Newly elected President Kgalema Motlanthe Addresses the National Assembly- 25 September 2008

To them, and to the world at large, we say that this government will continue, as it has done under the leadership of President Thabo Mbeki, to dedicate every day that it remains in office towards the achievement of this goal. The resolve of this government will not slacken. The pace of implementation will only quicken, and the fulfilment of its mandate will only ever draw closer.

Madame Speaker,

We are able to make such pronouncements with neither hesitation nor doubt, precisely because the policies we are charged to implement are the policies of the African National Congress. These policies, which government will continue to implement unchanged, are the product of an extensive consultation and decision-making process. These policies are the property of a collective. They do not belong to any one individual. And it is not for any one individual to change them.  The policies of this government are clear.
They are based on the 2004 Manifesto of the African National Congress, enhanced by the decisions of both the ANC's Policy Conference as well as its 52nd National Conference held in Polokwane in December 2007. Mine is not the desire to deviate from what is working. It is not for me to reinvent policy. Nor do I intend to reshape either Cabinet or the public service. We will not allow that the work of government be interrupted. We will not allow the stability of our democratic order to be compromised.

And we will not allow the confidence that our people have in the ability of the state to respond to their needs to be undermined. At this moment in our history, as we stand poised to make still further advances towards the achievement of a better life, it is as important as ever that we stand united as a nation.

It is as important as ever that we retain our faith in the resilience of our constitutional order and the vibrancy of our democracy.

Though we may at times experience difficulty, though we may suffer moments of doubt and uncertainty, we have both the will and the means to rise above the challenges of the present, and to forge ahead with our historic mission to liberate all our people from discrimination, oppression and want.

Therefore, we stand here to send out a message that government remains on course to deliver on its commitments to the poor, who rely on us daily for the fulfilment of their basic needs and for the provision of important services like health, education, and social security.

We remain on course to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014.
We remain determined to stamp out crime, violence and abuse, whomever it affects and wherever it manifests itself.
We remain committed to building safer communities and protecting the vulnerable in our society from abuse. But in doing so, we need all our people to work with, and within, the criminal justice system so that together we stamp out crime.
We are here to assure all those on our continent and in the world that we will continue to meet our international obligations. We will continue to play a positive role within international institutions and forums. We will continue to provide whatever assistance we can in the pursuit of peace, security, democracy and development in Africa.

We remain on course to host in 2010 the best FIFA World Cup ever - An African World Cup. We fully expect to meet every commitment our nation has made to the football world.

In a turbulent global economy, we will remain true to the policies that have kept South Africa steady, and that have ensured sustained growth.

We will intensify the all-round effort to accelerate the rate of growth and job creation, and ensure that the benefits of growth are equally shared by all our people.

In the spirit of building a united democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa, I look forward to a constructive relationship with all parties within this assembly, even as we begin preparations for next year's elections. I hope to benefit from the critical eye that a vibrant and alert opposition brings to politics.

We will continue the regular engagements between government and the various working groups representing vital sectors within our society. These, together with initiatives like the nation wide Izimbizo programme, provide a crucial opportunity for enhancing popular engagement with the highest levels of government.

Madame Speaker, in the interest of establishing immediate stability and certainty, I have thought it important not to delay in filling whatever vacancies may have occurred in government and confirming the Cabinet. I am therefore intending appointing the following into the Cabinet of the Republic of South Africa. (List to be distributed in due course)

   We live in challenging times. We see before us many mountains that are yet to be climbed, and numerous rivers that still need to be crossed.

   Yet, for all the challenges that lie ahead, the incontrovertible truth is that never before has South Africa been closer than it is today towards the achievement of a better life for all its people.

   We therefore have a shared responsibility to build on these results and to strive together - sparing neither courage nor strength - towards the achievement of a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world.

   I thank you.

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