Tag Archives: Jacob Zuma

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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South Africa: State of the Nation Address by President Jacob Zuma, 12 Feb. 2012

9 Feb 2012

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 Deputy President FW De Klerk,
Former Deputy President Baleka Mbete,
Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic, and all esteemed members of the Judiciary;
Honourable Chairperson of the SADC Parliamentary Forum and Speaker of the
Parliament of Zimbabwe; Mr Lovemore Moyo,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Honourable Minister of International Relations of the Republic of Angola, Mr Rebelo Chikoti,
Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Mozambique, Mr Julio Baloi,
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;
Leaders of all sectors from business, sports, traditional and religious leaders,
Members of the diplomatic corps;
Special and distinguished guests,
Fellow South Africans,
Dumelang, good evening, goeie naand, molweni, thobela, abuxeni!

I would like to extend warm greetings to all on this important day.

It is an honour to speak to South Africans in this House and in their homes and viewing centres around the country.

I also extend a warm welcome to Ambassadors and High Commissioners representing 146 countries, with which South Africa has diplomatic relations. We value your presence in our country.

Compatriots and friends,

This State of the Nation Address takes place during a significant year in the history of our country, the centenary of the ruling party, the African National Congress.

In marking this occasion we are recognising the work of all South Africans in bringing about a truly free, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous country.

We wish to single out the former presidents of the ANC who led our struggle for liberation and of creating a better life across generations. We salute John Langalibalele Dube, Sefako Makgatho, Zac Mahabane, Josiah Gumede, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, AB Xuma, JS Moroka, Chief Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

We welcome the families of the former ANC Presidents who are our special guests this evening.

We also recognise other components of the liberation movement – the Black Consciousness Movement which was led by Mr Steve Biko, whose son Samora is also our special guest, and the Pan-Africanist Congress which was led by Mr Robert Sobukwe.

We acknowledge too, the contribution of the late former MP, Ms Helen Suzman, who was a lone voice in this very House, speaking out against oppressive laws.

Honourable Members,

Compatriots and friends,

The year 2012 is also special because it marks the 16th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic, which gives full expression to our democratic ideals.

The Constitution is South Africa’s fundamental vision statement, which guides our policies and actions. We reaffirm our commitment to advance the ideals of our country’s Constitution at all times.

Compatriots and friends,

At the January Cabinet lekgotla, we decided to undertake a mid-term review, looking at progress from 2009 till now instead of the usual annual review.

The mid-term review indicated steady progress in various areas such as health, education, the fight against crime, human settlements, energy, water provision, rural development and others.

However, the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality persists, despite the progress made. Africans, women and the youth continue to suffer most from this challenge.

Somlomo nosihlalo abahloniphekileyo,

Njengekhabhinethi kazwelonke sithathe isinqumo sokuthikufanele senze ngokwedlulele, ukukhulisa umnotho wezwe, ukuze siqede lezizinkinga zokwesweleka kwemisebenzi, ubumpofu kanye nokungalingani ezweni.

Ilezo zinto ezintathu esizobhekana nazo ngqo, kulonyaka naseminyakeni ezayo.

Compatriots,

When freedom was attained in 1994, South Africa inherited a problem of structural unemployment which goes back to the 1970s. Employment continued to deteriorate in the 1990s and the early 2000s due to slow growth and declining employment in gold mining and agriculture.

Although jobs grew rapidly during the boom of 2003 to 2008, unemployment did not fall below 20%.

Employment received another setback in the recession of 2009.

Fortunately, Government entered the 2008-2009 recession with healthy public finances, and a comparatively low level of debt.

This allowed for a flexible response to deteriorating economic conditions.

For example, we increased spending on social security and on infrastructure development to stimulate the economy, mainly through the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup build programme.

Informed by some of these difficulties and the need to move away from piecemeal planning, we took a decision in 2009 to establish the National Planning Commission and asked them to produce a national development plan for the country, informed by the Constitution of the Republic.

The Commission released the first draft of the National Development Plan for consideration, which looks at where we want to be in 20 years’ time.

The Plan also directly addresses the elimination of poverty and inequality as critical points that must be attended to.

The solution for the country therefore, is higher growth and job creation to reduce and ultimately eradicate poverty and inequality.

As a developmental state that is located at the centre of a mixed economy, we see our role as being to lead and guide the economy and to intervene in the interest of the poor, given the history of our country.

Informed by this responsibility, in2010 we launched the New Growth Path framework and identified our job drivers as infrastructure development, tourism, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and the green economy.

We declared 2011 the year of job creation, and mobilised our social partners, namely business, labour and the community sector, to work with us in implementing the New Growth Path.

The results are encouraging, although we are not out of the woods yet, given the global economic situation.

The fourth quarter figures released on Tuesday, indicate that the rate of unemployment has come down from twenty-five percent to 23.9% as a result of new jobs.

During 2011, a total of 365 000 people were employed. This is the country’s best performance since the recession of 2008.

What is also important is that all the new jobs are in the formal sector of the economy, in sectors such as mining, transport, community services and trade to name a few.

There are two main things that we did right in 2011 which are contributing to this joint success.

Firstly, we mainstreamed job creation in every government entity including state owned enterprises.

Secondly, we strengthened social dialogue and cooperation between government, business and the community sector.

The Accords, signed by government, business and labour on procurement, skills development, basic education, and the green economy, confirm our common purpose and determination to build this country.

Government alone cannot solve the challenges faced by the country, but working together, solutions are possible.

Compatriots,

Let me take this opportunity to report back on the undertakings made in the SONA last year.

The Job Fund which we announced last year began operating in June. Over 2 500 applications were received in the first round. Project allocations of over one billion rand have been committed.

We had also announced 20 billion rand worth of incentives under Section 12(i) of the Income Tax Act, designed to support new industrial projects and manufacturing, and seven projects with an investment value of 8,4 billion rand were approved.

The procurement regulations empowering the Department of Trade and Industry to designate specific industries where local content is prescribed came into effect in December.

The sectors include clothing textiles, canned vegetables, leather and footwear.

Progress has also been made in amalgamating small business institutions, and a new entity will be launched this year.

We had announced 10 billion rand to be set aside by the IDC for job creation.

To date, about one point five billion rand was approved for 60 companies to promote job creation.

Compatriots and friends,

The mining industry, one of the job drivers in the New Growth Path, plays a critical role in the socio-economic development of the country.

As part of addressing the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment, government has developed a beneficiation strategy, which seeks to provide opportunities in the downstream part of the minerals sector.

We remain committed to the creation of a favourable and globally competitive mining sector, and to promote the industry to attract investment and achieve both industrial growth and much-needed transformation.

Honourable Speaker,

Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP,

The work done last year indicates that if we continue to grow reasonably well, we will begin to write a new story about South Africa—the story of how, working together, we drove back unemployment and reduced economic inequality and poverty.

It is beginning to look possible.

We must not lose this momentum.

For the year 2012 and beyond, we invite the nation to join government in a massive infrastructure development drive.

Baba Somlomo noSihlalo,

Sizoqala umkhankaso omkhulu wokwakha izingqalazizinda ezweni lonke. Lokhu kuzophakamisa izinga lomnotho, futhi kuveze amathuba emisebenzi.

Compatriots,

We will use the project management expertise gained during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup to make this project a success.

The infrastructure plan will be driven and overseen by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, (PICC), which was established in September, bringing together Ministers, Premiers and Metro Mayors under the leadership of the President and the Deputy President.

The PICC has identified and developed projects and infrastructure initiatives from state-owned enterprises as well as national, provincial and local government departments.

These have been clustered, sequenced and prioritised into a pipeline of strategic integrated projects.

We have chosen five major geographically-focussed programmes, as well as projects focusing on health and basic education infrastructure, information and communication technologies and regional integration.

The projects are as follows;

Firstly, we plan to develop and integrate rail, road and water infrastructure, centred around two main areas in Limpopo: the Waterberg in the Western part of the province and Steelpoort in the eastern part.

These efforts are intended to unlock the enormous mineral belt of coal, platinum, palladium, chrome and other minerals, in order to facilitate increased mining as well as stepped-up beneficiation of minerals.

Using the developments in Limpopo as a base, we will expand rail transport in Mpumalanga, connecting coalfields to power stations.

This will enable us to decisively shift from road to rail in the transportation of coal, which has caused a deterioration of the roads in Mpumalanga.

The eastern parts of the North West province will also benefit from the greater focus on infrastructure connected to mining and mineral beneficiation.

Secondly, we will improve the movement of goods and economic integration through a Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistics and industrial corridor.

This project is intended to connect the major economic centres of Gauteng and Durban/Pinetown, and at the same time, connect these centres with improved export capacity through our sea-ports.

In this regard, I am pleased to announce the Market Demand Strategy of Transnet, which entails an investment, over the next seven years, of three hundred billion rand in capital projects.

Of this amount, 200 billion rand is allocated to rail projects and the majority of the balance, to projects in the ports.

Amongst the list of planned projects, is the expansion of the Iron Ore Export channel from 60 million tons per annum to 82 million tons per annum.

It also includes various improvements to the Durban-Gauteng Rail corridor and the phased development of a new 16 million tons per annum manganese export channel through the Port of Ngqura in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The Market Demand Strategy will result in the creation of more jobs in the South African economy, as well as increased localization and Black Economic Empowerment. It will also position South Africa as a regional trans-shipment hub for Sub-Saharan Africa and deliver on NEPAD’s regional integration agenda.

We have also been looking at the necessity of reducing port charges, as part of reducing the costs of doing business. The issue of high port charges was one of those raised sharply by the automotive sector in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage during my performance monitoring visit to the sector last year.

In this regard, I am pleased to announce that the Port Regulator and Transnet have agreed to an arrangement which will result in exporters of manufactured goods, receiving a significant decrease in port charges, during the coming year, equal to about 1 billion rand in total.

Thirdly, we will develop a major new South Eastern node that will improve the industrial and agricultural development and export capacity of the Eastern Cape region, and expand the province’s economic and logistics linkages with the Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

In the former Transkei part of the Eastern Cape, we are committed to building a dam using the Umzimvubu River as the source, in order to expand agricultural production.

In addition, the implementation of the Mthatha revitalization project, which is a Presidential special project, is proceeding very well.

Work is at an advanced stage to improve water, sanitation, electricity, roads, human settlements, airport development and institutional and governance issues.

Fourthly, in the North West, we will expand the roll-out of water, roads, rail and electricity infrastructure. Ten priority roads will be upgraded.

Fifthly, we see enormous potential along the west coast of the country and need to improve infrastructure to unlock this potential.

Our plans include the expansion of the iron-ore rail line between Sishen in Northern Cape and Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape, which will create large numbers of jobs in both provinces.

The iron-ore capacity on the transport-side will increase capacity to 100 million tons per annum.

This will allow for the expansion of iron-ore mining over the next decade to feed the developing world’s growing investment in infrastructure and industrial activities.

Compatriots,

We have also identified critical social infrastructure projects. These include projects aimed at laying the basis for the National Health Insurance system such as the refurbishment of hospitals and nurses’ homes.

A total of 300 million rand has been allocated for the preparatory work towards building new universities in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape.

Another infrastructure project with great potential is South Africa’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope in partnership with eight other African countries. The winning bid will be announced next month. We urge you to support the country’s bid.

Lastly, our infrastructure work extends beyond our borders. South Africa champions the North-South Road and Rail Corridor, which is part of the African Union’s NEPAD Presidential Infrastructure Championing initiative.

Work in this regard, comprises various inter-related projects that cover roads and railways, border crossings, energy and information and communication technologies.

Compatriots,

The massive investment in infrastructure must leave more than just power stations, rail-lines, dams and roads. It must industrialise the country, generate skills and boost much needed job creation.

I will convene a Presidential infrastructure summit to discuss the implementation of the plan with potential investors and social partners.

Honourable Speaker, Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP,

I would now like to discuss matters relating to the extension of basic services, addressing inequalities, peace and security and social cohesion.

I received a lot of valuable correspondence in the run-up to this SONA. Such interaction enables us keep in touch with our people and their needs.

I received an email relating to a housing problem from Mzukisi Mali, a public servant from the Fingo area in Grahamstown. He wrote;

“In 1994 my income was too high to get an RDP and too low to get a

bond, this continued until to date.I have three children and my

wife is not working.

“When I apply for an RDP I am told that I do not qualify and cannot get a bond because I am risky to the banks…’’

Fortunately we have gone some way to address the problem facing Mr Mali and many others.

In 2010, we announced a one billion rand guarantee fund to promote access to loans.

We are pleased to report that this fund will start its operations in April, managed by the National Housing Finance Corporation. The scheme will enable the Banks to lend to people who are in a similar situation as Mr Mali.

In addition, from April, people earning between three thousand five hundred rand and

R 15 000, will be able to obtain a subsidy of up to R83 000 from Provinces, to enable them to obtain housing finance from an accredited Bank.

Ungalilahli ithemba Mr Mali nabaningi abanye, kuzolunga ngenxa yalomxhaso ozotholakala kohulumeni bezifundazwe, kanye nalomshwalense omusha ozokwenza kubelula kumabhange ukuthi aniboleke imali.

Compatriots,

There is an ongoing concern from business and communities about high electricity costs.

I have asked Eskom to seek options on how the price increase requirement may be reduced over the next few years, in support of economic growth and job creation and give me proposals for consideration.

We need an electricity price path which will ensure that Eskom and the industry remain financially viable and sustainable, but which remains affordable especially for the poor.

However to achieve sustainability, a pact will be required with all South Africans – including business, labour, municipalities, communities and all customers and suppliers.

We must save electricity.

For the next two years, until the Medupi and Kusile power stations come into operation, the electricity system will be very tight.

We should all play our part in order to avoid load shedding.

To increase energy capacity we will continue searching for renewable energy sources, especially solar electricity and biofuels as we implement the Green Economy Accord with economic stakeholders.

To date we have installed more than 220 000 solar geysers nationwide.

The Government target is one million solar geysers by 2014-2015.

Honourable Members,

Compatriots,

Government continues to extend access to basic water supply. However, clearly, water access is still a challenge in some areas.

An email from Mmatsheko Pine from Hammanskraal is a case in point.

The writer says; “There is the area called Ngobi near Hammanskraal, under Moretele Local Municipality, the people residing in the area are now old, aged and mostly sick.

“The area has been without water for the past two years. People rely on rain to harvest water.

There are water pipes and machines installed but the problem is said to be pressure to pump water. Could your office kindly assist with the powers that be?”.

I have asked the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs to investigate this matter with a view to finding an urgent solution.

Water expansion has been delayed in some parts of the country due to a lack of infrastructure.This is being attended to. For example, five new water augmentation schemes are on schedule.

These are Olifants River Water Resource in Steelpoort in Limpopo Province, the Vaal River Eastern Sub-System in Secunda in Mpumalanga, Komati Water Augmentation Scheme in Nkangala in Mpumalanga, the raising of Hazelmere dam in KwaZulu-Natal and the Clan William Dam in Clan William in the Western Cape. In addition, nine out of 25 dams have been rehabilitated.

In relation to the announcements we made during the United Nations COP 17 climate change conference, an amount of 248 million rand is to be invested over next two years to deal with the issue of Acid Mine Drainage in Witwatersrand.

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the inter-ministerial committee on COP 17 for making the conference a huge success

The final outcome of COP 17 was historic and precedent setting, ranking with the 1997 conference where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted.

Building on the success of COP 17, South Africa will participate in the Rio plus 20 Summit in Brazil, which marks the 10th anniversary of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Honourable Speaker and Honourable Chairperson,

Our intensive focus on education is paying off.

We are pleased that the matric percentage pass is on an upward trend.We congratulate the teachers, learners, parents and the communities for the efforts.

We will continue to invest in producing more teachers who can teach mathematics, science and African languages.

Compatriots,

Our call to teachers to be in school, in class, on time, teaching for at least seven hours a day remains pivotal to success. We thank the teacher unions for supporting this campaign.

A major achievement is the doubling ofGrade R enrolment, from 300 000 in 2003 to 705 000 in 2011. We appear poised to meet our target of 100% coverage for Grade R by 2014.

To fight poverty and inequality and to keep learners in school, over 8 million learners attend no-fee schools while over eight million benefit from government’s school feeding scheme.

Last year, national government instituted a Section 100 (1)(b) intervention in the Eastern Cape, to assist the department of education to improve the delivery of education.

Problems included non-delivery of textbooks, non-payment of scholar transport, excess teachers and a general poor culture of learning and teaching.

The implementation of the intervention will continue and we are working well with the province in this regard. Sizimisele ukwenza immeko yemfundo ibengcono eMpuma Koloni. We call on all stakeholders to work with us to make this turnaround a success.

Compatriots,

During the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, we resolved that the South African legacy would be to promote universal access to education.

School attendance in the country is now close to 100 percent for the compulsory band, 7-15 years of age.But we remain concerned by the report of the General Household Survey in 2010 that just over 120 000 children in that band are out of school.

Grade 10 drop outs appear to be a problem, particularly in the rural and farm areas of the Western Cape.

The national Government will work closely with the Western Cape government, to trace these learners and provide support so that they do not lose their future.

With regards to higher education, we are exceeding targets. Close to 14 000 learners were placed in workplace learning opportunities over the past year, and over 11 000 artisans have completed their trade tests.

Siyajabula ukubona ukuthi liyanda inani lentsha efunda amakhono kulamakolishi abizwa phecelezi ngama-Further Education and Training Colleges.

Siyaninxusa bazali ukuthi nigqugquzele izingane zifunde kulamakolishi. Akufanele zicabange ukuthi imisebenzi ifundelwa emanyuvesi kuphela.

Siyawadinga amakhono atholakala kulamakolishi.

To expand access to tertiary education as per our announcement last year,200 million rand was utilised to assist 25 000 students to pay off their debts to institutions of higher learning.

Compatriots and friends,

We congratulate the health sector as well as the South African National Aids Council led by the Deputy President of the Republic on the success of the HIV and AIDS programme.

While we are doing well with regards to treatment and the prevention of mother to child transmission, general prevention efforts must also be accelerated.

We also wish to encourage South Africans to live healthier lives to reduce the impact of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.

Compatriots and friends,

The year 2013 will mark the centenary of the Natives Land Act of 1913, which took away 87 percent of the land from the African people.

The Constitution requires that the State must realise the restitution of land rights for those who were dispossessed by the 1913 law.

We have only distributed 8% of the 30% target of land redistribution for 2014 that we set ourselves. The process is slow and tedious and there is general agreement that the willing buyer- willing seller option has not been the best way to address this question.

That is why have introduced a new policy framework, the Green Paper on Land Reform.

We urge the public to participate in the process of improving land redistribution and reform to reverse the impact of the 1913 Act.

Honourable Speaker,

Compatriots,

On economic transformation, we are amending the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act. The amendments amongst other things, establish a statutory Commission that would deal with non-compliance and circumvention.

The proposed law will also criminalise fronting and other forms of empowerment misrepresentation.

With regards to issues of disability, we have directed all government departments to ensure that we meet the target we set several years ago of having 2% of people employed in the Public Service to be disabled persons.

We are also working towards a

Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill, to promote compliance in both government and the private sector and to provide for sanctions in the case of non-compliance.

Meanwhile, the NEDLAC Process on the Atypical Forms of Employment and Labour Broking has now been completed.

Government seeks to eliminate all forms of abusive practices inherent in labour broking, in order to strengthen the protection of vulnerable workers. We trust that common ground will be found this year on this matter.

Compatriots,

In 2009 we made a commitment to accelerate the fight against crime and corruption.

The crime statistics for the period 2010/2011 indicate that our country witnessed a decline of 5% in the number of reported serious crimes compared to the previous year.

We will however, not become complacent. We are continuing to implement our programmes of making South Africans feel safe and to be safe.

We also continue to improve the performance of the state in various ways, including the fight against corruption.

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

Initiatives include the vetting of supply chain personnel in government departments.

To further improve security, the Department of Home Affairs, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the banking industry, to roll out the online fingerprint verification system in all participating banks, to assist in fraud prevention and detection.

Compatriots and friends,

We are working with various provinces to improve governance, systems and administration.

These include Gauteng to improve health service delivery, the Free State on transport and roads and Limpopo to improve governance and financial administration in five departments, including the provincial treasury.

We welcome the launch of Corruption Watch by COSATU, as well as the recent agreement between government and business to implement anti-corruption programmes.

These interventions will complement the work of government in combating corruption.

Compatriots and friends,

As part of promoting social cohesion, this year we will undertake and continue many heritage projects.

Museums and centres to be unveiled will include the 1980 Matola Raid museum in Maputo, the Ncome museum in KwaZulu-Natal, phase 2 of the Freedom Park museum and the Steve Biko heritage centre in Ginsberg in King Williamstown.

We have also prioritised thehomes and graves of former ANC Presidents and other national heroes including Thomas Maphikela, Lillian Ngoyi, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge, Robert Sobukwe and others.

Memorial sites to be prioritised include that of the Pondo Revolt, the sites of the Frontier Wars, the 1913 revolt by African women in the Free State, the 1957 anti-pass revolt by women in Zeerust, the Rocklands Civic Centre in Mitchells Plein where the United Democratic Front was formed and the Gugulethu Seven monument in Cape Town.

We are also in the process of purchasing and rehabilitating the Winnie Mandela house in Brandfort, the Dr. Moroka house in Thaba Nchu and the Bram Fischer house in Westdene.

Additional projects include the launch of the Dube Tradeport and the unveiling of the statue of John Dube at King Shaka International Airport next month and renaming the Kings House presidential residence in Durban after Dr Dube.

The Presidential Guest House in Pretoria will be named after Mr Sefako Makgatho and the Diplomatic Guest House in Pretoria after the late prolific diplomat, Mr Johnny Makatini.

Government will also table the National Traditional Affairs Bill which makes provision for the recognition of the Khoi-San communities, their leadership and structures.

It is important to remember that the Khoi-San people were the most brutalised by colonialists who tried to make them extinct, and undermined their language and identity. As a free and democratic South Africa today, we cannot ignore to correct the past.

I discussed this matter extensively with the Khoi-San community when I met with them in Cape Town last year and we agreed to work together to redress the injustices of the past.

Compatriots,

Next year 2013, the seat of government, the majestic Union Buildings, will mark 100 years of existence and planning will start this year to mark the centenary.

Fellow South Africans,

We must perform better in sports this year! Our star performer, Oscar Pistorius has set the standard for the year by winning the 2012 Laureus Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award.Congratulations for this achievement.

We also congratulate the national women’s soccer team Banyana Banyana for qualifying for the London Olympics for the first time. With our support, they will do well.

We have been given the honour to host the Africa Cup of Nations next year, replacing Libya as they are unable to do so.

Compatriots,

Allow me to use this opportunity to extend heartiest congratulations and good wishes to Mama Rebecca Kotane, wife of former ANC treasurer general, Moses Kotane and SACP general secretary, who will turn 100 years old on Sunday the 12th of February.

The Young Men’s Guild of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Amadodana aseWesile, is also celebrating 100 years this year.

Another centenary celebration is that of Omama Besililo of the United Congregational Church of South Africa.

We wish them all successful celebrations.

Compatriots,

We have outlined a busy infrastructure implementation programme for now until 2014 and beyond.

I would like to appeal to all our people to join hands as they always do, as we deal decisively with the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Nobody will do this for us, it is in our hands. And we are all equal to the task.

As we get back to work tomorrow, let us internalise the words of ANC Women’s League founding president Charlotte Maxeke who said in her Presidential address to the National Council of African Women.

“This work is not for yourselves — kill that spirit of self, and do not live above your people, but live with them. If you can rise, bring someone with you’’.

I thank you.

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President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma appoints commission of inquiry into the Strategic Defence Procurement Packages

President Jacob Zuma has decided, in terms of section 84 (2) (f) of the Constitution, to appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of wrongdoing in the Strategic Defence Procurement Packages, generally known as the “arms deal”.

In 2009, legal proceedings were instituted in the Western Cape High Court asking the Court to direct the President to appoint an independent judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of wrongdoing or to require him to reconsider his refusal to do so.  It later transpired that the Western Cape High Court was the wrong forum to hear the matter. An application was then brought in the Constitutional Court. The matter is set down for hearing on 17 November 2011.

President Zuma assumed office when the matter was already pending in the courts of law. He had previously taken a view that since the matter was the subject of litigation in a court of law, he should allow the legal process to take its course.

However, he has since taken into account the various developments around this matter and also the fact that closure on this subject will be in the public interest.

The President will soon announce the terms of reference and the composition of the commission including the time frames.

The President has requested the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development to take the necessary steps to implement this decision.

Issued by: The Presidency
Pretoria

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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

This better be false

South Africa has been through a lot of service delivery strikes last year and the beginning of this year, most of them cannot be really explained how they suddenly went quiet. As a typical curious non-practicing journo I thought I should do my own intelligence (can’t rely on state’s intelligence reports their truth is often their hypothesis, if not as my dad would say ‘inyani bayayinkinkisha’ [through comes out in bits and pieces over a period of time]).

So I went out and had conversations with various people, just checking what has happened since their last strikes. Started of at areas I worked in and to my surprise they have something up their sleeve for the General (yes the one with muscle shirts or cow boy hats also known as Beki Cele) he’s about to be a very busy men post Soccer Word Cup.

After meeting parents of a group of dedicated high school learners (Future Fighters) who are determined to make a difference in their communities over the weekend, I initiated a chat with security guys who seemed irritated by some non-South African (pimps) who are lifting their hands against their employees (women of the night). This conversation went on and on until their supervisor came and join us. He shared their concern and was with them all the way, I was taken aback by this due to his level of education but it seems his heart was touched by the screams (from women of the night) he hears every night especially over weekends. He was also concerned about the easy access to drugs the youth has since the arrival of “illegal Nigerians”, how these are destroying their future. Further how they bribe their way out of arrest while South African citizens pay exorbitant amounts of money through the legal processes to clear their name.

I gathered from all the people I spoke to thus far that all their actions are on hold until after the World Cup, this was a surprise for me because in most countries the world cup is targeted by protesters or those who feel aggrieved to send a strong message and get maximum media exposure. So I probed (Xolani Gwala or Debra Patta’s style) I guess I shouldn’t have probed as xenophobic tendencies came up and the anger on their faces was more than enough to tell that these guys have had it.

So if you’re close to the General (yes the one who can dance until the morning comes) you’d better warn him to use these 2 months (May, June) to prepare his entourage for the challenges ahead. I for one wouldn’t like us to make international news for the wrong reasons. If you’ve got our President’s ear, you better advise him of the possible challenges ahead, advise him to ensure that his entourage use these two months to engage communities and ensure that they understand what their service delivery plans are, what are the time-lines etc. If what I’m hearing is true I wouldn’t be a proudly South African as I am right now post Soccer World Cup.

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Calling for the President to step down is premature

I believe calling for the president to step down is not appropriate at this point because the sins were committed before he took office, why is it only now that the story is brought to the public’s attention is an issue I wouldn’t like to go into.

All I can say is we voted him into power fully aware of his weaknesses and so far he has not sleeped-up (whilst in power). Therefore I do not think it is fair to call for his head for acts he committed whilst he was an ordinary citizen.

So far all the story around his 4 months old baby with Khoza’s daughter had various comments and quotations from his speeches which were all made after he got into Power (way after the act was committed). I believe when he made those speeches he was turning a new page and so far he has not failed any of them.

All the statements be it on HIV/AIDS or other events he might have delivered speeches at symbolize his new ways, which so far he has not back tracked on (and in this case has taken full responsibility for an act committed prior to making) these statements. It upon this realisation that I believe calling for his head as the President of the country is not appropriate at this stage.

NB: I do not condone his behaviour and do not think what he did was fair to his wives, his children, Irvin Khoza (his friend finish and klaar) and those that look up to him both as father and or as a role model. But highlighting that calling for the president to step down is premature.

Having said that if you’ve got a daughter don’t tempt him by being his friend or inviting him over to your house whilst you daughter is around, after all “the country is pregnant with possibilities”.

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STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY Jacob ZUMA, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA, 03 June 2009

 

President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma

President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma

 

 

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY J G ZUMA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, JOINT SITTING OF PARLIAMENT, CAPE TOWN
03 JUNE 2009

 

 

 

Honourable Speaker;
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces;
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP;
Deputy President of the Republic, Kgalema Motlanthe
Former President of the Republic, Thabo Mbeki, 
Our icon, the First President of a democratic South Africa, Isithwalandwe Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 
Former Deputy Presidents,
Distinguished Premiers and Speakers of our Provinces;
Esteemed members of the Judiciary;
Chairperson of SALGA, mayors and leaders in our system of local government;
Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders and our honoured traditional leaders;

Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions;
Governor of the Reserve Bank,
Religious leaders,
Directors-General and other leaders of the public service;
President of the Pan African Parliament, Honourable Idriss Endele Moussa,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners;
Distinguished guests, comrades and friends;
Fellow South Africans,

Dumelang, Abusheni, Molweni, 

On the 22nd of April, millions of South Africans went out to cast their votes. They exercised their democratic right spurred on by the desire to change their lives for the better. In their overwhelming numbers, they confirmed that working together we can do more to fight poverty and build a better life for all. They were encouraged by the vision of an inclusive society, a South Africa that belongs to all, a nation united in its diversity, a people working together for the greater good of all. We are humbled by this decisive electoral mandate given by the people of our country, who have chosen their government in a most convincing manner. 

Honourable Members, Our nation has over the past few years gone through very challenging times. It is thanks to the fact that we have a strong and fully functional constitutional democratic system, with solid institutions, that we overcame these difficulties smoothly and with dignity. Today’s occasion is a celebration of what makes this democracy work. It is also a celebration of our culture of continuity and collective responsibility. This is evidenced by the presence here of our icon Madiba, who laid the foundation for the country’s achievements, and that of former President Thabo Mbeki, who built on that foundation. The continuity is also evident in the fact that former President Kgalema Motlanthe is now the Deputy President of the Republic, after a seamless transition, making us a unique country in many respects.

Fellow South Africans, 

As you would be aware, the fight against poverty remains the cornerstone of our government’s focus. On the 9th of May, during the Presidential inauguration, we made a commitment to our people and the world that:

For as long as there are South Africans who die from preventable disease;
For as long as there are workers who struggle to feed their families and who battle to find work;
For as long as there are communities without clean water, decent shelter or proper sanitation;
For as long as there are rural dwellers unable to make a decent living from the land on which they live;
For as long as there are women who are subjected to discrimination, exploitation or abuse;
For as long as there are children who do not have the means nor the opportunity to receive a decent education;

We shall not rest, and we dare not falter, in our drive to eradicate poverty.

In pursuit of these goals, our government has identified 10 priority areas, which form part of our Medium Term Strategic Framework for 2009 to 2014. The programme is being introduced under difficult economic conditions. The past year has seen the global economy enter a period of crisis unprecedented in recent decades. While South Africa has not been affected to the extent that a number of other countries have, its effects are now being clearly seen in our economy. We have entered a recession. It is more important now than ever that we work in partnership on a common programme to respond to this crisis. We take as our starting point the framework for South Africa’s response to the international economic crisis, concluded by government, labour and business in February this year. We must act now to minimise the impact of this downturn on those most vulnerable.

We have begun to act to reduce job losses. There is an agreement in principle between government and the social partners on the introduction of a training layoff. Workers who would ordinarily be facing retrenchment due to economic difficulty would be kept in employment, for a period of time and re-skilled. Discussion on the practical detail is continuing between the social partners and the institutions that would be affected by such an initiative, including the Sector Education and Training Authorities. We will support the work of the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to assist employers and workers to find alternatives to retrenchments through the relevant legal process. To date, CCMA commissioners have saved over four thousand jobs through facilitation processes, and provided ongoing advice and support to retrenched workers.

The Industrial Development Corporation has developed a programme to fund companies in distress. We will also ensure that government buys more goods and services locally, without undermining our global competitiveness or pushing up costs beyond acceptable levels. Building on the successes of our industrial policy interventions, a scaled up Industrial Policy Action Plan will be developed. The lead sectors already identified are automobile, chemicals, metal fabrication, tourism, clothing and textiles as well as forestry. In addition, attention will also be paid to services, light manufacturing and construction amongst others, in the quest to create decent jobs.

As part of Phase 2 of the Expanded Public Works Programme, the Community Work Programme will be fast-tracked. It offers a minimum level of regular work to those who need it, while improving the quality of life in communities. The economic downturn will affect the pace at which our country is able to address the social and economic challenges it faces. But it will not alter the direction of our development. The policy priorities that we have identified, and the plans that we placed before the electorate, remain at the core of the programme of this government.

Laat ons mekaar se hande vat, en saam oplossings vind in die gees van n Suid Afrikaanse gemeenskap. Die tyd het gekom om harder te werk. Ons regering gaan vorentoe kyk, nie agtertoe nie! 

The steps outlined in our Medium Term Strategic Framework had to take into account the constraints posed by the economic crisis. The downturn should not cause us to change these plans. Instead it should urge us to implement these with speed and determination.

The Framework focuses on 10 priorities.
We make a commitment that working together we will speed up economic growth and transform the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods. We will introduce a massive programme to build economic and social infrastructure. We will develop and implement a comprehensive rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security. We will strengthen the skills and human resource base. We will improve the health profile of all South Africans. Working together with all South Africans, we will intensify the fight against crime and corruption. We will build cohesive, caring and sustainable communities. Working with Africa and the rest of the world, we will pursue African advancement and enhanced international co-operation. We will ensure sustainable resource management and use. And, working with the people and supported by our public servants, we will build a developmental state, improve public services and strengthen democratic institutions.

It is my pleasure and honour to highlight the key elements of our programme of action.

The creation of decent work will be at the centre of our economic policies and will influence our investment attraction and job-creation initiatives. In line with our undertakings, we have to forge ahead to promote a more inclusive economy. In this regard, we will utilise state levers such as procurement, licensing and financial support to assist small medium enterprises as well as to promote the implementation of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment and affirmative action policies. The implementation will be done in recognition of the need to correct the imbalances of the past. The transformation will be undertaken in support of women, youth and people with disabilities. We will reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses. The matter of being stifled by regulations has been raised by the sector several times. 

In another intervention to create an enabling environment for investment, government will move towards a single integrated business registration system. This will improve customer service and reduce the cost of doing business in South Africa. Another important element of our drive to create job opportunities is the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The initial target of one million jobs has been achieved. 

The second phase of the programme aims to create about four million job opportunities by 2014. Between now and December 2009, we plan to create about 500 000 job opportunities. While creating an environment for jobs and business opportunities, government recognises that some citizens will continue to require state social assistance. Social grants remain the most effective form of poverty alleviation. As of 31 March 2009, more than 13 million people received social grants, more than 8 million of whom are children. We are mindful of the need to link the social grants to jobs or economic activity in order to encourage self-reliance amongst the able-bodied. Most importantly during this period, neighbours should assist each other. 

Jwale ke nako yakopano. Are thusaneng jwale ka baahisane. 

Are dumalaneng hore ho sebane le ngwana ya tla robalang ka tlala hobane batswadi bahae bafeletswe ke mosebetsi. Hare ka kopana ra sebetsa kaofela re ka etsa ho feta mo.

Distinguished guests, as part of the second strategic priority we will continue with our programme to build economic and social infrastructure. The newly-formed Infrastructure Development Cluster of government will ensure that the planned R787 billion infrastructure expenditure as provided for in the budget earlier this year is properly planned for and executed. This funding includes allocations for the school building programme, public transport including the bus rapid transit system, housing, water and sanitation. 

One of the biggest infrastructure investment projects is in the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. We have, as government and the nation at large, pledged that the World Cup will leave a proud legacy from which Our children and our communities will benefit for many years to come. We are on track to meet all our obligations and are determined to give the world the best World Cup ever. We are putting all systems in place to make the Confederations Cup, which kicks off on the 14th of June, a huge success. 

In April this year, I gave an undertaking to the taxi industry leadership to defer negotiations relating to the operation of the Bus Integrated Rapid Transit system until after the elections. We undertook to allow more time to deal properly with the concerns of the industry. On the 11th of June the Minister of Transport will resume discussions with the industry. The meeting will kick-start a series of engagements with the stakeholders affected by the BRT system. We are confident that unresolved issues will be dealt with to the satisfaction of all parties. This will include the important issue of how all stakeholders will benefit from the initiative.

Honourable Members,

Another development which should boost the World Cup is the roll-out of the digital broadcasting infrastructure and signal distribution transmitters. Overall, we will ensure that the cost of telecommunications is reduced through the projects under way to expand broadband capacity. We have to ensure that we do not leave rural areas behind in these exciting developments. As part of social infrastructure development we will provide suitably located and affordable housing and decent human settlements. 

We will proceed from the understanding that human settlement is not just about building houses. It is about transforming our cities and towns and building cohesive, sustainable and caring communities with closer access to work and social amenities, including sports and recreation facilities. In this spirit, we will work with Parliament to speed up the processing of the Land Use Management Bill. 

Working together with our people in the rural areas, we will ensure a comprehensive rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security, as our third priority. I would like to use this opportunity to extend our condolences to the family of the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dirk du Toit, who passed away this week. His contribution will be sorely missed.

Abantu basemakhaya nabo banelungelo lokuba nogesi namanzi, izindlu zangasese ezigijima amanzi, imigwaqo, izindawo zokuqeda isizungu nezemidlalo kanye nezindawo zokuthenga eziphucukile njengasemadolobheni. Nabo banelungelo lokusizwa kwezolimo ukuze bazitshalele imifino nokunye, bafuye nemfuyo bakwazi ukuziphilisa. 

Sizimisele ukuwuqala lomkhankaso wokwakha izingqalasizinda ezindaweni zasemakhaya. Uma sibambisene nezakhamizi, amakhosi, amakhansela nezinduna siyokwazi ukuwusheshisa lomsebenzi. 

Sicela abahlala ezindaweni zasemakhaya baqale balungiselele ukutshela uhulumeni ukuthi yiziphi izinto abazidinga ngokushesha. Uma sisebenza ngokubambisana sizokwenza okuningi. 

Hon. Speaker and Chairperson,

While having drawn the necessary lessons from earlier rural development initiatives, we have chosen the Greater Giyani Local Municipality in Limpopo as the first of the pilot projects for the campaign. Out of these projects will emerge lessons for the whole country. 

In addition, we will work on the targeted renewal of rural towns, through grants such as the Neighbourhood Development Grant programme. In this way, areas around the towns will benefit from the economic boost. With all these interventions, we are poised to change the face of rural areas in our country. Compatriots, Education will be a key priority for the next five years. We want our teachers, learners and parents to work with government to turn our schools into thriving centres of excellence. The Early Childhood Development programme will be stepped up, with the aim of ensuring universal access to Grade R and doubling the number of 0-4 year old children by 2014.

We reiterate our non-negotiables. Teachers should be in school, in class, on time, teaching, with no neglect of duty and no abuse of pupils! The children should be in class, on time, learning, be respectful of their teachers and each other, and do their homework. To improve school management, formal training will be a pre-condition for promoting teachers to become principals or heads of department.  I will meet school principals to share our vision on the revival of our education system.

Fellow South Africans, 

We will increase our efforts to encourage all pupils to complete their secondary education. The target is to increase enrolment rates in secondary schools to 95 per cent by 2014. We are also looking at innovative measures to bring back into the system pupils who dropped out of school, and to provide support.

Honourable Members, we are very concerned about reports of teachers who sexually harass and abuse children, particularly girls. We will ensure that the Guidelines on Sexual Harassment and Violence in Public Schools are widely disseminated, and that learners and teachers are familiar with and observe them. We will take very serious, and very decisive, action against any teachers who abuse their authority and power by entering into sexual relationships with children.  To promote lifelong learning, the Adult Basic Education and Training Kha ri Gude programme will be intensified. 

Compatriots, Honourable Members, 

We have to ensure that training and skills development initiatives in the country respond to the requirements of the economy. The Further Education and Training sector with its 50 colleges and 160 campuses nationally will be the primary site for skills development training. We will improve the access to higher education of children from poor families and ensure a sustainable funding structure for universities. 

Fellow South Africans,
We are seriously concerned about the deterioration of the quality of health care, aggravated by the steady increase in the burden of disease in the past decade and a half. We have set ourselves the goals of further reducing inequalities in health care provision, to boost human resource capacity, revitalise hospitals and clinics and step up the fight against the scourge of HIV and AIDS, TB and other diseases.

We must work together to improve the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan for the Treatment, Management and Care of HIV and AIDS so as to reduce the rate of new HIV infections by 50% by the year 2011. We want to reach 80% of those in need of ARV treatment also by 2011. We will introduce a National Health Insurance scheme in a phased and incremental manner. In order to initiate the NHI, the urgent rehabilitation of public hospitals will be undertaken through Public-Private Partnerships.

We are also paying urgent attention to the issues of remuneration of health professionals to remove uncertainty in our health services. Working together let us do more to promote quality health care, in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to halve poverty by 2014.

Fellow citizens, 

Together we must do more to fight crime. Our aim is to establish a transformed, integrated, modernised, properly-resourced and well-managed criminal justice system. It is also critically important to improve the efficiency of the courts and the performance of prosecutors and to enhance detective, forensic and intelligence services. This work has started in earnest, and it will be undertaken with new energy and vigour.

Among the immediate targets is to ensure that we increase the number of prosecutors and Legal Aid Board personnel. We will do the same with police detectives. We changed the name of the relevant Ministry from Safety and Security to Police to emphasise that we want real operational energy in police work. This will contribute to the reduction of serious and violent crimes by the set target of 7% to 10% per annum.  The most serious attention will also be given to combating organised crime, as well as crimes against women and children.
Honourable Speaker and Chairperson, 

While appreciating the investment of the private sector in the security industry, we will improve the regulation of this industry. Amongst other key initiatives, we will start the process of setting up a Border Management Agency; we shall intensify our efforts against cyber crime and identity theft, and improve systems in our jails to reduce repeat offending.
Compatriots, I wish to underline our support for the continued transformation of the judiciary. The transformation should address key issues such as the enhancement of judicial independence, entrenching internal systems of judicial accountability as well as ensuring full access to justice by all. The success of the democratic system as a whole depends on good relations of mutual respect and a spirit of partnership among the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. This is very important for our constitutional democracy.
Honourable Speaker and Chairperson, 

We have repeatedly stated our commitment to fight corruption in the public service. We will pay particular attention to combating corruption and fraud in procurement and tender processes, application for drivers? licences, social grants, IDs, and theft of police case dockets. Let me emphasise that we all have a role to play in this war against crime. We must actively participate in Community Policing Forums. We must stop buying stolen goods, which encourages crime. We must report crime and assist the police with information to catch wrongdoers. In this way, we will move forward towards a crime-free society.

Honourable Members, since 1994 we have sought to create a united cohesive society out of our fragmented past. We are called upon to continue this mission of promoting unity in diversity and to develop a shared value system, based on the spirit of community solidarity and a caring society. Our shared value system should encourage us to become active citizens in the renewal of our country. We must build a common national identity and patriotism. We must develop a common attachment to our country, our Constitution and the national symbols. In this spirit, we will promote the National Anthem and our country?s flag and all other national symbols.

Our children, from an early age, must be taught to pay allegiance to the Constitution and the national symbols, and know what it means to be South African citizens. We will ensure a common national approach to the changing of geographic and place names. This must provide an opportunity to involve all South Africans in forging an inclusive national identity, to deepen our understanding of our history and heritage.

Sport is a powerful nation-building tool. Working together we must support all our national teams from Bafana Bafana to the Proteas and the Springboks; from Banyana Banyana to Paralympians.

Our teams can only do well with our support.
Allow me to use this opportunity to congratulate our national teams for their performances in the past week, indeed in pulling off a hatrick.  The country’s women’s netball team has done us proud by winning the Tri-Nations Netball Challenge. Congratulations to the Sevens Springboks who have become the IRB Sevens World Series Champions – and not forgetting the Blue Bulls who have won the Super 14 finals in a convincing fashion! We take this opportunity to wish the Springboks well in the upcoming series against the British and Irish Lions. It is clear that we need to invest on a large scale in sports development. We will speed up the revival of school sport and ensure that it forms part of the school curriculum. In addition we will ensure that the provision of sport facilities in poorer communities receives priority.

Hon. Speaker and Chairperson,

We have committed ourselves over the years to contribute to building a better Africa and a better world. 
The main goal of government for the medium term is to ensure that our foreign relations contribute to the creation of an environment conducive to sustainable economic growth and development. To this effect, we will continue to prioritise the African continent by strengthening the African Union and its structures, and give special focus to the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

Equally important, and closer to home, is the strengthening of regional integration with particular emphasis on improving the political and economic integration of SADC, towards the AU goal of a Union government. We will establish a South African Development Partnership Agency to promote developmental partnerships with other countries on the continent. South Africa will continue to assist in the reconstruction and development of the African continent especially in post-conflict situations. We will continue to encourage a peaceful and sustainable settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two- state solution.

We will support the peace efforts of the African Union and the United Nations on the African continent, including in the Saharawi Arab Republic and Darfur in Sudan. As the Chairperson of SADC and Facilitator, we will participate in promoting inclusive government until free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. 

The plight of the Zimbabwean people has had a negative impact on the SADC region, especially South Africa. We call upon all peace-loving countries in the world to support the inclusive government to achieve economic recovery. We will support efforts of the SADC region to resolve the situation in Madagascar.

Allow me, distinguished guests, to pay tribute to the SA National Defence Force for their sterling role in peace building in the continent. Through continental and regional bodies, we will work towards the entrenchment of democracy and the respect for human rights on the African continent. We will contribute to the strengthening of South-South relations and pursue mutually beneficial agreements with key countries of the South.

We will continue to enhance relations with the developed North including the G8, and our strategic partnership with the European Union. We will continue to play an active role in ensuring the conclusion of the WTO Doha Development round of negotiations.

Honourable Speaker and Chairperson, 
South Africa, being a dry country requires urgent action to mitigate adverse environmental changes and to ensure the provision of water to citizens.  Amongst various programmes, we will implement the Water for Growth and Development strategy, which will strengthen water management. We will continue to improve our energy efficiency and reliance on renewable energy.

Honourable Members,
A developmental state requires the improvement of public services and strengthening of democratic institutions. We have established two Ministries in the Presidency to strengthen both strategic planning as well as performance monitoring and evaluation. To ensure delivery on our commitments, we will hold Cabinet Ministers accountable through performance instruments, using established targets and output measures, starting in July. We will also involve State-Owned Enterprises and Development Finance Institutions in the government planning processes and improve the monitoring and evaluation of their performance.

Honourable Members, fellow South Africans,

To ensure that all three spheres – local, provincial and national – improve service delivery, we will speed up the establishment of a single Public Service. This administration will insist on putting people first in service delivery. We will ensure courteous and efficient service from front-counter staff in the provision of services in all government departments. In this era of renewal, we will move towards a more interactive government. To lead by example, work has begun on the establishment of a public liaison capacity in the Presidency. 

In addition to receiving letters and emails from the public, we will also establish a hotline for easier access. Staff will handle each public inquiry as if it was the only one, following it through all the channels until it receives the attention it deserves.

Honourable Speaker and Chairperson,

The National Youth Development Agency, formed through the merger of Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission will be launched on June 16 in Ekurhuleni. The institutions are being merged to enhance service and development opportunities provided to the youth. The Agency will link up unemployed young graduates with economic opportunities; strengthen efforts to expand the National Youth Service Programme and support young entrepreneurs. 

Speaker and Chairperson, Distinguished Guests,

Next month our beloved Madiba will turn 91. People all over the world still continue to clamour for his presence and for him to address their crises. His values and his example of dedication to the service of humanity is a shining example in today’s troubled world. An international campaign has been initiated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and related organisations, called Mandela Day, which sums up what Tata stands for. Mandela Day will be celebrated on the 18th of July each year. It will give people in South Africa and all over the world the opportunity to do something good to help others. 

Madiba was politically active for 67 years, and on Mandela Day people all over the world, in the workplace, at home and in schools, will be called upon to spend at least 67 minutes of their time doing something useful within their communities, especially among the less fortunate. Let us wholeheartedly support Mandela Day and encourage the world to join us in this wonderful campaign.

Honourable Speaker and Chairperson Fellow South Africans,

We have presented to the nation our programme for the next five years. Attached to each commitment we make is a detailed project plan, with targets and critical milestones. This information will in due course be made public. Indeed as citizens we should at the same time ask ourselves what is it that we can do on our own to help promote this national programme. To be a citizen is not only about rights, it is also about responsibility, to make a contribution to make ours a better country.

We also expect to work well with Opposition parties in Parliament, in the spirit of putting the country first. In addition, Madiba taught us well that this country belongs to all, black and white. Working for reconciliation and unity will remain important as we move forward.

Since the implementation of our programme will take place in the face of the economic downturn, we will have to act prudently – no wastage, no rollovers of funds – every cent must be spent wisely and fruitfully. We must cut our cloth according to our size. 

Fellow South Africans, working together we can do more to realise our common vision of a better and more prosperous nation!

This is the partnership we are calling for.

I thank you!

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