Budget Speech by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to the National Assembly, 28 May 2002

Madame Speaker/ Madam Deputy Speaker

Honourable Members of our National Assembly

Ministers and Deputy Ministers


Distinguished Guests

We convey our sympathies to the people of Mozambique on the recent train tragedy.

I would like to thank the outgoing Chair of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr. E L Ebrahim, for his dedication, commitment and the sterling work that the Committee rendered under his leadership.

I would also like to make use of this opportunity to welcome the new Chair, Dr Pallo Jordan, whose leadership brings immense experience to the work of the Committee. We look forward to a close and fruitful working relationship.

My gratitude also goes to members of our Portfolio Committee for their hard work, co-operation and understanding as well as the Members of the House.

Foreign policy cannot be conducted without the assistance and co-operation of other Government Departments. Therefore, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to my Cabinet Colleagues for their unwavering support. The co-operation of the Presidency is also deeply appreciated. My appreciation also goes to staff of the Department of Foreign Affairs, many of whom offer their dedicated services often under very difficult circumstances and with great personal sacrifice.

I also wish to express my sincerest gratitude to my family for their unstinting support and love.

Madam Speaker

Our key objective is to achieve a better life for South Africans and a better world for humanity. Remarkably, Antonio Guerrero had these beautiful words in his book, entitled From My Altitude: "You will see the wonder of the world when you give it more love, and the most profound of its splendor when we live in peace". Sadly, we are neither seeing the wonder nor the most profound splendor of the world. We are neither giving more love to the world nor are we living in peace.

The process of globalization continues to be characterized by rapid growth in flows of trade, finance, information and technology, which has led to increased interdependence among countries. This process has generated unprecedented wealth that has benefited only few countries and mainly the developed ones, and few people in developing countries while marginalizing many. This leads to the ever widening gap between the rich North and poor South, as well as within countries.

In its trail, globalization has left African countries in increased poverty and underdevelopment exacerbated by the declining official development assistance and foreign direct investment. It is estimated that Africa’s share of global trade continued to shrink from 3,1% to 0.7 percent during the last three years. Coupled with the perennial and inescapable debt trap, African countries are net exporters of capital to the West depriving their countries the essential services such as health, education and infrastructure development.

This means millions of people are hungry and angry. There are increasing millions of young people who feel hopeless and desperate. This scenario poses a serious threat to the stability and security for the poor as much as those of the rich countries. There is no doubt that with the abundance of wealth that has been generated, poverty can be eradicated, hope can be restored and we can begin to see the real wonders of our world, there are more than enough resources to address all these issues. All we need is political will.

Our common humanity should not allow any of us to be content when the rest of humanity is living in conditions of squalor and abject poverty.

We should realize that the interdependence of nations and peoples in the global village means that we are like a ship at sea with the upper deck passengers living in opulence and the lower deck living in conditions of hunger and diseases. Those on the lower deck may all aspire to climb into the upper deck, which might compromise the stability of the ship or might decide that life is better at the bottom of the sea and therefore decide to sink the ship and we all will perish, rich and poor. We should try and avoid that.

The anti-globalization movement, though at times they resort to methods that are unacceptable, serve as a wake-up call that those who are marginalized in the lower deck are getting impatient and restless, and we need to listen to them.

September 11 was a terrible tragedy. It illustrates that we are not living in peace therefore instead of seeing the most profound splendor of the world we see the most gruesome aspect of it. The fight against terrorism everywhere in the world is critical. It will be defeated in a global coalition of states under the United Nations, which is the agent of our collective security.

The situation in the Middle East demands the world’s urgent attention. Whilst accepting and recognizing the state of Israel, the world must address the right of Palestinians to live in their own sovereign state. The world must make them understand that they have a common destiny and that Israel’s security is linked to the security of the Palestinians. We need to build and encourage a peace movement that will eventually put a stop to the flowing of the blood of the innocent.

The rising tension in Kashmir and the looming danger of war between India and Pakistan is a grave cause for concern. We call for maximum restraint.

The South African Government wishes to congratulate the people of East Timor and their movement, Fretelin, on finally achieving their right to self-determination and the establishment of their independent state. We also wish to thank the United Nations for shouldering its responsibility with regards to the people of the East Timor.

We shall continue to fight for the transformation and democratization of the multilateral institutions, especially the UN Security Council and the Bretton Woods institutions

Madam Speaker,

As Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement we have worked hard to strengthen dialogue with the developed countries on issues of interest to developing countries and work ceaselessly for multilateralism. At the recently concluded Ministerial Meeting of the NAM in Durban we agreed to re-position the Movement in order to take advantage of new realities of our times.

For now, South Africa will continue to Chair NAM until February 2003. I am pleased to inform the House that Malaysia will take over as Chair of the Movement next year.

Alarmingly, there is an emerging and fast-growing rightwing trend in the developed world that is manifested through xenophobia, Islamaphobia and racist policies. Thus, our hosting of the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance to stem the tide of this rabid racism was correct. It is our hope that the international community will implement without further delays the programme adopted at the aforesaid conference to push back the frontiers of racism. The final document is ready, Honourable Members, and can be accessed through the UN website.

Honourable Members

We must respond candidly to the question that: what are we doing to ensure that peace prevails and we can give more love so that the future generations can indeed see the wonder of the world and its most profound splendor?

The African countries have taken steps to address this changed and changing international political environment and the marginalization of Africa.

At the heart of the Continental efforts, is the need to position our continent structurally to face the new challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities of the changing international political and economic environment and to prevent the further marginalization of Africa.

Consequently, the African leaders have taken a decision to transform the OAU into the AU. It must be recalled that the OAU was founded on the basis of promoting the unity and solidarity of the peoples of Africa, so that their welfare and well being can be assured. Another important principle was to ensure absolute dedication to the total emancipation of the African territories, which were still under colonial domination. Those of us who have suffered under the yoke of apartheid and colonialism only know too well the solidarity and support of the OAU and the African countries against the mighty and racist South Africa. We will forever be indebted to the continent’s organization and its people who sacrificed for our liberation. The decolonialisation of the continent is complete, save of one country and thus the OAU has heroically fulfilled its mandate.

The realization of united Africa, which is politically, economically and socially strong, has taken a new meaning with the forthcoming launch of the AU in South Africa in July this year. The African Union that is emerging will :

Not tolerate genocide similar to that, which was visited upon the people of Rwanda.
deprive any legitimacy to those who usurp power through the force of arms.
unleash the energy of African women, who for years have been treated as beasts of burden with woods or water on their heads and children on their backs.
Through its NEPAD programme, it will respond to the socio-economic development of the continent, thereby eradicating poverty and achieving prosperity of Africa’s people.
It will uphold good political and economic governance, democracy, peace and stability in the continent.
At the launch of the AU, the Assembly of the AU, the Executive Council and the Permanent Representatives forum will be established. The current OAU Secretariat will become the interim Secretariat of the AU whilst the Commission is being established.

We hope that the summit will also adopt the Protocol on Peace and Security, which will replace the Central Organ of the OAU.

The Pan African Parliament will be launched as soon as enough countries have ratified the Protocol. Organs such as the Criminal Court, African Monetary fund, African Investment bank and African Central Bank will be established later.

The ANC, which has been part of the continental struggles, is also celebrating its ninetieth (90th) anniversary when the AU is established. As a Movement, we have always maintained that the pain and joys of this great continent are inescapably ours, we are therefore, pleased that the dream of our founders of a united, peaceful and prosperous Africa is within reach. Let us congratulate this glorious organization!

The AU must, indeed, be a stronger union that Nkrumah spoke so eloquently of on 7 January 1961, when he said, "If we do not formulate plans and take active steps to form a political union, we will soon be fighting and warring among ourselves".

Honourable Members, the incontrovertible truth is that poverty, underdevelopment and marginalization facing our continent are the harbingers for instability and insecurity, which often lead to conflict. As a response to this marginalization of Africa from the global economy, African leaders have crafted a visionary and sustainable programme that holds real prospects for lifting the continent from the abyss of conflict, poverty and underdevelopment – the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

NEPAD is truly African in its character, initiative and ownership and is designed to meet the legitimate aspirations of the African people. It is the continent’s instrument to advance people-centred development, based on democratic values and principles.

On the one hand, it commits African governments to democratic principles and practices, to a comprehensive programme of action with projects linked to specific timeframes. On the other hand, it presents a platform for Africa’s engagement and equal partnership with the broader international community.

We must emphasize that the success of NEPAD is first and foremost dependent on Africans themselves. We need to co-operate in areas such as Intra-African trade, transport and joint regional infrastructure development as well as information and technology.

As Africans we have already taken steps to lay the basis for our own development in partnerships such as the Telkom optic-fibre cables that have been laid in the Atlantic Ocean covering West Africa to connect these countries to Europe, as well as on the Indian Ocean to connect countries on the East Africa to Asia.

Inevitably, NEPAD has brought about a fundamental paradigm shift in the restructuring of the continent’s patterns of interaction with the industrialized countries of the North. It is important to emphasize that NEPAD is about genuine partnership instead of paternalism.

The NEPAD agenda as informed by the Development Targets agreed upon at the UN Millenium Assembly on poverty eradication and underdevelopment has found resonance in the New Development Round of global trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

It was also accepted as the basis of engaging with the continent at the recently concluded Financing for Development Conference in Mexico, which agreed to link the provision of finance and capital to development and sustainability.

At the forthcoming G8 meeting in Canada, the African leaders will present concrete programmes on issues such as trade, investments, agriculture, energy, transport, human resources development, information communication technology etc. The G8 will provide its response and we expect to reach agreement on concrete follow-up actions.

For the success of NEPAD we will also need to build partnerships with countries of the South in the true spirit of our solidarity.

The African century will only be attainable if women play a critical and catalytic role in fashioning and implementing both the AU and NEPAD. Undoubtedly, women constitute the critical mass in Africa and unless they are harnessed and mobilized into this mighty army of Africa’s renewal, no palpable progress will be achieved. Our private sector and civil society also have a cardinal and principal responsibility of ensuring that this programme succeeds.

Honourable Members

Two days ago we returned from the small island of the Grand Comores to witness the swearing in of the President of the Union of the Comores. This follows conflict occasioned by the secession of the island of Anjoun, which was followed by the unconstitutional take over of government by the army. The people of the Comores, with the assistance of the countries of the region have helped this country back to the road of democracy, stability and peace. It is important that the international community help the Comores through all means possible to defend and advance their important gains of democracy by assisting them in building democratic institutions. South Africa, as Chair of the OAU Committee on the Comores together with the countries of the region, has spent a considerable amount of time in helping to resolve the problems of the Comores.

The culture of peace, stability, good governance has firmly taken root in the continent as evidenced by more than 40 countries undergoing multi-party elections since the early 1990s. Developments such as the peaceful elections in Mali, Sierra Leone and Lesotho recently confirm this trend. Day after tomorrow, Algeria will hold its Parliamentary Elections. We wish them well!

South Africa warmly welcomes the signing of a cease-fire agreement between the Angolan Government and UNITA in April this year (2002) which will hopefully bring lasting peace and stability in Angola.

South Africa stands ready to assist the people of Angola in their efforts to rehabilitate, reconstruct and develop their country. The Angolans who have had to endure pain and suffering for more than 27 years deserves a permanent peace. Those of us who have benefited from their generosity during the difficult days can only wish them well in this road.

The recently concluded Inter-Congolese Dialogue in Sun City provides the necessary impetus for the inclusive process towards peace and stability. Only an all-inclusive agreement that will lead to the re-unification of the Congo and a transition to democracy will create sustainable peace and spare the war weary people of Congo more hardship. We are pleased that the Security Council has re-affirmed the importance of the inclusive Inter-Congolese Dialogue as the only way forward in the DRC. Let me take this opportunity to thank the Facilitator of the Inter Congolese Dialogue, HE President Masire for his untiring role, and also congratulate the Congolese people for the progress so far and urge them to continue to work to find a solution.

South Africa cannot and will not walk away from the Congo, we will remain true to the prophetic words of Patrice Lumumba until his final days when he said: "We are not alone. Africa, Asia, and the free and liberated peoples of the globe will remain at the side of the millions of Congolese who will not abandon their struggle……I want my children, whom I leave behind and perhaps will never see again, to be told that the future of Congo is beautiful and their country expects them, as it expects every Congolese, to fulfil the sacred task of rebuilding our independence, our sovereignty; ……". The words of this great African were relevant then as they still are today.

South Africa is actively involved in assisting to resolve the problems in Zimbabwe through bilateral interaction and regional initiatives through SADC and the Commonwealth. Together with Nigeria, we are involved in efforts to facilitate reconciliation, economic recovery and assure food security. We can only hope that the Zimbabweans will take the opportunity presented by talks, which appear to be stalled for now, to extricate their country from the political and economic quagmire. South Africa should always work to reconcile adversaries. We should work towards bringing the Zimbabweans back from the brink. We should not be the ones that push them to the precipice.

At this stage we would like to congratulate the people of Lesotho for holding peaceful elections. Economic development will further strengthen democracy in Lesotho. In this respect, we must continue to work with Lesotho within the framework of the Joint Bilateral Commission for Co-operation to address the development challenges facing our two countries.

We congratulate the new Transitional Government in Burundi. The deployment of the South African Protection Service Detachment (SAPSD) has contributed significantly to the peacemaking process in Burundi. The armed groups must not be allowed to hold the process of peace to ransom. They must lay down their arms and engage in genuine negotiations with government of Burundi. We wish President Bongo and Deputy President Zuma success in negotiating a cease-fire agreement with the armed groups. We also wish to express our sincere thanks to the donor countries that have contributed substantially to the total cost towards the peacemaking effort in Burundi.

Honourable Members

Everybody who means well for the continent would support NEPAD. Failure to do so would mean we are against:

Debt relief and poverty eradication

Investment in health and education and in infrastructure

Human Resources Development

Market access, FDI’s and ODA etc

South Africa views the Southern African Development Community as one of the building blocks of the AU and an implementing agent of NEPAD. South Africa’s vision for the Southern African region is one of the highest possible degree of economic co-operation, mutual assistance and joint planning of regional development initiatives, leading to integration consistent with socio-economic, environmental and political realities. The restructuring of SADC has afforded the opportunity to achieve the aforesaid issues.

With regard to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), we are proud to host the largest international conference ever with approximately 65 000 people attending. The Johannesburg Summit will be preceded by the Ministerial Preparatory Meeting, which has commenced its work in Bali. The Bali meeting will hopefully advance on the broad areas to be considered by the Johannesburg Summit.

The three broad themes of the Johannesburg Summit reflect the essential prerequisites for moving towards sustainable development, namely alleviating poverty and promoting sustainable livelihoods, realising sustainable consumption and production, and protecting the integrity of life-supporting eco-systems.

Certain important issues for the WSSD include:

Establishing the link between global security and development, and strengthening the international commitment to global peace and security and the need for increased multilateralism;
strengthening the system of international governance for Sustainable Development by developing partnerships aimed at poverty eradication;
Ensuring that all stakeholders are committed to the improved implementation of Agenda 21, the Millennium Development Goals, the Doha Round, the Monterrey Consensus, and other outcomes relevant to sustainable development.

New issues to be addressed at the WSSD include the biotechnology revolution, water energy, health, biodiversity, combating HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, malaria and other pandemic diseases, as well as the explosive growth in information and communication technologies which has led to the marginalization of developing countries in the global economy.

Honourable Members

At the bilateral level, South Africa will continue to engage in the following:

US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
the implementation of the SA/EU Trade Development and Co-operation Agreement (TCDA)
TICAD process as well as other vehicles such as the Franco/Africa Summit, the Sino/Africa Forum as well as the Commonwealth
improve trade relations with the Gulf State
co-operate with the Russian Federation on Science and Technology
continue negotiations with Mercusor on free trade agreement
deepen economic relations with the East European countries
work with strategic countries such as Japan, India, Brazil, and Mexico, just to mention a few.
Work to deepen bonds of friendship and understanding with the countries of the West and East Africa by establishing Honorary Consuls where we do not have missions as yet, and establish Joint Bi-national Commissions where needed.

Honourable Members

While our foreign policy has clearly prioritised Africa and the South we are a long way from translating and expressing these priorities in structures, our budgets and in the development of human resources due to budgetary constraints. We still do not have missions in a vast of number countries in the Central and West African regions. People who wish to visit our country have to travel to neighbouring countries for long hours and often for many days, to get a VISA to visit South Africa. We have to work towards opening missions in Africa.

During 2001, the Department made commendable strides. Representativity in our missions and among our senior managers has improved dramatically. Although we have made significant progress in promoting women and the disabled, much work still needs to be done.

During the past year the Department undertook an assessment of its capacity needs. The analysis indicated that the Department is significantly under resourced and inadequately capacitated, with major capacity gaps in the areas of staffing, Information Communication Technology and Human Resource Development.

The Department needs to increase its staff component by at least 30% in order to carry out the mammoth task as outlined above. Major staff shortages negatively impacts on the overall capacity of the Department to deliver.

The expansion of the Department’s operations, the opening of new missions and the intended increase in the number of staff must be supported by Human Resources Development Programme. Current resources permit only one Cadet training programme to run annually.

We are also need to work on updating our ICT to an adequately acceptable level. Many of our missions are still using old technology acquired during the early 1980’s. In this knowledge-based era where information is a strategic resource, this represents a potentially crippling limitation.

During this year, the Department will be facilitating interventions, both task and people related, aimed at inculcating a culture of performance and service delivery. Particular attention will be given to senior managers and mission performance with regular audits and assessments of Business Unit objectives and outputs. Mechanisms are being put in place to ensure capacity for early detection of performance problems and capacity to deal effectively with them. Programmes are also being initiated to facilitate employee well being.

The Department of Foreign affairs is planning to open new missions during the course of this financial year (2002/2003).

On the issue of taxation, the unintended consequences of the law have had a demoralising effect on our diplomats, owing to the uncertainty around the 40% taxation of their allowances. We are trying to resolve this matter. In the meantime we have resolved to suspend the deductions which were to be effected at the end of this month until such time that a long lasting solution is found with respect to this matter, even if it means amending the act regulating the taxing of allowances of our officials abroad. We hope we can count on your support in the event that this matter is brought before the House.

Only 18 percent of the Department’s budget are dedicated to operational costs. The Departments’ responsibilities including many unanticipated ones that arise in an ever-changing world would have to discharged despite the financial constraints. At the same time the world expects South Africa to assume additional other responsibilities. Clearly, it is extremely difficult to deliver on these issues within the current resources at our disposal.

Although National Treasury has made provision to cushion the Department for exchange rate losses, we remain vulnerable to any exchange rate weakening.

In conclusion, the constraints imposed by the budget allocation on the Department will impact negatively on the successful implementation of these programmes. Over and above its representational role, the Department has new and increased demands due to the expected role of South Africa in the region, the continent and in global affairs. Our role in promoting the unity and solidarity of the South, in particular our commitment to the successful implementation of NEPAD, and the successful transition from the OAU to the AU demands that additional resources be placed at the disposal of the Department to ensure that these responsibilities are properly discharged.

Generally, it is my view that we have done reasonably well, despite the major budgetary constraints. In this context, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my Cabinet colleagues in the IRPS Cabinet Committee who have guided the conception and implementation of our Foreign Policy. The benefits of an integrated approach to Governance are being felt across Government.

These, therefore are the major challenges facing all of us as a Department, the government, country and our continent, in order to make a 21st century an African century. Therefore, every one of us should view themselves as soldiers of in the irreversible march for an African Renaissance.

If we all act in that way, we can indeed, see the wonders of the world and its most profound of its splendour. As Sekou Toure of Guinea said "In order to achieve real action you must yourself be a living part of Africa and her thoughts; you must be an element of that popular energy which is entirely called forth for the freeing, the progress and the happiness of Africa". We hope we can count on all you to be elements of that popular energy for the progress and the happiness of Africa who will give the wonder and live in splendor of peace

I thank you

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