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

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