State of the Nation Address, February
Madame Speaker of the National Assembly;
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces;
Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairperson of the national
Houses of Parliament;
Deputy President of the Republic;
Honourable leaders of our political parties and Honourable
Members of Parliament;
Ministers and Deputy Ministers;
Our esteemed Chief Justice and members of the Judiciary;
Heads of our Security Services;
Governor of the Reserve Bank;
President Mandela and Mrs Graca Machel;
Distinguished Premiers of our Provinces;
Mayors and leaders in our system of local government;
Our honoured traditional leaders;
Heads of the state organs supporting our democratic
Directors-General and other leaders of the public service;
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners;
Distinguished guests, friends and comrades;
People of South Africa:
Ten years ago in 1993, we began the last mile of the
long march against the system of white minority domination.
In that year, we finalised the interim constitution
that set the stage for the first democratic elections
and our transition to democratic majority rule. It is
also the year in which we lost that indomitable giant
of our struggle, Oliver Tambo, and the people's hero,
To Sis' Limpho Hani and Mme Adelaide Tambo - who need
no introduction in this House - and members of their
families with us today, we wish to say that, the memory
of these heroes will continue to inspire all of us as
we enter the Second Decade of Freedom.
I am also privileged to recognise eight veterans who
are with us here today, the first time in their lives
that they have visited this seat of democracy, for which
they struggled throughout their lives. These are Mr
Marcus Mbetha from the Northern Cape, Mr Johannes Maseko
from Mpumalanga, Mr Lesley Monnanyane from the Free
State, Mrs Nontsomi Qwati from the Eastern Cape, Mr
Marcus Makinta from the North West, Reverend Hamilton
Mbatha from KwaZulu-Natal, Mrs Martha Motswenyane from
Limpopo and Mrs Magrita Benjamin from the Western Cape.
To them all we say many thanks for everything you did
to enable all of us to enjoy the freedoms, which many
in our country already take for granted.
As we meet at this place at the southern tip of Africa
that houses our national legislature, on the Eastern
shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the youth of the world
is engaged in a sporting contest that will answer the
question - who is the cricket champion of the world!
We salute this city, Cape Town, our legislative capital,
that successfully hosted the opening ceremony and first
game of the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. Today, as before,
this great metropolis has provided us with the venue
for the commencement of the fifth session of our second
On this important day on our national calendar, once
more we say welcome to the outstanding sportsmen who
have gathered in our country, in Zimbabwe and Kenya,
to test one another in a peaceful contest of human skill,
ingenuity and endurance. We extend our best wishes to
all of them, and say to all of them - let the best win!
We thank the International Cricket Council for the
opportunity it has given our country and continent the
possibility to host the Cricket World Cup.
Once again, we extend our best wishes to our warriors,
the Proteas, confident that at the end of the day they
will win, because they are the best.
In the next few months South Africa will launch its
bid to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Government wishes
to assure our Soccer World Cup Bid Committee of our
fullest support as they go into the bidding process.
We are certain of victory this time round, a victory
that will be for all Africa.
On this day when we meet at this place at the southern
tip of Africa that houses our national legislature,
the eyes of the peoples of the world are also focussed
on another place this time on the Western shores of
the Atlantic Ocean, the great city of New York, which
hosts the parliament of the world, the United Nations
Today, the inspectors charged with the responsibility
to ensure that Iraq rids itself of weapons of mass destruction
will report to the United Nations Security Council about
whether or not they are succeeding in their task.
Their report may very well decide the question whether
the peoples of the world will continue to enjoy a global
This we must say, that for us as Africans to host the
Cricket World Cup, like the President's Golf Cup later
this year, communicates the message that we were not
wrong when we said that this, the 21st century, will
be an African Century.
However, for us to realise this objective, we require
that, unlike the 20th, the 21st century should be a
century of African peace. It should also be a century
of world peace. Hopefully, today's report of the United
Nations weapons inspectors to the United Nations Security
Council will not serve as a signal to some that the
time has come to unleash the fury of war.
Today, on the 14th of February, two great world cities,
New York and Cape Town, have to grapple with the fundamental
human question of war and peace. They have to choose
sides in the contest between human hope and human despair,
between war and peace.
As we speak, a number of our citizens are preparing
to travel to Iraq. These are the experts who led our
country's programme to destroy our nuclear, chemical
and biological weapons of mass destruction, as well
as the missiles for the delivery of these weapons in
conditions of combat. The work they did has now resulted
in the South African example of disarmament being recognised
internationally as an example of best international
Recently, we proposed to the Government of Iraq and
the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi
Annan, that this team should visit Iraq to share with
the government, scientists, engineers, technicians and
people of Iraq our experience relevant to the mission
of the United Nations and Iraq to eradicate weapons
of mass destruction, under international supervision.
I am pleased to inform the Honourable Members that
Iraq has accepted our offer, which we have already discussed
with the leadership of the weapons inspectors. We trust
that this intervention will help to ensure the necessary
proper cooperation between the United Nations inspectors
and Iraq, so that the issue of weapons of mass destruction
is addressed satisfactorily, without resort to war.
I would also like to take this opportunity to express
our appreciation to the Government of Iraq for its positive
response to our suggestion, as well as the recent decisions
it has taken to allow the U2 and other aerial surveillance
flights, to encourage its citizens to be interviewed
at any location decided by the inspectors without any
Iraqi officials present, and to adopt legislation prohibiting
the production of weapons of mass destruction.
To assist with regard to this last matter, we have
given Iraq copies of our own legislation dealing with
weapons of mass destruction, the Non-Proliferation of
Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1993, as well as
Notices and Regulations published in terms of the Act
in the period between 1997 and 2002.
We have done all this because we prefer peace to war.
We have taken the positions we have, not to oppose or
support any country, nor to seek any glory. We have
done what we have because, as South Africans and Africans,
we know the pain of war and the immeasurable value of
peace. During the last century, South Africans lost
their lives in the titanic battles of the First and
Second World Wars and the Korean War.
Many paid the supreme sacrifice in a protracted contest
within our country and a dishonourable confrontation
with the peoples of the rest of Africa, especially Southern
Africa, as we struggled to end the system of apartheid.
At that time, some among us worked to develop and accumulate
exactly the terrible weapons that the Security Council
is demanding that Iraq should destroy.
As we meet here for the first time this year, we trust
that this democratically elected forum of the people
of South Africa will pronounce itself unequivocally
in favour of peace, against war.
We urge that our national parliament should express
itself in favour of the peaceful eradication of any
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, for Iraq's respect
for the decisions of the United Nations Security Council,
for respect by all countries of the principle and practice
of multi-lateralism, for the continuing responsibility
of the United Nations with regard to issues of international
peace and security, and the peaceful resolution of international
On this day, February 14th, both Cape Town and New
York must respond to all these challenges honestly and
frankly. I dare say that this national legislature will
choose to give peace a chance.
I am convinced that this representative body of the
masses of our people will do what it can to contribute
to the international effort to ensure that our country,
our continent and the rest of the world avoid an immensely
We speak in favour of peace because our people prefer
peace to war. They yearn for peace because they know
from their experience that without peace there can be
no development. Without development we will not be able
to realise the goal of a better life for all. Without
peace we will fail in the effort in which we are engaged,
to transform ours into a country of hope, and revert
to the past on which we have turned our backs, a past
of misery and despair.
With regard both to changing the lives of South Africans
for the better, and building relations of human solidarity
with peoples of the world, the tide has turned. Our
task is to take this tide at the flood, further to progress
towards the achievement of the goals for which so many
of our people sacrificed. This is the perspective that
will inform our work as we strive to meet our obligations
to our people, and the peoples of Africa and the world.
Last year when we spoke from this podium, we said our
country has a continuing task to push back the frontiers
of poverty and expand access to a better life for all.
The challenge we all face as South Africans is to put
our shoulders to the wheel to accelerate the pace of
To address this goal, we called on our people to offer
their time and skills to the nation, as letsema volunteers
for reconstruction and development. We also urged the
nation to follow the example set by some of our nationals
resident in the United States, who had decided to support
the development of the country of their birth. As they
engaged this task, they adopted the call - vuk'uzenzele!
I would like to take this opportunity to extend a word
of thanks and appreciation to the thousands of our people
who rolled up their sleeves to lend a hand in the national
effort to build a better life for all South Africans.
This includes some of the Honourable Members of Parliament
present here today. Their involvement in practical work
to improve the conditions of the people - be it in the
campaign to register people for social grants, assistance
at police stations, izimbizo, or improvement of learning,
teaching and discipline in our schools - emphasises
the partnership that should exist between the various
arms of government to ensure that life changes for the
better especially among the poor. It underlines the
importance of the contact we must maintain continuously
with the people of our country who elected us.
Of course, our thanks also go to the ordinary citizen
letsema volunteers, some of whom participated in the
spectacular opening ceremony of the Cricket World Cup,
as they had done when we hosted the launch of the African
Union and hosted the World Summit for Sustainable Development.
In addition, these ordinary citizen volunteers had participated
in all the initiatives undertaken throughout the year.
As we continue to respond to the challenge to put our
shoulders to the wheel to accelerate the pace of change,
we reiterate the appeal to all our people to sustain
the volunteer letsema campaign and respond to the call
Honourable Members will remember that, in our address
to the House last year, we expressed the confidence
of government in the health of our economy. We asserted
then that, despite the difficulties that we may experience
from time to time and despite the economic downturn
across the globe, our economy was robust and had the
potential to perform relatively well.
Indeed, the country has managed to stay the course
of growth, with the growth of the Gross Domestic Product
for 2002 estimated at 3,1%. Gross fixed capital formation
grew by almost 8% during the year. We have now had 10
consecutive years of positive growth. Manufacturing
grew by 5,4% in 2002, the fastest growth since 1995.
Our currency has wrested back the losses it suffered
during 2001. During 2002, it recorded its first annual
gain against the US Dollar in 15 years.
In the first three quarters of 2002, household consumption
expenditure grew by an average of 3,2% while disposable
income increased by over 3,5%. Household debt as a percentage
of disposable income is at its lowest level since 1993.
In the third quarter of 2002, gross savings as a percentage
of GDP increased above 15% for the first time since
Through tax reform, we have since 1999, cumulatively
increased the income of citizens by a total of R 38,1
billion. At the same time, the introduction of minimum
wages for domestic and farm workers should help improve
the income of the most vulnerable workers. This process
will continue in a few other sectors, in consultation
with the relevant role-players.
We also pride ourselves on the contribution that the
government has made directly to the income of citizens.
Through two increases in social grants announced in
April and October last year, a total of R1,5-billion
was made available to the most vulnerable in our society.
This will be augmented by further increases this year.
Over the last decade, including the period when we had
to correct the macro-economic imbalances, expenditure
on social services grew by 4 per cent per year in real
Government has put in place various measures to deal
with the emergency arising from high food prices. In
addition to medium-term measures that include the setting
up of the Food Monitoring Committee, government made
R400-million available for food parcels and agricultural
starter-packs, as well as other resources for food relief
in Southern Africa.
These direct contributions to the income of citizens,
especially the poor, serve to complement the "social
wage" that has improved with each passing year.
This "social wage" includes the increased
number of water and electricity connections, the patent
improvements in teaching and learning in our schools,
the acceleration of the land restitution and redistribution
programme, which includes hundreds of thousands of title
deeds in urban areas, primary health care and free housing.
It complements the efforts of government to contribute
to economic growth, to expand and modernise the economic
infrastructure and the substantial resources allocated
to the development of small, medium and micro-enterprises.
Over the past few years we have worked hard to lay
the basis for the advances we must make to meet the
goal of a better life for all. At the centre of this
are the related objectives of the eradication of poverty
and the fundamental transformation of our country into
one that is non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous.
We have no doubt that our policies have been and are
a correct response to the practical reality we inherited.
The changes taking place in our country attest to this.
The lives of our people are changing for the better.
Gradually we are moving away from the entrenched racial,
gender and spatial rigidities of the past. Our economy
is demonstrating a resilience and dynamism that is the
envy of many across the world. Truly, the tide has turned.
Despite resistance among some, our people are developing
a strong sense of a common patriotism. Our country occupies
an honoured place among the nations of the world as
part of the global forces working for the progressive
transformation of our common universe. None of this
happened of its own. It is the outcome of the elaboration
and implementation of correct policies since 1994.
Because of all this, let us again affirm that with
regard both to changing the lives of South Africans
for the better, and building relations of human solidarity
with the peoples of the world, the tide has turned.
Our task is to take this tide at the flood, further
to progress towards the achievement of the goals for
which so many of our people sacrificed.
This is the perspective that will inform our work as
we strive to meet our obligations to our people, and
the peoples of Africa and the world. In this regard,
we must pay the closest attention to issues of implementation
and as practical an approach as possible to the work
we all face as South Africans.
Building on the foundations we have laid down, we must,
once more, set ourselves the necessary realistic tasks
for the year. Needless to say, these must be located
within the broad perspective we have just indicated.
These tasks encompass such areas as:
expanded service provision;
improvements in the efficiency of the public service;
increased social and economic investment;
black economic empowerment;
greater all-round attention to the challenge of human
resource development, to help reduce the unemployment
further improvements within the criminal justice system;
further work on the important matter of moral renewal;
expanding our system of relations with the rest of the
accelerating the process of the formulation and implementation
of the first NEPAD projects; and,
advancing the African Union agenda, including the important
issue of peace and security.
With regard to the foregoing, Madame Speaker, we would
like to emphasise that this programme is informed by
the experience we continue to gain in implementing practical
projects; by the interaction through iimbizo and other
means with the people who, more than any consultants,
know what their needs are and how these needs can best
be met; and by the continuing research that we are conducting
to collate and distil the experience of the First Decade
I wish to assure the thousands of South Africans who
attended these izimbizo with Ministers, Premiers, MEC's
and Councillors that we have listened; we have heard;
and we have better understood what the people want.
For instance, having listened to the people of Bekkersdal
during the Presidential imbizo in Gauteng, national
government will work with both the Province and local
government to introduce public works programmes in this
area. We shall find safe and secure land for settlement
and upgrade community infrastructure both to improve
social services and provide some employment.
As the Honourable Members and the country are aware,
we have, for some years, implemented GEAR, among other
things to generate the resources for us to address the
social needs of our people. As a result of our successes
in this regard, this year will see a further expansion
of services to the people.
This will cover a number of areas including old age
and disability pensions, the child support grant which
will be extended progressively to cover children up
to the age of 14, the school feeding scheme, food and
nutrition, education, health, water and electricity.
As we are extending unemployment insurance to workers
that have previously been excluded, such as domestic,
seasonal and agricultural workers, we urge all employers
to ensure that their workers are properly registered.
Our specific objective with regard to all these interventions
is to reach as many of the most vulnerable as possible.
To ensure an integrated approach to this matter of
the further expansion of services to the people, this
year we will complete our work on a Comprehensive Social
Security System as well as the Social Health Insurance
Some of the measures we will take in the context of
our expanded service delivery include provision of free
health care to persons with disabilities, reaching the
50% of those who are eligible for a supply of free basic
water who still have no access to this service, providing
poor households, in areas connected to the grid, with
up to 50kW of free basic electricity. In non-grid areas,
such households will be provided with a subsidy of up
to 80% of the market cost to provide access to electricity
We will pay similar attention to a comprehensive response
to the health challenges facing our country. This must
include responses to the fundamental problem of poverty
eradication and better nutrition, lifestyles, observance
of legal and social norms with regard to road safety,
the social fabric within especially those communities
living in poverty, and the culture of observing treatment
regimes with regard to such curable diseases as tuberculosis.
We will continue the work to eradicate malaria in our
country and the other SADC countries by 2007. We will
further intensify the efforts to reduce the incidence
of the leading killer-disease, TB. Similarly, we will
continue to focus on the treatment of sexually transmitted
Working together with SANAC, we will continue to implement
the government's comprehensive strategy on HIV and AIDS,
relating to all elements of this strategy. This includes
implementation of the decisions of the Constitutional
With regard to the accomplishment of the task of ensuring
a better life for all, we must make the observation
that the government is perfectly conscious of the fact
that there are many in our society who are unable to
benefit directly from whatever our economy is able to
offer. Obviously, this includes those on pension and
the very young.
But it also includes people who are unskilled and those
with low levels of education in general. This reflects
the structural fault in our economy and society as a
result of which we have a dual economy and society.
The one is modern and relatively well developed. The
other is characterised by underdevelopment and an entrenched
crisis of poverty.
We have to respond to the needs of the fellow South
Africans trapped in the latter society in a focussed
and dedicated manner to extricate them from their condition.
The expansion in social provision must reach this sector
of our society, to relieve the poverty and suffering
afflicting these masses of our people.
As we will indicate later, other government interventions
will also focus on this sector in a particular way.
Critically, some of these interventions must aim at
ensuring that as many as possible of those who fall
within this category move out of the trap within which
they are caught.
Accordingly, the government must act to ensure that
we reduce the number of people dependant on social welfare,
increasing the numbers that rely for their livelihood
on normal participation in the economy. This also especially
relevant to the accomplishment of the goal of enhancing
the dignity of every South African.
We must also refer to the important matter of gender
equality. Some progress is being made in government
to address this issue. And in the private sector and
civil society, the campaign on the rights of women has
started at least to form part of the national discourse.
But society still lags far behind in terms of actual
implementation, particularly in mainstreaming gender
issues on development and poverty-eradication.
Within government, we will continue to insist on the
implementation of the National Framework for Women's
Empowerment and Gender Equality. Concretely, we will
soon introduce a system through which gender representation
targets and content of programmes become part of the
core performance criteria of every government institution
The effective delivery of the expanded services to
the people requires that we improve the efficiency of
the public service. Without an efficient and effective
public service, it will be impossible for us to register
the advances that we are capable of. Again, this will
require that we make a number of determined interventions.
By the middle of this year, the national and provincial
governments will complete the process of auditing the
public service personnel in these spheres of government
and determining their personnel needs in terms of the
tasks that confront government. This will enable us
to effect the necessary adjustments to ensure that the
public service has the people with the right skills,
at the right places, in the right numbers.
To overcome the problems that we have continued to
experience in the distribution of social grants, with
an adverse impact on people in need, we shall speed
up the process to set up a National Social Security
Cognisant of the critical role of local government,
the central and provincial governments will work together
to extend assistance to this sphere of our system of
governance, in particular to improve its managerial,
technical and administrative capacity.
The government will create a public service echelon
of multi-skilled community development workers who will
maintain direct contact with the people where these
masses live. We are determined to ensure that government
goes to the people so that we sharply improve the quality
of the outcomes of public expenditures intended to raise
the standard of living of our people.
It is wrong that government should oblige the people
to come to the government even in circumstances in which
the people do not know what services the government
offers and have no means to pay for the transport to
reach government offices.
It will be particularly important that we attract the
right people into this cadre of community development
workers, train them properly, and supervise them effectively.
These development workers must truly be inspired by
the letter and spirit of batho pele! Among other things,
these workers will help to increase the effectiveness
of our system of local government, strengthening its
awareness of and capacity to respond to the needs of
the people at the local level.
To ensure the proper execution of multi-sector projects,
we will appoint dedicated Project Managers accountable
to teams of relevant officials and the Executive, with
the authority and responsibility to ensure implementation
across departments and spheres of government. At the
same time, monitoring capacity at the level of the Presidency
will have to be strengthened. A framework for this approach
will be ready in the next four months.
The process to set up a government-wide Call Centre
will be speeded up. In addition, we will start this
year to phase in an electronic system, an e-government
Gateway, in which the directory of government services
will be available, according to citizens' needs rather
than the silos of the state bureaucracy, an electronic
version of the Multi-Purpose Community Centres.
As Parliament and our people know, for two years we
have focused on particular rural and urban nodes in
the context of the drive to assist the poorest in our
country to achieve development and an improved standard
of living. To improve our work in this regard, steps
will be taken to ensure proper coordination, cooperation
and operational integration among the three spheres
We will this year also finalise the proposal for harmonisation
of systems, conditions of service and norms between
the public service in the national and provincial spheres
on the one hand, and the municipalities on the other.
This year we also have to finalise the long-running
debate about the role and place of the institution of
traditional leadership, bearing in mind that this is
one of our constitutional organs of government. The
necessary national framework legislation will therefore
be tabled, which will enable the provincial legislatures
to approve legislation specific to each of our provinces.
In cooperation with the provincial government, a multi-disciplinary
national team is working in the Eastern Cape to contribute
to the solution of the problems facing this Province.
This work will continue with the necessary speed and
intensity. It will also help the government as a whole
to understand what needs to be done to improve our overall
system of governance.
In this regard, we will pay particular attention to
five departments, these being finance, education, social
development, health and public works. All these must
have the necessary capacity to do their work properly.
They must function in a manner that will enable us to
meet our national goals.
The work being done in the Eastern Cape will also assist
us greatly further to intensify our offensive against
the cancer of corruption within the public service.
This work will be intensified in all three spheres of
government, building on the experience accumulated within
departments and through the efforts of such institutions
as the Public Protector, the Auditor General and the
Public Service Commission.
Further improvement in the quality of the lives of
our people also requires that we take new measures to
increase the volume and quality of our investment in
the social infrastructure. This includes such areas
as housing and municipal infrastructure, hospitals and
clinics, schools, roads, water, electricity and government
facilities. In all these areas, we must improve our
performance relative to the previous year.
Accordingly, additional resources will be set aside
to meet this obligation. We will ensure that these resources
are actually used, consistent with what we have said
about the need to ensure that we have the necessary
mechanisms to implement our policies and decisions.
In this regard, we must commend the Provinces for significantly
improved efficiency in the area of capital investment.
For the period of 9 months of the current fiscal year,
expenditure in this area has increased by 48 per cent
compared to the same period during the previous fiscal
year. At the same time, it seems clear that not all
the allocated funds will be spent by the end of the
financial year. It is precisely this shortcoming that
we must address this year.
With regard to this social investment, we will pay
particular but not exclusive attention to the nodal
points already identified in the context of our Urban
Renewal and Rural Development Programmes. It is in these
areas that we find the largest concentration of the
marginalized sections of our population, which require
dedicated interventions to extricate them from conditions
of underdevelopment and entrenched poverty. This dictates
that we focus on them with regard to our social spending
as well as social and economic infrastructure investment.
To address this investment in social infrastructure,
the government has decided that we should launch an
Expanded Public Works Programme. This will ensure that
we draw significant numbers of the unemployed into productive
work, and that these workers gain skills while they
work, and thus take an important step to get out of
the pool of those who are marginalized.
We will also further expand the network of the Multi-Purpose
The government will also make various interventions
in the economy in general further to encourage its growth
and development. In this regard, we must mention that
it is planned that the Growth and Development Summit
that we mentioned last year is now scheduled for the
beginning of May.
Among others, the Summit should address issues of higher
rates of investment, job creation, economic restructuring
and improved efficiency and productivity, and greater
social equity. All the social partners will have to
indicate what they will contribute to the common effort
to tackle these various challenges.
For its part, the government has been working on its
own contribution, some of which is indicated in this
State of the Nation Address. We will complete our submission
in the near future and make it available to the participants
at the Growth and Development Summit. We urge our social
partners to finalise their own inputs so that the next
stage of the preparations for the Summit can commence
as soon as possible.
In addition to what we have said, the government's
economic programme will focus on:
continued implementation of our existing micro-economic
investment in the economic infrastructure and other
small and medium business development;
micro-credit for productive purposes;
black economic empowerment; and,
The Honourable Members will remember that three years
ago, we announced a micro-economic reform programme,
which took advantage of the achievements we had made
in stabilising our macro-economic environment.
This included focussed action in specific growth sectors
such as agriculture, mining, tourism, cultural industries,
information technology, clothing and textiles, vehicle
manufacturing and chemicals. We will now add to this
list the aerospace sector, as well as Call Centres and
Back Office Business Processing.
In addition, specific programmes will be put in place
this year to improve assistance to, and expand the pool
of exporters. These include changes to the Export Marketing
Assistance Scheme and upgrading our representation in
strategic markets abroad. The successes in the automobile
and components sector also point to the work that needs
to be done to use a simplified tariff book as an instrument
of industrial policy. Greater focus will also be paid
to the service sector, including the expansion of the
ICT youth internship programme.
More than R100 billion has been set aside for capital
expenditure in the MTEF period, including, at the national
level, R55 billion for infrastructure. Planned investment
by the major state corporations for 2003 is at least
This investment will include key economic infrastructure
projects such as the construction in the coming period
of the John Ross Highway to Richards Bay, a dam on the
Olifants River in the Limpopo Province to provide water
for platinum mining and agriculture, the construction
of Ngqura (Coega) port and concessioning of the Durban
The improvement of infrastructure at the KwaZulu/Natal
coast includes the relocation of Durban International
Airport to La Mercy and the establishment of the Dube
Trade Port. Within 8 months details in this regard should
be finalised for the private sector to be invited to
take part in the project. Massive investments will be
dedicated to upgrading and acquiring railway rolling
stock as well as the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme,
which, after extensive consultations, should start this
Further work will also be done to improve the infrastructure
at our major border posts to facilitate movement of
people and goods. Necessarily, this must be accompanied
by the appropriate staffing of these transit points
to eliminate inefficiencies that derive from under-trained
Further to reduce the cost of doing business in our
country, with regard to liquid fuels, the government
has decided to replace the In Bond Landed Cost pricing
mechanism with what is referred to as the Basic Fuel
This new approach, which we believe will save fuel
users more than R1-billion a year, will be phased in,
starting in April this year. We wish to assure the industry
that this process will be handled in a manner that does
not adversely affect the sustainability of the industry
and elements of Black Economic Empowerment already agreed
upon. With regard to the restructuring of state assets,
the Honourable Members know that we will soon proceed
with the listing of Telkom. Work will also go ahead
towards the introduction of a second national telecommunications
operator. We have already mentioned the initiatives
affecting the transport sector. Further work will be
done relating to electricity.
The government will also continue to work on public-private
partnerships to increase its capacity to respond to
the needs of our people. 50 of these are already operational
in such areas as health, education, transport, housing,
information technology, tourism, and government accommodation.
The development and support for small and medium business
and the cooperative sector remains a priority for government.
Accordingly, more financial and other resources will
be committed to the development of this sector of our
economy. This will also see increased support for business
chambers and business development organisations, and
the expansion of the business mentorship programme.
Women-owned businesses will receive additional support
through the South African Women Entrepreneurs Network
(SAWEN), which was launched last year. Similarly, we
will continue to pay attention to the important area
of agricultural development.
We will table legislation amending the Small Business
Act, among other things to establish a nationwide advocacy
body to act as the voice of this sector and to ensure
that support to SMME's are available at the local level
throughout the country.
With regard to the rural areas, this year we will complete
the processing of the Communal Land Bill, not only to
ensure certainty in the ownership of assets by families
in rural areas, including women, but also to encourage
small-scale and co-operative agricultural production
and thus improved food security. As the Bill indicates,
this will be done in such a way that communal relations
and elements of culture consistent with democracy and
human rights are not undermined. In this context, certainly
government has no intention to marginalize the traditional
system of government.
The government recognises the importance of the micro-enterprise
sector with regard to the task of poverty alleviation.
We have therefore established an Apex Fund to provide
micro-credit to people at the grassroots level. Discussions
with institutions active in this field will be concluded
soon so that the funds set aside reach the people in
need as soon as possible.
Despite continuing improvements in the capacity of
the economy to create new jobs, the issue of unemployment
remains one of our major challenges. Fundamentally,
the solution to this problem is dependant on our achieving
the necessary rates of economic growth and development.
Accordingly everything we have said about the economy
also relates directly to the issue of job creation.
In this context we must raise the critically important
matter of human resource development. As the Honourable
Members know, we launched our Human Resources Development
Strategy in June 2001. This Strategy covers the entire
spectrum from Early Childhood Development, primary and
secondary education, technical and vocational training,
through Adult Basic Education, to skills enhancement
through the Sector Education and Training Authorities,
on-the-job training in the public works programmes,
and specialised institutions such as the projected Advanced
Institute for Information and Communication Technology.
As we have already indicated, by the middle of the
year we should have an accurate picture of the skills
profile and skills shortages in the public service.
Progress is also being made in identifying such shortages
in the private sector. We are doing this work so that
we are able to focus our human resource development
Despite the problems they have experienced, the SETA's
have already shown what can be achieved. By the end
of last year, over 23 000 learners had or were participating
in training programmes ranging from entry level programmes
to professional level and post-professional training
across the entire spectrum of occupations and sectors.
To increase access to these programmes by the unemployed,
the government will take the lead in bringing more of
these into its own training programmes. We trust that
the private sector will also do the same as part of
the common contribution to the objectives of the Growth
and Development Summit.
As we have also indicated, we will use the Expanded
Public Works Programme to provide on-the-job training
to the workers that will carry out this programme. Again
this will concentrate on the section among our working
people that is marginalized by virtue of low educational
and skills levels.
We are convinced that sustained and correctly focused
work in the area of human resources development, together
with the varied economic interventions we have mentioned,
will help the country in the effort to attend to the
important challenge of unemployment. In this regard,
the government will also present to our social partners
a Framework for an Employment Strategy to ensure that
we create the best possible conditions for a concerted
drive to reduce the levels of unemployment.
As we approach the end of the first decade of our new
democracy the need for an economic transformation that
brings about effective and significant black economic
empowerment becomes more pressing. We believe that it
is in the interests of all citizens that we succeed
in this endeavour. Through a far-sighted partnership
between all sectors of our society we can ensure a stable
and growing economy that erases the inequities of the
past and draws us all - irrespective of our race, sex
or creed - into a more prosperous and equitable future.
The Government concurs with the view of the Black Economic
Empowerment Council Report that it is now necessary
to make our policies on Black Economic Empowerment more
explicit. In the light of the important developments
in industries such as liquid fuels, fishing and mining
we need to ensure clarity and certainty for all economic
The government is firmly of the view that economic
growth, development and Black Economic Empowerment are
complementary and related processes. The empowerment
we speak of is an inclusive process and not an exclusive
one. No economy can meet its potential if any part of
its citizens is not fully integrated into all aspects
of that economy. Equally it follows that an economy
that is not growing cannot integrate all its citizens
into that economy in a meaningful way.
The government has prepared a detailed set of proposals
on Black Economic Empowerment and the Minister of Trade
and Industry and the Department of Trade and Industry,
on behalf of government, have consulted extensively.
Today I will set out the basic framework and approach.
On Budget Day the Minister of Finance will deal with
the government's positive financial and macroeconomic
assessment of the BEE process and shortly thereafter
the Minister of Trade and Industry will publish the
detailed documents and processes that I will now outline.
We will introduce into Parliament early this year a
basic enabling piece of legislation that will establish
broad parameters for the policy and allow for the publication
of the Strategy Document and Guidelines dealing with
good practice in terms of the policy, all of which will
make up the Global Transformation Charter. This approach
has been adopted to allow pragmatism and flexibility
within the different components of the economy. A rigid
and inflexible approach is not in the best interests
of a modern and globally competitive economy.
However, by passing such an enabling Act we wish to
signal to all that meaningful economic transformation
is fundamental to our collective prosperity. As with
all Acts the Bill will be open to comment in the Parliamentary
With the publication of the guidelines shortly we intend
to establish certainty and stability. It is not in the
interests of the economy that we have continuously moving
goal posts. However, we also need to ensure that we
respond effectively to changing circumstances - as we
do with all policy - and to this end we will establish
a non-statutory Advisory Council.
Empowerment is defined as a broad-based process and
the scorecard approach - covering ownership; management;
employment equity; skills development; procurement;
corporate social responsibility; investment and enterprise
formation - developed in the Mining Charter has been
The guidelines will provide more precision as to what
can be defined as black owned enterprises. The actions
and outcomes that are within BEE policy will be spelt
out. Government does not seek to encourage charters
for every sector of the economy. This is unrealistic
and not necessarily useful. The basic guideline is that
where government disposes of any right, licence or partnership
arrangement then BEE components to the arrangement will
be clearly spelt out. This is in line with existing
practice. A charter therefore best serves certain sectors.
Accordingly government is supportive of the work being
done in the financial sector. If enterprises in a sector
feel that they need a charter they should be clear on
their objectives and take advice from government. The
Guidelines will set out the basic principles that should
be contained in any charter and will make it clear that
there needs to be consultation at all times so as to
We would stress however, that all enterprises will
be encouraged to utilise the guidelines on empowerment
and to develop their own scorecard approach. Certainly
in any dealing of significance with the public sector
this will be expected of an enterprise.
The government will lay greatest stress on black economic
empowerment that is associated with growth, development
and enterprise development and not merely redistribution
of existing wealth. We will work in partnership with
the private sector and will further ensure that government
actions are coordinated and monitored.
Over the past three years, our security agencies have
been hard at work implementing the National Crime Combating
Strategy targeted at priority crimes and policing areas
with the highest incidence of serious crimes. We can
say with confidence that definite progress is being
made in this regard. We will continue to improve the
capacity of the Police Service to discharge its crime
prevention and combating responsibilities in these priority
Since 1999, the rates of serious crime in targeted
areas has either been reduced or stabilised. Murder
has been reduced by almost 17%. Case backlogs and the
number of awaiting trial prisoners have been reduced
as a result of the implementation of Saturday Courts
and improvements in the integrated justice system.
Crimes against women and children have received priority
attention, including the establishment of more Sexual
Offences Courts. 11 of these were launched in the past
6 months alone. Better intelligence capacity has improved
the prevention and combating of crimes such as bank
robberies, cash-in-transit heists and hijacking of vehicles.
Before we identify the challenges for the coming year,
we take this opportunity to thank all the security agencies
for the sterling work that they did during the course
of last year in securing both the launch of the African
Union and arguably the biggest international conference
ever held, the World Summit on Sustainable Development,
and now the ICC Cricket World Cup.
I am pleased to convey to the Ministers and Deputy
Ministers responsible as well as the leaders and members
of these agencies the congratulations of many leaders
across the globe for the excellent work they have done
to guarantee the security of important visitors to our
Last year, we were suddenly confronted with terrorist
attacks, for which a number of people have now been
arrested and charged. Our security forces will continue
to work on this challenge. At the same time, we will
do everything possible to get to the bottom of this
matter, being convinced that no normal South African
has any reason to resort to force to communicate his
or her views.
The campaign to reduce the number of illegal firearms
and other weapons will continue. A considerable proportion
of crimes against the person including murder, the abuse
of women and children, assault with intent to cause
grievous bodily harm and common assault, take place
among the most marginalized sections of our population.
In many instances, these are also connected to alcohol
and drug abuse. It is therefore necessary that we adopt
a multi-sector approach to deal with these crimes in
the poor and underdeveloped areas of our country.
Measures will be taken to ensure that the structures
meant to support the security agencies, such as the
SANDF Commandos and police reservists are properly regulated
to do what they were set up for. In this regard, in
order to ensure security for all in the rural areas
including the farmers, government will start in the
near future to phase out SANDF Commandos, at the same
time as we create in their place, a new system whose
composition and ethos accord with the requirements of
all rural communities.
More attention will be paid to stricter border control.
This will require, among other things, improving the
capacity of the Department of Home Affairs to carry
out its tasks, including the implementation of the new
immigration legislation. Critical posts will be filled,
and the automated Home Affairs National Identification
System will be launched. It will also be necessary to
upgrade the Population Register, and deal with corruption
across the board, including security at Government Printers
where identity and other documents are produced.
The programme to deal with case backlogs will continue,
including increasing the number of Saturday and specialised
courts. In this regard, the letsema of legal practitioners
from outside of government in this programme is highly
appreciated. We are pleased that this year the Constitutional
Court will move into its new and permanent home on Constitutional
Hill in Johannesburg. Further improvement in the physical
infrastructure required by our judicial system is also
represented by the new Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court,
nationally the second biggest after Johannesburg, which
we will open officially later this year.
Taking advantage of the findings of the Jali Commission,
we will launch a determined programme to root out the
corruption and mismanagement found in sections of our
Our success in the sphere of the criminal justice system
will also depend on strengthening the partnerships of
the letsema campaign, with communities volunteering
to assist the security agencies in their work. Again,
in this area, as in all others, conditions are ripe
for us to forge a people's contract for a safer and
better South Africa.
As Honourable Members are aware, we returned some ten
days ago from the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the African
Union in Addis Abba, where Africa reasserted the wish
of the continent for global peace, security and development.
In this context, it expressed itself in favour of the
peaceful resolution of the question of Iraq.
At this Summit, the AU took specific decisions on proposed
amendments to the Constitutive Act of the Union, and
steps towards the setting up of the Commission of the
AU and the ratification of the Protocols on the Peace
and Security Council and the African Parliament.
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the formation
of the Organisation of African Unity. This Africa Day,
May 25, 2003 will be an opportunity for South Africa
to host dignitaries from across the continent as we
affirm continuity in the objectives of the African continent,
and at the same time celebrate the positive changes
that the formation of the AU will certainly bring. I
am certain that all our people will celebrate this day
with the honour and dignity it deserves.
A critical part of the positive changes heralded by
the formation of the African Union is its programme
for development, NEPAD. Considerable progress was made
during the course of last year to cement partnerships
within Africa and further afield, so that we can translate
NEPAD, without delay, into concrete projects that will
impact positively on the lives of the people of the
continent. We are heartened by the fact that Africa's
sense of urgency to start implementing this programme
is shared by governments, the private sector and civil
society on all continents.
Within weeks, the NEPAD Implementation Committee will
finalise criteria, standards, institutions and legal
instruments for the Peer Review Mechanism, pending the
setting up of relevant institutions within the African
Union. More critically, in various regions of the continent,
work continues to identify and start implementing the
projects that will give practical meaning to the beginnings
of Africa's renewal.
We take this opportunity to congratulate the people
of the Kingdom of Lesotho who last year conducted a
peaceful, free and fair election. We will also continue
to work with the people of Zimbabwe as they seek solutions
to the problems afflicting their country. We hope that
sooner rather than later, these solutions will be found
through dialogue among the leaders of this neighbouring
country. In the Kingdom of Swaziland, we hope that efforts
at constitutional reform will soon bear fruit.
Conditions for peace and development are steadily taking
shape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi,
Sudan and Angola, and South Africa will always be ready
to assist where we can to ensure that the peace, prosperity
and national reconciliation that these sister-peoples
deserve are achieved. We remain firm in our hope that
the long-delayed issue of Western Sahara will be resolved
without further delay.
The international community also has an urgent responsibility
to help resolve the issue of the establishment of an
independent State of Palestine, side by side and at
peace with the State of Israel.
In a number of African countries, South Africa's sons
and daughters serving in our National Defence Force
are working to contribute to peace as a critical condition
for development. We are proud of their efforts, and
dip our banners in honour of those who have fallen on
We will continue this year to strengthen our relations
with countries of the South, and improve our multifaceted
relations with the developed world. This will include
continued trade negotiations with Mercosur, China, India
and the United States.
Our role in international relations is enhanced by
our responsibility to take forward decisions of the
Non-aligned Movement and the African Union which we
chair and to assist the United Nations in realising
the commitments of the World Conference Against Racism
and the World Summit on Sustainable Development which
In carrying out these our international responsibilities,
we proceed from the premise that our success in social
change and nation-building is conditional on the progress
that humanity makes in building a caring world. Inversely,
building a new and prosperous nation is itself our own
humble contribution to the well-being of humanity as
In the implementation of our programmes, we need to
pay particular attention to culture, music and the arts,
as manifestations of our self-image as a nation. This
year, we will strengthen the partnerships aimed at identifying
and nurturing South African talent, at affording the
creativity of our artists free reign, and at giving
appropriate promotion of our talents.
As a contribution to building the self-image that attaches
to a proud nation, we shall continue this year with
the project to build the first phase of the Freedom
Park Monument, following on the introduction of new
National Orders last year and others that will be launched
We are confident that the best of our architects, designers
and other creative workers, together with others from
the rest of Africa and other parts of the world will
avail their talent for the construction of a Freedom
Park that we hope will stand out as an important tribute
to the dignity of Africans and all human beings.
The self-image that we speak of includes the values
that should define us both as a nation and as its individual
components. It should also find expression in the people's
contract for Moral Regeneration, as we all strive to
become a caring society of up-standing citizens.
The South African people's contract for a better tomorrow
is starting to express itself also in the campaign of
citizens, across the diverse identities that define
us, to build pride in our country and promote its attributes
abroad. The efforts of the International Marketing Council,
Proudly South African and the many individual initiatives
in this regard require our support.
It is in this spirit that we should engage in a national
dialogue on how we take forward the Report and Recommendations
of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which we
hope will be presented to government in the next few
months. This will afford us the opportunity to understand
a critical part of our past and join hands in forging
a people's contract for a better tomorrow.
As we enter the last year of the First Decade of Freedom,
we will heed the lessons of these first ten years and
build on what has been achieved. Through dispassionate
research and systematic planning, and with renewed courage,
we must together approach the Second Decade of Freedom
(2004 - 2014), as one in which the tide of progress
will sweep away the accumulated legacy of poverty and
underdevelopment. It is in this spirit that we shall
prepare for a fitting celebration of our ten years of
freedom next year.
I wish our national, provincial and local legislatures
success as they discharge their responsibilities to
our country and people during this final year of our
First Decade of Liberation.
The tide has turned. The people's contract for a better
tomorrow is taking shape. I trust that all of us will
identify with this historic process. Given the great
possibility we have to move forward, we dare not falter.