Thabo Mbeki

STATEMENT OF THE THABO MBEKI FOUNDATION REGARDING ALLEGATIONS OF A LINK BETWEEN PRESIDENT MBEKI AND THE GUPTA FAMILY

In the last three weeks, we have noted news reports attributable to various persons claiming some link between former President Thabo Mbeki and the Gupta family.

We have agonised about this matter, avoiding to respond and thus descend to the lower depths to which the allegation desperately attaches.

Our honest and sustained attempt to avoid the gutter were nonetheless severely tested and strained by an ENCA news report which featured one Mr. Mpho Masemola, a representative of the ExPolitical Prisoners Association, yesterday.

Mr. Masemola takes the public into confidence about discussions between the Ex-Political Prisoners Association and President Jacob Zuma last week. He deploys innuendo in order to socialise accountability for an individual’s ethical judgement.

For the record, President Thabo Mbeki did not at any point introduce the Gupta family to President Zuma.

Even if it were true that President Mbeki had introduced the Gupta family to President Zuma, unless it is alleged and proven that he did so with an improper motive, he would not be held responsible for whatever may or may not have transpired thereafter between President Zuma and the Gupta family. For Mr. Masemola to suggest otherwise is in fact to accuse President Zuma of lacking the capacity to make his own ethical judgements.

We have also noted reports which claim that a member of the Gupta family served as an economic advisor to President Mbeki.

This too is false!

No member of the Gupta family ever served in any economic advisory body during the time when President Mbeki served as Head of State. It is nevertheless true that Ajay Gupta‚ served on the International Marketing Council board (now Brand SA).

Mr. Ajay Gupta joined the board of the then IMC by agreement of the board on the recommendation of then Minister in The Presidency, Essop Pahad, who rightly or wrongly thought that he had the skills, knowledge and capacity to facilitate the work of the Council – not because of his alleged proximity to the President. The IMC board reported to the Minister in The Presidency. Former Minister Pahad can further elaborate on the matter.

When he commented on the Supreme Court of Appeal judgment in the matter between the “National Director of Public Prosecutions v Zuma” on January 13, 2009, President Mbeki made, among others, the following observations: “It seems to me that the unacceptable practice of propagation of deliberate falsehoods to attain various objectives is becoming entrenched in our country. I am pleased that the SCA has provided firm leadership in this regard by insisting that nobody’s integrity should be impugned on the basis of untested allegations.”

Three months ago, on January 10, President Mbeki began publishing a series of articles intended precisely to address various falsehoods that have been perpetuated over many years. And now once again enters Mr. Masemola!

ANC Veterans Leauge

THE ANC VETERANS LEAGUE IS SADDENED BY THE UNTIMELY DEATH DR PHOLOGANE

The ANC Veterans League is shocked to learn of the untimely death of Dr Magang Phologane.

DR P as he was affectionately known died after a short illness on the 9 July 2019 at his home in Pretoria.

Magang Mmereki Phologane was born on the 2nd of October 1956 in Mochudi Odi in the Republic of Botswana. He relocated with his parents to South Africa at the age of four and attended his high school at Orlando West High School in Soweto.

Dr P left South Africa in September 1976 after he was recruited by the African National Congress (ANC) underground machinery as a student leader to mobilise our youth and students during 1976 uprisings. One of South Africa’s poet laureates, Mazizi Kunene, refers to them as the angry generation who do not run away from the fire. He says they are the children of iron, the fearless bees of the night, the wrath of the volcanic mountain, the abiding anger of their ancestral forefathers.

He was part of a group of 12 that was taken out of the country by the late Comrade Robert Manci through Swaziland. He spent a few days in Nomahacha in Mozambique before proceeding to Tanzania. As a student leader, his qualities were immediately recognised as he was appointed to be one of the leaders in the group.

He spent some months in Dar es Salaam before they were shipped to Morogoro, specifically, Magadu Camp as youth and student numbers were increasing.

Magang remained in Magadu for months before he was sent, together with others, as the first group of ANC cadres to complete their High school education in Nigeria. The conditions then in Nigeria were very difficult.

However, thanks to his leadership qualities, Magang was able to hold the group together, although they were deployed at different institutions.

Coming back to Tanzania after completing his studies, he continued to be a leader amongst our youth and student structures. It was at this stage that an unfortunate situation arose. An enemy agent in our midst, after being identified and caught, decided to implicate Magang and Sello Pule as among those he worked with. Thanks to the maturity of the ANC security and intelligence structures, they were not arrested but sent to Lusaka were this matter was to be attended.

Their case received the attention of the highest office in the ANC. President Oliver Tambo took personal interest in the matter because he had met both these comrades and believed this could not have been possible given the dedication and commitment on these cadres. Earlier, President OR had taken Sello Pule with him to the United Nations where the ANC presented the experience of June 16th uprisings, methodically outlined by those who did not only experience the event, but were part of the leadership of students.

After all the investigations were completed Magang and the late Sello Pule were cleared of any wrong doing. They were subsequently sent for further studies in Romania where Magang once more demonstrated his exceptional capabilities and obtained a PhD. It was quite unfortunate that the dark experience of being labelled an enemy agent took a toll on both of them. We unfortunately lost Sello Pule to a suicide.

Magang lived with that painful experience to the last days of his life. However, because of the brave focused soldier he was, he never once saw the ANC as responsible for what he went through. He was always thankful that, had it not been for the diligence of our movement, the enemy that robbed him of his youth would have achieved its cruel agenda to destroy him and many others in the safety of our movement. Dr Phologane was one of the most intelligent and highly talented cadres of the ANC. He was God’s blessing to our country.

He was one of the flowers that we, the ANC and people of South Africa, would have benefitted so much more from his God given talent, wisdom and skills. Instead, we allowed this flower to wilt and perish. He was a light that was hidden and therefore, what we know and saw was only a glimpse of the great and awesome contribution Magang could have made in the interests of his beloved motherland.

With the advent of democratic governance in South Africa in 1994, he joined the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as a career diplomat. In this capacity, he served in numerous portfolios including as High Commissioner to Accra, Ghana, a SADC representative in Gaborone, Director for the African Union and a Director at the Foreign Service Institute where he gave lectures to trainee diplomats. Magang also had some stints, giving lectures at the at the NIA and SASS Institute, imparting his vast knowledge and experience in the most amusing fashion. He would, in this regard quote the poet George Rebelo saying: “I shall forge simple words, which, even children are able to understand.”

Magang single-handedly wrote three volumes on Intergovermental Protocol which helped our new democracy to deal with a part of the confusion, challenges and problems of managing a decentralised unitary state such as ours.

In 1999, Dr Phologane was posted to Ghana as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. He took office when South Africa’s relations with Ghana were at their lowest under Jerry Rawlings. President Mbeki visited Ghana at the end of Rawlings’ reign when the rebuilding of the relations started in earnest. The Mission worked with the President’s Chief of Staff, who was Ambassador Phologane’s friend. The relations became so strong that President Kufuor attended nearly all South Africa’s National Day celebrations.

It was during this time that the Liberian talks were in progress. Different parties, big and small, were welcomed to the Mission. It was no surprise that the Mission hosted the Chairman of the Liberian Transition Council on the day he was elected. It was a diplomatic coup. Doctor P, would rise in our ranks to be this giant that he became. A brave son of the soil, a very unassuming character, a person with a warm character who we always enjoyed to be around. Every one of his acquaintances will attest that Dr P never suffered fools. We shall never forget his infectious laughter and his penchant for throwing a curve joke at will.

Dr Magang Mmereki Phologane is survived by his wife- Nelly Maki Phologane, two sons, mother, two sisters and a brother

He will be sorely missed!

Issued by Snuki Zikalala
President of the ANC Veterans League

ANC Veterans Leauge

THE ANC VETERANS LEAGUE CONDEMNS EFF ‘S THUGGGERY AT OUR PEOPLE’S PARLIAMENT

The ANC Veterans League is shocked and dismayed at the vulgar display of thuggery by EFF members of Parliament on Thursday, July 11-2019 , during the budget presentation by minister Pravin Gordhan.

While the country has become used to EFF rowdiness in the chambers of Parliament over the years, the crude attempt at intimidating a cabinet minister in Parliament marks a step-change in the EFF’s long-standing war on constitutional democracy. The EFF now stands thoroughly exposed as a party that has embraced far right wing principles and methods to attack the democratic doctrines that masses of our people fought and died for.

The EFF is indistinguishable from the violent Far-right movements sweeping across the world, replete with phoney militarism and racial hate as its key organising principle, reminiscent of the late and unlamented AWB. Any pretence at being an organised force of the left is now in tatters.

The behaviour of the EFF is emblematic of the paucity of intellectual and political gravitas in the ranks of the EFF. The gross narcissism and venality characteristic of its public ‘representatives’ is embodied in the self-regarding personality cult of its leaders, who clearly directed this cynical and contemptable assault in Parliament.

Left unchallenged, the Red Shirts may well turn into the Black shirts who brought war and misery to Europe and much of the world.

The ANC Veterans League condemns the behaviour of EFF unruly elements who have disgraced the people’s parliament and if not stopped on their tracks this will definitely undermine the authority and stature our parliament.

Comrade Pravin Gordhan is an ANC veteran and a champion in the fight against State Capture, for which the ANC Veterans League salutes him. He and other brave comrades have exposed and fought the rot that has infested the democratic state, including the theft by the EFF’s top leaders of pensioners money held by VBS Mutual Bank.

As veterans and stalwarts of the movement who stood up to the agents of state capture even within the ranks of the ANC, the EFF’s alleged corrupt leaders and fellow travellers are put on notice that Comrade Pravin and other ANC leaders enjoy the full support and protection of the Veterans League as they pursue the criminals and political fraudsters in the ranks of the EFF and elsewhere.

The ANC VL calls on the Secretary General of the ANC to publicly and emphatically denounce this attack on Comrade Pravin Gordhan and assure him of the unqualified support of the movement.

Moreover, the SG should urgently direct the ANC Parliamentary Caucus to invoke Parliament’s most stringent rules of sanction against the EFF for this violation.

The EFF ‘s disruptive and despicable behaviour should not be allowed to continue as it undermines our values and is a threat to our hard earned constitutional democracy.

Issued by Snuki Zikalala
President of the ANC Veterans League

Minister Pravin Gordhan

MEDIA STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF HON MINISTER PRAVIN GORDHAN

1.On behalf of our client, Min Gordhan, we lodged an urgent application today to suspend and interdict enforcement of the remedial orders by the Public Protector and also to review her Report, No 36 of 2019/20 – “Report on an investigation into allegations of violation of the Executive Ethics Code by Mr Pravin Gordhan, MP as well as allegations of maladministration, corruption and improper conduct by the South African Revenue Services” (sic) (“the Report”).

2. In summary, the application is undertaken for the following reasons:
In terms of the Public Protector Act, the Public Protector must justify or provide “special circumstances” to entertain any complaints regarding events or conduct that is more than two years old. Despite repeated requests for an explanation on what “special circumstances” she relied on for this investigation of matters from as far back as 2007, none has been forthcoming;
The Public Protector misunderstands the law to arrive at a pre-determined outcome relating to the powers of intelligence services. There is no legal obstacle to SARS establishing an investigative unit to deal with the tax implications of organized crime and illicit trade like cigarette smuggling. In fact, this capacity is being re-established thanks to the findings and recommendations of the Nugent Commission of Inquiry;

The Report ignores facts and their significance to reach its findings regarding the establishment of the SARS investigative unit. Among these are the discredited Sikhakhane panel report and its erroneous legal reasoning, the Sunday Times’ apology in April 2016 for its reporting relating to the SARS unit, Judge Kroon’s apology to the members of the unit for not interrogating the issues and making wrong findings, KPMG’s withdrawal of its report and refunding of the fees earned for it.

The Public Protector misapplies the provisions of the Constitution and applicable legislation when making adverse findings. For example, section 209 of the Constitution regulates the establishment of intelligence services. It does not prevent SARS from establishing an investigative unit.

3. The application by Min Gordhan also seeks to review and set aside the Report and have it declared unlawful, unconstitutional, irrational and invalid. (Part B of the Notice of Motion)

Part A
4. Among other things, the court is asked to:
declare that the Public Protector’s remedial orders are suspended, until the judicial review of the Report is concluded; and
interdict the Office of the Public Protector (first respondent) and Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane (second respondent) from enforcing the remedial orders until a judicial review of the Report is concluded.

Part B
5. In terms of Part B an order is sought in the following terms:

It is declared that the Public Protector, and Advocate Mkhwebane personally, acted in breach of their constitutional duties to be independent and to exercise their powers and perform their functions without fear, favour or prejudice.
It is declared that the Public Protector, and Advocate Mkhwebane personally, dishonestly or, alternatively, recklessly made her findings in the Report against Min Gordhan, in that they knew that the findings were false or were reckless as to their truth.
The Public Protector, and Advocate Mkhwebane personally, are ordered, jointly and severally, to pay the applicant’s cost on the scale of between attorney and client.

6. As Min Gordhan states in his affidavit:
“IMPROPER MOTIVE

“228 Finally, whilst I have great respect for the Office of the Public Protector I doubt the competence, integrity, legal literacy and constitutional grasp of its incumbent of her powers, duties and functions.

“229 Whilst it is unfortunate that these sentiments must be expressed, I maintain that the suspension and interdict will be in the overall interests of justice because I strongly doubt the bona fides of the Public Protector in investigating and issuing the Report. The Public Protector has confirmed that I am the subject of three ongoing investigations by her office, I am not aware of anyone who has been singled out and pursued by her Office in this way…

“231 Instead of dealing with the pressing complaints of citizens, she is using the office for ulterior motives or the political motives of others. My belief is that the resources of this esteemed office are best employed doing what it was constitutionally envisioned to do i.e. protect the public from ongoing maladministration and not abused for improper and blatantly political motives.

“232 The competence and credibility of the Public Protector and her understanding of the Constitution have already been negatively pronounced on by Courts. Above, I discuss in detail the adverse costs order that has been made in respect of her, the scathing critique by the Courts made against her and the applicants who have successfully interdicted the release of her reports, because she denied them procedural fairness, or have had those reports set aside on the basis that her findings were unconstitutional and unlawful…

“COSTS

“234 In light of what is set out above, Adv Mkhwebane should be ordered to pay the costs of this review application personally and on a punitive scale.

“234.1 Once again, she has demonstrated that she is unfit to hold the Office of Public Protector.

“234.2 She continues to ignore her constitutional mandate, act without regard to the provisions of the law and seemingly in service to some other motive or agenda.

“234.3 Her conduct is the latest example of her now lengthy history of acting incompetently, unlawfully, unconstitutionally, unfairly and unjustifiably.

“234.4 An adverse costs order would be one way for this Court to join in those earlier efforts to correct her approach to her important work.

“234.5 Indeed, her seeming lack of reflection on her role and powers in light of those other decisions is a further basis for the costs order against Adv Mkhwebane.

“234.6 The taxpayers of South Africa should not have to continue to fund her unlawful conduct.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

STATEMENT ON E-TOLL PROCESS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has mandated Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula working with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Gauteng Premier David Makhura to submit to Cabinet a solution to the impasse around electronic tolling on Gauteng freeways.

The President has noted and finds extremely unfortunate and deeply regrettable recent public exchanges between Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and the Gauteng Provincial Government on this matter.

The President says such exchanges on social media are unbecoming of their high offices and fail to provide the leadership required in this instance.

The public interest is best served through collaboration, not conflict, and the appropriate platform for leaders to express and reconcile differing views is Cabinet and other coordination forums.

The President has called on the Ministers and Premier to table proposals to Cabinet by the end of August 2019.

While the user-pay principle remains a policy of government, the electronic tolling system as part of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Plan (GFIP) presents challenges in its current form.

The President expects that the consultations within government over the coming weeks will produce workable outcomes.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

REPLY BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA TO THE DEBATE ON THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise,
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr Amos Masondo,
Deputy President David Mabuza,

Honourable Members,

Allow me to extend my thanks to all the Honourable Members who participated in this debate, and to the many South Africans who have shared their views on the State of the Nation Address.

I found the comments to be sharp, pointed, rich and most useful.

I was heartened by the comments that were made because they reinforced our conviction that we need a clear and common vision of the future.

Members wanted to know how, when, where, by whom, at what cost and why (or why not).

Through social media, in newspaper columns, in radio show call ins and in messages sent to the Presidency, South Africans became part of the SONA debate.

I received a moving note from one of the officials in Parliament who said:

“dear Mr Pres, those of us who want to see our country prosper, share in your dreams! When we stop dreaming our soul dies; when our soul dies we die. We should never give up on our dreams, least of all allow our detractors to get in the way of our dreams. So let’s keep our dreams alive for the sake of our people and our country! God bless you.”

The vibrancy and vitality of such engagements – even where we strongly disagree – is an essential part of our national character. It is our experience, over a long and difficult history, that it is only through dialogue, through the frank exchange of views, that we can arrive at inclusive solutions.

We share common challenges, we share a common future, and we need to forge a common path towards its realisation. It is fitting therefore that we should gather here on the anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter at the Congress of the People, the most representative gathering of South Africans in our history.

It is exactly 64 years since the 26th of June 1955 – on a cold winter’s day on a dusty piece of veld – when the people of South Africa gathered in Kliptown to declare for the country and the world to know:

“That South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people.”

From across the country, delegates came with thousands of submissions, written down on flyers, envelopes and scraps of paper.

More than half a century after it was adopted, the Freedom Charter remains the foundation of our shared vision of a just and equitable South Africa.

The Freedom Charter was a statement of extraordinary ambition, made a time when the majority of South Africans lived in conditions of repression, where their rights were denied and their opportunities for economic advancement deliberately curtailed.

They looked beyond the dire circumstances in which they lived towards a country that was fundamentally different.

They were articulating a dream that many people thought would never be realised.

As Honourable Nzuza reminds us, the truth is often first ridiculed, then opposed and finally accepted as self-evident.

That is precisely what happened with the Freedom Charter.

There were those who initially ridiculed and dismissed and opposed it.

Now it is the vision of the Freedom Charter that underpins our Constitution.

It is the vision that informs the National Development Plan and our vision towards 2030, and it is the vision that must inform everything we do now.

The State of the Nation Address was not merely about dreams.

It was about the lived reality of our people and setting out what we need to do to achieve the South Africa we want.

It was about articulating a vision and a direction for government’s programme.

Ministers will provide details on the programme in the budget votes of the various departments.

We agree with the Honourable De Lille, who observed that a State of the Nation Address shows us a picture and sketches a framework.

But it is up to us, she says, – in our public, private and civil society sectors – to make it work.

Guided by the election manifesto of the governing party, this SONA was about setting out the seven priorities of the administration, namely

– Economic transformation and job creation

– Education, skills and health

– Consolidating the social wage through reliable and quality basic services

– Spatial integration, human settlements and local government

– Social cohesion and safe communities

– A capable, ethical and developmental state

– A better Africa and World

As we said then, and as we’ll repeat today, building the South Africa we want starts now – and it involves all of us.

It starts with concrete actions that address both the challenges of the present and lay the foundation for the next 5 years, the next decade and beyond.

We are not starting anew.

Over the last 18 months, we have been on a path of recovery, working to address our shortcomings and put in place what is needed for inclusive growth and job creation.

We must continue on that path, but our actions require greater urgency and greater focus.

Right now, as several Honourable Members have observed, our most pressing task is to restart the economy and create jobs.

We are addressing this through our focus on ‘economic transformation and job creation’.

There are no short cuts and there are no quick fixes.

We need to do the right things, we need to do them well and we need to do them without delay.

The simple reality is that we need to stimulate growth in our economy to create jobs, to create opportunities for new businesses to emerge and to improve the state of our public finances.

We need growth to ensure that we can reduce our national debt, improve the reach and quality of social services provided to our people, and direct greater resources to infrastructure development.

This year, we are intensifying our investment drive because we have seen that it is producing results.

We are going to hold our second South Africa Investment Conference in November because we have seen commitments made at last year’s conference being implemented.

These are the investments that will, in the months and years to come, be creating new jobs, developing new supply chains and reviving local economies.

This is not a dream. This is reality.

We are seeking through our investment drive not only to generate foreign direct investment, but also to encourage local businesses to invest.

We also intend to crowd in local investors into various subsectors of economy.

We are working to become an entrepreneurial state that is able to crowd-in local private sector investment in certain sectors of our economy, collaborating on the development of master plans for each one.

We are committed to restore investor confidence through greater policy certainty and consistency.

We recognise that there are several areas where we need to move with greater urgency, unleashing the potential of sectors like telecommunications, tourism, agriculture and mining.

Alongside our investment drive, much detailed work is being directed towards reducing the cost and improving the ease of doing business.

This is a difficult task because it requires significant coordination and integration among a wide range of government departments, spheres and entities.

But we are making steady progress and businesses are starting to feel the impact.

A few days ago, my attention was drawn to a tweet that said:

“Registered a new company yesterday at 1:30pm. They sent me the forms & I sent them back around 5:32pm. This morning at 7:04am I got confirmation that the company has been registered & also registered for income tax.

“So quick and painless. Only cost R175 on the CIPC website.”

Several other Twitter users spoke of similar experiences.

We are determined to achieve our goal of being among the top 50 global performers in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business Report within the next 3 years.

A critical part of the work we must do to restart the economy and create jobs is a reinvigorated industrial strategy that effectively harnesses the capabilities of government, state owned companies, business and labour.

As Minister Patel indicated, this industrial strategy concentrates on economic sectors that have the greatest potential for growth.

It builds on the successes achieved in areas like automotive manufacturing, while seeking far closer partnership between government, industry and labour in developing and implementing master plans in each sector.

Our revitalised industrial strategy has a focus on expanding our trade and investment links with the rest of the SADC region and the continent at large.

In two weeks from now I will travel to Niger for an AU Summit on the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Here the nations of Africa will discuss the implementation of the boldest plan ever to promote the economic integration of Africa.

As the incoming chair of the African Union in 2020 we will champion the aspirations of the AU’s Agenda 2063.

Key to this is the movement of goods, services, capital and means of production across the Continent.

Expanding trade and investment ties with the rest of Africa underpins our industrial strategy and it is being pursued with vigour.

As the most industrialised country on the continent, South Africa is uniquely placed to benefit from a massive increase in trade across the continent.

We must work towards a time when South African-made goods can be found on the shelves of every store on our Continent.

We must look forward to a time when the goods that we import do not come across the ocean, but from across the Limpopo.

We see the greatest growth in jobs coming from small- and medium-sized businesses, which must be incorporated more deliberately into manufacturing value chains and benefit more from public procurement.

As Minister Ntshavheni noted, we have begun a programme to open up incubation centres in all 44 districts and 8 metros of our country so that we can support village and township enterprises in achieving sustainability and growth.

By using recent changes to our competition law, we will open up more opportunities for small businesses to enter new markets, contributing to a more vibrant and competitive economy.

Among the support provided to small business, government will soon be introducing blended finance for SMMEs, consisting of a combination of loans and grants.

This complements efforts by the private sector to explore innovative ways to finance both start-ups and small companies that want to go to scale.

Since the Jobs Summit was convened in October 2018, social partners have worked hard to establish systems and processes to implement the 77 measures contained in the Framework Agreement.

Over 70% of all projects are on track, with a number having already yielded outcomes.

The business process programme, for example, through a strong partnership between business and government, has created 6,000 new jobs in line with the timeframes and expectations of the plan.

Young people are being trained through the Installation, Repair and Maintenance Initiative in sectors like plumbing, electrical, automotive and infrastructure maintenance.

As we indicated in the State of the Nation Address, as several Honourable Members correctly observed and as millions of South Africans can attest, the secure supply of electricity is fundamental to our economic recovery.

The measures that we announced in February to end load shedding and place Eskom on a sustainable financial and operational path have, as Minister Gordhan outlined, seen improvements.

We are closely engaged with the situation at Eskom, assisting the entity with the implementation of its 9-point-plan, putting in place a world-class executive team, strengthening the board and setting out in detail a comprehensive roadmap for Eskom into the future.

We have done much to address governance challenges at several other state owned enterprises and have been decisive in tackling corruption and state capture.

We are supporting companies like SAA and Denel as they seek to manage their dire financial positions and work to implement sustainable turnaround strategies.

As we address challenges at specific SOEs, we are also working towards a new SOE landscape in which state owned companies have the expertise, leadership and appropriate financial models to fulfil their respective mandates.

State owned companies have a critical role to play – in tandem with the private sector – in driving economic growth and transformation.

In our recent engagement with the chief executives of some of the countries largest state owned companies, we identified the key challenges they faced and the impediments towards the effective implementation of their respective mandates.

We have agreed that we will work together through the Presidential SOE Council to address all the issues they raised.

We disagree with the view that the most effective and efficient way to provide services to our people is through the private sector.

Every single day, public entities are providing water, electricity, waste removal services, road maintenance and a myriad other essentials to South Africans.

To cite just one example: last year, the Post Office took over the payment of social grants.

Before taking on this responsibility, in April 2018, only 31,000 social grant beneficiaries were paid through the Post Office.

Last month, 7.8 million beneficiaries were paid through the Post Office, representing just over 70% of all beneficiaries.

The successful takeover of the distribution of SASSA grants by the Post Office is a clear demonstration that government institutions do have the capacity and capability to effectively implement projects of this magnitude.

It is perhaps worth mentioning that two of the finalists for ‘CEO of the Year’ in the 2019 HR Awards are from public entities – Cameron Sello Morajane from the CCMA and Keitumetse Lebaka from the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport SETA.

Together with many other CEOs in the public sector, they are doing excellent work and setting high standards.

A significant part of our efforts to unleash growth while advancing transformation is our accelerated programme of land reform.

By bringing together the portfolios of agriculture, rural development and land reform, we are establishing the institutional basis for a comprehensive approach to the economic development of our rural areas.

Through this, we will unlock the potential of the sector by removing constraints in accessing land, finance, markets and water and improving safety in our rural areas.

We are determined that land should be distributed to those who work and those who need it.

We will soon release the report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture.

This report will inform the finalisation of a comprehensive, far-reaching and transformative land reform programme.

Among the important tasks of this new Parliament is to finalise constitutional amendments to clearly indicate how expropriate land without compensation will be put into effect.

Parliament will also need to debate and finalise the Expropriation Bill, which deals with the modalities and the circumstances in which expropriation will take place.

Expropriation is as an important land acquisition strategy.

It is important because it enables us to conduct land reform in a pro-active and planned manner.

This frees us from a wait-and-see approach dependent on market sales.

Expropriation without compensation, in defined circumstances, allows us to do so at a cost that is reasonable for the South Africa people.

But we must not lose sight that it is but one instrument in a much broader toolbox to achieve agrarian reform and spatial justice.

Our land reform agenda also includes recognising individual, family and community rights to land in accordance with lived experience.

We want to make all rights visible and enforceable, and to strengthen institutions of collective ownership.

New technologies enable us to organise the rich diversity of institutional frameworks that exist in our country.

At the same time, we continue with the process of identifying suitable public land for human settlements and farming.

I am pleased that the Honourable Malema agrees with me that we will never resolve the social ills of our country without addressing the land question.

In the State of the Nation Address, we spoke about the establishment of the Infrastructure Fund and a new approach to building infrastructure.

This is where the partnership between the public and the private sector will find practical meaning as we work together through joint funding arrangements as well as in the deployment of skills, management capability and experience.

In line with our new approach, unions and communities will be at the centre of our infrastructure build.

We are working to increase the proportion of public spending that goes to infrastructure development – relative to consumption expenditure – so that our economy can enjoy lasting benefits.

In the transport sector, for example, the Gibela factory in Nigel, which is producing new commuter trains, is creating technical and engineering jobs among young people – a significant portion of which are women.

We will soon be selling trains to many other countries on the continent.

The upgrade and maintenance of the national road network is an important element of the economic stimulus package, contributing to job creation, access to local services and stimulating local economies.

The 26 road building projects that form part of the Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan will unlock total investment of R13 billion, delivering roads in rural areas and townships over the next 3 to 5 years and producing a total of 22,000 jobs.

These projects form part of a broader R70 billion investment in national road infrastructure construction and maintenance over the MTEF period yielding an average of 15,000 jobs a year.

All these measures to grow the economy depend on our ability to develop skills that are appropriate to the needs of an economy that is changing.

These skills we are developing for the youth of our country will be best used as we move ahead with inclusive growth.

Hence, our focus on the second priority of education, skills and health.

This is precisely why we are investing in the expansion of our TVET colleges and ensuring that their programmes are aligned with the needs of industry and tomorrow’s world of work.

It is why we are focusing greater attention on artisan development while expanding workplace-based learning through learnerships, work integrated learning and internships.

It is why, in the reconfiguration of ministries, we have placed Higher Education alongside Science and Technology, so that we can harness our substantial scientific research capacity to develop graduates that have the advanced skills required to take our country into a new technological age.

It is why we are emphasising the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths in schools, why we are introducing subjects like coding and data analytics.

We are investing in the National Health Insurance so that we can not only contribute to economic growth by keeping the population healthy, but ensure universal access to quality health care.

I will be attending the G20 Summit in Osaka in the next few days.

One of the issues on the agenda is global health and, more specifically, universal health coverage.

There will be a discussion on how countries can move towards universal health coverage, and South Africa cannot be left behind.

Honourable Members,

It is the most fundamental right of our citizens to live in safety in their homes, in the streets, and in their communities.

This why one of our priority areas is social cohesion and safe communities.

Crime is devastating our communities and tearing our social fabric apart.

Young lives are being lost to the scourge of crime, gangsterism and substance abuse.

Just the other day I listened to a community activist from Port Elizabeth, Mr Roland Bell, talking about the impact of gangsterism in his community, saying our next generation is dying out before it has even started.

We heard the cries of residents of Mannenberg at the gates of Parliament earlier this morning, who want the police to act against gangsters who terrorise their communities.

Part of our response is to increase police visibility, increase the number of trainee policemen and women, promote the sexual offences courts to address gender-based violence and femicide, and capacitate community policing forums.

We must also make better use of the legal instruments available to us.

In 2000, for example, we passed the Firearms Control Act, which was meant to reduce the easy availability of firearms.

Yet, while there was a decrease of almost 50% in firearm deaths over the next 10 years, fraud, corruption and resistance to aspects of the Act seriously undermined the ability of SAPS to effectively enforce the law.

Now that the Constitutional Court has confirmed that the Act is constitutionally valid, we look to the SAPS to renew their effective work to reduce the incidence of deaths and injuries due to firearms.

At the same time, we must recognise that violent crime is often perpetrated by people who are known to the victim, in the home, in schools or in the community.

This makes policing difficult, but it must be done.

It requires that we address unequal power relations in society, that we instil in young people a sense of responsibility and a respect for others.

It places a great responsibility on all of us – as parents, teachers, religious leaders, celebrities and MPs – to lead the way in resolving conflict without resort to violence or confrontation.

If we are to improve the lives of South Africans, particularly the poor, and if we are to foster economic development, we need to make local service delivery work.

As several Honourable Members have said, we need to fix our municipalities.

That is why one of our priorities is spatial integration, human settlements and local government.

I announced earlier this year that we have begun the process of stabilising and supporting 57 municipalities and implementing over 10,000 municipal infrastructure projects.

This is because local government is the engine of service delivery.

We also agree with Cllr Nkadimeng that a district-based approach to service delivery should contribute to improved coordination and a more efficient allocation of resources.

In local government, as in all parts of the state, where systems fail, there must be accountability.

Through interventions like the National Clean Audit Task Team under the Hawks we are serious about cleaning up our municipalities so they can fulfill their primary mandate – not to adjudicate tenders, but to deliver services to our people.

The report released by the Auditor-General about the deteriorating levels of accountability in our local government space is concerning.

It is in this regard that we support the call made by the President of SALGA that we should professionalise local government and enhance the training of officials.

The country’s largest urban economies must play a far greater role in job-intensive growth and poverty reduction.

To ease the cost of doing business, larger urban municipalities will radically enhance the reliability, quality and availability of basic infrastructure services, improve their land use management processes and ensure the coordinated management of urban transport and housing.

In line with our objective to restore not just investor confidence but regain the trust of our citizens, we have intensified the fight against corruption across government.

This is an important part of our priority to build a capable, ethical and developmental state.

We have restored stability in important institutions like the South African Revenue Service and the National Prosecuting Authority and improved their capacity.

The Zondo commission of inquiry is doing crucial work in establishing the extent of state capture.

Integrity is being restored to our national intelligence machinery as we act on the recommendations of the High Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency.

With the state being the primary driver of service delivery, we have, following extensive consultation, produced a new macro-configuration of government: merging some departments and doing away with others.

This is in the interests of cost-containment, cooperative governance and in ensuring state resources are more efficiently deployed.

We are also intensifying training and skills development through the National School of Government, because our success depends on a capable, professional and above all ethical corps of public servants.

Honourable Members,

These are just some of the measures we are undertaking – together with our social partners – to restore our economy and improve the lives of our people.

These measures are tangible, practical and achievable.

They provide a clear indication that we have both a vision for the future and a plan for the present.

They demonstrate that we are a government at work.

The seven priorities that will guide the programme of action of this administration over the next five years begins with implementation in the coming days, weeks and months.

As I mentioned last week, we are determined to do things differently.

The litany of a thousand outcomes will be replaced by a tight set of smart indicators for government to pursue.

These will be contained in the Medium Term Strategic Framework, which will set out the action plan of government for the next five years.

Each government department will produce a forward-looking and practical Annual Performance Plan that reflects our renewed focus on impact.

Each minister will sign a Performance Agreement by which they will be evaluated and for which they will be held accountable.

In the four months leading up to the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in October, we will also work hard to meet some immediate policy milestones.

These include:

• an action plan on an effective visa regime for tourism and high skill immigration;

• a policy directive on the release of spectrum;

• an integrated and comprehensive youth employment strategy coordinated by a project management office in the Presidency;

• engagement with organised business on the Ease of Doing Business Roadmap;

• a national action plan to tackle extortion and violence at economic sites, especially in the construction sector;

• ensure the Economic Advisory Council, the Investment Advisory Council and the Presidential SOE Council to commence their work;

• launching the Township Entrepreneurship Fund;

• finalising the Integrated Resource Plan;

• publish a Special Paper on Eskom detailing a roadmap for the entity’s future;

• presenting progress on the Public-Private Growth Initiative and the country’s investment pipeline;

• the development of Industrial Strategy Masterplans in validated priority sectors;

• release our approach to land reform informed by the Advisory Panel’s report.

At Nedlac, we are going to monitor the commitments made at the Jobs Summit as we work towards our job creation targets.

We are going to begin the preparatory work to review our macroeconomic strategy to ensure that our policy mix supports inclusive growth.

Honourable Members,

In preparing for the State of the Nation Address, I mentioned my wish to talk about a completely new city, with skyscrapers, schools, universities, hospitals and factories.

I was advised to put it into the section on ‘dreams’.

But it actually belongs in the section on a future and desired ‘reality’.

At the current rate of urbanisation and at the current rate of population growth, it is estimated that our cities will need to accommodate an extra 10 million people by 2030.

The question we need to confront is where these people will live. Where will they work?

We are already facing significant backlogs in housing, schools, clinics and social services in almost all major urban centres.

Every successive wave of people coming to our cities live further and further away from the centre, far away from jobs, far away from services and far away from transport infrastructure.

This situation is not sustainable and, unless we find effective solutions, it’s only going to get worse.

It is time to confront reality.

Honourable Members,

Before I conclude, allow me to pay tribute to three special groups of South Africans who have recently stepped out onto the global stage to represent our country.

Today, I want to pay tribute to the national teams representing South Africa in the Women’s Football World Cup, the Cricket World Cup and the African Cup of Nations.

I also want to applaud Sho Madjozi for winning the BET Award for Best New International Act in Los Angeles.

In Madjozi’s words:

“My story is testament that you can come from any village, in any forgotten part of the world, and still be a superstar. For girls that come from where I am from, which is Limpopo, I just want to say that you don’t need to change who you are, you can still be big.”

Despite setbacks and disappointment, these young women and men demonstrate a resilience and a determination that we should all emulate.

Even when confronted by great odds, they continue to strive for excellence, to stretch the limits of what people think they are capable of.

It is this spirit that should define our national character, a desire to succeed, to learn from mistakes, to never give up.

We should not force on ourselves a false choice between responding to our immediate situation and preparing to meet our future needs.

The future must built now.

We will not succeed in either addressing the economic crisis of the present or building an inclusive future unless all South Africans play their part.

This ranges from actions of individual responsibility – paying taxes, paying for electricity, participating in community forums – to broader social compacts, in which business, labour and government forge agreements on key economic actions.

Allow me to conclude with the words of Kwame Nkrumah that Minister Patel quoted in the debate yesterday.

They capture with great precision and potency what our current circumstances demand.

Nkrumah said:

“…the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve…”

We have a clear plan for the road ahead.

We have a clear mandate.

Now is the time for all of us to work together to implement it.

Let us always remember what Proverbs 29:18 instructs:

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

I thank you.

Issued by: The Presidency

Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise,

Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr Amos Masondo,

Deputy President David Mabuza,

Honourable Members,

Allow me to extend my thanks to all the Honourable Members who participated in this debate, and to the many South Africans who have shared their views on the State of the Nation Address.

I found the comments to be sharp, pointed, rich and most useful.

I was heartened by the comments that were made because they reinforced our conviction that we need a clear and common vision of the future.

Members wanted to know how, when, where, by whom, at what cost and why (or why not).

Through social media, in newspaper columns, in radio show call ins and in messages sent to the Presidency, South Africans became part of the SONA debate.

I received a moving note from one of the officials in Parliament who said:

“dear Mr Pres, those of us who want to see our country prosper, share in your dreams! When we stop dreaming our soul dies; when our soul dies we die. We should never give up on our dreams, least of all allow our detractors to get in the way of our dreams. So let’s keep our dreams alive for the sake of our people and our country! God bless you.”

The vibrancy and vitality of such engagements – even where we strongly disagree – is an essential part of our national character.

It is our experience, over a long and difficult history, that it is only through dialogue, through the frank exchange of views, that we can arrive at inclusive solutions.

We share common challenges, we share a common future, and we need to forge a common path towards its realisation.

It is fitting therefore that we should gather here on the anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter at the Congress of the People, the most representative gathering of South Africans in our history.

It is exactly 64 years since the 26th of June 1955 – on a cold winter’s day on a dusty piece of veld – when the people of South Africa gathered in Kliptown to declare for the country and the world to know:

“That South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people.”

From across the country, delegates came with thousands of submissions, written down on flyers, envelopes and scraps of paper.

More than half a century after it was adopted, the Freedom Charter remains the foundation of our shared vision of a just and equitable South Africa.

The Freedom Charter was a statement of extraordinary ambition, made a time when the majority of South Africans lived in conditions of repression, where their rights were denied and their opportunities for economic advancement deliberately curtailed.

They looked beyond the dire circumstances in which they lived towards a country that was fundamentally different.

They were articulating a dream that many people thought would never be realised.

As Honourable Nzuza reminds us, the truth is often first ridiculed, then opposed and finally accepted as self-evident.

That is precisely what happened with the Freedom Charter.

There were those who initially ridiculed and dismissed and opposed it.

Now it is the vision of the Freedom Charter that underpins our Constitution.

It is the vision that informs the National Development Plan and our vision towards 2030, and it is the vision that must inform everything we do now.

The State of the Nation Address was not merely about dreams.

It was about the lived reality of our people and setting out what we need to do to achieve the South Africa we want.

It was about articulating a vision and a direction for government’s programme.

Ministers will provide details on the programme in the budget votes of the various departments.

We agree with the Honourable De Lille, who observed that a State of the Nation Address shows us a picture and sketches a framework.

But it is up to us, she says, – in our public, private and civil society sectors – to make it work.

Guided by the election manifesto of the governing party, this SONA was about setting out the seven priorities of the administration, namely:

– Economic transformation and job creation

– Education, skills and health

– Consolidating the social wage through reliable and quality basic services

– Spatial integration, human settlements and local government

– Social cohesion and safe communities

– A capable, ethical and developmental state

– A better Africa and World

As we said then, and as we’ll repeat today, building the South Africa we want starts now – and it involves all of us.

It starts with concrete actions that address both the challenges of the present and lay the foundation for the next 5 years, the next decade and beyond.

We are not starting anew.

Over the last 18 months, we have been on a path of recovery, working to address our shortcomings and put in place what is needed for inclusive growth and job creation.

We must continue on that path, but our actions require greater urgency and greater focus.

Right now, as several Honourable Members have observed, our most pressing task is to restart the economy and create jobs.

We are addressing this through our focus on ‘economic transformation and job creation’.

There are no short cuts and there are no quick fixes.

We need to do the right things, we need to do them well and we need to do them without delay.

The simple reality is that we need to stimulate growth in our economy to create jobs, to create opportunities for new businesses to emerge and to improve the state of our public finances.

We need growth to ensure that we can reduce our national debt, improve the reach and quality of social services provided to our people, and direct greater resources to infrastructure development.

This year, we are intensifying our investment drive because we have seen that it is producing results.

We are going to hold our second South Africa Investment Conference in November because we have seen commitments made at last year’s conference being implemented.

These are the investments that will, in the months and years to come, be creating new jobs, developing new supply chains and reviving local economies.

This is not a dream. This is reality.

We are seeking through our investment drive not only to generate foreign direct investment, but also to encourage local businesses to invest.

We also intend to crowd in local investors into various subsectors of economy.

We are working to become an entrepreneurial state that is able to crowd-in local private sector investment in certain sectors of our economy, collaborating on the development of master plans for each one.

We are committed to restore investor confidence through greater policy certainty and consistency.

We recognise that there are several areas where we need to move with greater urgency, unleashing the potential of sectors like telecommunications, tourism, agriculture and mining.

Alongside our investment drive, much detailed work is being directed towards reducing the cost and improving the ease of doing business.

This is a difficult task because it requires significant coordination and integration among a wide range of government departments, spheres and entities.

But we are making steady progress and businesses are starting to feel the impact.

A few days ago, my attention was drawn to a tweet that said:

“Registered a new company yesterday at 1:30pm. They sent me the forms & I sent them back around 5:32pm. This morning at 7:04am I got confirmation that the company has been registered & also registered for income tax.

“So quick and painless. Only cost R175 on the CIPC website.”

Several other Twitter users spoke of similar experiences.

We are determined to achieve our goal of being among the top 50 global performers in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business Report within the next 3 years.

A critical part of the work we must do to restart the economy and create jobs is a reinvigorated industrial strategy that effectively harnesses the capabilities of government, state owned companies, business and labour.

As Minister Patel indicated, this industrial strategy concentrates on economic sectors that have the greatest potential for growth.

It builds on the successes achieved in areas like automotive manufacturing, while seeking far closer partnership between government, industry and labour in developing and implementing master plans in each sector.

Our revitalised industrial strategy has a focus on expanding our trade and investment links with the rest of the SADC region and the continent at large.

In two weeks from now I will travel to Niger for an AU Summit on the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Here the nations of Africa will discuss the implementation of the boldest plan ever to promote the economic integration of Africa.

As the incoming chair of the African Union in 2020 we will champion the aspirations of the AU’s Agenda 2063.

Key to this is the movement of goods, services, capital and means of production across the Continent.

Expanding trade and investment ties with the rest of Africa underpins our industrial strategy and it is being pursued with vigour.

As the most industrialised country on the continent, South Africa is uniquely placed to benefit from a massive increase in trade across the continent.

We must work towards a time when South African-made goods can be found on the shelves of every store on our Continent.

We must look forward to a time when the goods that we import do not come across the ocean, but from across the Limpopo.

We see the greatest growth in jobs coming from small- and medium-sized businesses, which must be incorporated more deliberately into manufacturing value chains and benefit more from public procurement.

As Minister Ntshavheni noted, we have begun a programme to open up incubation centres in all 44 districts and 8 metros of our country so that we can support village and township enterprises in achieving sustainability and growth.

By using recent changes to our competition law, we will open up more opportunities for small businesses to enter new markets, contributing to a more vibrant and competitive economy.

Among the support provided to small business, government will soon be introducing blended finance for SMMEs, consisting of a combination of loans and grants.

This complements efforts by the private sector to explore innovative ways to finance both start-ups and small companies that want to go to scale.

Since the Jobs Summit was convened in October 2018, social partners have worked hard to establish systems and processes to implement the 77 measures contained in the Framework Agreement.

Over 70% of all projects are on track, with a number having already yielded outcomes.

The business process programme, for example, through a strong partnership between business and government, has created 6,000 new jobs in line with the timeframes and expectations of the plan.

Young people are being trained through the Installation, Repair and Maintenance Initiative in sectors like plumbing, electrical, automotive and infrastructure maintenance.

As we indicated in the State of the Nation Address, as several Honourable Members correctly observed and as millions of South Africans can attest, the secure supply of electricity is fundamental to our economic recovery.

The measures that we announced in February to end load shedding and place Eskom on a sustainable financial and operational path have, as Minister Gordhan outlined, seen improvements.

We are closely engaged with the situation at Eskom, assisting the entity with the implementation of its 9-point-plan, putting in place a world-class executive team, strengthening the board and setting out in detail a comprehensive roadmap for Eskom into the future.

We have done much to address governance challenges at several other state owned enterprises and have been decisive in tackling corruption and state capture.

We are supporting companies like SAA and Denel as they seek to manage their dire financial positions and work to implement sustainable turnaround strategies.

As we address challenges at specific SOEs, we are also working towards a new SOE landscape in which state owned companies have the expertise, leadership and appropriate financial models to fulfil their respective mandates.

State owned companies have a critical role to play – in tandem with the private sector – in driving economic growth and transformation.

In our recent engagement with the chief executives of some of the countries largest state owned companies, we identified the key challenges they faced and the impediments towards the effective implementation of their respective mandates.

We have agreed that we will work together through the Presidential SOE Council to address all the issues they raised.

We disagree with the view that the most effective and efficient way to provide services to our people is through the private sector.

Every single day, public entities are providing water, electricity, waste removal services, road maintenance and a myriad other essentials to South Africans.

To cite just one example: last year, the Post Office took over the payment of social grants.

Before taking on this responsibility, in April 2018, only 31,000 social grant beneficiaries were paid through the Post Office.

Last month, 7.8 million beneficiaries were paid through the Post Office, representing just over 70% of all beneficiaries.

The successful takeover of the distribution of SASSA grants by the Post Office is a clear demonstration that government institutions do have the capacity and capability to effectively implement projects of this magnitude.

It is perhaps worth mentioning that two of the finalists for ‘CEO of the Year’ in the 2019 HR Awards are from public entities – Cameron Sello Morajane from the CCMA and Keitumetse Lebaka from the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport SETA.

Together with many other CEOs in the public sector, they are doing excellent work and setting high standards.

A significant part of our efforts to unleash growth while advancing transformation is our accelerated programme of land reform.

By bringing together the portfolios of agriculture, rural development and land reform, we are establishing the institutional basis for a comprehensive approach to the economic development of our rural areas.

Through this, we will unlock the potential of the sector by removing constraints in accessing land, finance, markets and water and improving safety in our rural areas.

We are determined that land should be distributed to those who work and those who need it.

We will soon release the report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture.

This report will inform the finalisation of a comprehensive, far-reaching and transformative land reform programme.

Among the important tasks of this new Parliament is to finalise constitutional amendments to clearly indicate how expropriate land without compensation will be put into effect.

Parliament will also need to debate and finalise the Expropriation Bill, which deals with the modalities and the circumstances in which expropriation will take place.

Expropriation is as an important land acquisition strategy.

It is important because it enables us to conduct land reform in a pro-active and planned manner.

This frees us from a wait-and-see approach dependent on market sales.

Expropriation without compensation, in defined circumstances, allows us to do so at a cost that is reasonable for the South Africa people.

But we must not lose sight that it is but one instrument in a much broader toolbox to achieve agrarian reform and spatial justice.

Our land reform agenda also includes recognising individual, family and community rights to land in accordance with lived experience.

We want to make all rights visible and enforceable, and to strengthen institutions of collective ownership.

New technologies enable us to organise the rich diversity of institutional frameworks that exist in our country.

At the same time, we continue with the process of identifying suitable public land for human settlements and farming.

I am pleased that the Honourable Malema agrees with me that we will never resolve the social ills of our country without addressing the land question.

In the State of the Nation Address, we spoke about the establishment of the Infrastructure Fund and a new approach to building infrastructure.

This is where the partnership between the public and the private sector will find practical meaning as we work together through joint funding arrangements as well as in the deployment of skills, management capability and experience.

In line with our new approach, unions and communities will be at the centre of our infrastructure build.

We are working to increase the proportion of public spending that goes to infrastructure development – relative to consumption expenditure – so that our economy can enjoy lasting benefits.

In the transport sector, for example, the Gibela factory in Nigel, which is producing new commuter trains, is creating technical and engineering jobs among young people – a significant portion of which are women.

We will soon be selling trains to many other countries on the continent.

The upgrade and maintenance of the national road network is an important element of the economic stimulus package, contributing to job creation, access to local services and stimulating local economies.

The 26 road building projects that form part of the Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan will unlock total investment of R13 billion, delivering roads in rural areas and townships over the next 3 to 5 years and producing a total of 22,000 jobs.

These projects form part of a broader R70 billion investment in national road infrastructure construction and maintenance over the MTEF period yielding an average of 15,000 jobs a year.

All these measures to grow the economy depend on our ability to develop skills that are appropriate to the needs of an economy that is changing.

These skills we are developing for the youth of our country will be best used as we move ahead with inclusive growth.

Hence, our focus on the second priority of education, skills and health.

This is precisely why we are investing in the expansion of our TVET colleges and ensuring that their programmes are aligned with the needs of industry and tomorrow’s world of work.

It is why we are focusing greater attention on artisan development while expanding workplace-based learning through learnerships, work integrated learning and internships.

It is why, in the reconfiguration of ministries, we have placed Higher Education alongside Science and Technology, so that we can harness our substantial scientific research capacity to develop graduates that have the advanced skills required to take our country into a new technological age.

It is why we are emphasising the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths in schools, why we are introducing subjects like coding and data analytics.

We are investing in the National Health Insurance so that we can not only contribute to economic growth by keeping the population healthy, but ensure universal access to quality health care.

I will be attending the G20 Summit in Osaka in the next few days.

One of the issues on the agenda is global health and, more specifically, universal health coverage.

There will be a discussion on how countries can move towards universal health coverage, and South Africa cannot be left behind.

Honourable Members,

It is the most fundamental right of our citizens to live in safety in their homes, in the streets, and in their communities.

This why one of our priority areas is social cohesion and safe communities.

Crime is devastating our communities and tearing our social fabric apart.

Young lives are being lost to the scourge of crime, gangsterism and substance abuse.

Just the other day I listened to a community activist from Port Elizabeth, Mr Roland Bell, talking about the impact of gangsterism in his community, saying our next generation is dying out before it has even started.

We heard the cries of residents of Mannenberg at the gates of Parliament earlier this morning, who want the police to act against gangsters who terrorise their communities.

Part of our response is to increase police visibility, increase the number of trainee policemen and women, promote the sexual offences courts to address gender-based violence and femicide, and capacitate community policing forums.

We must also make better use of the legal instruments available to us.

In 2000, for example, we passed the Firearms Control Act, which was meant to reduce the easy availability of firearms.

Yet, while there was a decrease of almost 50% in firearm deaths over the next 10 years, fraud, corruption and resistance to aspects of the Act seriously undermined the ability of SAPS to effectively enforce the law.

Now that the Constitutional Court has confirmed that the Act is constitutionally valid, we look to the SAPS to renew their effective work to reduce the incidence of deaths and injuries due to firearms.

At the same time, we must recognise that violent crime is often perpetrated by people who are known to the victim, in the home, in schools or in the community.

This makes policing difficult, but it must be done.

It requires that we address unequal power relations in society, that we instil in young people a sense of responsibility and a respect for others.

It places a great responsibility on all of us – as parents, teachers, religious leaders, celebrities and MPs – to lead the way in resolving conflict without resort to violence or confrontation.

If we are to improve the lives of South Africans, particularly the poor, and if we are to foster economic development, we need to make local service delivery work.

As several Honourable Members have said, we need to fix our municipalities.

That is why one of our priorities is spatial integration, human settlements and local government.

I announced earlier this year that we have begun the process of stabilising and supporting 57 municipalities and implementing over 10,000 municipal infrastructure projects.

This is because local government is the engine of service delivery.

We also agree with Cllr Nkadimeng that a district-based approach to service delivery should contribute to improved coordination and a more efficient allocation of resources.

In local government, as in all parts of the state, where systems fail, there must be accountability.

Through interventions like the National Clean Audit Task Team under the Hawks we are serious about cleaning up our municipalities so they can fulfill their primary mandate – not to adjudicate tenders, but to deliver services to our people.

The report released by the Auditor-General about the deteriorating levels of accountability in our local government space is concerning.

It is in this regard that we support the call made by the President of SALGA that we should professionalise local government and enhance the training of officials.

The country’s largest urban economies must play a far greater role in job-intensive growth and poverty reduction.

To ease the cost of doing business, larger urban municipalities will radically enhance the reliability, quality and availability of basic infrastructure services, improve their land use management processes and ensure the coordinated management of urban transport and housing.

In line with our objective to restore not just investor confidence but regain the trust of our citizens, we have intensified the fight against corruption across government.

This is an important part of our priority to build a capable, ethical and developmental state.

We have restored stability in important institutions like the South African Revenue Service and the National Prosecuting Authority and improved their capacity.

The Zondo commission of inquiry is doing crucial work in establishing the extent of state capture.

Integrity is being restored to our national intelligence machinery as we act on the recommendations of the High Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency.

With the state being the primary driver of service delivery, we have, following extensive consultation, produced a new macro-configuration of government: merging some departments and doing away with others.

This is in the interests of cost-containment, cooperative governance and in ensuring state resources are more efficiently deployed.

We are also intensifying training and skills development through the National School of Government, because our success depends on a capable, professional and above all ethical corps of public servants.

Honourable Members,

These are just some of the measures we are undertaking – together with our social partners – to restore our economy and improve the lives of our people.

These measures are tangible, practical and achievable.

They provide a clear indication that we have both a vision for the future and a plan for the present.

They demonstrate that we are a government at work.

The seven priorities that will guide the programme of action of this administration over the next five years begins with implementation in the coming days, weeks and months.

As I mentioned last week, we are determined to do things differently.

The litany of a thousand outcomes will be replaced by a tight set of smart indicators for government to pursue.

These will be contained in the Medium Term Strategic Framework, which will set out the action plan of government for the next five years.

Each government department will produce a forward-looking and practical Annual Performance Plan that reflects our renewed focus on impact.

Each minister will sign a Performance Agreement by which they will be evaluated and for which they will be held accountable.

In the four months leading up to the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in October, we will also work hard to meet some immediate policy milestones.

These include:

• an action plan on an effective visa regime for tourism and high skill immigration;

• a policy directive on the release of spectrum;

• an integrated and comprehensive youth employment strategy coordinated by a project management office in the Presidency;

• engagement with organised business on the Ease of Doing Business Roadmap;

• a national action plan to tackle extortion and violence at economic sites, especially in the construction sector;

• ensure the Economic Advisory Council, the Investment Advisory Council and the Presidential SOE Council to commence their work;

• launching the Township Entrepreneurship Fund;

• finalising the Integrated Resource Plan;

• publish a Special Paper on Eskom detailing a roadmap for the entity’s future;

• presenting progress on the Public-Private Growth Initiative and the country’s investment pipeline;

• the development of Industrial Strategy Masterplans in validated priority sectors;

• release our approach to land reform informed by the Advisory Panel’s report.

At Nedlac, we are going to monitor the commitments made at the Jobs Summit as we work towards our job creation targets.

We are going to begin the preparatory work to review our macroeconomic strategy to ensure that our policy mix supports inclusive growth.

Honourable Members,

In preparing for the State of the Nation Address, I mentioned my wish to talk about a completely new city, with skyscrapers, schools, universities, hospitals and factories.

I was advised to put it into the section on ‘dreams’.

But it actually belongs in the section on a future and desired ‘reality’.

At the current rate of urbanisation and at the current rate of population growth, it is estimated that our cities will need to accommodate an extra 10 million people by 2030.

The question we need to confront is where these people will live. Where will they work?

We are already facing significant backlogs in housing, schools, clinics and social services in almost all major urban centres.

Further and further away from the centre, far away from jobs, far away from services and far away from transport infrastructure.

This situation is not sustainable and, unless we find effective solutions, it’s only going to get worse.

It is time to confront reality.

Honourable Members,

Before I conclude, allow me to pay tribute to three special groups of South Africans who have recently stepped out onto the global stage to represent our country.

Today, I want to pay tribute to the national teams representing South Africa in the Women’s Football World Cup, the Cricket World Cup and the African Cup of Nations.

I also want to applaud Sho Madjozi for winning the BET Award for Best New International Act in Los Angeles.

In Madjozi’s words:

“My story is testament that you can come from any village, in any forgotten part of the world, and still be a superstar. For girls that come from where I am from, which is Limpopo, I just want to say that you don’t need to change who you are, you can still be big.”

Despite setbacks and disappointment, these young women and men demonstrate a resilience and a determination that we should all emulate.

Even when confronted by great odds, they continue to strive for excellence, to stretch the limits of what people think they are capable of.

It is this spirit that should define our national character, a desire to succeed, to learn from mistakes, to never give up.

We should not force on ourselves a false choice between responding to our immediate situation and preparing to meet our future needs.

The future must built now.

We will not succeed in either addressing the economic crisis of the present or building an inclusive future unless all South Africans play their part.

This ranges from actions of individual responsibility – paying taxes, paying for electricity, participating in community forums – to broader social compacts, in which business, labour and government forge agreements on key economic actions.

Allow me to conclude with the words of Kwame Nkrumah that Minister Patel quoted in the debate yesterday.

They capture with great precision and potency what our current circumstances demand.

Nkrumah said:

“…the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve…”

We have a clear plan for the road ahead.

We have a clear mandate.

Now is the time for all of us to work together to implement it.

Let us always remember what Proverbs 29:18 instructs:

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

I thank you.

Issued by: The Presidency

Thabo Mbekis Foundation

STATEMENT OF THE THABO MBEKI FOUNDATION ON THE FALSE MEDIA HEADLINE ATTRIBUTED TO PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI.

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation has noted widespread responses to media headlines which falsely state that “Thabo Mbeki wants action to be taken against Zindzi Mandela”.

On Saturday, President Mbeki answered questions posed to him by a journalist from the education desk of the Sunday Tribune. During the interview, the journalists asked whether President Mbeki had read Ambassador Mandela’s Tweet on the land question.

His reply was that he had not read the Tweet. President Mbeki, however, explained the discipline and culture of the diplomatic world in which, as representatives of the President of the Republic and broadly the Government, Ambassadors and High Commissioners represent official government policy; not their views and opinions.

This is so in part because the system of government, as indeed the fabric of foreign policy, would be seriously imperilled were officials to express their personal views as and when they see fit. This has absolutely nothing to do with Ambassador Mandela’s views or her right to hold her views.

Accordingly, President Mbeki explained that prior to taking action, if such action was contemplated, the President or Government would have to consider Ambassador Mandela’s comments relative to the positions of government on the land question. At no point did he call for any action to be taken against Ambassador Mandela. This is borne out by everything the journalist quoted from President Mbeki.

We would like to caution members of the public to beware methods of mobilisation by means of false, emotive narratives and caricatures of derogation. Such methods do not in the least advance public understanding of vital political and public policy matters. To the contrary, they whip up a frenzy which serves the interests of the system we need to transform for the benefit of our people as a whole.

Issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation

Brand South Africa

South Africa ranks 31 out of 180 countries in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index

Brand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s performance in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index (WPFI). While the country’s ranking declines by three positions to 31/180 from 28/180 in 2018, South Africa remains in a strong position in terms of its global position in press freedom.

Contextualising the decline, General Manager for Research at Brand South Africa, Dr Petrus de Kock notes that some threats were perceived to the freedom of action of journalists, which according to the survey includes cases where journalists were harassed or subjected to intimidation in cases of reporting on some sensitive issues including: government finances, redistribution of land, and corruption.

Dr de Kock adds that “while these are some of the challenges raised by journalists through the WPFI survey, it is clear from the country’s performance in the index that South Africa maintains an extremely free press environment. South Africa’s improved ranking since 2013 illustrates a systemic strengthening of press freedom in a democratic society.”

For a global point of reference, it is noteworthy that the 2019 WPFI reports that France and the United Kingdom rank just behind South Africa in terms of press freedom at 32/180, and 33/180 respectively. The United States of America ranks far below South Africa for press freedom, at 48/180. Two major African states Kenya and Nigeria rank 100/180 and 120/180 respectively.

“This means that in both a global and African context, South Africa performs extremely well in terms of press freedom. The relevance of this index for South Africa, as a transparent Constitutional Democracy, is that the country has the duty to maintain press freedom, and to enhance the rights of citizens to not only access information, but also to be free to express opinions in public without any fear of retribution, or state sanction. In a global environment where journalists often have to do their work in the face of fear and threats to their lives, South Africa’s high ranking in the Press Freedom Index enhances the reputation of the Nation Brand,” said Dr de Kock.

The WPFI ranks 180 countries for the level of freedom journalists have to perform their duties. It is based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country and region.

Fraud

New way of fraud

Door to door delivery scam, pls take a bit of time to read it: An eye-opener, indeed…
This scam is actually very cleverly worked out that you will not suspect of anything wrong:

The following is an account of the incident.
Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone saying that he was from a company called: “Express Couriers,” He asked if I was going to be home because there was a package for me that required a signature .

The caller said that the delivery would arrive at my home in roughly an hour. Sure enough, about an hour later, a uniformed delivery man turned up with a parcel and a bottle of wine. I was very surprised since there was no special occasion, and I certainly didn’t expect anything like it. Intrigued, I inquired as to who the sender was. The courier replied, “I don’t know, I’m only delivering the package.” Apparently, he said the sender would want to give you a surprise and a card would be sent separately… , it happened that my birthday was on the way also, so we thought could be from a distant friend. There was also a consignment note with the gift.

He then went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol, there was a R 257.50 “delivery/ verification charge,” providing proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult (of legal drinking age), and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone, especially a minor.

This sounded logical and I offered to pay him cash. He then said that the
delivery company required payment to be by credit or debit card only, so
that everything is properly accounted for. He added they also don’t carry cash to avoid loss or likely targets for robbery.

My wife, who by this time was standing beside me, pulled out her credit card, gave to him to swipe the card on a small mobile card machine with a small screen and keypad and asked to key in the verification code.

Frankly at this point we never suspected anything abnormal and a receipt was printed out and given to us, he then wished us good day and went off as normal,

To our horrible surprise, between Thursday and the following Monday, R 50,000 had been charged/withdrawn from our credit account at various ATM machines.

Apparently the “mobile credit card machine,” which the delivery man carried had all the info necessary to create a “dummy” card with all our card details, of course with the verification code.

Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on our card, we immediately notified the bank to stop payment, but already too late.We went to make a Police report, and was confirmed quite a number of households had been similarly hit.

WARNING: Beware of accepting any “surprise gift or package,” which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package. Also never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper
identification of who the sender is.

Above all, the only time you should give out any personal credit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!

PLEASE Pass this on, it may just prevent someone else from being swindled.

Public Servants Association (PSA)

PSA concerned as economy tumbles in First Quarter of 2019

The Public Servants Association (PSA), remains concerned about the continuing economic instability facing the country and the threat of job losses following the release of the first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) on 4 June 2019.

The decline in the economy by 3.2%, is the biggest drop in ten years and is much higher than the 1.7% drop that was forecasted by many economists. The PSA that represents thousands of public-sector employees pointed out that the decline comes at a time when the unemployment rate has already increased to 27.6% with the youth unemployment rate at over 50%.

The Union pointed out that South African are still paying for the compounded effects of fraud and corruption has on the economy. With the government announcing an ambitious target for the next five years to bring down unemployment levels to 14%, the PSA is concerned about the absence of clear plans to turn the economy around and stem unemployment amidst fresh reports of large-scale job losses in the banking, mining and various other sectors.

The PSA supports calls by the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) for the new Minister of Employment and Labour to ensure that more is done to prevent retrenchments and for National Treasury to intervene and assist those sectors that are already under economic pressure.