m1 can of beer, 13.5 cents per bottle of wine, or R2.86 for a bottle of spirits.
* Taxes on tobacco products will increase between 6 and 10.2 per cent – 80 cents more for a packet of 20 cigarettes.
* Currently there is an ad valorem excise tax on new motor vehicles. The rate increases as the price of the vehicle increases. These rates will remain unchanged below a purchase price of R900 000. For vehicles above R900 000, the tax rate will increase to a maximum of 25 per cent, from 20 per cent at present.
* The general fuel levy will increase by 10 cents a litre on both petrol and diesel on 6 April 2011.
* The Road Accident Fund levy will be increased by 8 cents to 80 cents a litre.
* Increases will take effect on 1 October 2011 in the air passenger departure tax on flights to international destinations.
* The levy on electricity generated from non-renewable and nuclear energy sources will increase by 0.5c/kWh to 2.5c/kWh from April 2011. The increase should not impact on electricity tariffs, as it has already been taken into account in the National Energy Regulator’s approved tariff structure.

Tax administration

Mister Speaker, allow me to pay tribute again to the continued support received from millions of honest taxpayers. Their contributions are reflected in the recovery of tax revenue this year. We have been able to expand spending where other nations have been forced into austerity adjustments. Even those who have not contributed fully to date have begun to come forward to take advantage of the Reserve Bank and SARS’s voluntary disclosure programmes. Others who wish to have until the end of October this year to join the 1200 applicants to date.

Administrative reforms will continue to focus on ensuring that all those who earn an income through employment or other economic activity pay what is due to the fiscus.

This year, SARS will turn its attention to enhancements to the business tax process including corporate income tax, VAT and an enhanced Turnover Tax for emerging businesses. As with personal income tax, a pre-requisite for these improvements is an accurate picture of all business entities no matter their size or tax liability. SARS, in partnership with other state institutions, will make significant improvements to the business registration process this year – including conducting a door-to-door drive in the informal sector to help complete the picture.

Tax and customs evasion remains a serious threat. Working together, the police, the prosecuting authority, the Financial Intelligence Centre and SARS ensured that more than 200 taxpayers were convicted of fraud and tax evasion during the last six months.

Recently, customs officers with the support of the police impounded nearly 3 000 illegally imported second-hand vehicles, two significant tobaccos smuggling rings have been snuffed out and a tobacco manufacturer has been shut down in the last month. We are also, in conjunction with the tobacco industry, investigating a new method of marking and authenticating legal cigarettes with a counterfeit-proof digital system to replace the current “diamond mark”.

Mister Speaker, the sector most visibly affected by the illicit economy in recent years has been the clothing and textile industry, resulting in significant loss of jobs in local manufacturing plants. In the coming months a multidisciplinary task team comprising representatives of the manufacturing, importing and retail industries and a range of public sector stakeholders, will begin interventions across the entire supply chain to clamp down on illicit clothing and textiles imports.

Measures to combat fraud and corruption

Mister Speaker, public procurement plays a significant part in the economy and is central to government service delivery. However, citizens and taxpayers do not get full value for money, because this is an area vulnerable to waste and corruption. This compromises the integrity of governance and frustrates the pace of service delivery.

Alongside the work of the competition authorities in addressing supplier collusion and tender-rigging, a strong procurement framework is critical to boosting jobs and service delivery.

The first round of measures announced in October will come into effect this year:

* Government departments will be required to establish rigorous demand management procedures, including submission of advance tender programmes for the next financial year to the relevant treasury authority.
* Limits will be prescribed for variation orders, to restrict significant changes to procurement orders and bring our system in line with international standards.
* Companies bidding for tenders will be required to disclose the identity of all directors, to determine whether any of the directors are government officials or tax non-compliant.

There are currently 53 investigations involving procurement irregularities, involving contracts worth R3 billion. Minister Radebe recently reported that 65 people linked to some of these investigations have been arrested and brought before the courts. More than R250 million has been seized by the state.

SARS is investigating another 9 cases of tender fraud, with a total value of approximately R1.7 billion.

SARS has also increased its analytical capacity with the aim of ensuring that vendors winning state contracts satisfy their tax obligations fully. As at the end January 2011, SARS had identified some 13 000 vendors who have won state contracts and who owe taxes amounting to over R1billion.

Mister Speaker, we have a shared responsibility to prevent corruption and we call on all citizens to blow the whistle on corruption and to report any procurement irregularities to the relevant authorities.

Equally important is the call of this Government to its managers to ensure that our communities and our taxpayers get full value for their money. Poor delivery and stealing from the fiscus are never acceptable. Senior managers of our institutions and municipalities are expected to work actively to improve their procurement processes and oversight.

Infrastructure investment, city planning and development finance

Public sector infrastructure spending

Mister Speaker, government and state-owned enterprises will spend more than R800 billion over the next 3 years on new power stations, road networks, dams and water supply pipelines, rail and ports facilities, schools, hospitals and government buildings. This builds on the steady progress made over the past decade which saw the contribution of government and public enterprises to gross fixed capital formation rise from 4 per cent of GDP in 2000 to 8.6 per cent in 2009. These are long-term investments in the future of our country, and in the capacity of the economy to grow and create jobs for generations to come.

Major projects under way include:

* Medupi power station, which will generate 4 700 MW at a projected investment cost of R125 billion,
* The R23 billion Transnet multi-product pipeline which will secure our inland fuel supplies,
* And the R21 billion freeway improvement scheme, which has already significantly eased congestion on Gauteng roads.

These investments are largely financed through borrowing, with costs recovered from future electricity consumers and road-users.

As part of a long-term strategy for modemising public transport in metropolitan areas, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa is embarking on an 18-year programme to replace its coach and locomotive fleet, at an estimated cost of R86 billion.

While infrastructure spending in the lead-up to the Soccer World Cup assisted in moderating the impact of the recession on South Africa, there has been an apparent deterioration in government construction spending over the past year. The challenge of intensifying infrastructure spending over the period ahead will require attention to planning, budgeting and contract management in national and provincial departments and municipalities.

Planning and financing cities for inclusive growth

It is time for special initiatives to accelerate growth and development in South Africa’s cities, which have immense potential for inclusive growth and are home to many millions of poor people.

The public finance challenge is to balance investment in expanding urban capacity while also providing key public services – electricity, water, sanitation, refuse removal and public transport. An efficient and cost-effective public transport system is crucial because the majority of our people live too far from where job opportunities are. In addition, through better land use management, we need to deliver integrated human settlements that break from the apartheid past.

A start is made in this budget, in the allocation of funds directly to cities to upgrade informal settlements. Minister Sexwale will implement the accreditation of municipalities which have demonstrated their capacity to manage the low-income housing subsidy system. The public transport function, including the management of rail, has been delegated by Minister Ndebele to metropolitan municipalities in terms of the National Land Transport Act. These are steps that create direct responsibilities for city councils, and open up opportunities for accelerating investment and change in the urban landscape and how cities promote their local economic development.

Development finance institutions

Mister Speaker, a Development Finance Institutions Council has been established, as recommended by a review committee. One of its primary tasks is to ensure alignment between the programmes of these institutions and government’s development agenda.

Members will recall that in last year’s budget we agreed to support an expanded lending capacity of several development finance institutions. The recapitalisation of the Land Bank is under way. So far, Ri .7 billion has been transferred to the Land Bank, and its finances are improving. The Land Bank board has agreed to step up the Bank’s support for emerging farmers. In cooperation with the Departments of Rural Development and Land Reform, and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, steps are in progress to turn failing farms that were transferred to emerging farmers under the land reform programme into successful business enterprises.

The lending capacity of the Development Bank of Southern Africa has also been enhanced, by providing an interim guarantee while processing the necessary legislative amendment. The DBSA is now working closely with National Treasury and the departments of Health and Water Affairs, amongst others, on strengthening infrastructure project management – revitalising five major hospitals and their medical faculties, and preliminary planning of nine bulk water schemes. The Bank also plays a key role in supporting municipal financial capacity, and will assist in operationalising the new Jobs Fund. Our agreement is that the delivery capacity and excellence we mobilised at national level to build stadiums and host the World Cup, will be the benchmark for undertaking these initiatives.

Including the investment and lending capability of the Industrial Development Corporation, our development finance institutions are ready to expand financing substantially over the next three years. The challenge is to ensure available funds are allocated effectively and efficiently, to contribute to raising productive capacity and to complement the investment activities of the wider financial sector.

Conclusion

Mister Speaker, I extend my sincere appreciation to the President and Deputy President for their unwavering support and wise counsel. Keeping our country on a steady course through the Great Recession has been a challenging task for all of us and the support of the Presidency has been both indispensable and inspirational.

I would like to thank my Cabinet colleagues for their support. The Budget is our collective statement. Your positive and encouraging contributions have been most helpful.

The Members of the Ministers Committee on the Budget have shouldered an immense responsibility to restwcture and reform our fiscal system and make bold recommendations to Cabinet. Theirs has been an excellent and enduring team effort.

Deputy Minister Nene has offered wise insights and shared many responsibilities. He forms an invaluable part of a maturing ministry.

Thanks also go to the MEC5 for Finance, who play a vital role in managing over 40 per cent of the budget.

Our collective thanks go to:

* Governor Gill Marcus and the staff of the South African Reserve Bank,
* Commissioner Oupa Magashula and the South African Revenue Service,
* Jabu Moleketi, chair of the DBSA, and CEO Paul Baloyi,
* The Financial and Fiscal Commission and its acting chair Bongani Khumalo,
* NEDLAC, its Managing Director, Herbert Mkhize, and representatives of the business, labour and community constituencies on the Public Finance and Monetary Chamber,
* The Honourable Thaba Mufamadi and Honourable Charel de Beer who chair the Standing and Select Committees on Finance respectively and to the two chairs of the Appropriations committees, the Honourable Eliot Sogoni and Honourable Teboho Chaane,
* Lesetja Kganyago and the National Treasury team, who continue to surpass their own high standards and remain wonderful examples of loyal and professional public servants, and are an invaluable asset to our democratic state,
* Staff of the Ministry who make my work easier and give vital support daily.

I thank my family for their support and sacrifices so that I may serve our country.

Once again my sincere appreciation to the wide range of South Africans who provide positive feedback and ideas on how government could work better and differently.

Fellow South Africans, the President has clearly stated that job creation is our number one priority. This budget outlines what government’s capabilities and finances can do to support the delivery of jobs.

Now it is time for all of us to say “making South Africa work begins with you and me.”

Giving every South African the dignity of a job, the security of an income, the prospect of training, the support to launch new businesses, the confidence to be an entrepreneur and the sheer passion and optimism to break the shackles of unemployment – is the best legacy this generation can leave for the next.

The world is full of opportunities. Ours is the task of transforming these opportunities into real, tangible outcomes which all of our people can experience and call their own.

Or as Mandisa Motha-Ngumla advised me in a budget tip: “Government must teach its people to fish; not be suppliers of fish. The latter is not sustainable; the government pond will never be able to supply more fish in twenty years than it is doing now to the ever growing masses of people of this countiy. Let’s work to reduce dependency and give back dignity that was eroded by our past.”

We repeat, with jobs comes dignity. With dignity comes participation. And from participation emerges prosperity for all.

In Madiba’s words “In judging our progress as individuals we tend to concentrate on external factors, such as one’s social position, influence and popularity, wealth and standard of education… It is perfectly understandable if many people exert themselves mainly to achieve all these. But internal factors may be even more crucial. . .Honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, pure generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to seive others qualities which are within easy reach of every soul.”

How the budget will be spent

How the budget will be spent

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State of the Nation Address by His Excellency Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, 10 February 2011

Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly,

Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces;

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP;

Deputy President of the Republic, Honourable Kgalema Motlanthe;

Former President Thabo Mbeki,

Former Deputy President FW De Klerk,

Former Deputy President Baleka Mbete,

Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, and all

Esteemed members of the Judiciary;

Distinguished Premiers and Speakers of our Provinces;

Chairperson of SALGA, and all local government leadership;

Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders; The Heads of

Chapter 9 Institutions;

The Governor of the Reserve Bank; Gill Marcus

The Heads of our security institutions,

Leadership of all sectors – labour, business, sports, and religious leaders,

Members of the diplomatic corps;

South African and foreign media;

Fellow South Africans,

Dumelang, good evening, goeie naand, molweni, thobela,

Thank you Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly and the Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP, for this opportunity to share with fellow South Africans and international guests our review and programme of action for this year.

I called this Joint Sitting in the evening again so that all, including students and workers, can have an opportunity at first hand to listen to their government speak on issues affecting their lives.

We thank the Presiding Officers for allowing us this opportunity.

Let me also, on behalf of government, welcome the Members of Parliament back to this beautiful mother city of Cape Town.

We would like to thank all South Africans who contributed to this State of the Nation Address through mainstream media, social media such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as direct contact.

The inputs have been very helpful.

Tomorrow will be 21 years since the release of our beloved President Nelson Mandela from prison.

It was a historic and very special moment for our country, which demonstrated the victory of our people over tyranny and apartheid oppression.

The events of that day prepared the ground for the implementation of our vision of a free, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous South Africa.

We have entered the 17th year of freedom, ready to continue the drive to make South Africa a successful and prosperous country, building on the foundation that was laid by President Mandela.

As we mark this milestone, we extend the nation’s good wishes to Tata Madiba and his family, and wish him a speedy recovery.

Compatriots,

We need to accept the reality that President Mandela, who is loved by all of us, young and old, men and women, black and white, is not young anymore.

He will, from time to time, visit medical facilities for checkups, which is normal for a person of his age.

We should allow him to do so with dignity, and give the family and the medical team the space to look after him, on our behalf, in privacy.

We owe him that much given his love of this country and its people, and the contribution he has made to South Africa, Africa and the world.

We thank the family, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the medical team for the sterling work that they are doing, in caring for a global icon, that we are so proud to call our own.

We want to assure the nation that Madiba is receiving very good medical care, and is comfortable.

TOGETHER WE HAVE ACHIEVED MUCH

Compatriots,

We continue to make steady progress as we work towards a more prosperous society. The political foundation is solid.

We have built a vibrant, fully functional Constitutional democracy.

We have well-established institutions that support democracy and protect the rights of our citizens, such as the Office of the Public Protector, the South African Human Rights Commission, the Office of the Auditor General, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities and the Gender Commission.

Without fail, national general elections are held every five years to enable South Africans to choose a government of their choice, run by our efficient Independent Electoral Commission.

We have a Parliament that is vibrant and holds the executive accountable.

We have an independent judiciary which is a trusted final arbiter in all disputes in our society. We have a media whose freedom is enshrined in the Constitution.

On basic services, we are also making progress. More than 400 000 additional people were served with basic water supply last year. About 81% of the country is electrified as compared to 63% in the year 2000.

The crime statistics show a decrease in most crimes, particularly armed robberies, housebreakings and business robberies as well as contact crimes, for example, the murder rate declined by 8, 6 percent in the past year.

We are making a difference in education, as evidenced by the significant increase in the matric pass rate last year, and the interest displayed by the youth in education around the country.

Honourable Members,

Close to 15 million South Africans obtain social grants from the State. We will phase in the extension of the Child Support Grant to cover eligible children under the age of 18 years.

Since we are building a developmental and not a welfare state, the social grants will be linked to economic activity and community development, to enable short-term beneficiaries to become self-supporting in the long run.

Honourable Members,

We are pleased with the performance of our financial sector.

It has proven to be remarkably resilient in the face of the recent financial crisis and the global economic meltdown.

The Budget deficit is set to decline from the current 6.7% to between 3 and 4% by 2013.

Concerns about the exchange rate have been taken to heart.

Exchange control reforms that were announced in the Medium Term Budget Policy statement last year are being implemented. Further information will be provided by the Minister of Finance in the Budget Speech.

The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup was undoubtedly the most exciting project in 2010.

On the international front, we are greatly honoured to join the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa forum. It is an important bloc of emerging economies. We look forward to the inaugural meeting of BRICS in April in China.

We have taken up our non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, which we will use to promote the African agenda as well as peace and security in Africa and the world.

We have come a long way. We have achieved a lot, but challenges still remain.

Working together we will achieve much more.

BUILDING A MORE PROSPEROUS SOCIETY

Compatriots,

While many South Africans celebrate the delivery of houses, electricity or water, there are yet many others who are still waiting.

The legacy of decades of apartheid underdevelopment and colonial oppression cannot be undone in only 17 years.

But we are forging ahead, determined to achieve our mission of building a better life for all.

And we are doing so with the help of our people. We appreciate the feedback they continue to give us.

Bongokuhle Miya wrote on the Presidency Facebook page that his hometown Umzimkhulu is in an appalling condition, with burst sewerage pipes everywhere, no drainage system and domestic animals that are roaming around town.

He writes: “If the Government, which is doing very well, could just pay much more attention, with a bit of urgency to such areas”.

Indeed, we agree service delivery should move faster.

Our interactive government also obtains information from direct contact with our people.

In the past year we have visited many villages, townships and suburbs. Their message is consistent.

They appreciate progress made, request faster delivery and state their commitment to work with government to achieve more.

Given the work that must still be done, we decided in 2009 to focus on five priorities. These are education, health, rural development and agrarian reform, taking forward the fight against crime and creating decent work.

We have done well on these priorities.

However, we are concerned that unemployment and poverty persist despite the economic growth experienced in the past 10 years.

To address these concerns, we have declared 2011 a year of job creation through meaningful economic transformation and inclusive growth.

We have introduced a New Growth Path that will guide our work in achieving these goals, working within the premise that the creation of decent work is at the centre of our economic policies.

We urge every sector and every business entity, regardless of size, to focus on job creation. Every contribution counts in this national effort.

I will provide just a broad outline of our programme of action in this address.

Ministers will announce their jobs targets and more specific details per sector, in their forthcoming Budget Vote Speeches.

All government departments will align their programmes with the job creation imperative. The provincial and local government spheres have also been requested to do the same.

The programmes of State Owned Enterprises and development finance institutions should also be more strongly aligned to the job creation agenda.

Honourable Members,

Research has indicated that we can create jobs in six priority areas. These are infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green economy and tourism.

We cannot create these jobs alone. We have to work with business, labour and the community constituencies.

Experience shows that we succeed when we work together.

One key example is the work done by the Presidential Framework Response to the International Economic Crisis team, comprising government, business, labour and community sectors.

Amongst the key achievements of the team, South Africa introduced its first ever training layoff scheme to provide alternatives to retrenchments.

Another intervention included financial support for firms in distress, which saved about seven thousand jobs. We thank the team for their sterling work, and look forward to ongoing collaboration.

While looking to the private sector in particular to help us create most of the jobs, government will certainly play its part.

We are pleased to announce the establishment of a jobs fund of 9 billion rand over the next three years to finance new job-creation initiatives.

In addition, the Industrial Development Corporation has set aside R10 billion over the next five years for investment in such economic activities with a high jobs potential.

It is also my pleasure Honourable Members, to announce R20 billion in tax allowances or tax breaks to promote investments, expansions and upgrades in the manufacturing sector.

For a project to qualify, the minimum investment must be R200 million for new projects, and R30 million for expansion and upgrades.

The programme will provide an allowance of up to R900 million in tax deductible allowances rand for new investors and R550 million for upgrades and expansions.

Compatriots,

The small business sector is a critical component of the job creation drive.

We will continue to provide financial and non-financial support to small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs), small scale agriculture as well as cooperatives.

We need to cut administrative costs, avoid duplication and direct more resources to small business.

We are therefore considering merging the three agencies Khula, the SA Micro-Finance Apex Fund and the IDC’s small business funding into a single unit.

The campaign to pay SMMEs on time, within 30 days, is proceeding well.

The Department of Trade and Industry payment hotline received about 20 000 calls in the last financial year, and the value of payments facilitated was R210 million.

Other departments have launched their own initiatives, for example the Re Ya Patala (We Pay) initiative of the Department of Public Works.

We are continuing with legislative reforms to make it easier to register businesses and also to strengthen the Competition Act to open the market to new participants.

Honourable Members,

The mineral wealth of our country is a national asset and a common heritage that belongs to all South Africans, with the State as the custodian.

South Africa has significant mining assets, currently valued at 2.5 trillion US dollars.

By 2009, the mining industry contributed more than thirty percent to the country’s total export revenue, and employed 2.9% of the country’s economically active population.

Estimates suggest that our mineral resources are expected to be exploitable for over a century to come.

To take advantage of that potential, government has endorsed the African Exploration, Mining and Finance Corporation as the State Owned Mining Company, that will undertake the mining of minerals of strategic significance.

One of government’s priorities this year is also to finalise and adopt the beneficiation strategy as the official policy of government, so that we can start reaping the full benefits of our commodities.

Compatriots,

In communications, we have committed to convert our television and radio signals from the analogue platform to the more advanced digital signal which will enable quality pictures and sound.

Jobs will be created in manufacturing, packaging, distribution and installation during this period.

Honourable Speaker and National Chairperson,

We are pleased with the success of our tourism sector, especially given that sixteen tourists create one job in our country.

More than 7, 3 million tourists arrived in South Africa last year, as compared to about 6.3 million in 2009. For further growth, we will strengthen existing markets while exploring the emerging economies.

Our country also continues to be a popular destination for international gatherings.

In July, we will host a high level sports gathering in Durban, the 123rd International Olympic Committee General Assembly Session.

We thank the IOC for the opportunity to host this important congress.

We have already secured ninety five meetings and conferences between 2010 and 2016.

To further boost our tourism potential, we will amongst other measures, look into flexible visa requirements, improved landing slots at foreign airports as well as improved tourism infrastructure.

Linked to tourism, we will continue to develop the cultural industries sector, which contributes about R2 billion to the Gross Domestic Product.

We have also seen the value of events such as the Cape Town International Jazz Festival which, contributed more than R475 million to the economy of Cape Town and created 2 000 jobs in 2010.

We also wish to extend a special mention to the popular Cape Minstrels Carnival, which brightens up this city every year on the 2nd of January, celebrating the freeing of slaves.

Honourable Members,

Our infrastructure development programme enables us to expand access to basic services and to improve the quality of life.

This includes projects for the provision of water, electricity and housing.

Energy security is critical for economic development and job creation. To ensure the security of electricity supply for the country, Eskom has invested more than R75 billion, mainly on the new stations Medupi, Kusile and Ingula, as well as the return to service and transmission of other projects.

We must all save energy so that we do not have to resort to load shedding again as a saving measure.

This year we will start procuring power from Renewable Energy Power Producers, which will demonstrate our commitment to renewable energy.

Honourable Members,

The construction industry is a known driver for work opportunities. There are 1.2 million households living in the country’s 2 700 informal settlements.

By the year 2014, 400 000 of the said households should have security of tenure and access to basic services.

We will also improve the delivery of rental accommodation as some people coming to urban areas do not intend to settle permanently.

This should be welcome news to citizens such as Portia Busisiwe Mrwetyana who wrote on our Facebook page about inequalities in Bekkersdal, where an informal settlement which has no services, lies alongside a suburb across the road with all amenities.

She asks: “What I wanna know is why treat us differently, but we give you the same vote, WHY?”.

Government will spend R2,6 billion on water services this year. Among the priority areas are the provinces of Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape where there are still high numbers of people without safe drinking water.

We noted the requests from many contributors to this address, for government to fix potholes.

Our Expanded Public Works Programme aims to create 4, 5 million work opportunities, and more than a million opportunities have been created already since the beginning of Phase 2. Part of the programme focuses on repairing our roads networks.

Abantu abaningi bakithi bathola ukusizakala kakhulu ngaloluhlelo lwamatoho emisebenzi kahulumeni.

Kutholakala amatoho okulungisa imigwaqo, ezemidlalo, ukufundisa abadala ukufunda nokubhala, ukugcina imigqwaqo ihlanzekile.

Uhlelo lokulungisa imigwaqo, olubizwa nge-Zibambele, seluzosatshalaliswa izwe lonke kulonyaka luvule amathuba emisebenzi.

We will develop infrastructure that will boost our agricultural sector, while also helping to create jobs.

Water reservoirs, windmills and irrigation schemes will be rehabilitated. Crops, livestock as well as grazing will be protected with the installation of fences.

These projects will enhance food security and create work opportunities for many, especially women in rural areas.

To enhance our innovation in science and technology and create jobs, we are bidding to host the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.

The bid has already provided 800 construction job opportunities in the Northern Cape and will create a further 100 jobs this year.

Our job creation drive should also enhance youth development.

The National Youth Development agency is in discussion with state organs and the private sector to mainstream youth development in public sector programmes and to promote youth enterprises and cooperatives.

Compatriots,

We believe that the interventions we have mentioned briefly will take us forward in placing job creation high on the agenda of all decision makers in the country.

Seven Ministers met with our social partners on Tuesday to discuss this partnership and we remain optimistic that we are poised for success.

Honourable Speaker and Honourable Chairperson,

Parallel to the job creation incentives, we will also undertake policy reforms related to improving the lives of our workers.

Government, with its social partners, is reviewing legislation on labour brokers and the policy framework for the provision of public employment services.

This will enable government to maintain a database of job seekers and job opportunities.

The Government Position Paper on Social Security Reform is expected to be released this year for discussion.

Issues to be dealt with include the funding and nature of the National Social Security Fund, how the private sector occupational and retirement funds will fit into the entire system, and the possible regulatory structure.

Government must fill all funded vacant posts. The performance monitoring and evaluation department will provide a report within six months.

Honourable Speaker and Honourable Chairperson,

Indeed, we have come a long way since 1994. We have achieved a lot, but much more still needs to be done, and working together as South Africans, we will achieve much more!

Please allow me to now tackle the other four priorities as well as other programmes.

The focus in basic education this year is Triple T: Teachers, Textbooks and Time. We reiterate our call that teachers must be at school, in class, on time, teaching for at least seven hours a day.

The administration must ensure that every child has a textbook on time, and that we assist our teachers to create the right working environment for quality teaching to take place.

To track progress, this year, we began the annual national assessments in literacy and numeracy that are internationally benchmarked, for grades 3, 6 and 9.

We will continue investing in teacher training, especially in mathematics and science.

We will pay special attention to the training of principals, particularly those in underperforming schools.

The focus of higher education will be to expand access especially for children of the poor.

This includes the conversion of loans into bursaries for qualifying final year students.

Students in Further Education and Training Colleges who qualify for financial aid will be exempted from paying fees.

We urge state owned enterprises to play a key role in skills development and help us provide the technical skills needed by the economy.

Denel, Eskom, SAA and Transnet have supported the training of more than 6 000 learners in technical and engineering-related scarce and critical skills.

Fellow South Africans,

We are continuing to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the police in particular the detective services, forensic analysts and crime intelligence.

We have increased visible policing and patrols in identified hotspots. We are making visible progress in reducing the proliferation of illegal and legal firearms.

Our courts continue to function better, and the backlog reduction programmes at district and regional levels are proceeding well.

We will continue to prioritise crimes against women and children, and to provide support through the Thuthuzela Care Centres.

We will work with communities and other key stakeholders to deal with drug peddling and drug abuse which are tearing some communities apart.

My visit to a drug rehabilitation centre in Mitchells Plain on Tuesday convinced me that we need more energy in the fight against drug abuse and drug peddling in our communities.

I have directed our police force to deal decisively with people who sell drugs to children in Cape Town and other areas. We will also not tolerate tavern owners who sell alcohol to children.

The fight against corruption also continues.

A Special Anti-Corruption Unit has been established in the Department of Public Service and Administration to handle corruption-related disciplinary cases involving public servants.

Progress is being made in many ongoing investigations.

About R44 million has been recovered from public servants who are illegally benefiting from housing subsidies, while the cleaning of the social grants system of fraud is also continuing.

We have directed the Special Investigating Unit to probe alleged maladministration or corruption in various government departments, municipalities and institutions.

While not pre-judging the investigations, they prove our resolve to combat corruption at all levels of Government and the public service.

The Multi-Agency Working Group on procurement led by National Treasury, SARS and the Financial Intelligence Centre is reviewing the entire state procurement system to ensure better value for money from state spending.

In the health sector, this year we will emphasise the appointment of appropriate and qualified personnel to the right positions.

We need qualified heads of department, chief financial officers, hospital chief executive officers, district health officers and clinic managers.

We plan to revitalise 105 nursing colleges countrywide, to train more nurses.

We are also planning to open a medical faculty at the Limpopo Academic Hospital to train more doctors.

The renovations and refurbishments of hospitals and clinics will continue.

Given our emphasis on women’s health, we will broaden the scope of reproductive health rights and provide services related to amongst others, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancy and sanitary towels for the indigent.

On the fight against HIV and AIDS, we have revitalised our programmes and promote various prevention measures including medical male circumcision, prevention of mother to child transmission and the promotion of HIV testing.

The testing has been popularly taken up around the country. Just over 5 million HIV tests have been done since the launch of the testing campaign in April last year.

Over the past year, work has continued to develop the National Health Insurance policy and implementation plan. Government will soon be releasing the policy document for public engagement.

Honourable Speaker and Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP,

We will continue with the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme directed at reviving land reform projects and irrigation schemes in the former homelands as well as distressed farms owned by individuals.

Government has developed the National Rural Youth Service Corps programme to assist youth in rural areas. To date, more than 7 000 young people have been employed in the programme.

Somlomo nosihlalo abahloniphekileyo,

Uhulumeni useshaye umthetho ovuselela ibhange lasePosini, phecelezi iPostBank, elizosiza abasemakhaya ukonga imali, kanye nokuboleka imali yokwakha amabhizinisi amancane.

Siyabakhuthaza ukuthi balisebenzise kutholakale intuthuko.

Building a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system

Honourable Members,

The country will hold the fourth local government elections before the end of May.

There have been lots of complaints over the past few months about local government.

The frustrations in some areas resulted in protests which indicated the problems that existed in this sphere.

We have to make people’s experience of local government a pleasant one, as it touches their homes and their lives directly, every day.

Some municipalities are functioning very well, and some councillors are also performing their duties as well as they should.

We have instituted a turnaround strategy for local government, focusing on, amongst others, the strengthening of basic administrative systems, financial management and customer care.

The preparations for local government elections are on course.

The registration that took place last weekend went well, and we congratulate those who have registered. We urge those without identity documents to apply without delay, so as not to miss the next registration period next month.

Following the launch of the National Population Registration Campaign in Libode, in the Eastern Cape last year, more than 700 000 first time identity documents were issued, indicating great enthusiasm by our people to have this crucial document.

As we prepare for elections, we also note that our country has been struck by devastating floods in recent weeks, and many families have been affected.

We extend heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Our hearts also go out to those who were injured and who lost all their belongings.

Fellow South Africans,

Let me use this opportunity to announce that Government has set aside R800 million for immediate relief to assist communities.

We will also be earmarking funding to deal with post disaster recovery and reconstruction in the years ahead.

We thank relief agencies, non-governmental organisations, private sector, religious organisations and communities for assisting those in need.

Building a better Africa and a better world

The African agenda remains our key policy focus.

South Africa is serving a two year term on the African Union Peace and Security Council.

The country will chair the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security from August.

In this role, we will continue to engage the parties in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe and the development of a roadman to elections.

We will also promote the resolution of the Malagasy conflict. We will monitor and assist where possible to ensure that the political and security situation in the DRC is conducive to elections.

We are also honoured to participate in finding solutions to the situation in Cote d’Ivoire, as a member of the African Union High Level Panel chosen to help resolve the challenges in that country.

We applaud the work of the South African National Defence Force, which has on average deployed over 2 000 military personnel in peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sudan and the Central African Republic.

We will continue to participate in the revitalisation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development with specific focus on the implementation of its infrastructure programme, of which we champion the North-South infrastructure development corridor.

South Africa has taken note of the unfolding developments in Egypt as well as the earlier events in Tunisia.

We continue to monitor the situation closely, including its implications for the Middle East and North Africa.

We firmly believe that the course and the content of the transition as well as the destiny that these sister countries choose, should be authored by them.

In this regard, South Africa lends its support to efforts aimed at introducing and implementing political reforms that will ensure a smooth and peaceful transition in Tunisia and Egypt.

We trust that nothing will derail the realization of the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a secure independent state, existing side by side and in peace with the Israeli state.

South Africa reiterates its call to the international community to encourage the parties to continue the search for a durable solution in the Middle East.

We extend our heartiest congratulations to the people of the Sudan for a successful referendum, and welcome the new state of Southern Sudan.

This is a key African success story. We congratulate the African Union and the United Nations for the skilful handling of this project.

On the broader international front, we look forward to hosting the fifth India-Brazil-South Africa Summit, this year.

At the G20 Forum, we will continue to argue for a more equitable world economic order.

Building a national democratic and cohesive society

Compatriots,

The experience of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup taught us the need to appreciate all that is good about our country.

The South African flag became the most important item for every household.

Government will build on this by ensuring the placing of flags in schools and public institutions to promote our national symbols and identity.

We urge all our people to learn the national anthem and sing it properly, with pride.

We will launch a programme celebrating National Icons and promote a National Heritage Route, to honour individuals who have made an enormous contribution to the liberation of our country.

Honourable Members,

We have seen the power of sport as a unifying and nation building tool in our country.

All of us must support the Proteas who will soon be playing in the 2011 ICC World Cup, and the Springboks who will travel to New Zealand to defend our 2007 Rugby World Cup Title.

We also wish the national netball team well when they compete in the Netball World Cup in July. We will be fully behind them.

Let me take this opportunity to salute one of our finest cricketers, Makhaya Ntini who is our special guest this evening. He has made an enormous contribution to local and international cricket.

South Africa will have its third post-apartheid census in October this year. We thank Mr Makhaya Ntini for agreeing to become an ambassador of this important campaign.

Honourable Speaker and Honourable Chairperson,

We remain committed to building a performance-orientated State.

Our performance monitoring and evaluation department will coordinate and monitor the work of government departments closely, as they mainstream job creation.

We welcome the undertaking by Parliament to also monitor the adherence to the call to prioritise job creation by government.

Compatriots,

Our goal is clear. We want to have a country where millions more South Africans have decent employment opportunities, which has a modern infrastructure and a vibrant economy and where the quality of life is high.

We all have a responsibility to work hard to make this a reality.

Everyone must think of how they can contribute to the jobs campaign through creating opportunities for themselves and others.

In doing so, we should draw inspiration from our beloved President Mandela in his inauguration address in 1994, reminding us of the need to work together.

He said:

“We understand it still, that there is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well, that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all.

Let there be peace for all.

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.

Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves”.

I thank you.

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Filed under ANC succession scramble, Commentary, community development, Crime, Economics, Education, Health, Load shedding, Politics, SA Roads, South African Government, Technology

560 killed on SA roads

I can’t believe that in one month so many people have died on our roads, how many more deaths should there be before our people realise the importance of the lives they carrying as well as of those they passing.

I cannot believe that someone would drive a track 17 times more than the limit, isn’t this making a morckery of our laws, I mean how can 2 million people drive drunk (http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2238855,00.html) on our roads which are not on world’s standards…eish (read the story below).
    

 Johannesburg – More than 560 people have died on South African roads since the beginning of December, the national Department of Transport said on Tuesday.

“Figures provided by the SAPS to the national fatal accident information centre indicate that 564 lives have been lost as a result of 471 reported crashes with an additional 71 crashes still being followed up,” said spokesperson Collen Msibi.

At least 119 people were killed in accidents in Gauteng, 86 in KwaZulu-Natal, 58 in the Western Cape, 70 in the Eastern Cape, 52 in the Free State, 74 in Mpumalanga, 47 in the North West, 51 in Limpopo and seven in the Northern Cape.

Msibi said statistics for the same period last year indicated a total of 844 deaths – 280 more than this year.

Msibi also urged motorists to drive carefully.

“Drivers should drive slowly, allowing for sufficient space and time to stop the vehicle in case of an emergency,” he said.

He said drivers should always drive with their headlights on in poor visibility and should ensure that their wiper blades and lights were working at all times.

“Drive cautiously and budget for delays. Never put yourself under pressure as that in many instances leads to unsafe overtaking on barrier lines,” he said.

http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2240535,00.html

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Filed under Commentary, Crime, Economics, SA Roads, South African Government, Uncategorized