Tag: state of the nation address

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s Parliamentary Replies in the National Assembly

 

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe responds to questions in Parliament, 6 March 2013

6 Mar 2013

1.  Ms N Gina (ANC) to ask the Deputy President:

What measures does he, as chairperson of the Human Resource Development Council, intend to implement to ensure that the recognition of prior learning is (a) prioritised and (b) sped up with regard to people who have gained skills and experience working as artisans (details furnished) for some time, but who have no formal qualification?

REPLY

Honourable Member, the Human Resource Development Council on 15 June 2012, after a thorough multi-stakeholder consultative process, endorsed the Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning system.

In support of the endorsement by the Council, the Department of Higher Education and Training allocated an amount of R41 million for the development of a national artisan recognition of prior learning system for the period 2012 – 2015.

The project will develop an advisor training programme and produce toolkits for specific trades to assist Further Education and Training Colleges in the certification of candidates with prior leaning experience.

I am informed by the Department of Higher Education and Training that a pilot phase of the project is scheduled to start in April this year and more than 4000 applications have been received from artisan assistants who wish to participate in the programme.

I thank you.

2. Mr D J Maynier (DA) to ask the Deputy President:

What official duties did he perform between 23 December 2012 and 4 January 2013?

REPLY

Honourable Member, I did not perform any official duties between 23 December 2012 and 4 January 2013. Honourable Speaker, two weeks ago, during the debate on the State of the Nation Address in this House, Honourable Maynier stated that he would be asking me a question regarding my holiday to the Seychelles.

Although he has not asked that specific question from the onset, I wish to alleviate his anxiety and respond to it.

In terms of government policy duly adopted by Cabinet, transport for the Deputy President, whether for official or private purposes, is the responsibility of the State.

The State also has a duty to provide security for the Deputy President at all times, whether he is engaged in official duties or while he is on leave. This policy was reaffirmed by Cabinet on 20 March 2007.

All matters pertaining to transport and security of the Deputy President are handled by the competent state organs.  The South African Police Service is responsible for security, including ground transport, while the South African National Defence Force is responsible for air transport.

The Deputy President has no role whatsoever in the planning and carrying out of operations concerning his own transport and security.  These matters, including deployment of personnel and equipment as well as related costs are managed by the competent state organs.

I thank you.

3. Mr L S Ngonyama (Cope) to ask the Deputy President:

Whether the Anti-Poverty Programme, including the War on Poverty Campaign, involves the issue of empowerment through (a) land tenure and (b) ownership of the rural land; if not, why not, in each case; if so, what are the relevant details in each case?

REPLY

Honourable Member, the Anti-Poverty Programme is not a stand alone programme with a set of projects and a budget. Rather, it is about the coordination of various interventions through targeting poverty alleviation. More so, the programme also encourages a coordinated approach to the involvement of stakeholders in poverty alleviation initiatives.

Within this broader Anti-Poverty Programme, the War on Poverty Campaign identifies citizens who are entitled to various government services but for some reason are unable to receive them. The programme has placed special focus on identifying change agents in poor households with the objective of assisting them to spearhead change in the situations in which they find themselves.

Thus, while the War on Poverty Campaign does not focus on empowerment through land tenure and ownership of rural land, it goes without saying that access to land is an important element in ensuring that people have food security and it further ensures sustainable livelihoods, all of which ultimately result in poverty alleviation.

The main programme to empower people in terms of land reform is the Recapitalisation and Development programme, which provides training and infrastructural support to emerging farmers.

Furthermore, the Comprehensive Rural Development programme provides support to rural communities through the facilitation of social and economic infrastructure to enable the creation of sustainable livelihoods.

During my visits to some of the poorest districts in the country, I have been encouraged to see that where people have access to land, regardless of its size, efforts are underway to develop community food gardens that provide food not only for the household, but in some instances are a viable commercial venture.

These initiatives must be supported and replicated in all poor communities as this advances self-sufficiency and goes a long way towards restoring people’s dignity as they can now provide for the nutritional needs of their families.

4. Ms H F Matlanyane (ANC) to ask the Deputy President:

What (a) progress has been made in the War on Poverty Campaign (i) in broad terms and (ii) to improve the conditions of the unemployed youth and (b) challenges remain?

REPLY

Honourable Member, more than 316 000 households or 1.6 million people that live in poverty have been profiled in about 350 of the most deprived wards in the country to date.

The War on Poverty Campaign targets young people from poor households as change agents, given the potential that they represent to break the cycle of poverty in their households. We seek to improve the capability and opportunities of these young people, by connecting them to available opportunities, in order for them to rise from poverty, and in turn, to take their own families and communities out of poverty.

Thus, the role of the household change agent is to monitor and ensure that commitments made by both government and the households towards lifting the household out of poverty are on track.

Public employment through the Extended Public Work Programme, Community Works Programme and the National Rural Youth Service Corps are used as primary instruments to address the unemployment of household change agents.

The Community Works Programme provides up to one hundred and twenty working days per year for unemployed young people, while the National Rural Youth Service Corps has eleven thousand five hundred young people enlisted to undergo training in different areas of skills and expertise for a period of two years.

This period will be extended to four years to incorporate the placement of household change agents into work areas or to assist them to start small businesses.

Let us now look at just some examples of the work that Government has done particularly in rural communities to empower unemployed young people.Following our visit to uMsinga in KwaZulu-Natal in 2011, the then Deputy Minister of Public Works returned to that area to start a programme for the young people there.

In this regard the Department of Public Works recruited one hundred and ten change agents to work on the Departments’ Water Treatment Plant.  These young people were provided with a six month training programme during which period they received stipends.

Ten of these young people participated in an Internship Programme and five of them have since returned to school. On completion of the training programme, the remaining ninety five have been absorbed to continue working on the Water Treatment Plant and they were offered permanent employment.  As part of this initiative, thirty two qualified artisans and technicians were brought in to work as supervisors in the programme.

At Eshowe the Department of Public Works also recruited twenty young people for learnerships and six for internship programmes from the group identified as change agents.

At Gombani village, Vhembe District in Limpopo Province the Department of Public Works also started a project of “Women in Construction” in which they recruited forty eight women to build houses in their community.  These women have since built twenty two houses.  Twenty four young people were also recruited to work in the same project.

A similar project was also initiated at Port St. John in the Eastern Cape where a brick making machine was purchased through the support of the Department of Human Settlements to enable women to participate in alternative construction methods.

I thank you.

Issued by: The Presidency
6 Mar 2013


Ndiza Lodge You will find Ndiza Lodge & Cabanas nestled onto the verge of the Wetlands. With easy access to the restaurants, supermarkets and rest of the town yet private and quiet. Contact: http://www.ndizalodge.co.za/ Amanda de Gaspary 083 442 1896 Email: info@ndizastlucia.co.za



Jacob Zuma on the occasion of the official opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders

 

National House of Traditional Leaders official opening in Parliament, 7 Mar 2013

Address by President Jacob Zuma on the occasion of the official opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Parliament, Cape Town

7 Mar 2013

The Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Kgosi Pontsho Maubane (Kgabo!),
Minister Masenyani Richard Baloyi (Mathebula!),
Deputy Minister Yunus Carrim (Ndaa VhoCarrim!),
Other Ministers and Deputy Ministers present,
Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Max Sisulu (Xhamela!),
The Chairperson of the NCOP, Honourable Mninwa Mahlangu (Mrungwa!),
The Deputy Chairperson of the NHTL, Kgosi Makgeru (Hlabirwa’a Bauba!),
Members of the House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL),
Heads of Chapter 9 institutions,
Mr Cecil Le Fleur, Chairperson of the National Khoi-San Council and your Councillors,
Nkosi Patekile Holomisa, President of CONTRALESA (Aah Dilizintaba!), and your Executive Committee,
Chairpersons of the Provincial Houses and all their majesties kings and queens present,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Lotshani!

Two weeks ago, I delivered the State of the Nation Address where we outlined progress made and the priorities and direction of our government for the new financial year. I committed government to forge ahead with building partnerships with all of the citizens of this country and all sectors, to make a better life for all our people a reality.

We outlined progress made in the five government priority areas. These are education, health, the fight against crime and community safety, job creation as well as agriculture and land reform.

I am happy today to have this opportunity to open the National House of Traditional Leaders so that it can conduct its business for this financial year. The institution, status and role of traditional leadership, according to customary law, are recognised by the Constitution of the Republic.

The institution of traditional leadership has a role to play in supporting government in its programme of building a prosperous South Africa. We require your ongoing support in implementing programmes in our five priorities and the programme of action of government as a whole.

Amakhosi ayahlonishwa ezindaweni eziningi ezweni lakithi. Ningabaholi bethu, abaholi babantu bethu. Siyawuxhasa kakhulu umsebenzi owenziwa indlu yamakhosi kuzwelonke, kanye nasezifundazweni.

Chairperson,

The National and Provincial Houses were reconstituted last year. We trust that the new leadership has settled in and fully engaged in the business of the House. When we meet traditional leaders we often look back at the heroic role played by amakhosi in our history.

We recall our ancestors, from King Harry of the Cape San to the last armed resistance leader, Nkosi Bambatha in 1906, who put down the spear and gave way to the new form of resistance in the form of the congress movement.

The spear was then picked up through the formation of the African National Congress in 1912. Since then, the battle continues to reverse to legacy of apartheid colonialism which is manifesting itself through abject poverty, mass unemployment and gross social inequality.

We are looking up to the modern day traditional leadership to work with us as we navigate through the new challenges facing our people today, especially the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. We are looking upon you, the descendants of the warriors and heroes of the wars against colonialism, to participate actively in building a new caring, united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa.

Esteemed leaders of our people,

Today I would like to discuss mainly three aspects in relation to the role of traditional leaders in promoting a united and prosperous nation. These are nation building, food security and the promotion of indigenous heritage. I trust that as part of the work that the National House will be undertaking this year, you will not lose sight of the National Development Plan (NDP) and its implications and opportunities for traditional affairs.

As you know we have adopted the Plan as the development blueprint for the next 20 years. The Plan informs us that 30 years from today, South Africa will be mostly urban, and that our rural areas will be abandoned as the youth migrate to the cities in search of greener pastures. Migration to the cities will leave the arable and fertile land lying fallow.

Such a prospect will definitely and most certainly threaten South Africa’s food security. We are already witnesses to this phenomenon. Many fields lie untilled across the country. The NDP identifies agriculture as an economic activity that is still capable of pushing back the frontiers of poverty.

This requires traditional leaders to work with government to promote farming to our youth and the rural population. At the same time, we are conscious of the fact that years of land deprivation reinforced by land dispossession laws such as the Land Act of 1913 and later apartheid laws have deprived generations of our people of the skills necessary to survive out of agriculture.

People who had been proud farmers were now forced to work after being dispossessed of their land, livestock and equipment. Working on the farms was thus turned into a form of slavery. The outcome of this state of affairs over generations is that our youth developed a grim view of agriculture. Those living in rural areas aspire to move out of the villages as soon as they can. We need to change the situation.

We need to make them appreciate the economic importance and centrality of agriculture. We must encourage them to study agricultural and food production sciences at school and universities. Our educational institutions at both secondary and tertiary level must respond to this challenge and channel resources adequately and appropriately.

I therefore humbly request this august house to support government in making agriculture and farming look “cool” and attractive as a career choice to our youth. Also key to this promotion of agriculture is access to land. I trust that the departments of Traditional Affairs and that of Rural Development and Land Reform will be discussing with the National House soon on land reform.

We have to work on the implementation of measures on land reform to allow communities who missed the 1998 land claims application deadlines to still apply for land that was taken away from them as part of the cruel colonial land dispossession. We are also exploring means of allowing those who were dispossessed before 1913 to also obtain justice, as mentioned in the State of the Nation Address.

You will assist us in encouraging those who get their land back to use it and not resell it. Selling the land, at times back to the previous “owner”, defeats the purpose of changing land ownership patterns. The programme of reversing land dispossession must be undertaken in a manner that corrects the injustice while also promoting agricultural stability and food security. With the support of traditional leaders, the land reform programme will be successful in all respects.

Esteemed leaders of our people,

The second point I wish to discuss today is nation building. We meet during a period when our country has experienced heightened incidents of violence against women and children, and other forms of violence. These incidents remind us that we come from an immensely violent culture. We survived a cruel system of governance which was described as a crime against humanity by the United Nations.

The apartheid system could only be sustained through violence, and violence became entrenched. When we correctly demanded freedom, equality, justice and human dignity, the response was violence, murder and mayhem. For that reason, our struggle became deliberately a struggle to eliminate all forms of violence. It was a struggle to achieve a peaceful, caring, stable society.

We cannot turn our backs on that legacy of dignified, principled struggle for peace, freedom, human rights and justice. That is why South Africans are outraged at the incidents of violence. However, in expressing our disgust, we should not lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of the 52 million South Africans are peaceful, caring, law abiding citizens.

They love their country. They do their best each day to make South Africa a better place. Therefore, when expressing outrage, we should be careful not to then paint all South Africans as violent and brutal. We should be careful not to rubbish our country. We should not and cannot lose faith in our own humanity and our collective ability to correct the wrongs that we see in our country.

We also dare not portray our beautiful country as an inherently violent place to live in. South Africa is a stable, peaceful country. Like all countries, there are elements that conduct themselves in a shocking and unacceptable manner. And like all countries, we will search for solutions.

We have all been correctly angered by the rogue elements and criminals who molest women and children and commit other extreme forms of violence. Others burn and loot properties during what should be peaceful protests. The outrage expressed by our people at such recent violent incidents in particular is most welcome as it indicates that South Africans have not lost their sense of right and wrong. Using this positive trait, we must now work closely together to find solutions.

Traditional leaders are well placed to work with government and other sectors to rebuild the moral fibre of our society. We believe it is important to look at the root causes while also addressing the symptoms of the sickness. The police are dealing with the symptoms in relation to criminal activities.

As far as general crime is concerned, the levels have decreased over the years. However, the crimes against women and children remain high and of concern. But the police continue to make inroads. 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 old.

With the support of the community, most suspects in the high profile rape and domestic violence cases have been arrested. I have also directed the justice, crime prevention and security cluster to implement measures to nip violent protests in the bud. We are doing this to build a culture of responsibility, accountability, respect for authority and respect for one another.

People have a right to protest, but there is no need to use violence to get the message across. We have at the same time instructed government to improve interaction with communities. Some people take to the streets because they feel nobody is listening to their grievances.

While the police will continue to arrest those who perpetrate such evil crimes, we also know that success in the fight against this scourge and against violence generally, depends on all of us and not only with the police.

We have identified the regeneration of the moral fibre and the strengthening of families and communities as a priority. Realising this challenge, plus the general weaknesses in the family structure in our society, the government has decided to fast-track the finalisation of the family policy. We have produced a White Paper on Families through the Department of Social Development, building on the Green Paper that was released for discussion last year.

We believe that the family is the foundation of society.  Our goal is to promote cohesive families, households and communities in South Africa, where violence, deviance and social decay would be non-existent. This is the foundation of a more caring, united and more prosperous South Africa.

We are aware of the diverse nature of families and households in our country. We have single parent households, granny-headed households, female-headed households, child-headed households and others. The period of apartheid colonialism brought immense pressure to bear on the African family in particular.

We have gone through a period of the migrant labour system and rapid urbanisation leading to the split in families with breadwinners moving to the cities. This put pressure on families leading to children growing up with one or neither of the parents. Sadly this continues to this day in some families, where parents can be called economic migrants.

The HIV and AIDS pandemic and the internecine violence of the 80s and 90s also contributed to the breakdown in family life. The triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment on their own wreak havoc on families and households. Inequality in income distribution is also large and persistent. Inequality according to race also remains rampant. Figures from Census 2011 confirm this stark inequality, and revealed that white households earn six times more than African households.

The average annual African household income is at R60 613 and the one of the white households is at R365 164. Close to 1.9 million African households reported no income at all. These are the socio-economic conditions we have to contend with, as we build united, cohesive, caring and stable families and communities. The situation does not make our task easy.

What is important in building new and caring communities is that everyone should play their part. We have seen shocking cases of parents who do not know where their children are at any given time, even at night. That is unacceptable. Parents must take responsibility for their children and children under their care. They cannot delegate this responsibility to the police or to government.

Beyond households and families, working together we must promote a culture of accountability as all sectors and leaders of society, including traditional leaders.
We all have a responsibility to socialise the youth to be caring, responsible and upright citizens.

They must know the values and ethos in our Constitution which pronounces against all forms of discrimination and violence. Promoting this accountability means that communities must be involved in the affairs of the schools in their jurisdictions. They must motivate the youth to go to school and support the teachers. No child must roam the streets during school hours and parents just look away.

The existence of taverns near the schools and the fact that owners allow school children to patronise these areas indicates the level of decay in our society. The abuse of alcohol, drugs and other substances is a contributory factor in some of the crimes that are committed. These matters may look small and insignificant but on a larger scale, they take us to the problems we face currently, of wanton lawlessness.

More importantly, I wish to highlight the role of men in building stronger families.
South Africa has a serious challenge of absent living fathers in many households, especially African households. The White Paper on Families states that absent living fathers is a common and increasing phenomenon affecting families in our country.

The proportion of fathers who are absent but living increased from 41.6 percent to 47.4 percent between 1996 and 2010. African children have the lowest proportion of present fathers at 31.1 percent, while Indian children have the highest at 83.0 percent, with White children following closely behind at 80.8 percent. For Coloured children the proportion is 53 percent.

It is noted that poverty, high rates of unemployment and financial constraints may contribute to large numbers of fathers failing to take responsibility for their children. However this should not be an excuse. Nothing stops a father from loving and caring for his children, even if he is poor.

It is well known that the presence of a father has a positive effect in a child’s life chances; academic performance; and social, emotional wellbeing. We salute all the mothers who raise children alone, under difficult circumstances.
Chairperson and compatriots,

We also have a responsibility to strengthen inter-generational solidarity and to improve relations between children, parents and grandparents. The older generation in particular needs support. The horror of the sexual molestation of senior citizens, some who are over 80 years of age has exposed the worst forms of moral decay in our society.

Our White Paper promotes inter-generational solidarity. This can include better caring for the aged, and sharing of wealth, skills and knowledge between generations. The nation building project requires all parties and stakeholders to play a role. We urge this House to help us promote a culture of respecting one another and of respect for authority and adherence to values that are enshrined in the Constitution.

Members of this House are aware that simple respect for one another, and the respect traditionally accorded to adults in society by those younger than them is becoming a scarce commodity. We cringe when we hear how some young people address older persons these days in discussions or debates. It is a symptom of the erosion of ubuntu and fundamental values.

The recent shocking incidents should shock us into positive action, by making us focus on what can bind us as the South African nation. We must identify how we can support families and households in distress, strengthen our communities and take forward the mission of building a caring, united and prosperous society.

Kgosi Maubane and the leadership of the House,

Your programme on cultural tourism has indeed attracted our attention. You seek to unearth the ancient shrines and catacombs of our ancestors hidden in caves. These graves are in need of preservation to boost domestic tourism as people are eager to see where epic resistance battles were fought.

Our country will benefit from learning how our ancestors worshipped. They want to trace their footprints as they traversed the continent, going to and from, south to north and back as free nomadic hunter gatherers and herder communities at peace with their environment.

We are waiting eagerly for the folklore to be translated into real stories and the indigenous knowledge to be revealed and integrated into the mainstream scientific knowledge.

The bones of our ancestors that have been found in some parts of the country need to be given life, flesh and a living spirit. They need to be turned into a site for living heritage and cultural tourism – a monument that all of us would want to visit as domestic tourists who are inquisitive about our past in order to navigate the future.

Out of such initiatives across the country, we will create jobs for tour guides, translators, entrepreneurs, traders and other trades as tourism has a way of unleashing creativity amongst the hosts, and of banishing poverty in the process. Similarly, the debilitated state of some of our declared heritage sites, particularly those in the rural areas is a cause for concern as some of them have been desecrated and vandalised.

I have asked the Department of Traditional Affairs to collaborate with the South African Heritage Resources Agency to attend to their rehabilitation. In the same vein, we call upon communities to act as guardians of these centres as they indeed are about who we are.

People who desecrate their heritage and sacred sites are doomed. The initiatives of the departments of Traditional affairs and Tourism will make cultural tourism a new weapon against rural poverty, unemployment and deprivation.

Chairperson and Honourable members of this House,

I am pleased that the Khoi and San leadership under the National Khoi-San Council are with us in this chamber today. We are aware that the legislation meant to integrate their structures into the mainstream of traditional leadership institutions has taken longer than it was anticipated.

I want to take this opportunity to reiterate government’s commitment to redressing this apartheid legacy, that is, their exclusion from traditional leadership institutions.

Compatriots,

Our country has great potential and can be anything we want it to be. It is upon this cadre of leadership gathered here to make of our country the best it can be, a winning nation. I urge you to join our nation building campaign. Let us do everything possible to build more cohesive communities.

Traditional leaders, as the leaders of our people, are well-placed to assist us in this campaign of reversing moral degeneration and building societies where there is respect for human life, human dignity and respect for every person regardless of their station in life.

I wish you well in 2013.

I thank you!

Issued by: The Presidency
7 Mar 2013


Ndiza Lodge You will find Ndiza Lodge & Cabanas nestled onto the verge of the Wetlands. With easy access to the restaurants, supermarkets and rest of the town yet private and quiet. Contact: http://www.ndizalodge.co.za/ Amanda de Gaspary 083 442 1896 Email: info@ndizastlucia.co.za



Cabinet Lekgotla to measure progress

Pretoria – The review of state-owned entities, progress made on infrastructure and top government priorities will feature prominently at the Cabinet Lekgotla which began in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, told reporters at the start of the meeting that several reports indicating government’s progress on several issues will be discussed in the next two days.

“The Lekgotla will receive a report from the presidential review commission on parastatals as well as the report on the progress made by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC),” Chabane said.

There will also be deliberations on the administration’s progress in education, health, safety and security, fighting crime and corruption as well as job creation.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the Presidential State Owned Enterprises Review Committee in May 2010, to review the role of SOEs in the country.

The appointment of the committee was a response to the acknowledgement that there was a need to strengthen the role of SOEs to ensure that they respond to a clearly defined public mandate and support the developmental aspirations of government.

It was further guided by the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2009 to 2014.

The MTSF states the need for the review of state owned enterprises as part of the economic transformation agenda of government.

Government had found that while these entities remain financially viable, SOEs, development finance institutions as well as companies in which the state has a significant shareholding must respond to a clearly defined public mandate, and help government to build a developmental state.

The PICC, which is chaired by the President, was tasked to oversee the country’s infrastructure plan as part of speeding up progress on major infrastructure projects.

The plan, first announced by Zuma in his State of the Nation address in February, lists 17 strategic integrated projects that cut across energy, transport and logistics infrastructure to schools, hospitals and nursing colleges. The projects cover economic and social infrastructure across all nine provinces, with an emphasis on undeveloped areas and opportunities. Energy projects will focus on supporting sustainable “green” energy initiatives through a diverse range of clean energy options.

The Lekgotla also takes place at time the country is still reeling in shock following the tragic killing last month of striking mine workers in Marikana, North West.

Asked if the meeting would discuss the Marikana tragedy, Chabane said: “While the issue is not part of the Lekgotla, Cabinet may request a report of the IMC (Inter-ministerial Committee) which deals with this matter so it may arise”. – SAnews.gov.za

Govt ups interaction with communities

By Estella Naicker

Utrecht – In a bid to increase citizens’ awareness of its programmes and to foster a culture of participation, government is embarking on a series of engagement seminars with communities around the country.

A visit by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti to the Amajuba District on Friday was welcomed by citizens in the area, where he spearheaded a seminar at the Emadlangeni Town Hall.

Many people said that they finally felt more like active participants than just spectators to decisions taken by government.

The seminar, one of 30 that will take place throughout the country, forms part of a communications strategy adopted by Cabinet to host regular meetings between leaders of government and ordinary citizens.

It follows a similar one by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi to the Waterberg District in Limpopo.

“The sessions are intended to help citizens understand the decisions that are taken in government and how it will benefit their lives,” explained Michael Currin, Chief Director: Provincial Co-ordination and Programme Support at Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).

While the seminar in Amajuba was intended to communicate the programmes of government following the State of the Nation Address, guests took full advantage of the opportunity to raise issues, demand answers and even offer solutions to common problems.

“Not only do I understand the State of the Nation Address a little better, but having the Minister come all the way to Utrecht to talk to us showed me that government really cares about us, even though we live in a rural area,” said Elizabeth Malinga, a beneficiary of a land claim.

Ian de Jager, a farmer in the area, said he already had a good grasp of the State of the Nation Address but still felt that the seminar was useful in making Minister Nkwinti aware of issues pertaining to the area.

“One of the more salient issues that was raised at the seminar is the fact that land reform needs to be done in such a manner that it gives people ownership with a sense of responsibility, and people must feel the full onus of that responsibility. It is very easy to transfer land but if it is not managed properly, it is a waste,” said De Jager.

He continued: “There was also one gentleman from Newcastle who said he had a group that was willing to offer hands-on training in farming to individuals, in conjunction with the training being offered at a tertiary institution, but the minister explained that the vehicle to drive that programme forward was not entirely in place.

“There are many stakeholders that are willing to participate … more needs to be done in a constructive manner, and funds need to be allocated appropriately.”

During the seminar, MEC for Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, Dr Meshack Radebe, dissuaded citizens from “always blaming government for their problems”.

“We will reap what we sow and if you do not plant, you cannot grow,” he said, encouraging citizens to take responsibility for their own futures.

He went on to explain that while President Jacob Zuma announced that 2011 was the year for creating jobs, 2012 would be the year for infrastructure development.

“People say there is a difference between the two but it is actually one thing,” said Radebe.

“Infrastructure development creates the opportunity for people to invest. We have learnt from the Soccer World Cup and we are now calling upon the public sector, the private sector and the parastatals to invest in infrastructure. This will generate huge opportunities for South African business.”

Nkwinti touched on the green paper on land reform when he took to the podium, saying the aim of the document was to bring municipalities, communities, the police, farm workers and farm owners under one institution to solve problems either socially or legally.

“It puts a measure of power both in the hands of the worker and in the hands of the farmer,” he said.

“The reason we have giants and dwarfs in this country can be traced back to land. The giants have land. Eighteen years after democracy, people are still marching in the streets with fake machine guns and it is not right. People don’t know how to respect property because they don’t have property,” he concluded.

After the seminar, guests said they wished they had more time in the discussion slot of the programme. Minister Nkwinti will return to the Amajuba District on March 22, when further discussions are expected to take place. – BuaNews

Govt serious about fighting crime, corruption – Zuma

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma says the fight against crime and corruption continues to top the agenda of government, with dozens of cases having been finalised in the past two years.

“We reiterate our undertaking we made in 2009 to combat crime in tender processes. Our announcement about vetting supply chain personnel is one of the interventions in this regard,” Zuma said on Thursday in Parliament in his reply to the debate on State of the Nation Address.

Members of the opposition had raised concerns on Wednesday about crime and corruption, particularly in the public sector.

But today, a calm looking Zuma singled out the Anti-Corruption Task Team as having done extremely well in dealing with graft in both the public and private sectors. The team, constituted by representatives from the security agencies, was currently investigating 45 corruption-related priority cases against 151 accused people, and assets in excess of R600 million have been seized.

Assets obtained through elicit means amounting to more than R1 billion have been forfeited by the state in the past two years. In addition, since the inception of the National Anti-corruption Hotline, which is managed by the Public Service Commission, 1 499 officials were charged with misconduct and corrupt activities at national and provincial government levels.

“We will not become complacent… We are increasing the number of skilled personnel in areas such as crime scene investigation, forensic analysis, finger printing and investigation, prosecutions and legal aid, which will further improve performance in this regard,” said the President.

The impact of the improvements in the investigative and forensic capacity was evident in the improved detection rates for serious crimes.

“The deployment of the South African Defence Force on the border is yielding results. We are clamping down on illicit economic and crime-related border activities,” Zuma said.

Also, the Correctional Services Department had introduced electronic monitoring of offenders who had been granted parole and reintegrated in society.

To promote access to justice, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development completed additions to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein as well as constructing a new wing in the Western Cape High Court.

Three new courts were also completed in Tsakane, Ntuzuma and Kagiso townships. The department will be completing the construction of a new High Court in Limpopo as well as a new court in Katlehong.

“We will also be starting with the construction of a new High Court in Mpumalanga, and that of new courts in Mamelodi, Port Shepstone, Dimbaza, Bityi and Plettenberg Bay,” said Zuma. – BuaNews

Govt pins hope on community jobs

By Chris Bathembu

Cape Town – Government wants to create more than 1.5 million job opportunities in the next two years through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) which officials say has proved effective in the fight against poverty.

A review of the EPWP funding model, currently underway, is also expected to make it easy for municipalities to access start up grants to speed up community-based job creation projects.

Speaking during the Social Protection and Community Development Cluster media briefing on Tuesday, Public Works Minister Thembelani Nxesi said the review would allow municipalities to receive 40 percent of their allocated EPWP grant as start-up funding even if they don’t produce work plans which was previously the case.

“We have witnessed major weaknesses in the way the funding model was implemented, so with the review we will be providing technical assistance to the municipality to allow them to use the start-up funding to create the necessary jobs without having to wait,” Nxesi said.

The EPWP plays a crucial role in government’s job creation drive with half a million jobs created by the scheme in 2011. An estimated 79 000 work opportunities were created through community work programmes. About 1 335 jobs were facilitated by the National Youth Development Agency which also provided career guidance to more than 5000 young people in 2011.

Nxesi said a third quarter report, to be released in the next two weeks, would further show an increase in the number of jobs created through EPWP, mostly in rural communities across the country.

The target of 1.5 million jobs in EPWP by 2014 is said to have been influenced by the infrastructure programme announced by President Jacob Zuma last week.

During the State of the Nation Address last Thursday, Zuma unveiled plans to expand the country’s infrastructure programme as part of efforts to create five million jobs in this decade. Analysts have said the move will allow the state to play a more leading role in employment creation in the face of a weakening world economy and falling company profits.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, who chairs the cluster, said the emphasis on infrastructure expansion in the State of the Nation Address created an ideal opportunity to introduce a labour intensive approach to development.

“It is envisaged that many EPWP work opportunities will be created,” she said. – BuaNews

State has the money to fund infrastructure – Gordhan

Cape Town – South Africa has the money to spend on the infrastructure projects in the five regions outlined by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address tonight, the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan said.

“We already know that for the past five or six years that for every three-year period we have had something around R800 billion to R900 billion being spent, largely by our state-owned enterprises (on infrastructure).

“So we’ve demonstrated the ability to bring resources in which is what will be required to get these projects going,” Gordhan told BuaNews, stressing that these key infrastructure projects would be developed over a number of years.

Among other things, the projects would help develop better economic links between outlying areas and the main urban centre and to make it easier for companies to export and do business locally, he said.

“If we get this right it means that many areas of the country will have a heightened level of economic opportunity and there will be all sorts of job opportunities and there will be opportunities for people to manufacture the things that go into the investment in the infrastructure development that has been outlined,” he said.

Gordhan also defended the state getting more involved in the economy.

“You know if the state didn’t get involved in all the economies of the world, particularly the major ones, since in 2008 you would have had no economy or country left,” he said, pointing out that it was the state backed by tax-payers’ money that helped save banks in the 2008 financial crisis.

“So the story about the state getting too involved is an old story, what we need is the right balance,” he pointed out.

Speaking on the night, the leader of the opposition Lindiwe Mazibuko, although welcoming the announcement by Zuma of the infrastructure projects, said it was not clear from where the funding for the infrastructure projects outlined by Zuma would be sourced.

“In fact a quick look actually shows that we are about R300 billion short, so I’m curious to see how that will be dealt with in the budget,” said Mazibuko.

Her concern on where the funding would come from for the infrastructure projects was echoed by Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota, who added that corruption in the procurement system also risked raising the cost of these projects. – BuaNews

Take advantage of infrastructure projects – Zuma

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma has urged South Africans to take advantage of the opportunities that will be created by a massive new infrastructure build programme.

Addressing a breakfast event at Grand West Casino hosted by the New Age newspaper, Zuma said South Africans should take advantage of the “window period” created by the government with his announcement in the State of the Nation Address yesterday on infrastructure projects, and participate in building the economy.

Last night, Zuma announced that the country would spend billions of rands over the coming years on rail, road, and economic links in five regions in the country and on building new universities and refurbishing hospitals.

“We believe it [the key infrastructure projects] is going to change the economic landscape of the country and connect it to the continent,” said Zuma, adding that it was now clear for anyone where investment had to be placed in the economy.

“There are massive opportunities that are coming, let us take advantage,” he said, pointing out that for example South Africa had a significant coastline but was not servicing commercial shipping on a big scale.

He said the setting up of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission in September last year showed that it was “no longer business as usual” for government, as the commission had already started identifying projects which had clear timeframes.

Zuma called on big companies to help develop small businesses and pointed out that large firm that did so would benefit and grow bigger.

South African firms should also enter Africa with more vigor, he said, adding that the continent was one of the most promising investment regions in the world at the moment.

He said while many felt that South Africa was not a powerful country, he believed otherwise.

“I believe we are very big. I have always said if Japan, an island economy, can grow, why can’t we?” said Zuma of one of the countries that rapidly rebuilt itself after the Second World War to become one of the biggest economies in the world by the 1980s.

He believed South Africa had made progress but added that the country still faced challenges.

With rapid urbanisation following the end of apartheid, the country found itself with a major infrastructure shortage, he said.

In answer to a question on why the country did not create many jobs last year, Zuma said he believed that South Africa “did very well” in the face of the challenges globally.

“The fact that we were able to create jobs even in that situation tells you that we didn’t do too badly.”

In answer to a question from a caller on whether factories that were closed down in Queenstown and Butterworth in the Eastern Cape would be started up again, Zuma said the government would be revitalising the rural areas and stimulating economic growth there.

In reponse to whether the government would be considering nationalisation, he said nationalisation was not the government’s policy.

“We have been saying this inside the country and outside the country. It doesn’t mean because one [ANC member] has a view, that it is national policy,” he said, adding that the government’s policy was one of a mixed economy where the state and business partnered together.

In answer to another question from someone on the floor on what keeps him awake at night, Zuma said it was the problem of the poor.

“Every night I think what can we do to alleviate their plight,” he said. – BuaNews

State of the Nation Address By His Excellency Jacob G Zuma

State of the Nation Address By His Excellency Jacob G Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa on the occasion of the Joint Sitting of Parliament, Cape Town

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, in 2010 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 R15 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 10thanniversary 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 of Grade 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 12thof 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.

Issued by: The Presidency
9 Feb 2012

Implementation should be at core of Zuma’s address

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address should focus on implementation policies and programmes that have been agreed to, Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said on Wednesday.

“In President Zuma’s third year in office, 2012 must be a year of ‘game change’ for implementation. Business expects the address to give a comprehensive platform on which business, government, labour and community can continue to position South Africa on a higher, more inclusive and job-rich growth path – and expediting what has been agreed in programmes such as the New Growth Path and the National Development Plan,” said Busa.

President Zuma will deliver the State of the Nation Address in Parliament tomorrow evening.

Busa said it hoped the overall message of the address will underpin investor confidence and the role of business in order to strengthen economic recovery and promote growth. It also hoped that the address will throw its weight behind strengthening an entrepreneurial culture.

“The prioritisation of job creation, poverty reduction, education, economic transformation, infrastructural development and growth must be invested with a new sense of urgency. We believe it is in small business that the greatest potential lies for realising South Africa’s employment targets,” it said.

The address will be delivered at 7pm and broadcast live on SABC television and radio and streamed on www.info.gov.za. – BuaNews