ASSEMBLY, CAPE TOWN 20 June 2014

Honourable Presiding Officers,
Honourable Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Honourable Members,
Fellow South Africans,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to thank all Honourable Members for the contributions into the State of the
Nation Address.
We believe that we all have the same goal, to move South Africa forward. Your
inputs were thus received in that light and are most appreciated.
We have placed before the nation this week, a programme of action that we
believe will go a long way towards injecting new life into the economy, to drive back
poverty, inequality and unemployment. It is designed to boost economic intervention
in our key job and growth drivers such as infrastructure development, energy,
tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, the green economy and mining.
The programme is also designed to improve the delivery of services by
government and in particular to revitalise distressed areas such as mining towns and
service delivery hotspots.
It is also designed to strengthen partnerships between government and the
people, as well as government and all sectors including business and labour.
We have placed a growth target of five per cent by 2019 and will do everything to
move towards that goal. We need employment creating growth and we can achieve
it with focus and determination.
Honourable Carrim and Honourable Davies explained eloquently what we mean
by radical socio-economic transformation and economic transformation in particular,
to assist those Honourable Members from the Opposition who needed clarity.
Honourable Sisulu reminded the house of the services delivered by government to
our people in the past few years and the remarkable progress made in a short space
of time.
From houses, to electricity, social assistance and electricity, every year life gets
better for more people.
We will build on that progress to take the country forward.
Work will now begin in earnest to ensure the implementation of the work outlined.
Honourable Godi warned us about the gap between policy and implementation
and on the need to ensure quality and timely service. Indeed we are changing our
approach. We will use planning to solve problems that delay implementation.
We will next month launch an adaptation of the Big Fast Results methodology that
we have been discussing with the government of Malaysia, as indicated by Minister
Radebe.
The methodology involves setting clear targets and following up with on-going
monitoring of progress and making the results public.
Using this implementation methodology, the Government of Malaysia was able to
register impressive results within a short period.
In South Africa, we have renamed the Malaysian approach Operation Phakisa, to
emphasise its critical role in fast-tracking delivery on the priorities included in the
National Development Plan 2030.
The first implementation of Operation Phakisa will be led by the Department of
Environmental Affairs. It will focus on unlocking the economic potential of South
Africa's oceans, which are estimated to have the potential to contribute up to one
hundred and seventy seven billion rand to GDP by 2033 compared to fifty four billion
rand in 2010.
We will also pilot this methodology to improve service delivery in our clinics
nationwide, promoting Minister Motsoaledi's Ideal Clinic Initiative.
We want to find methods that work that will deliver results and we believe
Operation Phakisa may provide the key.
Honourable Members, While the economy will take centre stage in the next five
years we will also invest our energies and resources in improving the performance of
the state and in particular the public service.
We want government to deliver services faster, and more efficiently. More
importantly, we want members of the public seeking services to be treated with
respect, patience, understanding and courtesy.
The Batho Pele programme will thus be revitalised this term, accompanied by the
promotion of the new Public Service Charter, under the leadership of the Public
Service and Administration department.
We also intend to ensure that all levels of this administration treat complaints
management as a priority issue, so that we can achieve the goal of being a
government that is accessible and responsive to citizens.
When I introduced the Presidential Hotline in September 2009 my intention was to
contribute to a more accessible and responsive government.
To date, more than 190 000 citizens have logged complaints and queries through
this system.
The overwhelming response from citizens to this initiative has been positive, and
the Presidential Hotline has also contributed to government understanding how
important it is to have well-functioning and responsive complaint systems.
To further improve performance and inculcate a culture of excellence, the
Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency will
continue to conduct unannounced visits to service delivery sites in order to monitor
indicators such as queue management and waiting times, dignified treatment,
cleanliness and comfort.
The focus is on facilities where the public is directly served such as Home Affairs
Offices, South African Social Security Agency offices, police stations, health
facilities, drivers' license centres, municipal customer care centres, schools and
courts.
I must point out as well that many departments are already improving services on
their own. The Department of Health has established an Office on Health Standards
Compliance to help us improve patient care and has trained and recruited inspectors
as outlined by Minister Motsoaledi.
The Department of Social Development runs its own integrated service delivery
monitoring initiative, Project Mikondzo as outlined by Minister Dlamini. Communities
provide feedback on the services raised.
During this term all departments will mainstream public outreach programmes to
enable the public to raise their concerns and suggestions directly with government.
Indeed Government is improving the way it delivers services. A new culture of
accountability and seeking to do better is coming into being.
While a lot of good work is being done by public servants, some improvements are
needed. Management practices have to improve further.
There is a need to enhance skills development in areas such as financial
management. Shortcomings become glaring each time the Auditor-General releases
his annual report.
We agree with Honourable Members that part of improving the performance of the
state is to get government to pay small businesses and other suppliers promptly
within 30 days.
During the previous administration, National Treasury and the Department of
Performance Monitoring and Evaluation put in place a system to monitor the
payment of suppliers within 30 days by national and provincial departments.
There will now be more emphasis on assisting departments with large numbers of
invoices that are paid late. This will draw on case studies of the best performing
departments.
Honourable Members, The emphasis on radical socio-economic transformation
necessitates that we develop the necessary skills. The infrastructure and
industrialisation programmes of the country require more artisans, engineers and
other skilled professionals.
Honourable Manana outlined in detail the skills development programme of
government, including the Decade of the Artisan campaign aimed at meeting the
target of producing 30 000 artisans by 2030.
We urge the private sector to partner government and be ready to offer
apprenticeships in this initiative in line with the Youth Employment Accord.
Honourable Mokgalapa questioned the statement that we open one school a week
in the Eastern Cape. This has actually been a very successful and exciting
campaign.
The state of the art schools are built as part of the Accelerated Schools
Infrastructure Development Initiative (ASIDI), a national programme that addresses
infrastructure backlogs in the country, especially the inappropriate, unsafe and mud
schools.
The programme includes the provision of basic services to schools where there
are none such as the provision of water, sanitation and electricity. The first phase of
the programme targeted the building of 49 schools. As at 15 November 2013, 40
schools had been completed.
The first school completed, Mphathiswa Primary in Libode District, was officially
handed over by the President to the community on the 2rd of October 2012.
The programme to hand over one ASIDI school per week to communities in the
Eastern Cape was thereafter launched by the Minister of Basic Education in July
2013. Since then various Ministers, Premier, Deputy Ministers and MECs have been
deployed to hand over the beautiful new schools to communities. The programme
will continue until the end of this year.
Two schools have also been completed in the Western Cape while twelve
remaining ones are at various stages of construction in the province. The
programme is going very well indeed.
We appreciate the concern raised by Honourable Members about poor
performance in mathematics and science in some schools.
The Department of Basic Education has identified just under 100 schools that do
not offer Mathematics in Grade 12, and we are working with provinces to ensure that
all schools offer Mathematics as a subject.
All posts for mathematics, science and accounting teachers and subject advisers
will be filled as a matter of urgency in all provinces.
Government is also investing in science and technology training and research
development. From 2015 the Department of Science and Technology will invest an
additional R400 million per annum to support postgraduate students in fields related
to science, technology and innovation to guide and build a human capital
development pipeline towards a doctoral qualification.
The Department has also established centres of excellence in the universities of
Witwatersrand, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch and KwaZulu-Natal.
The centres of excellence have been established in areas that will assist
government to address several priority areas including mining, child development,
food security, energy and evidence-based decision making.
We now invest R140 million per annum in this programme.
The new centres will also increase the number of world-class researchers, and
attract and retain research excellence.
Honourable van Damme, your concern about education is noted especially the call
for more teachers to be trained per year.
Government's Fuza Lushaka bursary scheme enrolls students each year. We
need more teachers especially for the foundation phase. This means we should
market the profession to young people. The same applies to social work as a career.
We provide a bursary and need to attract more students each year to this field given
the social challenges in our communities.
Honourable Kubayi, siyabonga ngokukhumbuza kwakho intsha ukuthi kufanele
ibuye isukume izenzele izinto ingathembeli kuhulumeni kuphela. Maningi amathuba
okwenza impilo ibe ngcono manje eNingizimu Africa. Adinga ukuthi sisukume
sizizamele.
Honourable Members We agree with Honourable Councillor Nawa, the deputy
chairperson of the South African Local Government Association, that democratic
local government has made a significant contribution in the expansion of social
infrastructure and services to poor households and to development generally in the
country.
Indeed, looking back over the past 14 years it is clear that we have made
tremendous strides in addressing access to basic services such as water, energy,
waste, sanitation, transport, and human settlements at a local government level. We
have a good story to tell.
We will work with municipalities to harness the potential and ensure that every
municipal becomes a thriving service delivery centre for our people.
Honourable Meshoe you raised concern that we may be throwing money at
municipalities and not providing more solutions.
Tangible technical support will be provided which will include assisting
municipalities to prepare cash-backed budgets.
The municipalities will also be assisted with revenue collection strategies and to
improve governance through the establishment of functional accountability and
oversight structures and system, such as the Municipal Public Accounts Committees
and Audit Committees.
The fundamental purpose of the support will be to ensure that all are able to
provide simple services such as providing lights and water, cutting grass, ensure
functioning street and traffic lights, consistent refuse removal and credible billing for
services.
Honourable Holomisa we agree with you on the importance of appointing people
with the correct technical skills to municipalities, which is something that SALGA is
also committed to.
Honourable Dreyer referred to a tender board in the Presidency. The Office of the
Chief Procurement Officer is in the National Treasury, and we look forward to the
results of the piloted procurement of furniture for schools in the Eastern Cape in
August. We will draw lessons from that exercise to be used in improving centralised
procurement.
We appreciate comments such as that from Deputy Minister Magwaza-Msibi that
central procurement may lead to bottlenecks and unintended consequences of
delays in decision making and implementation.
We will be alive to all these possible consequences as we pilot the plan.
Honourable Jordan reminded us of the need to find African solutions to our
problems and the need to combat forces that can compromise African independence
in the continent.
As the African Union meets next week we will certainly fight for Africa to create
stronger institutions to solve its security problems in particular, for example an
African Stand by Force.
There is a need to strengthen the continental Peace and Security Architecture and
to redefine the instruments that deal with unconstitutional changes of government
and discourage illegitimate rebellions.
Thus we need to treat with urgency, the need to establish the African Standby
Force for rapid deployment in crisis areas without delays.
The African Stand-By Force as a vital mechanism of conflict prevention was
initially planned to be operationalized in 2008 and was deferred to 2013 and further
to 2015.
The need for an intervention brigade has become more crucial in light of the
situations of instability in some parts of the continent.
Honourable Members On the emotive land question, the situation as we have
stated before calls for cooperation among those who must obtain land and those
who must release land, as we have been reminded by the Chief Whip of the Majority
Party, Honourable Sizani. We need this cooperation as we speed up land reform.
Honourable Members Our programme of action is a call for all of us to put South
Africa first and do what is best of our country and for the future.
We have to jump-start the economy and that requires cooperation amongst all of
us in both the executive and the legislative arms of the state.
Failure is not an option. Our people have elected us so that we can lead them to a
prosperous future.
The National Development Plan outlines the future we want, a society free of
poverty, inequality and unemployment. That society is achievable if we work
together.
Honourable Members, One of the success areas of every nation must be its ability
to compete with other nations on the sports field. We have to improve our sports
performance.
It cannot be acceptable that we should be missing from the soccer world cup or
any other tournament in the world.
We cannot continue complaining forever about the performance of our sports
codes.
We must invest in school sport as the breeding ground for future excellence. This
also requires the provision and maintenance of adequate sports facilities in our
residential areas.
We have to ensure that the majority of our people are able to play sport and
participate in healthy physical activities.
I trust that Honourable Members will encourage their constituencies to organise
sporting events, leagues and championships and build more united and cohesive
communities.
As part of the empowerment of women and the girl child in sport, Government has
also launched the national Netball Premier League.
We urge all to support the development of netball and all sports played by women.
Honourable Members, on a sad note, may I take this opportunity to extend our
deepest condolences to the family of Metro FM Radio presenter, Mr Eddie
Makhosonke Zondi who passed away this week.
He has contributed immensely to the entertainment sector in our country
especially radio broadcasting and had earned a special place in the hearts of
thousands of radio listeners. May his soul rest in peace.
Let me once again thank all for participating in the State of the Nation Address
debate.
I thank you as well for indulging us when we requested a change in the date of the
SONA.
We are also grateful to the presiding officers for making this the first State of the
Nation Address debate in which both houses of parliament participate.
Having members of the National Council of Provinces has certainly enriched the
debate and has given meaning to the fact that the State of the Nation Address takes
place during a Joint Sitting of Parliament.
We look forward to working with both houses as we implement this programme of
action.
Together let us move South Africa forward.
I thank you.
Issued by The Presidency Cape Town

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