State of the Nation Address of the President
of South Africa at the opening of Parliament, 2001,
Cape Town, 9 February 2001
Madame Speaker and Deputy Speaker,
Deputy President, Jacob Zuma,
Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP,
Honourable Members of our National Parliament,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
President of the Constitutional Court,
The Acting Chief Justice and other members of our judiciary,
Heads of the Security Services,
Governor of the Reserve Bank,
Honourable Premiers and MECs,
Representatives of Local Government,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Fellow South Africans:
Gradually, step by step, our country proceeds further
away from its painful past. We, its citizens, who are
very close to the coal face of change may not easily
see the steady transformation that informs all aspects
of our national life.
The past of which I speak is well known to all of us.
It is a past of a racially divided country, of masters
and servants, of racially inspired conflict and mistrust.
It is a past of endemic and widespread poverty and
gross imbalances in levels of development and the distribution
of wealth, income and opportunity. It is a past of an
economy that was immersed in a crisis that was destined
It is a past of the denial of freedom to the majority,
gross violation of human rights and repression, of entrenched
sexism, a past of high levels of crime, violence and
It is a past of a South Africa isolated from the rest
of Africa and the world, a pariah among the nations.
It is away from this painful past that our country
is progressing and must progress.
Our first responsibility in this regard has been the
need for us to recognise the reality that as a people
we do indeed share this common legacy.
Secondly, we had to make the determination that this
was a legacy that we did not desire and were therefore
committed to eradicate.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute
to all our people, both black and white, who, in the
past year and before, made a contribution, however small,
towards the new advances of our country further away
from its painful past.
In my own contacts with our people I meet the constant
refrain what can I do to help build a better
These ordinary but truly heroic South Africans are
not daunted by the difficulties they know we confront.
They are not discouraged or overwhelmed by the litany
of negative messages about our country to which all
of us are exposed daily.
They see no benefit for themselves or our country in
highlighting the deficiencies of our society and minimising
the achievements we have scored collectively.
Indeed the difficulties that our country faces serve
as an imperative to these fellow South Africans to persist
along their chosen path of working even harder to build
a new society.
It is thanks to their common efforts that we can make
bold to say that we have continued to move forward away
from our painful past. To build on these constructive
efforts, we call on all our people across the colour
line to dedicate this year to building unity in action
Such unity in action among all South Africans should
include joint efforts to implement the decisions taken
at the National Conference on Racism. I wish once more
to pledge that the Government will discharge its own
responsibilities in this regard to assist our country
to move away from its painful past of racism and sexism.
Furthermore, we would like to reiterate our thanks to
the Human Rights Commission for the holding of this
We call on all our people individually and collectively
to join in this campaign themselves to become activists
in the historic process to transform ours into a truly
In this regard, I would like to congratulate Carl Niehaus,
Mary Burton, Antjie Krog and others for their initiative
to contribute to the socio- economic upliftment of their
black fellow South Africans. There are others in our
society who have also provided the lead and therefore
also deserve a sincere word of appreciation.
These include Afrikaner farmers and professionals and
historically white schools who have voluntarily decided
to devote time and resources to the development of the
disadvantaged sections of our population.
All of us are aware that later this year, we will be
hosting the critically important UN Conference on Racism,
Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
The peoples of the world are approaching this Conference
with the greatest seriousness and expect that it will
result in important new initiatives in the global struggle
to combat racism. As the host country and given our
own experience of racism, we are expected to make a
significant contribution to the success of the Conference.
We will therefore have to take the necessary steps
further to develop a national consensus on this matter
and to demonstrate to the whole world the practical
resolve of all our people to push back the frontiers
of racism and xenophobia in our own country.
During the past year, we also took important steps
towards the further consolidation of our non-racial
democracy. I refer in this instance to the demarcation
process, the establishment of the new municipalities
and the holding of the municipal elections.
Through these processes, we have deracialised and strengthened
local government as well as ensured the legitimacy of
the new municipal councils, due to the fact that the
elections were free and fair.
All this puts the country as a whole in a strong position
to make further advances in increasing the capacity
of the people to participate in the process of determining
The requirements on the municipal councils to elaborate
and adopt integrated development plans and to establish
ward committees to facilitate regular communication
between the councillors and the people are important
instruments towards the realisation of the objective
that the people shall govern.
More work remains to be done to ensure the effective
functioning of our new municipal councils. This will
include the creation of effective management and administrative
machineries in every municipality, the proper integration
of the formerly different areas and the implementation
of development programmes, including those focused on
There are other outstanding matters such as the proper
definition of the role of traditional authorities, the
remuneration of the councillors and ironing out problems
affecting the cross-border municipalities. All these
are receiving urgent attention.
Recognising the fact that we still have this outstanding
work, nevertheless we would like to congratulate the
Demarcation Board, the Independent Electoral Commission,
the various organs of government, the political parties,
the traditional leaders and our people as a whole, for
combining their efforts to bring about the excellent
progress we have made further to entrench our democratic
system and enhance the capacity of government to contribute
to the realisation of the goal of a better life for
These important successes demonstrate practically what
we can achieve if indeed, as a country and a people,
we unite in action for change.
During the past year, we also made new advances in
what must continue as a sustained offensive against
poverty and underdevelopment.
By December 2000, the cumulative total for houses completed
or under construction was 1,129,612 while subsidies
allocated amounted to 1,323,205. During the year 2000
397,019 electricity grid connections to homes were made.
The cumulative figure for the supply of clean water
provided through the Community Supply Programme has
increased a hundred fold from 62,249 in 1995 to 6,495,205
by November 2000.
412,000 new telephone lines were installed in the financial
year 1999 to 2000 and 127 clinics built in the year
In the period from 1994 to November 2000, 917,220 hectares
of land was handed over to new black land owners through
the governments redistribution and restitution
processes. 37,396 households benefited from the land
Statistics South Africa also reported that, according
to its October Household Survey released in July 2000,
during the period 1996 to 1999, total employment increased
from 9.3 million to 10.4 million, representing a net
gain of 1.1 million jobs.
It is also interesting to note that the Bureau of Market
Research of UNISA reports in its categorisations that
between 1995 and 2000, real personal disposable income
of Indians increased annually by 2.8 per cent, the figure
being 2.7 per cent for Africans, 2.1 per cent for Coloureds
and 1.1 per cent for whites.
Despite all these advances we are still faced with
a daunting backlog of poverty and maldistribution of
income and wealth as recently reported by the UNISA
Bureau for Market Research.
Reflecting the persistence of poverty among the Africans
as well as disparities even at the high income levels,
the BMR reports that more than 84 per cent of the low
income accrued to Africans. 71.9 per cent of income
earned by the high income group went to whites and 22
per cent to Africans.
We must also continue to be concerned about the slow
progress being made with regard to the important issue
of achieving gender equality. Further disaggregation
of the economic figures we have quoted would show that
the most disadvantaged in our country are black women.
The government itself has failed to achieve the necessary
progress on gender equity even in the area of employment.
The National Gender Audit carried out by the Office
on the Status of Women shows that in September 2000,
women constituted only 16 per cent of the complement
of senior managers in government, despite the target
set by the Department of Public Service and Administration
of 30 per cent.
On a more positive note, however, the figure for Gauteng
Province was 37 per cent in 11 departments and 28 per
cent in six departments in the Northern Cape.
During the past year the economy also continued to
improve in an impressive manner. A strong base has been
created for an even better performance this year.
The December 2000 Quarterly Bulletin of the South African
Reserve Bank reported that:
"The South African economy gathered considerable
momentum in the third quarter of 2000. The strong growth
in the second half of 1999
was largely restored
in the third quarter. Stronger growth in manufacturing
production resumed and real income in the agricultural
sector rose vigorously
Growth in real gross domestic
product approached 4 per cent in the third quarter of
considerably firmer than the average annualised
in the first half of 2000
"The national accounts showed continued growth
in real final household spending in the third quarter
"A favourable external environment, continued
growth in domestic final spending, rising profitability
and the availability of investable funds provided the
incentives for the business sector to raise its capital
expenditure further in the third quarter
"The surplus of the financial account of the balance
of payments exceeded by a considerable margin the absolute
value of the deficit on the current account, raising
the countrys international reserve holdings to
their highest level ever."
The Bulletin goes on to note other positive developments
the "expansion of (electricity
services to the rural areas of the country";
"the (further) development of housing infrastructure"
"higher real household income and the reduced personal
"the ongoing buoyancy of the telecommunications
subsector where the expansion in the cellular network
and Internet activity continued, along with the expansion
of telephone services to previously under-serviced areas";
"developments (in real final consumption expenditure
by general government)
consistent with governments
resolve to rein in government spending as part of a
broader strategy that will create an environment conducive
to enhanced economic growth and job creation";
"public corporations increased their capital spending
as part of modernising strategies ahead of the expected
increase in private-sector participation in these businesses
government increased its capital outlays somewhat, mainly
in the form of higher spending on roads infrastructure";
"Gross saving by general government, which turned
from dissaving to positive saving for the first time
in almost a decade in the second quarter of 2000, remained
positive in the third quarter";
and, "an acceleration in the growth in real output
per worker in the formal non-agricultural sectors from
a year-on-year rate of 2,4 per cent in the first quarter
of 1999 to 6,5 per cent in the first and second quarters
The foreign trade surplus as at December 2000 was a
record R9 billion.
The consumer inflation rate was 5.3 per cent in the
year 2000, compared to 15.3 per cent in 1991.
Reflecting the truth of real increased business confidence,
Nedcors register of capital projects of more than
R20 million showed an increase from R22 billion in 1999
to R48 billion last year.
Furthermore, the current decline in yields on government
bonds to record lows, while the share market is approaching
its record highs, show that the financial markets have
confidence in the governments fiscal policy, the
monetary policy of the Reserve Bank and the ability
of South African business and our citizens to deliver
a better life for all.
Our country jumped 14 places in the World Economic
Forums Global Competitiveness Report 2000, rising
from 47 out of 49 countries surveyed in 1999 to 33 out
of 59 in last years report.
The overall situation on our Continent also continued
to improve, marked by such important events as the elections
in Ghana and the smooth hand over of power by the defeated
former ruling party, and the signing of the ceasefire
and peace agreement by Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Despite the difficult problems facing these two countries,
steady progress is being made towards the resolution
of the conflicts in Burundi and the Democratic Republic
As South Africans we should be proud to note that the
past year has seen our country enhance its role as a
reliable partner in the African and global struggle
for democracy, peace, development and an equitable process
Quite clearly, a better global setting will help us
greatly as we pursue the national effort to secure a
better life for all our people, which, in turn will
give us better opportunities to discharge our own international
responsibilities. A better Africa and a better world
are in the genuine interest of South Africas people.
In further pursuit of the objective of a better life
for all and building on what has already been achieved,
the government has decided on a programme of action
for the year 2001.
I will now outline the principal elements of this programme
of action, starting with the economy.
As part of the process of planning for the future,
towards the end of last year we had occasion to draw
on the advice of some of the worlds top economists
and analysts from a wide range of schools of thought.
There is a general consensus that we have established
the necessary macro- economic balance and stability,
away from the very precarious position we were in, in
1994, and despite a very volatile international environment.
Furthermore, the international competitiveness of the
economy has fundamentally improved. The threat of de-industrialisation
and economic collapse as a result of manufacturing sector
inefficiency which we inherited, has been addressed
through tariff and industrial reforms.
However the reality remains that our rate of growth
is still too low as are the aggregate savings and investment
rates. Similarly, the levels of poverty, unemployment
and underdevelopment in some parts of our country are
While continuing to focus on the maintenance of the
correct macro-economic balances, we have therefore decided
to pay detailed attention to the critical micro-economic
In particular we have decided that this year the government
itself, in all its spheres, and the public sector as
a whole, must make a decisive and integrated contribution
towards meeting the economic challenges the country
The objectives we seek to achieve are moving the economy
onto a high-growth path, increasing its competitiveness
and efficiency, raising employment levels and reducing
poverty and persistent inequalities.
To improve our competitiveness, we must lower input
costs throughout the economy.
Accordingly, we have decided to go over to a managed
liberalisation of the energy, transport and telecommunications
With regard to all these sectors, all outstanding policy
matters, including the regulatory frameworks, will be
addressed leading to the creation of the necessary climate
of certainty for both public and private sector investors.
With regard to the energy sector, among other things,
our decision will entail restructuring the electricity
supply and distribution industries to introduce greater
levels of competition. Independent Power Producers will
be allowed into our energy system and localised energy
grids for rural areas will be developed.
A Gas Bill will be tabled in parliament and gas from
Mozambique, in the first instance, will provide a new
energy source for industry and domestic consumers.
In the transport sector, among other things, new investments
will be made and restructuring effected in the rail,
road and port infrastructure, including the new port
at Ngqura or Coega.
Ngqura/Coega will be the first Industrial Development
Zone to be gazetted in March.
More efficient port operations, including the granting
of concessions, as well as competitive tariffs will
Steps will be taken to increase the number of flights
to and from South Africa to assist with the promotion
of tourism. A final decision will be taken on the King
Shaka Airport in Durban.
With regard to the telecommunications sector, we will
go ahead with the public listing of Telkom which is
part of our broad programme of the restructuring of
state assets. The outstanding matter of the third cellular
licence will be resolved in time.
Further investments will be made in this sector.
The application of modern communication and information
technology in the fields of education, health, commerce
and government will be expedited.
As we have said, this year a greater degree of certainty
will be reached with respect to the policy and regulatory
regime of the telecommunications sector.
Because of the critical importance of this sector,
we will also establish two bodies to assist the government
as it works further to ensure that we do not fall further
behind the rest of the world as a result of the digital
The first of these will be a Presidential National
Commission on Information Society and Development. This
will be constituted from representatives of our countrys
public and private sectors.
The second will be a Presidential International Task
Force on Information Society and Development. C.E.Os
from major international corporations and experts active
in the field of information and communication technology
will constitute this Task force.
The members of the first of these bodies will be announced
in the near future.
I am also pleased to announce that the information
technology companies that will be part of the Presidential
Commission have already expressed their determination
to work with the Government significantly to increase
the numbers of skilled people in this sector.
On behalf of the Government and all our people, I would
like to thank all of them for their unequivocal commitment
to helping our country to get onto and stay on the information
I am also pleased and privileged to inform Parliament
and the country of the names of the distinguished members
of the International Task Force. These are:
Mr Larry Ellison of Oracle;
Ms Carly Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard;
Ms Esther Dyson of Edventure Holdings;
Mr Craig McCaw of Teledesic;
Professor Manuel Castell of the University of California;
Mr de Beauce of Vivendi;
Mr Serge Tchuruk of Alcatel;
Mr Rajendra Pawar of NIIT of India;
Mr David Porter of Psion;
Dr Jung of Siemens;
Dr Henry Chasia of Telehouse Space Ltd.
Mr Shuttleworth of Thwate Consulting of South Africa.
We expect to receive some additional names in the near
We have identified other sectors of our economy that
require special attention because of their potential
to contribute especially to the objectives of higher
growth rates and job creation.
These include agriculture, tourism, certain export
sectors, cultural industries and the information and
The specific export sectors we are referring to are
agro-processing, automobiles and components, mining
technology and minerals beneficiation and clothing and
In addition to lowering input costs and improving competitiveness,
these sectors will be stimulated through specific policy
and regulatory actions that will be effected this year.
While not detracting from the states ongoing
efforts to maintain and sustain other sectors of the
economy, different and additional actions will be taken
this year to reinforce the growth of the sectors we
We may perhaps mention some specifics relating to tourism
to illustrate the kind of attention the government will
give to the identified sectors.
The Business Trust has already announced its decision
to help create 3,000 new black-owned tourism enterprises.
This year, the Government and the Trust will fund 3,000
learnerships in this sector.
Major public sector investments have already been made
in the Lubombo SDI and money will also be put into the
Wild Coast SDI, including the rerouting and maintenance
of the N2.
Space has been and will be created for the private
sector to invest in these and other S.D.Is, continuing
our effort to build public-private-sector partnerships.
New initiatives will be undertaken by National Parks
in all the areas under its control to improve and increase
the tourism infrastructure without damaging the eco-environment,
bring in private sector investment, absorb larger numbers
of tourists, increase job opportunities and other benefits
especially to the surrounding communities, and preserve
the national heritage, such as our rich collection of
We will take further steps to encourage the opening
of trans-frontier parks with our neighbours while continuing
to focus on such other important issues as waste management,
desertification, climate change, persistent organic
pollutants and land management.
Of course, we will also pay special attention to the
preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development
which we will host next year and which will bring an
estimated 50,000 people to our country.
We must also report that the public-private sector
International Marketing Council has already begun its
work. We are certain that it will assist greatly to
build a positive image for our country based on a more
accurate and objective understanding of the advances
we are making and the better future we are building
We have also taken the necessary decisions with regard
to the improvement of the conditions that underpin and
constitute the enabling framework for economic efficiency
I refer here to human resource development, technology,
the economic infrastructure and access to capital.
Honourable Members will agree that welcome progress
is being made in the efforts to improve the quality
of education, including the provision of infrastructure,
consolidating the culture of learning and teaching,
and introducing Adult Basic Education. However, much
more needs to be done to improve our skills base.
In this regard, Government has approved a Human Resource
Development Strategy that will enable us to launch an
accelerated skills development programme for those areas
that are critical to a more competitive economy.
Immigration laws and procedures will be reviewed urgently
to enable us to attract skills into our country. Improvements
in maths and science education will also be prioritised.
We recognise the fact that competitiveness is driven
by technological advances and innovation. In recognition
of this, investment in research and development is one
of the focal points of our integrated plan aimed at
attaining a cutting edge in key areas such as biotechnology.
At the same time, we will continue with the consultations
aimed at reforming the labour market, as well as investigations
into the feasibility of reducing the cost of labour
without reducing workers' wages.
Investment in the economic infrastructure will be prioritised
to support the high-growth areas, the integrated rural
development strategy and the urban renewal programme.
An additional R6 billion has been set aside for this
purpose over the next three years.
The Government remains concerned that access to capital,
which is key to economic growth and the development
of the small and medium enterprise sector in the economy,
remains difficult for the majority. We need to develop
the capacity to make such access easier while retaining
a well managed financial sector.
Accordingly, the regulation of the financial services
sector will be reviewed this year. New partnerships
with financial institutions will be explored and the
micro-finance sector will be mobilised in support of
entrepreneurship and productive activities.
The success of the integrated action plan we have just
detailed will be measured by how it impacts positively
on a number of key performance indicators including
economic growth rates, employment levels, competitiveness,
black economic empowerment and small business development.
For us to achieve maximum results with regard to these
economic initiatives will require not only the commitment
and energetic involvement of the government but the
building of a strong partnership with both business
I therefore renew our appeal to our social partners
to work together with us in a mutually beneficial partnership
On previous occasions we have reported that we were
working on both an integrated rural development strategy
as well as an urban renewal programme.
In both instances our central aim is to conduct a sustained
campaign against rural and urban poverty and underdevelopment,
bringing in the resources of all three spheres of government
in a coordinated manner.
These programmes will, among other things, entail investment
in the economic and social infrastructure, human resource
development, enterprise development, the enhancement
of the development capacity of local government, poverty
alleviation and the strengthening of the criminal justice
The new structure of local government, in urban and
rural areas, will be the focal institution of government
to ensure the coordinated implementation of our programmes,
with the Ministry of Provincial and Local Government
acting as the national coordinating ministry.
Success in this work should have a positive impact
on such areas as job creation, crime and violence, health
and the general quality of life of millions of our people
who lead desperate lives.
Though it took longer than we thought in fact to elaborate
realistic and integrated government plans, the individual
departments and spheres of government have continued
with their own programmes focused on these two matters
of rural development and urban renewal.
For example, investments totalling more than R3 billion
have been made through the Consolidated Municipal Infrastructure
Programme over the last three years, with 47 per cent
spent in rural areas and 53 per cent in the urban areas.
The work that will help us to move to a higher phase
with regard to rural development has now been concluded.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the urban renewal
programme except in the instance of two areas.
In both instances, the nodal points for the implementation
of these programmes have been identified. With regard
to rural development, these are:
The O.R. Tambo, North East, Ukhahlamba and EG Kei District
Municipalities in the Eastern Cape;
The Umzinyathi, Umkhanyakude, Ugu and Zululand District
Municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal;
The Kgalagadi Cross Boundary District Municipality in
the Northern Cape and North West;
The Central Karoo District Municipality in the Western
The Sekhukhune Cross Boundary District Municipality
in Mpumalanga and the Northern Province;
The Eastern District Municipality in the Northern Province;
The Qwaqwa District Municipality in the Free State.
With regard to the urban renewal programme, the areas
Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain in the Western Cape;
KwaMashu and Inanda in KwaZulu-Natal;
Mdantsane and Motherwell in the Eastern Cape;
Alexandra Township in Gauteng; and,
Galeshewe in the Northern Cape.
With regard to these areas, we will only be able to
act immediately with regard to Alexandra Township and
KwaMashu. Work is going on to bring in the other areas
as soon as possible.
Beginning from this centenary year of Alexandra, R1.3
billion spread over seven years will be set aside to
embark on an integrated development programme that will
deliver housing, roads, water, sanitation, schools,
clinics, magistrate offices and police stations.
Again I would like to emphasise that this does not
mean that no work is being done in other areas. What
we are addressing here is the elaboration and implementation
of the urban renewal programme bringing together all
three spheres of government.
As we have already indicated, the success of these
plans will also depend on the extent to which the people
can be mobilised so that they become active participants
in the processes targeted at the upliftment of their
We therefore repeat the call that we must all unite
in action for change.
The social sector also has its own targeted programme
of action focused on the social upliftment of especially
the most disadvantaged in our society.
It will implement coordinated programmes in the nodal
rural and urban areas we have identified which, among
other things, will address such issues as housing, water,
sanitation, health including HIV/AIDS, pension pay-outs,
household food security and nutrition, poverty alleviation
including the provision of certain amounts of free services,
Home Affairs services, education and training, sport
Naturally, this does not mean that other areas of the
country will be neglected.
The sector will also focus on the complete transfer
to their occupants of as many municipal houses as possible
of the remaining 350,000 properties.
Special attention will be paid to a more vigorous extension
of the system of sanitation to contain the outbreak
of water-borne diseases.
In addition to the continuing campaign against AIDS,
a more comprehensive approach to the health challenge
in our country will be adopted to ensure an effective
response to all infectious diseases, including malaria,
tuberculosis, S.T.Ds, cholera, and hepatitis.
Similarly, as already indicated in terms of some of
the programmes we have already mentioned, we have to
respond more decisively to other diseases of poverty
such as those that are caused by vitamin, protein and
Work will be completed on a comprehensive social security
system to try to extend the safety net to as many people
as possible, bearing in mind the resource constraints
we face and the need to ensure that we do not impact
negatively on economic spending.
We must again call on all our people to participate
in the implementation of these programmes in the spirit
The Government will continue to pay the necessary attention
to the issue of crime. We are very conscious of the
fact that the safety and security of all our citizens
is a fundamental right and a critical element in our
continuing efforts to improve the quality of life of
all our people.
We want to arrive at the situation where all those
who commit crime will know that they have nowhere to
The priority areas of focus with regard to the crime
prevention and combating strategy will remain:
high crime areas;
organised crime, including urban terrorism;
crimes against women and children; corruption;
cross border crime;
and, social crime prevention.
As we have already indicated, the areas chosen as the
lead points in our urban renewal programme will also
be particular points of focus for our criminal justice
The 124 priority police stations that we have identified
in the past will also continue to receive the necessary
attention and resources to enable them to do their work.
In addition to other measures aimed at increasing the
numbers of police personnel, the South African Police
Service will give all required assistance to the Metropolitan
Councils to enable them to establish their municipal
police services where these do not exist.
The National Directorate of Public Prosecutions and
our courts will also continue with the measures they
have already adopted to reduce and eliminate the unduly
large backlog of cases that have not been tried.
Similarly, work will continue to find a solution to
the problem of overcrowding in our prisons caused especially
by the large numbers of awaiting-trial prisoners.
The criminal justice system will also further intensify
its offensive against corruption among its own personnel.
This will include the introduction of a new leadership
at Correctional Services, an increase in intelligence
resources dedicated to the fight against corruption
and, where necessary, the expansion of the existing
Last July, the Minister of Safety and Security placed
a moratorium on the use within the Police Service and
the release of crime statistics. This was because of
serious problems about the integrity and reliability
of these statistics which, among other things, made
it very difficult to design accurate and optimal operational
plans in the fight against crime.
The point needs to be understood that perhaps more
than anybody else, the Ministry and the Police Service
constantly need accurate and up-to-date information
on the incidence of crime to ensure proper deployment
of human and material resources.
Accordingly, extensive work has been and is being carried
out to ensure the availability of this information.
This has included and will include the training of over
3,000 people and the recruitment of about 600 people
to specialise on the issue of crime information.
At this moment, it is expected that the moratorium
will end at the end of June.
The criminal justice cluster will also intensify its
efforts to encourage further community involvement in
the fight against crime and corruption. This will include
the recruitment of 30,000 reservists especially in the
already identified high-crime areas.
Once more, this emphasises the importance of popular
involvement in the common effort to change our country
for the better.
The challenge of ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency
of the structures of government extends beyond the criminal
justice system. It affects the entirety of government.
The strengthening of the system of local government
is one of the priorities the government has set itself.
We are also focusing on the improvement of the quality
of service delivery and efficiency in the use of public
resources in all areas of Government, among other things
to overcome the problem of under spending which continues
to plague us.
The gradual introduction of e-government will assist
us greatly to overcome these problems.
The sustained implementation of the governments
human resource development programme to improve management
and other skills as well as to enhance respect and observance
of the principle of Batho Pele is also of critical importance
to the achievement of our objectives.
We will soon convene a strategy meeting to assess progress
and problems with regard to the fight against corruption,
in particular, to ensure the implementation of decisions
reached in the Summit held about two years back. We
will continue to take all necessary steps to limit this
This will include thorough audits of some of the outgoing
municipal councils after which decisive action will
be taken against those found to have abused their positions
for corrupt purposes.
As Parliament and the country are aware, a successful
Public Service Job Summit was held at the end of last
I would like to quote some excerpts from the Preamble
of the Framework Agreement arrived at, to show the commitment
of the Government and the public sector unions to serve
the people of South Africa.
"The parties to the Public Service Job Summit
meet at a time in the history of our country when the
challenge of managing a transformation process in the
public service is upon each of us. It is a time when
the parties face the twin challenge of transforming
the public service to improve the reach, depth, efficiency
and quality of social service delivery, whilst at the
same time improving the conditions of service, quality
and sustainability of jobs for employees of the public
"The parties acknowledge that they share a common
commitment to a broader interest of serving the South
African nation. Accordingly the parties record their
commitment to respect in words and deeds one another,
and to live by the spirit and letter of this agreement
which shall govern the objectives, principles and procedures
for the management of the transformation process."
The Government applauds these sentiments and commits
itself to honour the agreement it has entered into.
Furthermore, we salute these freely agreed positions
because they contain the important lesson for all of
us that we need to unite in action to bring about the
changes our country requires.
I am very pleased that we have among us the former
Minister of Intelligence, the Hon Joe Nhlanhla, a principled
and loyal patriot. The cruel misfortune of ill-health
brought about by pressures of work has deprived all
of us of his dedicated service.
I am certain that you all join me in wishing him the
speediest recovery possible so that we could, once again,
draw on his considerable talents.
We have entered the 21st century having resolved and
declared to ourselves, as Africans, and to the rest
of the world that, primarily, none but ourselves can
extricate us and our Continent from the curse of poverty,
underdevelopment and marginalisation.
The majority of people present in this Chamber are
South African. Outwardly we are a people of many colours,
races, cultures, languages and ancient origins. Yet
we are tied to one another by a million visible and
We share a common destiny from which none of us can
escape because together we are human, we are South African,
we are African.
We have worked together for a decade to make of our
country what for 300 years it was not. As a country,
undoubtedly all of us will have made mistakes as we
sought to build what had never been there, and will
make yet more mistakes.
But we were right and did not make a mistake when we
agreed together that we will transform this common troubled
motherland and set about the task of transforming it
into a country of democracy, peace, equality and prosperity.
Many on our Continent and elsewhere in the world were
pleased to count this infant South Africa as one of
the jewels on the African crown.
As these Africans of many races and colours we will
and must work with the rest of our Continent and our
partners across the globe to give life to a new Millennium
African Recovery Programme.
Together, we must turn into reality a new internationalism
that does not permit of the coexistence within human
society of opulence and grinding poverty, of a thriving
modernity and a dehumanising underdevelopment.
The burden of our prayer to you today has been that
all of us must hold firm to the correct course we have
chosen and hold firm to our resolve to walk that road
Ahead of us is a new century and a new millennium.
We march into the new era of the African Century as
Africans who have made the determination that this century
will be a hundred years in which we cease to be victims
of our circumstances but victors.
By what we do, we will ensure that wars, disease and
underdevelopment are no longer seen as being synonymous
Through our own actions we will ensure that poverty
gives way to prosperity.
As we strengthen the bonds of friendship and solidarity
with our fellow Africans we have an obligation to help
ensure that, in our country and everywhere else on our
Continent, no African child should ever again walk in
fear of guns, tyrants and abuse; that no African child
should ever again experience hunger, avoidable disease
and ignorance; that no African child should ever again
feel ashamed to be an African.
Our Government, democratically elected by the people
of South Africa, will do its best to live up to these
injunctions. We know it as a matter of fact that all
men and women of conscience at home and everywhere else
on our common planet will, themselves, take no other
road but this one, for which many across the oceans
describe ours as a land of hope.