State of the Nation Address By His Excellency Jacob G Zuma, President of theRepublic of South Africa on the occasion of the Joint Sitting Of Parliament
Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly,
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces;
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP;Deputy President of the Republic, Honourable Kgalema Motlanthe;
Former Deputy President BalekaMbethe,
Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic, and all esteemed members of the Judiciary;Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Distinguished Premiers and Speakers of our Provinces;Chairperson of SALGA, and all local government leadership;Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders;Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions;The Governor of the Reserve Bank,
Leaders from business, sports, traditional, religious and all sectors,
Members of the diplomatic corps, Special and distinguished guests,
Fellow South Africans,Good evening, sanibonani, molweni, dumelang, riperile, ndimadekwana, goeienaand.
I wish to thank the Presiding Officers for this opportunity to speak to the people of South Africa, on thisoccasion of the last State of the Nation Address, of the fourth democratic administration.
I would like to extend our deepest condolences on the passing of the late Honourable Mr Ben Skhosana,one of the longest serving and most senior members of this august house and our former Minister ofCorrectional Services.
We are truly saddened by his sudden passing.
Sidlulisa ukukhala kwethu emndenini wakhe, nakumholi we IFP uShenge, kanye namalunga onke e-IFP.
Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP,
This is the first State of the Nation Address to take place in the absence of our founding President, HisExcellency Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
His passing, on the eve of the 20th year of our freedom and democracy,caused untold pain to our peopleand beyond our borders.We find solace in the knowledge that Madiba will live forever be in our hearts, and that we have a duty totake his legacy forward.
Our country has produced men and women of distinction, who have provided leadership during tryingtimes.One such leader was Mr Moses Kotane, former treasurer-general of the ANC and former SACP generalsecretary.
We are honouredto have his dear wife, Mama Rebecca Kotane, as our special guest this evening.Mama Kotane turned 102 years old yesterday, and we wish her all the best.
We also pay tribute to the former ANC President Mr Oliver Tambo, who kept the torch of freedom aliveboth at home and abroad during the most difficult times of our struggle.His son, Dali and his wife Rachel are sharing this occasion with us this evening.
We salute Solomon Mahlangu, a brave young man who went defiantly to the gallows in 1979 where hewas executed at the age of 23. He said:
“My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits offreedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the fight’’.
We are honoured to host his mother, Mama Martha Mahlangu and her grand-daughter Bathabile.
The year 2014 also marks the 40th anniversary of the cowardly murder through a parcel bomb, of studentleader, Abram Onkgopotse Tiro in 1974 in Botswana.We welcome his brother, Mogomotsi Tiro to this occasion. We express the gratitude of the people, for his brother’s selfless sacrifice.
We remember those who died in state-sponsored violence of the 1980s and 1990s in our townships andvillages.
Ms Jabu Ndlovu, a former shopsteward of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA),was gunned down in 1988 in Pietermaritzburg together with her husband Jabulani and their son.
We welcome her daughter Luhle and son, Sanele, and pay tribute to all families who lost their lovedones, across the political spectrum.
Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP,
We were able to overcome all that pain of the past and build a new society.
We have built strong institutions of democracy.
We buried the undemocratic, unrepresentative, oppressive and corrupt state that was serving a minority.We formed a unitary, non-racial, non-sexist democratic state, answerable to and representative of allSouth Africans.We created a thriving constitutional democracy, with well-functioning arms of the state–the legislature,the executive and the judiciary.
We have Chapter 9 institutions which support democracy and protect the rights of citizens.
Liberation and democracy have also created space for an active civil society and a free media.
Over the past five years, 300 new health facilities have been built, including 160 new clinics.Ten new hospitals have been builtor refurbished in Ladybrand, Germiston, Mamelodi, Natalspruit, eThekwini, Zola, Bojanala, Vryburg District, Swartruggens, Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain.
Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP
The HIV and AIDS turnaround is one of the biggest achievements of this administration and we are usedas a model country by the United Nations Aids Programmes, (UNAIDS).
Mother to child transmission of HIV has declined sharply and we have doubled the number of people whoare receiving anti-retroviral treatment, from one million to 2.4 million people in 2013.More than 20 million South Africans have taken the HIV test since the launch of the campaign in 2011which indicates confidence in the health system.
Life expectancy is now firmly on an upward trend. South Africans are now living longer.
The target for the next administration is to ensure that at least 4.6 million people are enrolled in the anti-retroviral programme.
We acknowledge the contribution of the South African National Aids Council for the hard work.While celebrating our success, we must not be complacent. The prevention work must still continue sothat we can reach that goal of zero HIV infections sooner.
At a broader level, we will enter a new phase in the implementation of the National Health Insuranceprogramme which will extend quality healthcare to the poor.Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP,
The overall crime rate has decreased by 21 percent since 2002 and work is ongoing to make communitiessafer.
One of the key focus areas is to eradicate violence against women and children. We have introduced anumber of measures to respond to this challenge.
These include the reopening of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units as well asthe Sexual Offences Courts.
We thank the many NGOs that promote the rights of women and children who contribute positively tothis important work.
Our country continues to be the target of rhino poachers.
Our law enforcement agencies are working hard to arrest this scourge. We have also reachedagreements with China, Vietnam, Kenya, Mozambique and other SADC countries to work together to stopthis crime.We thank the business community and all South Africans who participate in the campaign to save therhino.
The independence of the judiciary has been further enhanced by the establishment of the Office of theChief Justice as a separate institution from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.We have passed several pieces of legislation to support this new role of the Office of the Chief Justice.
Progress is being made in the transformation of the judiciary to reflect the race and gender demographicsof the country.The Chief Justice of the Republic continues to champion and lead this transformation.
Black judges (African, Indian and Coloured) now constitute 61% of all judges.However, the acute under-representation of women on the bench remains of concern. Of the judicialestablishment of 239 judges, only 76 are women.The challenge is to transform the legal profession broadly in order to nourish the pool from which female judges can be appointed.The finalisation of the Legal Practice Bill will assist to broaden the pool from which potential judicialofficers could be selected.Honourable Speaker and Chairperson,
South Africans are united in wanting a corruption free society. Fighting corruption within the publicservice is yielding results.
Since the launch of the National Anti-Corruption Hotline by the Public Service Commission, over 13 000cases of corruption and maladministration have been referred to government departments for furtherhandling and investigation.
Government has recovered more than 320-million rand from perpetrators through the National Anti-Corruption Hotline.
Some of the successes of the National Anti-Corruption Hotline include the following:
1 542 officials were dismissed from the Public Service.
140 officials were fined their three month salary.
20 officials were demoted
355 officials were given final written warnings.
204 officials were prosecuted.
To prevent corruption in the supply chain system, government has decided to establish a central tenderboard to adjudicate tenders in all spheres of government.This body will work with the chief procurement officer whose main function will be to check on pricingand adherence to procedures as well as fairness.The Special Investigating Unit is investigating maladministration or alleged corruption in a number ofgovernment departments and state entities, through 40 proclamations signed by the President during thisadministration. We will keep the public informed of the outcome of the investigations.
In the first six months of last year, the Asset Forfeiture Unit paid a total of 149 million rand into theCriminal Assets Recovery Account and to the victims of crime.
This is 170% above its target of 55 million rand and is higher than it has ever achieved in a full year.
Last year, the competition authorities investigated large-scale price fixing in the construction industry and fined guilty companies 1.4 billion rand. Further steps against those involved are now underway.
We have worked hard to strengthen support for the African Union, SADC and all continental bodieswhose purpose is to achieve peace and security.
We have also prioritised the promotion of regional economic integration, infrastructure development,intra-African trade and sustainable development in the continent.
This year we also submitted our third country report to the AU African Peer Review Mechanism which waswell received.
We continue to support peacemaking and conflict resolution.
Progress is being made in negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan on outstanding issues followingthe secession.Following requests from Sri Lanka and South Sudan for assistance in bringing about peace and reconciliation, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, has been appointed as South Africa’s Special Envoy to the two countries.
His expertise in conflict resolution and negotiations as well as our country’s experience in this regard, willgreatly assist the two countries to resolve their problems.
We will continue to strengthen relations with Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and countries inthe South.
Participation in international multilateral forums such as the G20 have been beneficial for the country.
And joining the Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) group in December 2010 counts as among the keyachievements of the fourth administration.It was also a great honour to host the Fifth BRICS Summit on 27 March 2013 in Durban, which saw theparticipation of African leaders to discuss developmental cooperation with BRICS.We will continue to serve diligently in the United Nations in promotion of strong internationalgovernance.
We will also continue promoting the reform of the UN Security Council and global financial institutions.
As President of the COP17/CMP7 United Nations Climate Change conference which was hosted in Durbanin 2011, South Africa successfully placed the world on an unassailable course, through the adoption ofthe Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.Compatriots,
Over the past 20 years we have hosted a number of international sporting and cultural visits, which hashelped to boost social cohesion and unity.
In the past five years, South Africa hosted the highly successful 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup and otherkey soccer, rugby and cricket tournament, which left a tangible feeling of pride and unity among all South Africans. As we celebrate 20 years of freedom, we will do so having done well in building a new heritage landscapefor our country.
A number of new museums and monuments were established, including the statue of Former PresidentMandela which has become a landmark in the Union Buildings.
More than 2000 geographical names have been changed in order to correct the ill-naming of places, aswell as to give communities the right to determine the names of their areas.
Allow me to acknowledge some of our compatriots who are making their mark in the world.
We congratulate Ladysmith Black Mambazo on winning their fourth Grammy Award last month. Wewelcome the group leader, Mr Joseph Shabalala, one of our guests this evening.
We also acknowledge Ms Yvonne Chaka Chaka who is one of our guests this evening.
She is doing a lot of good work as the United Nations Children’s Fund Goodwill Ambassador for Malaria in
Africa and also the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Special Envoy for Africa.
Ms Chaka Chaka was also honoured with the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in Davos forher humanitarian work.
We also recognise, in her absence, our Oscar Award-winning Hollywood star, Ms Charlize Theron.Ms Theron is also the UN Messenger for Peace. She also champions the fight against AIDS especiallyamongst the youth and young women.She was also honoured by the World Economic Forum with a Crystal Award.
You would have noticed that in this SONA we have given a report of the past five yearsin particular andover the past 20 years in general.
This is not an occasion to present the programme of action for this financial year. That programme willbe presented by the new government after the elections.
To prepare for that first State of the Nation Address by the incoming administration later in the year, wehave over the past year, been working on a Medium Term Strategic Framework.
The Framework has been designed as the first five year building block of the National Development Plan,from 2014 to 2019.
It also incorporates key targets of the Industrial Policy Action Plan, the New Growth Path andInfrastructure Plan.The intention is to table the draft Framework to the first Cabinet Lekgotla after the elections.
It will be refined by the new administration in line with its electoral mandate, so that work can start assoon as possible after the formation of a new government.
It has been an honour for my administration and I to build on the foundation laid by the first threedemocratic administrations, to serve the people of South Africa.
As a country we have scored many successes.South Africa is a much better place to live in now than it was before 1994.
We continue to face challenges. But life will also continue to change for the better.
Nkosi Sikelel’ i
God Bless Afrika.
I thank you.