Address by President Jacob Zuma on the occasion of the Presidency Budget Vote for 2010/2011, 12 May 2010

Honourable Speaker, Mr Max Sisulu,
Honourable Deputy President Mr Kgalema Motlanthe,
Madame Deputy Speaker,
Ms Noma-India Mfeketho,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Honourable Members,
Honourable Premiers,
Heads of the Chapter 9 Institutions
as well as of the SABC Board, International Marketing Council, Committee and the National Orders Advisory Council,
SAFA President and 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee,
Fellow South Africans,

We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity’’.

We draw inspiration from the Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic today, as we present the Budget Vote of the Presidency and also mark the first anniversary of this fourth democratic administration.

In the Convention for a Democratic South Africa, we defeated apartheid. When we cast our ballots on the 27th of April 1994, we buried racism and officially chose a path of unity and reconciliation.

By adopting our progressive Constitution in 1996, we confirmed that our country would never go back to the era of instability, mistrust and oppression of one by another.

Sixteen years later, we live in peace and harmony in our country. No amount of anger, frustration or fear, should ever make us forget the fundamental principles enshrined in our Constitution.

We will never deviate from these principles and the values for which we sacrificed so much.

Let me borrow from the wisdom of the former ANC President-General, Inkosi Albert Luthuli, who eloquently articulates what we mean when we say this country belongs to all of us.

He said at a meeting of the Congress of Democrats in Johannesburg in
1958:

There is a growing number of people who are coming to accept the fact that in South Africa we are a multi-racial community - whether we like it or not. I am not prepared to concern myself with such questions as: "Where have you come from?", "Do you come from the North?" or "Did you come from Europe?" It is not important. What is important for our situation is that we are all here. “That, we cannot change. We are all here, and no one desires to change it or should desire to change it’’.

The acceptance common citizenship and equal claim to this country is our nation’s greatest achievement.   This should spur us on at all times to work for the common good of our country.

It should remind us that we are actually a nation that has achieved a lot, against great odds through working together across race and political divides.

That is our key message in this budget vote today.

Honourable Speaker, during my inauguration on the 9th of May last year, we said that we would not rest for as long as there were people who had no water, children with no access to education, women who were abused, workers who struggled to feed their families, and people who died from preventable diseases.

We also said that there would be no place for complacency, cynicism, excuses or laziness as we went about improving service delivery.

We are pleased that in this first year in office, we have achieved most of the goals that we set for ourselves.

Gradually, we are succeeding in changing the attitude and style of government and transforming the way government relates to citizens.

We can already feel the sense of urgency in all government spheres.

Allow me Honourable Speaker to briefly update the House on the work done to date on our key priorities. I will thereafter look ahead at some matters that we want to attend to this year, especially relating to the supervision and leadership of government.

There is visible progress in our identified priorities, such as health, poverty eradication, job creation, quality education, rural development and the fight against crime and corruption.

More resources and energy have been channelled towards prevention and treatment of preventable diseases and the revitalisation of the public healthcare system.

We have launched massive campaigns on HIV, TB and measles. The roll out of new HIV treatment and prevention measures as well as the massive testing campaign that is under way, will make a difference in the fight against the disease.

We applaud the wonderful work of the South African National Aids Council in fighting the epidemic, under the leadership of the Honourable Deputy President.

The revitalisation of the country’s education system is also progressing well. The departments of Basic as well as Higher Education and Training have directed attention on improving performance in schools and the training of a skilled workforce.

We have allocated a total of 3, 2 billion rand in infrastructure funds to universities over the next two financial years.

This will help us to increase the production of graduates in the critical areas of engineering, life and physical sciences, teacher education and health sciences.

In addition, work towards the establishment of universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape will continue this financial year, in order to further expand access to higher education.

We are doing this in recognition of the fact that nearly 70% of all South Africans are under the age of 35. We have to invest in our youth, in our future.

The widening of the social security net to cover needy children up to the age of 18 forms an integral part of government’s contribution to the fight against poverty. It is yet another investment in our children and the youth.
 
Honourable Speaker, our investment in infrastructure, beyond the World Cup also goes to our future water and energy security. We are building bulk water pipelines and dams, power stations and electricity distribution infrastructure.
 
We are also working on several major projects in renewable energy such as wind power and concentrated solar power.  We launched a solar energy project in Winterveldt in Pretoria recently. This will be rolled out nationally.
All this work demonstrates that we are investing in a prosperous and sustainable future.

As you are aware Honourable Members, this administration came into office during a global economic recession, as a result of which we shed close to a million jobs.

All indications are that we are recovering from the recession, our economy is growing and investors are showing confidence in our country.

Government responded swiftly to the recession and a lot has been achieved under the auspices of the Framework for South Africa’s Response to the International Economic Crisis.
 
We have engaged in a number of activities to respond to communities in distress and to assist vulnerable workers and troubled enterprises and sectors of the economy.

Government has also worked with the CCMA to strengthen efforts to avoid retrenchments.

To protect the poor and jobless from inflated food prices, government directed the Competition authorities to speed up their investigations into price-fixing and cartels in the food supply chain. As a result, a number of implicated companies have been prosecuted.

Distinguished guests,

As you are aware, government launched the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2 in February 2010.

This is a concrete plan to significantly expand South African industrial capacity. At its core, are efforts to grow industrial sectors to retain existing jobs and to create new decent jobs.

Other measures that enable job creation include stepping up the implementation of the expanded public works programme, investing in further education and skills development and encouraging small business development and entrepreneurship.

Honourable Members,

Distinguished guests,

We welcome the Joint Statement by Manufacturers and the three trade union federations, Cosatu, Fedusa and Nactu, on industrial economic policy interventions needed to create decent jobs, which was signed two days ago.

We applaud the pro-activeness of labour and business in working to take forward this joint mission of creating decent work.

Honourable Speaker, Distinguished guests,

I have outlined the work undertaken in the past year. We now know what works and what needs to be corrected, and what needs to be strengthened.

Working together as various spheres of government we are changing the way government works in order to deliver services faster and better.

That will be the defining feature of this administration, doing things differently, faster and in a more effective and caring manner which puts citizens first.

You will recall Honourable Members that in the Medium Term Strategic Framework released last year we stated the need for the review of State Owned Enterprises as part of the economic transformation agenda.

We have to ensure that while they remain financially viable, the SOEs, development finance institutions as well as companies in which the state has a significant shareholding must respond to a clearly defined public mandate, and help us to build a developmental state.

I have appointed a Presidential SOE Review Committee to undertake this important work.

It is my pleasure to announce the members, who are as follows:

The Chairperson: Ms Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega

And the members of the Committee are:

  • Mr Glen Mashishi
  • Mr Mafika Mkhwanazi
  • Mr Deon Crafford
  • Adv Swazi Tshabalala
  • Ms Dawn Morole
  • Mr Pramod Mohanlal
  • Ms Gugu Ngcobo
  • Prof Mbulelo Mzamane
  • Dr Takalani Madima
  • Mr Lumkile Mondi
  • Ms Nombulelo Mkhumane

We wish them well as they undertake this important task over a one year period.

Honourable speaker we also want to move faster on transforming broad-based black economic empowerment to ensure that we broaden the benefits.
 
The new Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council, which is chaired by the President, is currently investigating a number of critical issues.
 
These include among others, ownership and deals in the marketplace, the alleged abuse of black empowerment through fronting as well as the promotion of instruments that will advance BEE.
 
These are amongst others, preferential procurement legislation, industry charters and the verification agencies.

Honourable Members,

You will recall that in the State of the Nation Address in February we announced that we were adopting a new outcomes approach to governance.

We have now finalised and signed performance agreements with all Ministers based on the agreed outcomes.

The Ministers will now work with provincial and local government to develop detailed Delivery Agreements for each outcome by the end of July this year.

Minister Chabane will outline how the process will work.

Honourable Speaker,

On the 30th of April we announced the names of members of the National Planning Commission. Yesterday we had a fruitful inaugural meeting with the Commissioners yesterday.

We expect this team of experts to advise government on various critical long-term strategies.

I look forward to constant interaction with the NPC. Minister Manuel will elaborate further on this important part of our work.

Honourable Speaker,

Distinguished guests,

Improving service delivery and interaction with our people will be another defining feature of this administration.

The sporadic spread protests in municipalities across the country,  overlook genuine efforts by government to provide basic services.

We will not condone the violence that sometimes accompanies these protests, and have directed the police to deal with perpetrators in accordance with the law.

However, government at all levels needs to investigate and act on grievances. We are working to correct the systemic problems as well as attitudes in the public service which at times makes government slow in responding to the people.

We say that working together we will do more to make our country succeed.  In this regard, we will continue to keep in touch with the masses of our people in all parts of the country.

We are able to assess delivery directly by visiting communities.

We have visited informal settlements such as Madelakufa in Kempton Park and Siyathemba Balfour in Mpumalanga and the Hermanstadt settlement in Pretoria.

We have visited rural villages such as Libode in the Transkei and Giyani in Limpopo.

The Deputy President has also conducted visits to the Eastern Cape and other areas to assess progress in implementing the anti-poverty programme and also to check effectiveness in schools.

These visits ensure that we do not rely only on reports from officials.
Honourable Speaker,

Yesterday I flew on South African Airways from Johannesburg to Cape Town. The time spent on the plane was valuable. I interacted with passengers who shared their thoughts about the country and what we an do better together as government and citizens.

When we say we are doing things differently, we have to take the public service along with us. That is why we have been meeting with various categories of senior civil servants since last year.

On the 23rd of April we met with Directors-General and their deputies from national and provincial departments.

We discussed with them our vision of changing the way government works.  That will help us take the senior public service with us in this new direction.

Honourable Members,

We said last year that we look forward to a constructive relationship with political parties represented in Parliament. We said it should be possible sometimes to find issues that are in the national interest that we can agree on.

Recent occurrences indicate that this is indeed possible. We were encouraged by the visit of a Parliamentary delegation to the Presidential Hotline centre recently.  We welcome the constructive comments, the support and innovative ideas on how to expand capacity.

The responsibility for the Presidential Hotline in departments will now be escalated to the level of Directors-General.

Minister Chabane will discuss the Hotline project further in his speech.
Honourable Speaker,

Let me also take this opportunity to sincerely thank the leaders of political parties for availing themselves for consultations and discussions with us during the past year.

The interactions have been most helpful and help to strengthen our multiparty democracy. The attendance of the leaders at national celebrations was discussed at the last forum we held. We thank the parties for availing themselves for Freedom Day celebrations. You made it a truly national celebration for all South Africans.

Honourable Speaker,

Honourable Members,

We are committed to building a better Africa and a better world.

This is informed both by our desire to contribute to the betterment of humanity, and the pursuit of our national development priorities.

Our foreign policy is guided by domestic imperatives.  This is evident in our bilateral and multilateral engagements.

Our involvement in negotiations towards a more equitable trade regime, for example, is premised on the understanding that reducing trade barriers for the developing world will contribute to economic growth and job creation in South Africa.

 We have placed strong emphasis on deepening economic diplomacy in our relations with other countries.

You would have noticed that all our State visits, both incoming and outgoing, have strong business participation. Such visits are important for the advancement of our economic agenda.

Our commitment to the African Agenda remains on course. We will focus on the SADC regional  integration, peace, security stability and economic development the  continent.

We will continue to strengthen South -South cooperation, both politically and economically, through platforms such as IBSA and the China-Africa forum.

A new world order is taking shape, and it is important that South Africa makes a useful contribution to this process. In this regard, our country participates very actively in the G20.

While the United Nations remains at the centre of any system of global governance, the value of groupings like the G20 was evident in the coordination of responses to the recent financial crisis.

The G20 cannot replace the UN, but it is an important forum within which to mobilise support for the strengthening of multilateral institutions and improving global governance. 

Accordingly, within the G20 we have argued that international financial institutions must be reformed to better reflect the voice and interests of developing countries.

Honourable Members,

From the 1st of April 2010, South Africa became a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council for a two year period. 

This provides an opportunity to deepen our contribution to the advancement of peace, security and stability on the continent.

Over the course of the past year, we have been involved in efforts to resolve political challenges in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean negotiations process is well underway and some achievements have been registered.

The parties have also agreed to put in place various Commissions that will help to move the country and the negotiations process forward.

These include the establishment of the Human Rights Commission, the Electoral Commission as well as the Media Commission.

The Commissioners have already been sworn in. The Commissioners enjoy the respect of all Zimbabweans across the political spectrum.

The three parties are still consulting about the appointment of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

There is also agreement in principle on the Appointment of Provincial Governors, the parties have agreed on the model and formula of how these provincial governors would be appointed.

It was agreed that MDC-M will receive one Provincial Governor, while MDC-T and ZANU-PF will share the remaining nine governorships, whoever gets four governors between the two will be given an additional Minister of State.
 
 The parties have established a team that comes from all parties that will appeal to the international community to call for the withdrawal of sanctions.
 
All parties have also agreed on the establishment of the National Economic Council and this decision awaits implementation.

With the acquittal of Mr Roy Bennett, one issue that was an obstacle has been removed.

The different parties are supposed to submit names of potential members to the relevant ministry.

Negotiations on other critical outstanding issues are still continuing, and various proposals on how to unblock the impasse are still being considered by various parties.

There is hope and optimism that a solution would be found as we continue to engage with all the relevant stakeholders. I will present a report to the chairperson of the Troika and SADC soon.

This is the African Union’s Year of Peace, which culminates on Peace Day, the 21st of September 2010.

This is an opportunity for Africa to demonstrate a collective commitment to Peace on our continent. Working together we will make our country, and our continent, succeed and prosper.

Honourable Speaker,

I spoke earlier about the need for us to celebrate our Constitution and its provisions, especially the declaration that this country belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.

We have not had an opportunity in the last 16 years to formalise our discussions on how we can bring about a common understanding of our national identity.
Due to the lack of a common perspective, we constantly reach crisis points on a number of issues.

Amongst constant contentious points include transformation in the workplace, sports, songs and symbols, the language policy and certain cultural practices.

The national dialogue to unpack these and other issues will be launched on the 29th of July, 2010 and preparations are underway.

Honourable Members,

This year, the greatest show on earth is the 2010 FIFA World Cup. We all have fond memories of the moment when FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced that our country would be the venue for this prestigious tournament!

Our country will never be the same again, thanks to the World Cup. The physical landscape is changing for the better. The tournament will leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

We reiterate that preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup are on track. Various government departments that have made guarantees to FIFA have delivered on their mandates within the deadlines.
 
What is important is that our work goes beyond the final whistle.

Investment in additional resources for the police, disaster management, health and the immigration system, will have a lasting impact on the delivery of services to the people. 

Also important is the vibrant national mood and the positive response of the world.

Domestically, the World Cup is generating high levels of patriotism and national pride. Our colourful flag is more visible at this time than ever before.

The international mood is also encouraging.  The Government Communication and Information System has been tracking international public opinion of South Africa and the World Cup since 2007.

We have done this because our objective is to use the World Cup to market South Africa and to improve international perceptions.

Tracking has taken place in 29 countries across 7 regions. Findings reveal that the successful hosting of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup played a significant role in changing people’s minds, especially outside Africa. 

More people believe that South Africa will host an exciting and memorable event.

Internationally, over 65%, recall information on the World Cup as positive. Among South African respondents this increases to 85%.

This gives us the best opportunity to demonstrate our ability and thereby strengthen our global competitiveness.

We have an opportunity to promote foreign investment, tourism and trade.  We have to ensure effective policing during the World Cup.

As you would be aware, in addition to routine security plans and budgets, we also have an additional 1.3 billion reserve for World Cup safety and security. 

We have a comprehensive security plan, which includes addressing terror threats, hooliganism and general crime.

The World Cup fever is gaining momentum in our country. From Bafana sports shirts to flags and dancing in the streets - South Africa will never be the same again!

Working together we will excel and deliver a memorable tournament, just as we did with many other huge international events such as the Rugby World Cup, Cricket and large international conferences.

We must showcase our South African-ness and fly the flag that colourful with pride. We are happy that thousands of our people are already doing so.

Let us show true South African hospitality and be courteous, helpful and very welcoming to our guests.

Let us also rally behind Bafana Bafana and indeed all African teams.

We have said continuously that this is an African World Cup. Consequently, I have invited all Heads of State in the continent to join us for the opening and closing matches. Let us make African teams and African soccer fans feel welcome and supported on African soil. 

Honourable Members, allow me to express the nation’s gratitude to our two former Presidents for their sterling contribution to the World Cup project - Isithwalandwe President Nelson Mandela and former President Thabo Mbeki.
 
We also register our appreciation to our Honourable Deputy President, who leads the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the FIFA World Cup, which has executed its tasks efficiently and effectively.
 
We must also as a nation acknowledge the hard working 2010 Local Organising Committee, Irvin Khoza and Danny Jordaan.

We also take our hats off to all individuals who toil everyday, to make the World Cup tournament a success. We salute in particular the construction workers who have built our remarkable stadiums and other infrastructure.

Honourable Speaker,

Let me take this opportunity to extend our condolences to the families of those who died aboard the Afriqiyah Airways flight from Johannesburg, which crashed near Tripoli, Libya this morning.  Our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones in this tragedy.

Somlomo Ohloniphekile,

Sivakalisa uvelwano lwethu kwizihlobo zabantu abayi 23, abasweleke kwingozi yeBhasi, eyenzeke kuleveki iphelileyo ivela eNgcobo e Mpuma Koloni, isiza eKapa. Silila nani mawethu.

Ngifisa futhi ukudlulisa ukuzwelana kwethu nemindeni yabantu abalimale ngesikhathi isitimela ababehamba ngaso siqhunyelwa izintambo zikagesi ngaseThekwini. Sibafisela ukwelulama okuphuthumayo.

Hawu bakwethu, engathi inkosi ingasinceda zinciphe izingozi emgwaqeni. Bashayeli nani shayelani ngokucophelela.

Honourable Speaker,

Before concluding, let me thank our Honourable Deputy President, the Ministers in the Presidency, the Directors-General, advisers, management and all staff in the Presidency for their hard work and support.

Let me borrow again from Inkosi Albert Luthuli’s wise words in 1958.

He said:

 “I cannot believe that all of us who are here will fail South Africa because we are cowards and apathetic. I believe we all will do our best - whatever the difficulties are - for the realization of this glorious democratic South Africa we dream of.”

Working together we will make our country succeed and prosper.

It is my pleasure to commend the Budget Vote of the Presidency to the House.

I thank you!


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