Address on the Occasion of the Budget
Vote of the Presidency, 18 June 2002
Honourable Deputy President,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Fellow South Africans:
Thank you very much for this opportunity to address
parliament on the occasion of our Budget Vote. As we
know, the Deputy President will also address the House
on a number of important issues that he deals with more
directly, including the central matters of moral regeneration,
issues relating to the legislature, the government's
partnership with other sectors of our society on the
question of health, including AIDS, and various elements
of our international work.
The Minister in the Presidency will address the House
on our programmes relating to the situation and rights
of people with disabilities, promotion of gender equity,
the rights of children and issues of the youth.
This Budget Debate takes place during the middle of
a year that we had proposed should be characterised
by the common effort of all South Africans to find ways
and means by which they can lend a hand in the national
effort to push back the frontiers of poverty and expand
access to a better life for all.
We are pleased to note that many of our people have
responded to this call. Tens of thousands have volunteered
their time to help the police, the disabled and the
aged, to clean and paint schools and in other ways to
give practical meaning to the call - Vuk'uzenzele!
I am certain that this popular response puts an additional
responsibility on all of us, including our public representatives
as well as public servants, to occupy the frontline
and lead by example in our constituency and other work
and official responsibilities, always guided by our
motto of Batho Pele.
As in the past, the current financial year has seen
some important positive developments in the functioning
of government as a whole, focused on improving the system
of governance and its capacity to serve the people of
There is no doubt that we have been able to achieve
these improvements because of the selfless dedication
of many men and women in the public and private sectors.
We would like, therefore, to extend a word of appreciation
to these hard working South Africans whose efforts will
surely bring about the radical transformation of the
lives of millions of South Africans to which we are
These improvements are also, to a good extent, the
outcome of partnerships between government, the private
sector, civil society, individuals and companies from
the international community.
As Honourable Members know, the Presidency engages
different sectors of our society to strategise, plan
and share ideas on the best possible ways of lending
a hand in the national effort to push back the frontiers
of poverty and expand access to a better life.
These engagements include on-going meetings with the
Big Business Working Group, the Black Business Working
Group, the Agriculture Working Group, the Trade Union
Working Group and a Forum with National Religious Leaders.
Our interaction with people representing these important
sectors of our society, has led to greater understanding
and appreciation of the challenges we all face and the
need for all South Africans to act together in constructive
partnerships that work to find answers to the challenges
Both our youth and the leaders of our academic institutions
have requested that similar Working Groups be set up
with them. Steps will therefore be taken to respond
positively to these requests.
As we have said in the past, in addition to the local
partnerships, we are privileged to draw on the advice
and wisdom of members of the International Investment
Council and the Presidential International Advisory
Council on Information Society and Development.
At the intra-governmental level, to give effect to
the principle of cooperative governance, we, of course,
have the Presidential Co-ordinating Council consisting
of the Presidency, all the Premiers, the South African
Local Government Association and the Ministers of Provincial
and Local Government.
The improved co-ordination between the different spheres
of government as well as among various departments has
brought about better policy alignment and proper collaboration
on the delivery of projects. This has also brought about
many positive results that include more efficient management
of budgets as well as faster implementation of programmes
and improvement in the quality of outcomes of government
However, we are not blind to the fact that we still
receive persistent reports about serious deficiencies
in some of our provinces covering such areas as education
and health. New interventions in this regard are necessary
and will be made. At the same time, we will continue
to focus on improving capacity at the local government
One of the urgent tasks facing all spheres of government
is to build an efficient and effective public service
that will deliver on the targets that are necessary
for the transformation of our society. As the Honourable
Members know, this challenge has faced us for a considerable
period of time.
We have to deal with the inherent limitations in the
structure of the public service, particularly the skewed
deployment of resources, insufficient training in certain
key delivery areas, lack of mobility of personnel and
other related problems.
We have to embark on a transformation process that
provides, among others, for the following:
Retraining and re-skilling of personnel;
Better utilisation of scarce resources;
Equitable distribution and deployment of personnel throughout
the public service and in all parts of the country;
Effective cooperation between social partners on the
implementation of key transformation initiatives; and,
An unrelenting focus on the issue of corruption within
the public service.
We are happy that the majority of the public sector
unions has now signed the transformation and restructuring
agreement negotiated with the Ministry and Department
of Public Service and Administration. We hope that everybody
will work to ensure that the implementation of this
agreement proceeds smoothly and that the benefits accrue
to all the citizens of our country.
As part of our commitment to improve the efficiency
of our work, the Heads of Departments and senior managers
in the public service have been reorganising their work
to ensure an integrated approach to governance to improve
service delivery, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Work is proceeding under the leadership of Statistics
South Africa, to develop integrated performance indicators
to improve the effectiveness of our monitoring systems.
We are therefore considering including integrated planning
and budgeting and implementation in this area in the
performance contracts of Heads of departments to make
certain that this important aspect of our governance
is not reduced to an optional extra.
As before, the Presidency has to discharge its functions
of leadership, oversight and management, coordination,
mediation of conflicting policy thrusts as well as monitoring
Like the Presidential Review Commission, the government
is of the view that the Presidency requires more capacity
to carry out these tasks effectively. In this regard,
we have assigned the Chief Executive Officer of the
GCIS, Mr Joel Netshitenzhe, extra responsibilities of
heading the Policy Unit so as to enhance its strategic
At the end of his contract at Home Affairs, we will
also be redeploying Director General Billy Masethla
to the Presidency to reinforce our work in the areas
covering security and the criminal justice system.
We will continue to find ways of ensuring that we bring
on board qualitative improvements so that we can serve
our citizens better.
A feature of government has been the regular interactions
with ordinary people so that communities have an opportunity
to express their views on matters affecting their lives.
Clearly, this has been an enriching and learning experience
for both government and the people and has reinforced
the level of commitment to a strong popular partnership
The Imbizo campaign, which has so far taken us to three
provinces, has deepened the relationship between government
and the people in the conceptualisation and implementation
of development projects and in improvements in service
delivery. Through these regular interactions, we come
closer to the realisation of the idea that the People
The Imbizo process has brought to the fore the immense
goodwill that exists amongst our people and emphasised
the critical need constantly to engage them about how
best to meet their needs. It is necessary for all spheres
of government continuously to assess whether they are
delivering an effective service to the people and how
further to ensure the firm participation of ordinary
people in the improvement of their lives.
We also have a pressing responsibility to enhance the
performance of our economy. It is important that we
continue with our interventions that are aimed both
at maintaining healthy macro-economic balances and improving
the impact of our microeconomic reforms.
Although we are still confronted by many challenges
to ensure that we increase the growth and development
of our economy, there is positive news that should be
used to propel our economy to even greater heights.
South Africa's GDP growth figure for the first quarter
of 2002 was 2,2 %, just above the market expectations.
We have one of the most liquid emerging bond markets
in the world. Real unit labour cost has declined by
an average of 1,8% per annum, while this has increased
by 1,5% in the OECD countries.
The share of manufacturing in our exports has continued
to increase, with high-technology products taking an
ever-increasing share in these exports. The excellent
performance of our manufacturing sector for instance
resulted in the Rosslyn plant of BMW winning the European
Gold Plant Quality Award, beating all automobile plants
in Europe and the rest of the world.
Improvements in the economy and in revenue collection
also made it possible for us to cut personal income
tax by R8,3 billion this year.
I would like to take this opportunity to salute both
our business people and workers for what they have done
to help us produce these results. We are committed to
work together with them in a constructive partnership
that must create the wealth we need to defeat the poverty
and underdevelopment that continue to afflict millions
of our people.
The next big challenge we all face is to ensure that
the projected Growth and Development Summit succeeds
in its goals. It is necessary that we speed up our preparatory
work in this regard. This must also encompass the important
areas of Black Economic Empowerment, small and medium
business, micro-lending and skills development.
Greater confidence, stability, certainty and accelerated
growth will surely be achieved as a result of a shared
economic vision among all stakeholders reinforced by
specific agreements on the concrete contributions that
each stakeholder brings towards the realisation of this
Although Minister Pahad will deal in detail with matters
relating to the youth, I would like to make a few remarks
on this important sector of our population.
We address this House during an important month on
our calendar. The first of June was International Children's
Day. This year, there were many activities in various
parts of our country, with many people from different
areas of life celebrating this important day and affording
children the possibility to articulate their views and
concerns about many matters that they face on a daily
We would like to thank all the individuals and organisations
that organised the various events that involved the
The Presidency, led by the Office on the Status of
Children, hosted about 50 children at the Union Buildings,
coming from different schools in the Gauteng Province,
representing diverse backgrounds, including some with
While this interaction with these future leaders of
our country was to mark the International Children's
Day, it was also in part a response to a request from
one of these children for the President to visit his
school where, as this young boy said, they engage in
political discussions and would like to meet the President
to discuss many issues that they think are important
The children that came to the Union Buildings demonstrated
a good understanding of the challenges they face, with
some of these children asking for interventions to ensure
that schools that do not have toilets, running water
and feeding schemes are assisted to have these basic
Two days ago we marked the National Youth Day in the
Free State Province and again interacted with our young
people through the national broadcaster, the SABC, as
we commemorated the June 16th uprisings.
These engagements have conveyed a recurrent message,
which says that there are many among the young people
of our country who stand ready to make a real contribution
towards the building of a democratic, peaceful and prosperous
South African nation, free from the poverty, racism
and sexism that have characterised our society for too
Through our programmes and actions, members of our
legislatures who are elected representatives of our
people, may want strongly to support these young people
as they seek to position themselves as active participants
in the transformation process, not as whites or blacks
but as proud South Africans.
As we know, the youth of our country were central to
the defeat of apartheid. Today, the challenges facing
young people are different from those faced by their
predecessors. The youth of today face a new enemy. This
enemy, which faces all of us, is poverty including underdevelopment,
illiteracy and lack of skills.
Arising from this come the challenges of drugs and
gangsterism. In this regard, we have to pay even closer
attention to the calls of the youth on the Cape Flats
to assist their communities to rid themselves of the
twin problems of drug abuse and gangsters.
We should also strengthen the hand of the National
Youth Commission to improve its capacity to lead the
youth in engaging the new challenges.
We are pleased that the Umsobomvu Fund is already carrying
out various activities aimed at empowering young people,
which include providing information and counselling
support to young people regarding careers, employment
and entrepreneurship. In addition, there are programmes
for matric and tertiary level graduates relating to
youth entrepreneurship, which among others, deal with
funding for micro enterprises and small and medium business.
We would like to commend the National Youth Commission,
which in response to the Year of the Volunteer, has
mobilised young people to make themselves available
to government departments offering their services to
take care of our mature citizens, people with disabilities
and those suffering from Aids and other debilitating
The fact that this programme, Letsema, the Youth Volunteer
Corps for Sustainable Development, has already attracted
over 80,000 volunteers demonstrates that our youth are
ready and able to lend a hand to push back the frontiers
of poverty and expand access to a better life.
Some of these volunteers will participate in the campaign
to register children who are entitled to receive the
child support grant, which was launched during the Child
Protection Week and aims to reach 3 million children
by the year 2005. They will also participate in reaching
the pensioners who should benefit from the R2 billion
made available to meet the back-pay shortfalls we spoke
of when we opened parliament.
We were also happy to have participated, during the
course of this month, in welcoming back Mark Shuttleworth,
one of our young enterprising entrepreneurs whose actions
and projects, I am confident, inspire our youth and
will further encourage them to pursue and excel in the
mathematics and science subjects.
Clearly, we will all agree that we have a duty and
responsibility to assist our young people to grow up
in a South Africa that is free of racism, free of prejudices,
a country that cherishes, nourishes and celebrates the
good common qualities of all her people, rather than
allow itself to be infected with the negative that we
find in our society.
Indeed we have the pressing duty to confront all the
negative attitudes and actions of some among our people,
which subtract rather than add to our collective effort
to build a truly non-racial, non-sexist democracy, in
line with the principles enshrined in our Constitution.
This is important because, notwithstanding the divisions
and tragedies of our unfortunate past, as South Africans,
we hold many things in common, not least the reality
of our shared destiny.
Two days ago, on Youth Day, we dedicated the site in
the Tshwane municipal area which will be the home of
our principal national monument, the Freedom Park. Through
the Freedom Park we will honour and celebrate human
achievements and development in all the different areas
of life. We speak here of freedom in a holistic sense
- freedom from the adverse impact of nature, freedom
brought about through socio-economic progress and technological
advancement, spiritual freedom as expressed, for example,
in the creative arts and literature, as well as political
Through the Freedom Park we will relate the South African
story in its totality. We will showcase our country
as part of a Continent that is a dynamic and an exceptionally
fecund entity that is home to some abundant and rich
fossil evidence of the evolution of the Earth, life
The Freedom Park will therefore be a narrative of the
importance of South Africa in the long history of the
evolution and development of our planet, to which our
country and the rest of the Continent have been exposed
through the millennia.
It will also relate a story of human evolution, migration
and homecoming of some of these human-beings and the
conflicts and wars occasioned by some of these earlier
contacts, as well as events leading to the freedom of
all South Africans, black and white, and the new challenges
of building a united but diverse nation.
Freedom Park will also make an important contribution
to the goal of responding to the call made by the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission for the provision of what
it described as symbolic reparations.
We have an on-going challenge not only of building
a new nation, but of uniting behind common symbols as
well as determining the unique characteristics that
fully describe us as South Africans. Obviously, we are
all united behind our national anthem, our flag and
coat of arms.
Further as part of this process of creating a unique
unifying South African personality, we unveiled during
the Freedom Day celebrations, new national orders. These
The Order of Mapungubwe, which celebrates the ancient
kingdom of Mapungubwe and will be awarded to South Africans
citizens for excellence and exceptional achievements;
The Order of the Baobab, which will be awarded to citizens
for distinguished service to the people well above and
beyond the call of duty.
The Order of the Companions of O.R Tambo which will
be awarded to heads of state and other international
personalities for peace, co-operation and friendship
towards South Africa.
Further consideration will be given to additional national
It is our collective duty, including members of our
legislatures, to ensure that we popularise our national
symbols and through these activities, simultaneously
begin to define a new South African identity.
Government is still awaiting the final report of the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which will further
help with the process of healing the wounds inflicted
on all of us by colonialism and apartheid. The Report
should also strengthen our efforts of building a single
South African nation.
The launch of the Freedom Park, the unveiling of the
new National Orders, together with the work of the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission, should be seen as important
building blocks of our united but diverse nation.
In February this year we held the third meeting of
the President's International Investment Council. Apart
from welcoming South Africa's achievements in the macro-economy,
Council members expressed satisfaction with regard to
the progress made in starting to address the micro-economic
constrains to growth, which had been discussed in earlier
One of the critical issues raised by Council members
was the question we have mentioned in this House. This
is the matter of negativity amongst some of us, and
the negative image about our country being communicated
to the rest of the world by a few of our compatriots.
These Council members, who are not South Africans, were
deeply concerned and puzzled as to why some South Africans
seem so keen to do great harm to our country.
One of the challenges therefore, is for all of us to
work together, irrespective of our political parties,
to project the many good attributes of our country and
people as well as the positive developments that are
taking place every day in our country.
We would therefore like to thank the International
Marketing Council as well as those who lead the Proudly
South African Campaign for consistently working on positive
messages and engaging different sectors of both South
African society and the international community about
the good things in our country.
We have already briefed parliament about the New Partnership
for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
The Presidency, together with other departments, has
provided some of the ideas, support systems, personnel
as well as financial resources for the development of
NEPAD. My Economic Adviser, Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu,
has been deployed full-time to lead the continental
Steering Committee for NEPAD and its Secretariat, which
is now housed at the premises of the Development Bank
of South Africa (DBSA).
Three senior posts and three support staff for this
programme are on the establishment of the Presidency
as part of the contribution of the South African Government
I would like to thank Professor Nkuhlu and all those
who have supported him for their dedication, commitment
and hard work to make NEPAD a reality. Professor Nkuhlu
has made us proud internationally in the manner in which
he has driven this vision and programme.
We are committing all these resources because we want
NEPAD to succeed. Furthermore, while the relations with
countries of the North are important, this New Partnership
will succeed if there is strong South-South cooperation
as well as African countries and Africans themselves
assuming the centre stage with regard to strengthening
the partnership among themselves and continue to own
both the vision and the programmes of NEPAD.
In this regard, we are indeed very pleased that some
of our parastatals and private companies are already
torchbearers in initiating projects that will ensure
the regeneration of our continent.
About two weeks ago, we launched an under-sea fibre-optic
cable project that is spearheaded by Telkom as part
of our efforts to promote connectivity between Africa
and the rest of the world.
This project will link Asia, Africa and Europe via
South Africa, with landing points in 14 countries in
west and southern Africa and will have the capacity
to handle 5.8 million simultaneous telephone calls between
Africa and Europe and 6.2 million calls between Africa
and Asia. This will bring to an end an abnormal situation
whereby, for Africans to phone one another, even connecting
to neighbouring countries, the call has to be routed
via one of the former European colonial countries.
This project will provide West, Southern and Central
African countries with direct access to one another.
It is hoped that East Africa will also be connected
at a later stage. Currently R3 billion annually, flows
out of the continent in revenues to Europe for calls
made within the African continent.
The new cable will reduce costs, improve connectivity
and reliability and increase capacity - all of which
are necessary to achieve NEPAD telecommunication objectives
In addition, the energy parastatal, Eskom, is also
engaged in important work of building an electricity
grid between the West African states of Senegal, Mauritania,
Mali and Niger as well as power generation and distribution
in the East of the continent in Uganda and Tanzania
which will drastically improve the quality of life of
Sasol is also engaged in the important Mozambique/South
Africa gas project, which will increase Mozambique's
GDP by 20%.
We have also seen leading South African, financial,
mining, telecommunication and other companies establishing
businesses in a number of African countries. All these
projects demonstrate that Africa can radically renew
the lives of its people through partnerships between
African countries as well as between the private and
We are saying therefore that in this New Partnership,
the collaboration between and amongst African countries
and businesses is central to our success.
This of course does not mean that we do not value our
partnership with developed countries. The fact of the
matter is that these countries have large volumes of
capital that we need for the renaissance of our continent.
It is in this context that next week we will continue
our engagements with the G8 countries. We are certain
that this engagement will produce positive results.
We are also greatly encouraged that the major international
non-governmental organisations support NEPAD. Arrangements
are being made to meet these NGO's during our visit
At the beginning of July we will transform the Organisation
of African Unity (OAU) into the African Union (AU).
South Africa will have the honour of hosting the first
meeting of the African Union as well as chairing this
important African organisation for a year.
This places a particular responsibility on all of us,
because we have to ensure that the African Union starts
on a sound and correct footing.
Parliament is already seized with this matter with
its special committee dealing with various elements
provided for in the Constitutive Act of the African
Union. We will need closer collaboration so that as
South African public representatives, we move in the
same direction that will assist all of us to reach the
required goal of enhanced continental co-operation and
Again in August and September this year, we will be
hosting the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Members would be aware that the Ministerial preparatory
conference held recently in Bali, Indonesia, made significant
progress towards reaching consensus on what should underpin
However, many issues remain outstanding. We have to
find ways and means of linking the decisions taken at
the Monterry Financing for Development Conference to
the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit.
The matter of the circumstances under which countries
should have common but differentiated responsibilities
also remains outstanding.
The failure to find consensus in Bali on some of these
issues places increased responsibility on the President,
as Chairperson of the WSSD, to ensure that a basis for
agreement is developed between now and September. We
will be starting a process of consultation with the
major groupings in the UN system to explore the possibilities
of finding consensus.
We will shortly be visiting Brazil to attend the ceremony
to mark the official handover of the WSSD torch to South
We have recently returned from the World Food Summit
in Rome, where we sought to address the growing challenge
of lack of food security in the world. This is part
of our struggle against global poverty and underdevelopment.
One of our objectives as a country is to make whatever
contribution we can to ensure peace and stability on
As the honourable members are aware, we recently hosted
the Inter-Congolese Dialogue in Sun City in the North
West to assist the DRC to achieve lasting peace. The
Minister of Foreign Affairs has already reported on
We continue to engage the different players in the
Congolese conflict and are confident that sooner rather
than later, the people of the Democratic Republic of
Congo will achieve all the goals they set themselves
during the Inter-Congolese Dialogue. We will make a
short visit to the DRC later this month to pursue these
Last month we visited the Comoros to attend the inauguration
of a democratically elected president. South Africa
was asked by the OAU to head a regional initiative to
assist that country to return to democracy after a military
coup d'etat and the challenge of secession.
As this African collective we had to resolve the situation
in that country because, in reality, the problems that
faced the Comoros are the same as those afflicting some
of the countries on the African continent. These are:
Struggle for scarce resources; and
By addressing these problems and assisting in the preparation
and the holding of elections, we have demonstrated that
it is possible to overcome what seem to be intractable
obstacles to democracy and stability in Africa. Obviously,
this experience will assist our continent as it deals
with similar situations elsewhere.
The Deputy President has, together with former President
Mandela, been involved in efforts to stabilize the situation
in Burundi and assisting our fellow Africans in that
country to achieve stability. The government will continue
to support these efforts.
We are honoured to have contributed whatever we could
to the efforts our neighbours in Lesotho as they return
to democracy. As you know, this unfortunately entailed
the death of members of our National Defence Force.
We hope and trust that the instability that has characterised
Lesotho previously, is a thing of the past.
We are also encouraged by the prospect of a lasting
peace in Angola. We hope that the people of that country
who have never known peace in more than four decades,
will at last be spared the indecencies of war that have
defined their lives for such a long time. We stand ready
to assist in whatever ways possible so that together
we can embark on an important course of economic recovery
At the request of the Government of Angola, steps are
also being taken urgently to meet the humanitarian needs
of the people who are gathered at assembly points from
areas previously controlled by UNITA.
President Obasanjo and myself have assigned special
envoys to help the people of Zimbabwe to achieve unity
and reconciliation. We dealt with this and other matters
relating to Zimbabwe when we answered questions in this
House last month.
Suffice it to say that we remain convinced that the
solutions to the problems of Zimbabwe rest with the
leadership of Zimbabwe, with reference to both the ruling
party and the opposition. We hope that this leadership
will live up to its responsibilities to its own people
and the peoples of our region and the rest of Africa.
All these activities that we are engaged in are important
if we are to achieve the goal of the renaissance of
our continent. We have no choice but to pursue them
consistently and persistently until we create a continent
free of conflicts, wars and instabilities.
We urge that all South Africans should join the historic
partnership for the renewal of our continent. In this
regard, I would like to pay tribute to this Parliament
for the role it has played and is playing to contribute
to the common effort.
Both at home and in other parts of our continent, we
are engaged in all these processes as part of the effort
to lend a hand to push back the frontiers of poverty
and expand access to a better life.
Given the enormous challenges facing us when we attained
our freedom in 1994, many of us would not have imagined
a South Africa that would have resolved the internecine
conflicts and violence amongst her people by now, a
country whose democracy matures with each passing day,
a nation that slowly but surely overcomes a terrible
past, and a people united and strengthened by their
Some would have thought that we were mere dreamers
a few years ago, when we articulated not only the need
for the renaissance of a sleeping giant of a continent,
and called on all of us to make this the African Century.
Few would have ever imagined the reality of Africans,
both on the African continent and in the Diaspora forming
a determined force that refuses to be conditioned any
more by circumstance, no longer prisoners of history.
Yesterday, we were privileged to spend some time with
an eminent group of African experts and academics in
Pretoria, coming from all parts of our continent, who
are full of ideas, energy and enthusiasm to see the
New Revolution represented by the African Union and
New Partnership for Africa's Development transforming
our continent and ensuring that Africans occupy their
proper place among the peoples of the world.
I am certain that these African patriots will add enormous
value to our forward march in the complex struggle for
the renaissance of our continent.
Next week, we will address the G8 countries not seeking
a subservient and junior role, but creating a genuine
partnership based on equality and respect, for mutual
benefit. We are pleased that we will participate in
this meeting coming from a country whose people have
demonstrated the will to succeed, whatever the difficulties.
All our people deserve sincere thanks for all their
efforts. Through our hard work and through our commitment,
I am certain we will continue to amaze both ourselves
and the rest of the world.
I thank you.
Issued by the Presidency.