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ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA IN RESPONSE

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ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA IN RESPONSE Powered By Docstoc
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                        ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA IN RESPONSE
                      TO THE DEBATE ON THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
                               NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, CAPE TOWN

                                         17 February 2011



Honourable Speaker,

Honourable Deputy Speaker,

Honourable Deputy President, Mr Kgalema Motlanthe,

Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,

Honourable Members,

Fellow South Africans,



Thank you Honourable Members for a lively debate on the State of the Nation address.



On the 22nd of January 1946, Dr AB Xuma, then President-General of the ANC, wrote to the United
Nations General Assembly, opposing a proposal to incorporate South West Africa into the then racist
and oppressive South Africa.

He felt racist South Africa had to be prevented from annexing another territory, given the oppressive
conditions that existed in the country.

Dr Xuma stated that in South Africa, eighty three percent of the land was reserved for two million
Europeans, and only less than seventeen percent for the millions of Africans. He added that only 40
per cent of African children were accommodated in mission schools. For many others, access to
education was a luxury that was beyond their reach.



That is the type of legacy that this democratic government is still working to reverse. That process
cannot be completed in only 17 years. As Honourable Minister Pandor indicated, colonial oppression
and apartheid cannot be erased from our history or national discourse, as much as the holocaust
cannot be erased from the history of the Jewish people.

We have moved on, and made a lot of progress since that letter to the UN by ANC President-General
Xuma. However, we cannot pretend that racist oppression never happened, even if that makes the
opposition feel uncomfortable.
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We cannot pretend that it did not cause the poverty, inequality, landlessness, illiteracy and other
challenges that we are working so hard to correct, with the support of our people. We cast our votes
together as South Africans for the first time in national general elections in 1994.

The democratic government, informed by the vision in the Freedom Charter, that South Africa
belongs to all who live in it, black and white, began to lead the nation away from a racist and
oppressive past. We are making steady progress towards a united, non-sexist, non-racial,
democratic and more prosperous future.

In 2009 we decided to focus on five priorities in which we could make a difference within a short
space of time. We prioritise education, health, rural development and land reform, the fight against
crime as well as the creation of decent work.

Last week we persuaded the nation to make 2011 the year of job creation, through meaningful
economic transformation and inclusive growth. We are humbled by the overwhelming support and
consensus from all parties. We are all agreed that this is the correct course of action given the levels
of unemployment in our country.


We re-affirm that we will pursue growth in six key sectors in line with the New Growth Path. These
are infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green
economy and tourism.

There are many possibilities for job creation in these sectors as outlined by the Honourable Minister
Patel, and as will be explained further when Ministers present their budget votes.

To achieve these goals, we have to build a strong mixed economy, where the state, private sector,
cooperative and other forms of social ownership complement each other, to achieve shared and
inclusive economic growth.


We must build an economy in which the black majority, women, persons with disabilities and the
youth participate fully and meaningfully.
Honourable Ben Turok outlined the need to ensure equal outcomes to enable the disadvantaged to
also access opportunities.

He cautioned against so-called equal opportunity policies whose outcomes are usually the continued
affirmation of the advantaged. We will continue implementing our equity policies such as affirmative
action and broad-based black economic empowerment.

No economy can grow as fast as it should, create jobs and be sustainable, if the majority of citizens
are excluded. Last year’s employment equity report indicated that 10 years after the introduction of
the Employment Equity Act, white men continued to hold 63% of top management positions in the
private sector.

African women are at less than three percent and coloured and Indian women are at one percent
each. We clearly need to work harder to close the gap. We established the Black Economic
Empowerment Advisory Council chaired by the President, which began operations last year.
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The Council has organised itself into four sub-committees whose work focuses on the following
areas:

       Ownership, Management Control and B-BBEE Deals Structuring,
       Enterprise Development, Procurement, Access to Finance and Socio-Economic Development.

       Skills Development and Employment Equity.
       Instruments to promote B-BBEE such as legislation and charters.
The Council has made concrete recommendations that we must now take to Cabinet. These address
issues such as BEE fronting, refinement of the codes of good practice, regulation of the verification
industry, as well as aligning our policies on B-BBEE with policies on preferential procurement.


We need to ensure that transformation does not fall by the wayside, as we forge ahead to build our
economy and create much-needed jobs.

Honourable Members,

Honourable Mulder of the Freedom Front Plus took issue with our statement that the mineral
wealth of the country belongs to all South Africans.
The Honourable Member would do well to check the law. The Mineral and Petroleum Resources
Development Act of 2002, promulgated in May 2004, gives effect to the notion of State
custodianship of mineral rights.

This is in line with the UN Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, which grants States full
permanent sovereignty, including possession and disposal over all their natural resources.

This position is further supported by the Constitution of the Republic.

We will continue to pursue job opportunities in this sector.

Honourable Speaker,

A number of Honourable Members questioned the capacity of the State to carry out the
undertakings we have made. We would like to assure this House that we have been putting systems
in place to improve the performance of the State.

The Honourable Minister Chabane gave an outline of measures we are undertaking to build a
performance-oriented State through improving planning as well as performance monitoring and
evaluation.

The Presidency will receive quarterly reports that we will use to monitor progress and intervene
where there are bottlenecks, on job creation and other commitments made. I will meet cluster
chairpersons periodically to discuss progress. Honourable Deputy President Motlanthe will assist me
in this task.

In April last year, I appointed 25 people to serve on the National Planning Commission. They have a
mammoth task to devise a national plan for the country. I have set a deadline of November this year
for them to complete the plan.
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We also plan to conclude the Macro-Organisation of the State, including the establishment of norms
and standards. This should please the Honourable Godi who calls for norms and standards in the
public service.

We re-affirm that the filling of funded vacant posts will also be prioritised. We have directed the
public service to fill all posts within three months of vacancies occurring, instead of the customary
advertising of a post six months after a vacancy occurs, and filling it within at least one year.

Honourable Members,

We have indeed come a long way since Dr Xuma wrote to the United Nations lamenting the state of
education. Today we are able to say that we are on track to reach or exceed the Millennium
Development Goal target for education before the 2015 deadline.

It is also impressive that the proportion of girls attending primary, secondary and tertiary education
has improved significantly. This is important because education is central to development.

The Honourable Minister Nzimande outlined the work we are doing to improve learning and
teaching. This includes the establishment of the National Education Evaluation Unit which will
ensure that the schooling system is effectively monitored and evaluated.

This will help us to prevent situations such as what is happening in the Eastern Cape. I have received
a comprehensive briefing from the Minister and Deputy Minister of Basic Education who visited the
province recently. I am seriously considering a sustainable intervention for the Eastern Cape.

We are concerned that the contracts of over four thousand temporary teachers have been
terminated, resulting in many schools facing shortages of teachers. The Learner and Teacher
Support Materials have not been adequately delivered. This has led to a situation where there are
learners without textbooks.

The school nutrition programme has collapsed and scholar transport came to a total halt in many
areas. As of now, the Triple T call to prioritise teachers, textbooks and time, cannot be implemented
in the Eastern Cape.

Any intervention will occur with the full knowledge, approval and co-operation of the Premier of the
Eastern Cape and the MEC for Education in the province. It will be designed to assist the province to
effectively administer education.


Honourable Members,

We have noted the concern by the Honourable Dikobo of AZAPO about the poor infrastructure in
some schools. Nationally, we plan to improve about 3 600 schools to bring them to basic safety and
functionality levels by 2014.

This year, we will replace close to one hundred mud schools and two hundred and forty six
inappropriate structures with proper facilities. This has been budgeted for.
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We welcome the support for the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign, which makes education a
societal issue rather than a matter for individual schools. We agree that the call for teachers to be in
class on time teaching for seven hours a day, must be accompanied by parents and communities
ensuring that learners are also in class on time, ready to learn and cooperating with their teachers.

We also concur with the Honourable Meshoe that we must promote discipline in addition to the
triple T. The Departments of Basic Education and Police have been directed to work together to
prevent and respond to violence in schools.

Honourable Members referred to the important United Nations Conference of the Parties on
Climate Change or COP 17 that we will host from the 28th of November to the 9th of December 2011
in Durban.

We agree with Honourable Holomisa that the conference should be used as a rallying point to
inform and mobilise our communities around issues of the environment. We are humbled by the
confidence shown by the UNFCC in Africa’s ability to host this meeting again after Kenya successfully
hosted it in 2006.

This presents another opportunity for Africa to rise to the occasion, just like we did when the world
gave us an opportunity to host the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup last year. It is a timely conference for
our country. Disaster events have become an increasing burden.

Incidents of veld fires are being reported in the Western Cape, severe drought conditions are
currently being experienced in the Eastern Cape. Heavy and recurrent rains are being experienced in
Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal amongst other provinces.

As Honourable Minister Molewa pointed out, climate change also continues to impact negatively on
food security, for example the food price increases due to the changes in farming production
capacity due to floods, drought, fires and land degradation due to changing weather patterns.

We are preparing ourselves to host this huge event which will bring to our country several heads of
state and government and their delegations as well as civil society. Yesterday, Cabinet appointed an
Inter-Ministerial committee to lead our preparations.



The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation who is chairing this committee, will also
chair the conference. The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs will lead the South African
delegation.

Other members are the Ministers of Energy, Finance, Home Affairs, Economic Development, Trade
and Industry, National Planning Commission, Mineral Resources, Public Enterprises, Tourism, Science
and Technology, the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal and the mayor of Ethekwini municipality.

As a developing African country, we will use the opportunity to showcase the way in which climate
change impacts on our country and Africa, as well as the responses we are implementing.

We will take forward the good work done by Mexico and will approach the 17th Conference in a spirit
of comprehensive and open consultation with all parties and stakeholders.
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This will enable us to work towards an outcome that is comprehensive and acceptable to all parties.
As we prepare for COP 17, we will also continue implementing strategies towards cleaner
technology and the green economy, including clean energy. We reiterate that every South African
must save energy to avoid the need to resort to the unpopular load shedding energy conservation
method.

Honourable Speaker,

Next week, we have the pleasure of hosting a meeting of the UN Secretary General’s High Level
Global Sustainability Panel, which I have the honour of co-chairing with Her Excellency President
Halonen of Finland. The Panel has a special focus on climate change as a sustainable development
challenge, addressing three pillars, namely economic, social and environmental.

The meeting will take place in Cape Town and will help set the tone for the climate change
conference later in the year.


Honourable Members,

We reiterate our commitment to the fight against crime and against corruption. Honourable Dreyer
of the DA questioned the impact of our anti-corruption efforts and claimed among other assertions,
that the National Anti-Corruption Hotline was ineffective. That is incorrect.

Several achievements have been scored with regards to the investigation of cases of alleged
corruption reported on the National Anti-Corruption Hotline, which we have shared with this House
before.

Since the establishment of the Hotline and as a result of the successful investigation of cases, two
hundred and thirty five officials were found guilty of misconduct. Of these cases, thirty five officials
were suspended, one hundred and twenty were given final written warnings and eighty officials
were dismissed. In addition, a total of one hundred million rand was recovered from perpetrators.

Against this backdrop, it is clear that the Hotline has had positive spin-offs, not only in terms of
monetary value but also in terms of disciplinary action taken against perpetrators.

Our reference to the fact that close to 15 million citizens receive social grants attracted a lot of
attention from Honourable Members. Ten million of the recipients are children.

Honourable Dambuza pointed out correctly that while social grants are useful in the alleviation of
poverty, they are no substitute for rural development and employment creation.


Honourable Matladi of the UCDP raised concern that we did not provide detail on how government
is working to link grants to sustainable livelihoods to reduce dependency.

We have pilot projects running already in a few provinces to encourage self-reliance among grant
recipients. By September 2010 in the Northern Cape, sixteen thousand nine hundred and seventy six
people had been linked to income generating opportunities, three thousand and twenty four in
Gauteng as well as four hundred and fifty women and one hundred and eighty two young people in
the Eastern Cape.
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In Bokfontein in the North West Province, six hundred social grant beneficiaries have been linked to
the local community works scheme programme. In Dutyini village in the Eastern Cape, thirty nine
women and one man who are grant beneficiaries are linked to a number of projects such as candle
making.

Lessons from these pilot projects will enable better roll out of these programmes around the
country. Another key poverty alleviation mechanism directed at children, is the subsidy ranging
between twelve and fifteen rand per child per day, for qualifying children from poor households
attending Early Childhood Development centres.

To date, more than four hundred thousand children receive the subsidy, in sixteen thousand two
hundred and fifty centres registered with the Department of Social Development.

The plan for 2011 is to increase the subsidised centres to 17 000.

The ECD programme, which forms part of the expanded public works programme, provides more
than 78 000 jobs. Honourable Tsenoli emphasised the importance of local government, and
recognised many unsung heroes and heroines, some who have passed on, who have worked hard to
contribute to our local government system.

We echo that tribute, as we should celebrate public servants and public representatives who go
beyond the call of duty to contribute to improving the quality of life of all. Government has spent
the past few months reviewing the local government support programmes that have been put in
place in recent years, including Project Consolidate.

The initiatives provided hands-on support to municipalities and provided key performance areas for
local government to work and report on. The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional
Affairs signed performance and service delivery agreements with mayors and MECs for local
government last year.


These agreements clarify outputs and deliverables that must be met by local government and the
provinces. Government is also implementing the Local Government Turnaround Strategy, which is
aimed at helping municipalities to deal with the backlog and complaints from citizens.

As we head for local government elections, we are confident that the measures we are putting in
place will improve the functioning of local government, as all players know what is expected of
them. We have noted ongoing protests in Ermelo in Mpumalanga province. The relevant
government departments are assisting to restore order.

Whatever the grievances are, they can only be resolved through engagement with the authorities
and not through violence. The police will continue to act against those who break the law.

Honourable Members,

On international relations, we support the call by Honourable Motshekga to rekindle the spirit of
progressive pan-Africanism by mobilising all sectors locally as well as Africa, for African renewal,
advancement and development.
8


South Africa has been asked to help coordinate the New Partnership for Africa’s Development
programme infrastructure revitalisation initiative. African infrastructure development is a key
priority of our international work because it enables our continent to broaden economic
opportunities, facilitate intra-African trade and create jobs on the continent.

At the African Union summit in Addis Ababa last month, we agreed on criteria for project selection
and have set clear timeframes and targets. We are optimistic that our championing of the North-
South corridor which links SADC, Eastern African Community and COMESA will yield results. I am
assisted by Minister Trevor Manuel in running this project on behalf of the AU.

Honourable Members,

We continue to contribute to peacemaking and peacekeeping in the continent.

We agree with Honourable Mphahlele that while resolving conflicts is important, it is better to
prevent them.

South Africa has taken the first steps to establish formal diplomatic relations between South Africa
and Somalia. This is a clear signal of our commitment to political and diplomatic support to the
Transitional Federal Government in Somalia.

We are also in the process of developing a project of capacity building activities for key Somali
ministries. We will provide assistance in the areas of governance, peace-building, constitution
building and capacitating the judiciary.

Honourable Members,

We will continue to provide support to the Sudan following the successful referendum, which forms
part of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

We congratulate Former President Thabo Mbeki on the contribution he has made in the Sudan,
under the auspices of the African Union. The intervention produced a unique African solution to a
longstanding conflict.

We are hopeful that outstanding post-referendum issues such as the referendum for Abyei, border
demarcation, natural resources and economic issues, citizenship, security and other issues will be
resolved in a manner that will benefit all parties involved.

The international community should provide support to enable the parties, the NCP and the SPLM,
to go smoothly through the remaining period until July 2011 and beyond, to ensure that peace and
stability prevails.

The international community should also continue to provide its support aimed at restoring peace to
Darfur.

Honourable Speaker,
We continue to support the peace efforts of the African Union and the United Nations on the
protracted Western Sahara conflict. There can be no lasting solution as long as the people of
Western Sahara continue to suffer.
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We wish the Egyptians and Tunisians well with the transition in the two countries. We reiterate that
the events that are unfolding in North Africa should not impact negatively on Palestine and the
resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian question. We reaffirm our support for the two state solution, a
Palestinian and Israeli state, side by side in peaceful co-existence.

Honourable Speaker,

We will this weekend travel to Mauritania and Cote d’Ivoire to join the deliberations of the
High‐Level Panel for the Resolution of the Crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, of which South Africa is a member.

The panel will meet with the affected parties in Cote d’Ivoire and help them to find a solution to the
post-election stalemate.

Honourable Speaker,

The Honourable Minister Dlamini-Zuma referred to a forthcoming milestone that is a historical
achievement for the country and the continent, regardless of the political party one belongs to. That
is the celebration of the centenary of the African National Congress, the oldest liberation movement
in the continent.

Government hosted a centenary seminar on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Ethiopia
last month, attended by Heads of State and Government amongst other guests. The movement’s
former President and national icon, His Excellency Nelson Mandela outlined what the organisation
means to the country eloquently at the 78th anniversary celebrations in Bloemfontein in February
1990.

This was just a few days after his release from prison.

He stated: “Today, our organisation stands as the most powerful symbol of the global rejection of
racism. From very humble beginnings, from a meeting of only 100 delegates 78 years ago, we have
become an organisation of hundreds of thousands, embodying the aspirations of millions, and an
inspiration to yet more.

“What have we done to win the respect of kings, presidents, prime ministers and millions of ordinary
persons everywhere? We have stood fearless before the guns of apartheid. The blood of our martyrs
has stained the floors and walls of apartheid jails. Yet we have never faltered in our quest to create a
South Africa where freedom, peace, justice and equality prevail. This is the noble mission of the ANC
and one which we will never forsake’’.

As government we look forward to working with the ANC to mark this colossal event that will bring
to our shores many Heads of State and Government and other eminent friends of the Republic from
all over the world.

Honourable Members and compatriots,

We have had many sectors asking what is expected of them, responding to our call that we should
work together to achieve the goals we have set for the country. The next few weeks will be
dedicated to social dialogue to discuss the programme of action for 2011.
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We will convene a Business Summit on the 10th of March, and will meet organised labour on the 31st
of March. From the 15th to the 16thth of March government is hosting a summit on substance abuse.

From the 4th to the 6th of April we are hosting a national nursing summit, bringing together about
2000 nurses to discuss how to improve our health care services.

We welcome the decision of the National Religious Forum and the National Interfaith Leaders
Council to form a single National Interfaith movement.

We look forward to working with the movement to mobilise society in promoting job creation, skills
development and other national programmes.


Honourable Motshekga reminded us of the role of this fourth parliament, to intercede and
intervene, with the executive, organs of the state and business on behalf of the people.

We look forward to working with Parliament in taking forward this year’s objectives.

Honourable Members,

Questions have been asked about what will happen to Umzimkhulu and Bekkersdal following the
messages I received from young residents Bongokuhle Miya and Portia Mrwetyana on the
Presidency Facebook page.

As we speak, two teams from the Presidency are in Bekkersdal and Umzimkhulu respectively,
inspecting the conditions. We will continue to interact directly with our people.

Siyathembisa ukuthi ngeke siphumule uma abantu besahlupheka, besaphila kanzima. Singuhulumeni
wabantu.

Honourable Members,

Our efforts to expand job opportunities must extend across every sector, all kinds of work and many
forms of support.

Initiatives that assist the youth in finding their first jobs must enjoy special priority.
This includes expanded access to further education and training opportunities.

It includes better career information and job placement services.

It includes support for new farming enterprises in rural areas, infrastructure in townships for local
traders and service businesses, advice and access to finance for emerging entrepreneurs.
As we speak, officials of the Industrial Development Corporation are assessing options for supporting
investment in more labour-intensive industries.

The Jobs Fund will invite proposals from the private sector, from non-governmental organisations
and from municipalities and government agencies for innovative projects that will lead to self-
sustaining employment opportunities.

Ongoing debate and analysis will contribute, of course, to refining and improving these efforts.
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But 2011 must be a year of action. We will not delay progress.

Our shared commitment is to put South Africans to work. They must find work in fields and factories,
in repairing roads and building houses, in caring for children and protecting the environment.
We must create jobs in every possible way that we can.

Working together we can achieve that objective.

I thank you.

				
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