State of the Nation Address By President Jacob Zuma on the occasion of the Joint Sitting Of Parliament in Cape Town, on 14 February 2013.
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 President Thabo Mbeki and Mrs Mbeki,
Former President De Klerk and Mrs De Klerk,
Former Deputy Presidents Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Baleka Mbete,
Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic, and all esteemed members of the Judiciary;
Honourable Peeroo, Chairperson of the SADC Parliamentary Forum,
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;
The Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions;
The Governor of the Reserve Bank; Ms Gill Marcus,
The Deputy Chairperson of the National Planning Commission and Deputy
President of the ANC, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and all ANC Officials,
Leaders from business, sports, traditional, religious and all sectors,
Members of the diplomatic corps, Special and distinguished guests,
Fellow South Africans,
Good evening to you all, sanibonani nonke, molweni, dumelang.
Let me thank the Presiding Officers for affording me this opportunity to share our 2013 programme of action with the joint sitting of Parliament.
We greet all who are watching this broadcast from their homes and at GCIS viewing centres around the country, including those in Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Gugulethu here in Cape Town.
Let me also extend my gratitude to all who contributed to the preparation of this address. I received several messages via email, twitter and Facebook.
I also spent some time with Grade 12 learners who shared their own views on what should be contained in the speech. I found the inputs very informative and enriching.
Compatriots and friends,
On the 15th of August last year, the National Planning Commission handed over the National Development Plan, the vision of the country for the next 20 years, to the President in this august house.
The NDP contains proposals for tackling the problems of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
It is a roadmap to a South Africa where all will have water, electricity, sanitation, jobs, housing, public transport, adequate nutrition, education, social protection, quality healthcare, recreation and a clean environment.
The achievement of these goals has proven to be difficult in the recent past, due the global economic recession.
The crisis in the Eurozone affects our economy as the Eurozone is our major trading partner, accounting for around 21 per cent of our exports.
Our GDP growth is expected to average at 2.5% cent, down from 3.1% in the previous year. We need growth rates in excess of five per cent to create more jobs.
The National Development Plan outlines interventions that can put the economy on a better footing. The target for job creation is set at 11 million by 2030 and the economy needs to grow threefold to create the desired jobs.
In my last meeting with the business community, the sector indicated that for the economy to grow three-fold, we must remove certain obstacles.
We will engage business, labour and other social partners in pursuit of solutions. No single force acting individually can achieve the objectives we have set for ourselves.
I would now like to report on progress made since the last State of the Nation Address and also to discuss our programme of action for 2013.
I will look at the five priorities - education, health, the fight against crime, creating decent work as well as rural development and land reform.
Last year, I addressed the nation on government's infrastructure plans.
By the end of March this year, starting from 2009, government will have spent about 860 billion rand on infrastructure. Various projects are being implemented around the country. I will discuss just a few.
The construction of the first phase of the Mokolo and Crocodile River Water Augmentation has commenced and it will provide part of the water required for the Matimba and the Medupi power stations.
The construction of the bulk water distribution system for the De Hoop Dam began in October 2012, to supply water to the Greater Sekhukhune, Waterberg and Capricorn district municipalities.
We have to shift the transportation of coal from road to rail in Mpumalanga, in order to protect the provincial roads. Thus the construction of the Majuba Rail coal line will begin soon.
We have also committed to improve the movement of goods and economic integration through a Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistics and industrial corridor.
In this regard, substantial work is now underway to develop the City Deep inland terminal in Gauteng.
Initial work has commenced in the expansion of the Pier 2 in the Durban Port.
And thirdly, land has been purchased for the development of a new dug-out port at the Old Durban airport.
In the Eastern Cape, I officially opened the port of Ngqura and construction is now underway to develop a major new transhipment hub.
The Umzimvubu Dam is critical for rural livelihoods. Preparatory work has commenced for the construction to begin next year.
The upgrading of Mthatha airport runway and terminal and the construction of the Nkosi Dalibhunga Mandela Legacy Road and Bridge are currently underway.
I have asked for work in the North West to be fast-tracked further in light of the huge backlogs in that province, especially electricity, schools, clinics, roads and water in the next two years.
To improve the transportation of iron-ore and open up the west coast of the country, we have expanded the rail capacity through the delivery of 11 locomotives.
The first phase of the expansion - to increase iron ore port capacity at Saldanha to 60 million tons per annum - was officially completed in September last year.
Construction work is taking place in five cities - Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay, Rustenburg, eThekwini, Tshwane to integrate the different modes of transport - bus, taxi and train.
In the energy sector, we have now laid 675 kilometres of electricity transmission lines to connect fast-growing economic centres and also to bring power to rural areas.
In addition, government signed contracts to the value of R47 billion in the renewable energy programme.
This involves 28 projects in wind, solar and small hydro technologies, to be developed in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape and in the Free State.
We established an 800 million rand national green fund last year. To date, over 400 million rand investments in green economy projects has already been approved for municipalities, other organs of state, community organisations and the private sector across all provinces.
We have also rolled out 315 000 solar water geysers as of January this year, most of which were given to poor households, many of whom had never had running hot water before.
We have scored successes in extending basic services through the infrastructure programme. Close to 200 000 households have been connected to the national electricity grid in 2012.
You will also recall that Census 2011 outlined the successes in extending basic services. The report said the number of households with access to electricity is now at 12.1 million, which translates to 85%. Nine out of 10 households have access to water.
To prepare for the advanced economy we need to develop, we will expand the broadband network.
Last year, the private and public sector laid about 7000 new fibre optic cables. The plan is to achieve 100% broadband internet penetration by 2020.
With regard to social infrastructure, a total of 98 new schools will have been built by the end of March, of which more than 40 are in the Eastern Cape that are replacing mud schools.
Construction is expected to begin in September at the sites of two new universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.
Last week, we published an Infrastructure Development Bill for public comment.
We are cracking down on corruption, tender fraud and price fixing in the infrastructure programme.
The state has collected a substantial dossier of information on improper conduct by large construction companies.
This is now the subject of formal processes of the competition commission and other law enforcement authorities.
The infrastructure development programme has been a valuable source of learning for government. In the year ahead, we will fast-track many of the projects that the PICC has announced.
The lessons are that we must coordinate, integrate and focus on implementation.
The past two years have demonstrated that where the state intervenes strongly and consistently, it can turn around key industries that face external or internal threats as has happened in our manufacturing sector.
We have seen the revitalization of train and bus production in South Africa, largely because of the drive for local procurement.
PRASA and Transnet have committed hundreds of billions of rands to improving our commuter and freight train network.
The clothing, textiles and footwear industry has stabilised after 15 years of steadily falling employment. A clothing support scheme provides broad financial support, saving a number of factories and jobs.
On broader economic transformation, revised Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act and codes are being finalised. The development of black owned enterprises and black industrialists will be prioritised.
Government has several programmes of supporting small business. A key project for the Presidency currently is to get government departments to pay SMMEs within 30 days.
Departments are required to submit monthly reports so that we can monitor progress in this regard.
We have taken a decision that accounting officers who fail to execute this directive, should face consequences.
In the 2010 State of the Nation Address, I announced the Job fund, and three billion rand has been approved for projects that will create jobs.
Just over a third of the population is under the age of 15. Our country, like many others, has a crisis of youth unemployment.
Last May I asked constituencies at NEDLAC to discuss youth employment incentives. I am pleased that discussions have been concluded and that agreement has been reached on key principles. The parties will sign the Accord later this month.
The incentives will add to what Government is already doing to empower the youth.
State owned companies provide apprenticeships and learnerships and we urge that these be increased. We appeal to the private sector to absorb 11 000 FET graduates who are awaiting placements.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform runs the National Rural Youth Services Corps, which has enrolled 11 740 young people in various training programmes.
The Department is also planning nine Rural Youth Hubs per province, including in the 23 poorest districts in the country.
We will also use the Expanded Public Works Programme and the Community Work programme to absorb young people.
Working together we will find a solution to youth unemployment.
We identified tourism as one of our job drivers.
Tourist arrivals grew at an impressive 10.7 percent between January and September 2012, which is higher than the global average of 4% for last year.
Ironically, the very success of South Africa's national conservation effort resulting in over 73% of the worlds' rhino population being conserved here, has resulted in our country being targeted by international poaching syndicates.
We are working with recipient and transit countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and China and are intensifying our efforts to combat this increasing scourge.