The Speaker of the National Assembly,
The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces;
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP,
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa,
Former President Thabo Mbeki,
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and all esteemed members of the judiciary,
The President of the Pan African Parliament, Mr Roger Nkodo Dang,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Premiers and Speakers of Provincial Legislatures,
Chairperson of SALGA and all Executive Mayors present,
The Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions,
Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders,
Leaders of faith based organisations,
The former Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Frene Ginwala,
Veterans of the struggle for liberation,
Members of the diplomatic corps,
Fellow South Africans,
Good evening, sanibonani, molweni, dumelang, goeie naand, lotshani, riperile, ndimadekwana,
Thank you for the opportunity to address Parliament and the nation.
Today marks the 26th
anniversary of the release of President Nelson Mandela from prison,
which was one of the most remarkable episodes in the history of our
It is also the 50th anniversary of the
declaration by the National Party regime that District Six would be a
whites only area, leading to the forced removals of more than 60 000
The year 2016 also marks the 20th
anniversary of the signing into law by Madiba, of the Constitution of
the Republic. The signing took place in Sharpeville on 10 December 1996.
We are proud of our democracy and what we have achieved in a short space of time. Our democracy is functional, solid and stable.
Constitution, which has its foundation in the Freedom Charter,
proclaims that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. A lot has
been done to promote inclusion and a non-racial society.
However, the journey to a non-racial society has not yet been completed.
The nation was shaken last month when racism reared its ugly head on social and electronic media, causing untold pain and anger.
is a need to confront the demon of racism. Human Rights Day, March 21,
will be commemorated as the national day against racism this year. It
will be used to lay the foundation for a long-term programme of building
a non-racial society.
Compatriots, I would like to remind you of a few other important anniversaries.
year 2016 marks 60 years since the women’s march to the Union Buildings
to demand an end to the pass laws. We are happy to have in our midst Ms
Sophie de Bruyn, who was among the heroic leaders of that historic
We also acknowledge the former President of the Black Sash,
Ms Mary Burton. We acknowledge the organisation’s track record in
fighting for human rights, justice and equality.
This year also marks 40 years since the landmark June 16 student uprising in Soweto.
welcome the photographer who shot the famous photograph of Hector
Peterson carried by Mbuyisa Makhubu with his sister Antoinette, Mr Sam
We also salute the class of 1976 for their bravery in
standing up against the brutal apartheid regime. We acknowledge one of
the activists of that era, the Deputy Secretary of Parliament, Ms Baby
Tyawa, who is in our midst.
This year we also mark 30 years since
the ambush and brutal killing of the Gugulethu Seven by the apartheid
police in March 1986.
The University of Fort Hare celebrates its
centenary, which is a critical milestone in the liberation history of
not only our country but the continent. The national celebrations will
take place on the 20th of May.
Let me recognise uMntwana wakwaPhindangene, the leader of the IFP who is a former student of the university.
The year 2016 also marks the centenary of the battle of Deville Woods in France, which took place during the First World War.
Scores of Black soldiers fought in the war but were treated badly due to the colour of their skin.
A memorial that will restore their dignity and humanity is scheduled to be unveiled in July this year in France.
Compatriots, allow me as well to recognise three special guests who are also with us today,
Madam Speaker and Madam Chairperson,
resilient and fast growing economy is at the heart of our radical
economic transformation agenda and our National Development Plan.
When the economy grows fast it delivers jobs. Workers earn wages and businesses make profits.
tax base expands and allows government to increase the social wage and
provide education, health, social grants, housing and free basic
services - faster and in a more sustainable manner.
has been facing difficulties since the financial crisis in 2008. We
embarked on an aggressive infrastructure development programme to
Our reality right now is that global growth
still remains muted. Financial markets have become volatile. Currencies
of emerging markets have become weak and they fluctuate widely.
prices of gold, platinum, coal and other minerals that we sell to the
rest of the world have dropped significantly and continue to be low.
economies of two of our partners in BRICS: Brazil and Russia - are
expected to contract this year. The third, China, will not register the
kind of robust growth that it is known for.
Because our economy is relatively small and open, it is affected by all of these developments.
economy is also affected by domestic factors such as the electricity
constraints and industrial relations which are sometimes unstable.
IMF and the World Bank predict that the South African economy will grow
by less than one per cent this year. The lower economic growth outcomes
and outlook suggest that revenue collection will be lower than
Importantly, our country seems to be at risk
of losing its investment grade status from ratings agencies. If that
happens, it will become more expensive for us to borrow money from
abroad to finance our programmes of building a better life for all
especially the poor.
The situation requires an effective turnaround plan from us.
It is about doing things differently and also acting on what may not have been acted upon quickly before.
I will share a few points that we believe would make a difference.
our country remains an attractive investment destination. It may face
challenges, but its positive attributes far outweigh those challenges.
must continue to market the country as a preferred destination for
investments. This requires a common narrative from all of us as
business, labour and government.
If there are any disagreements or
problems between us, we should solve them before they escalate. This is
necessary for the common good of our country.
We have had fruitful meetings with business, including the high level meeting with CEOs on Tuesday this week.
have heard the suggestions from business community on how we can turn
the situation around and put the economy back on a growth path.
We have heard the points about the need to create the correct investment support infrastructure.
Government is developing a One Stop Shop/Invest SA initiative
to signal that South Africa is truly open for business. We will
fast-track the implementation of this service, in partnership with the
Such an initiative requires that government removes the red tape and reviews any legislative and regulatory blockages.
have established an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Investment Promotion
which will ensure the success of investment promotion initiatives.
Compatriots, we have heard the concerns raised about the performance of state owned enterprises and companies.
Many of our SOCs are performing well.
has built some of the best roads in Gauteng and in many parts of the
country. These make us the envy of many parts around the globe.
Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority has constructed dams of varied
capacities, thus making it possible for our people to have access to
safe drinking water.
Transnet has built rail infrastructure which
has enabled our country’s mines to move massive bulk of commodities
through our ports to markets around the globe.
Eskom, in spite of the challenges, still manages to keep the economy going, against all odds.
development finance institutions such as the Industrial Development
Corporation (IDC) or Development Bank of Southern Africa and others have
provided finance for infrastructure, various industries and
agricultural businesses without fail, even in the aftermath of the
global financial crisis.
For the state owned companies to
contribute to the successful implementation of the National Development
Plan, they must be financially sound.
They must be properly
governed and managed. We will ensure the implementation of the
recommendations of the Presidential Review Commission on State Owned
Enterprises, which outlines how the institutions should be managed.
Deputy President chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee which is tasked
with ensuring the implementation of these recommendations.
have to streamline and sharpen the mandates of the companies and ensure
that where there are overlaps in the mandates, there is immediate
Those companies that are no longer relevant to our development agenda will be phased out.
departments to which they report, will set the agenda and identify key
projects for the State owned companies to implement, over a defined
period. Proper monitoring and evaluation will be done.
These interventions are essential for growth and also for the reduction of national debt levels.
We must take advantage of the exchange rate as well as the recent changes of visa regulations, to boost inbound tourism.
Tourism will invest one hundred million rand a year to promote domestic
tourism, encouraging South Africans to tour their country.
have heard concerns from companies about delays in obtaining visas for
skilled personnel from abroad. While we prefer that employers prioritise
local workers, our migration policy must also make it possible to
import scarce skills.
The draft migration policy will be presented to Cabinet during the course of 2016.
have heard the appeals for policy certainty in the mining sector,
especially with regards to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources
The Bill was referred back to Parliament last
year. We await Parliament to conclude the processing, which we trust
will be done expeditiously.
We need to empower
SMMEs to accelerate their growth. Access to high-quality, innovative
business support can dramatically improve the success rate of new
The department of small business development was established to provide such targeted support to small business.
transformation and black empowerment remain a key part of all economic
programmes of government. One of our new interventions is the Black
Industrialists Scheme which has been launched to promote the
participation of black entrepreneurs in manufacturing.
big business to partner the new manufacturers including businesses owned
by women and the youth, as part of broadening the ownership and control
of the economy.
We are proud of our Top 10 ranking in the World Economic Forum competitiveness report with respect to financial services.
Maintaining and indeed improving our ranking is important to our competitiveness as a country.
It is also fundamental to our ambition to become a financial centre for Africa.
banks, through the Banking Association of South Africa, are to launch a
project aimed at establishing a centre of excellence for financial
services and leadership training.
This will ensure that as a
country we can attract, nurture, develop and retain the best talent in
financial services in our country and across our continent.
will work with the Minister of Finance and the National Treasury to get
this done. We believe that this will over time ensure that we can expand
the pool of financial skills and broaden the job opportunities for many
This strategic project from the banking sector is a positive and encouraging outcome of our engagement with business this week.
Together we move South Africa Forward!
have made an undertaking to spend public funds wisely and to cut
wasteful expenditure, but without compromising on the core business of
government and the provision of services to our people.
the Minister of Finance announced a number of cost containment measures.
Excessive and wasteful expenditure has been reduced, but there is still
more to be done to cut wastage.
I would like to announce some measures this evening.
trips will be curtailed and those requesting permission will have to
motivate strongly and prove the benefit to the country.
The sizes of delegations will be greatly reduced and standardised.
Further restrictions on conferences, catering, entertainment and social functions will be instituted.
budget vote dinners for stakeholders hosted by government departments
in Parliament, after the delivery of budget speeches will no longer take
The Minister of Finance will announce more measures and further details in the budget vote speech on the 24th of February.
The executive management and boards of public agencies and state owned companies must undertake similar measures.
also invite Premiers of all nine provinces as well as mayors to join us
as we begin eliminating wasteful expenditure within government.
I trust that Parliament and the Judiciary will also be persuaded to consider the implementation of similar measures.
big expenditure item, that we would like to persuade Parliament to
consider, is the maintenance of two capitals, Pretoria as the
administrative one and Cape Town as the legislative capital.
We believe that the matter requires the attention of Parliament soon.
all have a lot to do to turn the economy around and to cut wastage. We
will go through a difficult period for a while, but when the economy
recovers, we will be proud of ourselves for having done the right thing.
I would now like to report back on the undertakings made last year.
During the State of the Nation Address in February 2015
I announced the Nine Point Plan to respond to sluggish growth.
The nine point plan consists of:
We have made significant progress in the implementation of the plan.
has been made to stabilise the electricity supply. There has been no
load shedding since August last year which has brought relief for both
households and industry alike.
Government has invested eighty
three billion rand (R83 billion) in Eskom which has enabled the utility
to continue investing in Medupi and Kusile, while continuing with a
diligent maintenance programme.
Additional units from Ingula power
station will be connected in 2017, even though some of them will begin
synchronisation this year.
The multiple bid windows of the
Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme have attracted an
investment of one hundred and ninety four billion rand.
initiative is a concrete example of how government can partner with the
private sector to provide practical solutions to an immediate challenge
that faces our country.
In 2016, government will select the preferred bidders for the coal independent power producer.
Request for Proposals will also be issued for the first windows of gas to power bids.
The nuclear energy expansion programme remains part of the future energy mix.
plan is to introduce nine thousand six hundred megawatts of nuclear
energy in the next decade, in addition to running Koeberg Nuclear Power
We will test the market to ascertain the true cost of building modern nuclear plants.
Let me emphasise that we will only procure nuclear on a scale and pace that our country can afford.
government through the Department of Trade and Industry introduced a
number of incentives in the past few years to boost investments in the
manufacturing sectors especially textiles, leather and the automotive
Progress has been made in these sectors.
incentives for the automotive sector have attracted investments of over
twenty five billion rand over the last five years. We welcome key
investments from Mercedes, General Motors, Ford, Beijing Auto Works, the
Metair group, BMW, Goodyear and VW.
The clothing and textile sector has also been successfully stabilised after a difficult few years.
companies such as Nestle, Unilever Samsung and Hisense have also
affirmed South Africa as a regional manufacturing hub.
They have retained and expanded their investments in new plants.
the progress made in manufacturing has certainly demonstrated that the
incentive programmes are effective and attractive to investors.
announced programmes for the revitalisation of agriculture last year.
We introduced the Agri-Parks programme, aimed at increasing the
participation of small holder farmers in agricultural activities.
has begun in at least five agriparks, which are: Westrand in Gauteng,
Springbokpan in North West, Witzenberg in Western Cape, Ncora in the
Eastern Cape and Enkangala in Mpumalanga.
programmes must empower women farmers as well. Allow me to introduce the
winner of the Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2015, Ms Julia Shungube,
from Nkomazi municipality in Mpumalanga.
Honourable Speaker and Chairperson,
Land reform remains an important factor as we pursue transformation.
I spoke about the fifty/fifty policy framework last year, which proposes relative rights for people who live and work on farms.
seven proposals have been received from commercial farmers and four are
being implemented in the Eastern Cape and the Free State.
announced the Regulation of Land Holdings Bill which would place a
ceiling on land ownership at a maximum of 12 000 hectares and would
prohibit foreign nationals from owning land. They would be eligible for
long term leases. The draft Bill will be presented to Cabinet in the
first semester of the year.
We also announced the re-opening of
land claims for people who had missed the 1998 deadline. The number of
new land claims that have been lodged stood at close to one hundred and
twenty thousand as of December last year.
are aware, five provinces have been seriously affected by drought,
namely North-West, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
provides relief to affected communities. Isomiso sixakile impela
ezifundazweni eziningi. Imfuyo iyafa kanti nezolimo zisele emuva.
Isikhathi esinzima lesi.
Uhulumeni uzoqhubeka nokuxhasa abalimi kanye nokusiza imiphakathi ngezimoto ezithwala zamanzi.
me take this opportunity to commend the civil society initiative,
Operation Hydrate and others for the provision of water relief to many
communities in distress.
The building of water infrastructure remains critical so that we can expand access to our people and industry.
first phase of the Mokolo and Crocodile Water Augmentation project in
Lephalale area in Limpopo is fully operational. It will provide 30
million cubic meters of water per annum.
The raising of the Clan
William Dam wall in the Western Cape entails raising the existing dam
level by 13 metres to provide additional water supply.
water wastage, the Department of Water and Sanitation has begun its
programme of training fifteen thousand young people as artisans.
improving labour relations, we welcome the agreement reached by social
partners at NEDLAC on the principle of a national minimum wage.
Deliberations continue on the level at which the minimum wage must be placed.
is important to emphasise that the national minimum wage should be
implemented in a manner that does not undermine employment creation, the
thriving of small businesses or sustained economic growth.
also encouraged by reports from NEDLAC that a framework to stabilize
the labour market by reducing the length of strikes and eliminating
violence during strike action is being finalized.
We have heard
the concerns of labour about the Tax Amendment Act that I signed into
law in December, following its passing by Parliament.
Government is in discussion with COSATU about the matter and a solution is being sought.
are also on-going within government, led by the Department of Social
Development and National Treasury, with regards to finalising the
comprehensive social security policy.
Only a few years ago, our mining sector was in turmoil especially on the platinum belt.
The situation has improved and we commend business and labour for the progress made.
positive development in the mining sector was the Leaders’ Declaration
to Save Jobs which was signed by mining industry stakeholders in August
We urge the parties to implement the agreement and to continue seeking ways of saving jobs.
We appeal to business again that retrenchments should not be the first resort when they face difficulties.
2014 we launched the popular operation Phakisa Big Fast results
methodology and implemented it in the ocean economy, health, education
and mining sectors.
Seven billion rand has been committed in new
port facilities, following the adoption of a Public- Private-Partnership
model for port infrastructure development by Transnet National Ports
Compatriots, we were concerned that South Africa did
not own vessels while we are surrounded by about three thousand
kilometres of a coastline.
Through the oceans economy segment of Operation Phakisa, we are trying to solve this challenge.
am pleased that two bulk carrier vessels have been registered in Port
Elizabeth, and a third tanker in Cape Town under the South African flag.
positive Operation Phakisa development has been the launch of a fuel
storage facility here in Cape Town, bringing an investment of six
hundred and sixty million rand.
Aquaculture appears to be an important growth area within the oceans economy segment of Operation Phakisa.
to three hundred and fifty thousand rand private sector investment has
thus far been committed in the Aquaculture sector. Nine aquaculture
farms are already in production. These farms are located within the
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Northern Cape.
We continue to promote innovation within the Nine Point Plan programme.
Department of Science and Technology will finalise the Sovereign
Innovation fund, a Public private funding partnership aimed at
commercialising innovations that are from ideas from the public and the
Government will fast track the implementation of
the first phase of broadband roll-out to connect more than five thousand
government facilities in eight district municipalities over a three
Funding to the tune of 740 million rand over a three year period has been allocated in this regard.
A lot of work was done in the social sector as well in the past year.
has responded to the financial shortfall arising from the zero per cent
university fee increase, as agreed in meeting with students and
vice-chancellors last year.
The Minister of Finance will provide the details of education shortfall funding in the Budget speech.
have appointed a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into higher education.
We urge all stakeholders to cooperate with the Commission and help
ensure its success.
On the health front, the life expectancy of
South Africans for both males and females has significantly improved and
is currently 62 years across genders, which is an increase of eight and
a half years since 2005.
The HIV policy turnaround in 2009 led to
a massive rollout of HIV testing and treatment for 3.2 million people
living with the virus.
This has contributed immensely to healthier and longer lives for those infected.
We acknowledge the contribution of partners in the South African National Aids Council which is chaired by the Deputy President.
next step is to revive prevention campaigns especially amongst the
youth. The Minister of Health will soon announce a major campaign in
I am also happy to announce that the state-owned pharmaceutical company, Ketlaphela,
has been established. The company will participate in the supply of
anti-retroviral drug to the Department of Health from the 2016/17
Meanwhile, the White Paper on National Health
Insurance was released in December aimed at improving health care for
everyone in South Africa.
Local government elections will be held within three months after the 18th of May, the date of the last elections.
We urge all citizens who are over the age of 18 to register to vote during the first registration weekend, 5 and 6 March 2016.
urge the youth in particular who are turning 18 years of age this year,
to register in their numbers for this first ever opportunity to cast
Our Back to Basics local government revitalisation
plan was launched in September 2014 and 2015 has been the year of
In this second phase of implementation, national government will engage in more active monitoring and accountability measures.
includes unannounced municipal visits, spot checks of supply chain
management processes, the implementation of recommendations of forensic
reports, site visits of Municipal Infrastructure Grant funded projects,
and increased interventions to assist struggling municipalities.
A 10 point plan of Back to Basics priority actions has been developed to guide this next phase.
plan includes the promotion of community engagement, which is
absolutely critical to enable communities to provide feedback on their
experience of local government.
I already undertook a walkabout at
Marabastad taxi and bus rank in Pretoria on Monday to speak to informal
traders and commuters.
The majority of complaints and issues raised related to municipal services.
would like the Tshwane municipality to clean the area and also to fix
some broken sewerage pipes. Traders said they needed and were prepared
They alerted me that many people in Elandspoort receive
RDP houses but instead of occupying them, they either sell them or rent
them out other people.
Mrs Baloyi who runs a stall complained about nyaope drug addicts who steal goods from traders.
commuters said I must visit Kwaggafontein in the former KwaNdebele and
see the lack of service delivery. I will visit the area soon.
was also able to speak to foreign nationals who said they queue daily to
apply for documentation from the Department of Home Affairs. We will
continue to visit communities to hear their concerns and suggestions.
Issues raised during the visit will be followed up by the respective
The South African Police Service is
undergoing a turnaround and has adopted the Back to Basics approach to
management to rebuild the organisation and to improve performance at all
under-performing police stations.
We note sadly, as well that
fifty seven police officers have been murdered to date during the
2015/16 financial year. We condemn this criminality strongly.
We urge the police to defend themselves when attacked, within the confines of the law.
The African continent remains central to our foreign policy engagements.
Africa continued to support peace and security and regional economic
integration through participation in the African Union and the Southern
African Development Community initiatives.
We continued to assist sister countries in resolving their issues for example in Lesotho and South Sudan.
South African National Defence Force represented the country bravely
and remarkably well in peacekeeping missions on the continent. We are
truly proud of our soldiers. They will be showcasing their capability in
Port Elizabeth from the 13th to the 21st of February, the celebration of Armed Forces Day.
Agreement by BRICS nations on the New Development Bank or BRICS Bank
came into force and the bank is envisaged to approve its inaugural
projects in April this year.
We participated in the India-Africa
Summit as well as the Forum on Cooperation between Africa and China as
we strengthened these important partnerships.
investments of fifty billion US dollars of which South Africa will
receive ten billion US dollars for infrastructure, industrialisation and
On North-South cooperation, we continued our
engagements with the European Union as a bloc which is our largest
trading partner and foreign investor.
Over 2000 EU companies operate within South Africa creating over three hundred and fifty thousand jobs.
Africa’s relations with the USA and Canada continue to strengthen,
especially in the areas of economy, health, education, energy, water,
safety and security, capacity building and the empowerment of women.
renewal and expansion of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
provides a platform for the enhancement of industrialisation and
regional integration. All outstanding issues around AGOA are being
We extend good wishes to all athletes who have qualified for the Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro.
We encourage participation in several programmes aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles and nation building.
include the National Recreation Day, the Nelson Mandela Sports and
Culture Day; the World Move for Health Day, the Golden Games and the
Andrew Mlangeni Golf Development Day.
committee has been established to coordinate the participation of our
performing arts legends in nation building activities in the country.
Living Legends committee is chaired by playwright Mr Welcome Msomi
working with music icon, Ms Letta Mbulu, as deputy chairperson.
are also happy that musicians and actors amongst others heeded our call
to unite and have formed the Creative Industries Federation of South
Africa. The Presidency has established the Presidential Creative
Industries Task Team to support our artists.
To achieve our objectives of creating jobs, reducing inequality and pushing back the frontiers of poverty we need faster growth.
the National Development Plan, we set our aspirational target growth of
five per cent per year, which we had hoped to achieve by 2019.
the economic conditions I have painted earlier on, it is clear that we
will not achieve that growth target at the time we had hoped to achieve
The tough global and domestic conditions should propel us to
redouble our efforts, working together as all sectors. In this regard,
it is important to act decisively to remove domestic constraints to
We cannot change the global economic conditions, but we can do a lot to change the local conditions.
Let us work together to turn the situation around. It can be done.
I thank you.