Economic Sectors and Employment Cluster Briefing
29 Feb 2012
Minister Gugile Nkwinti, Rural Development and Land Reform, Minister Blade Nzimande, Higher Education and Minister Edna Molewa, Minister of Water Affairs briefed the media and replied to questions at the Economic Sector and Employment Cluster Briefing
[Note: The unrevised transcript was provided by the Economic Sectors and Employment Cluster Briefing]Journalist: I just wondered if we could hear more about the new city that is planned for the Waterberg Region. It has been mentioned but we have not seen anything in writing. I just wondered if you could elaborate for us. And then just in terms of the National Rural Youth Service Core, is it possible to give us a bit of a breakdown as to where most of these youths have come from, which areas. Is it across all 9 provinces or is it going from province to province. And then the other question that I have is for the Water Affairs Minister Molewa and that is whether the Waste Management Scheme focuses at all on leakages. I saw the other day that there is a significant percentage of water that is being lost through leakages. What is happening about that?
Journalist: I understand that the Labour Director General is here so if he wouldn’t mind perhaps clarifying what Government intends to do about the amendment bill dealing with labour brokers. I understand there is a deadlock in NEDLAC, how is Government going to take that matter forward. I also understand that a new proposal for the Youth Wage Subsidy was submitted by the Economic Development Minister at NEDLAC in January, perhaps he could clarify what new proposals are under discussion.
Journalist: What is the timeframe for tabling the new BBE Act? And then when Minister Nzimande, what is the deadline for your (unclear) universities and how are you going to go by attracting some of the country’s finest academic minds to the Northern Cape. And then Minister Molewa if I may get an update on the Asset Mine Drainage situation.
Journalist: Minister Nkwinte I don’t know if I understand it correctly but I have heard that all the farms that have been bought since 1994 will undergo this recap process, how many farms are those. Also when will the report of the SIU go to the President?
Journalist: Minister you say that the Draft Policy on Land reform will be presented by the end of March, is that to the Cabinet or to the public? What sort of time frames are we looking at for new legislation? Could you give us some idea of whether you expect that whatever emerges from the Draft will be significantly different what’s in the Green Paper?
Minister Edna Molewa: I will start with the easier one, the Asset Mine Drainage update. Ladies and gentlemen from the media, colleagues you recall that we processed a report last year that came from a team of experts after having assessed the situation of asset mine drainage. This report with recommendations were expected and adopted by Cabinet. Post that adoption Cabinet then allocated funds for us to deal with asset mine drainage. The situation was at that time not so good looking in the central basin in particular. The western and eastern basin was still not so much in danger and we still have some time to deal with that situation. Of cause it is not the whole time and we are not relaxing about it. The money we received from last year as you can also see that there is further allocation this year from Treasury. We used that money to construct the pipeline drawing water from the money that is still currently used money and some of the diseased mines in the central basin. That infrastructure is intended to help us to augment the system that is currently there in the central basin clean-up water. And remove metals which are extremely bad right now, to remove those metals and little bit of salt that is there not entire salt at this point in time. We are removing the salty part of that asset mine drainage but also pump the water back into our river systems. So that is what the situation was not good looking and was quite bad at the time. We believe that the decanting that has happened at the time is currently contained and therefore we are focussing on construction and finalising this infrastructure. We are told by those who are construction, I have personally not been to see the place, but I will definitely go. But they will conclude that construction of infrastructure of pumping out of decanted water by the end of March this year. We are looking to a further augmentation of the programme on the eastern and western side so that we can be able to do the same thing. But we are also at the same time looking at a long term solution that will then help us to be able to decide what technical solution, an ICT solution to use. But also secondly whether to clean that water to an extend of it being drinking water or just back into the system. So that is how far we are.
Secondly with the issue then the management let me just whilst I am there say to South Africans there is no need to panic at this point in time because all sorts of stories are being told. Look underneath the entire Houghton now there is water from AMD oozing coming towards you and so on, so there is no need to panic. We do believe that we are able to contain that situation. It is not the way we would like it to be but we did say it is a very long outstanding problem which was caused by the very old mines in our country.
There are two things to the question about waste management. I suppose you are talking about the waste water because there is a Waste Management Strategy which is about ensuring that as South Africans we really remove the waste in our society and community. That is waste management, recycling, reused waste minimisation. We have in that regard a process, a policy document, and a strategy through Cabinet last year of reducing firstly the waste generation, reusing, and recycling. That is part of the amount of money that we have been allocated to create entrepreneurs from that as well as that. We do believe that this is a one untapped sector which we can actually use. But at the same time cleaning up South Africa ensuring that we comply with our environmental legislation as well. But creating a healthy South Africa contributing to a healthy South Africa.
On the waste side which you were probably referring to, the Blue Drop Green Drop Programme that we are referring to in the statement has now touched all of our municipalities in the entire country. And we tested and inspected the Waste Water Treatment Plants that is the ones you are talking about. The leakages that are there we are looking at them. And as we do this work it helps us understand which waste water treatment plants are leaking, which are faulty, which ones are not functioning properly, which ones are not 100%. We give, the Minister’s area Ndlandle Municipality that got a certification, it means that it is actually (unclear). We go up to 98% that is the certification that we give. So those that are non-functional where there are leakages we help restore that infrastructure through a programme that is called ACIP Accelerated Community Infrastructure Programme. Which we give municipalities and work with municipalities through the funds we have to stop those leakages. But there is another programme of stopping leakages throughout the towns, throughout the communities that is now a separate programme of stopping leaking water. We would like to make an appeal to our society that if we don’t work together in ensuring that we stop the losses of water and the leakages. Leakages do not only occur through the pipes that are worn out but it also occurs through us just leaving pumps and taps open. So that whole loss of water is the one that we are really crying much more about as a Department, let’s help one another to help our country.
I suppose chair these are the two things that is had to deal with. Thank you very much.
DG for Labour: On the question of the Employment Services Bill. Discussions are still underway on an intense level at NEDLAC level. Necessarily there is no backlog because negotiations end around the question of employment services and it is still on-going. On the issue Youth Wage Subsidy proposals, I think we all remember that matter is also under discussion and consideration by social partners at the level of NEDLAC.
Unknown speaker: With regard to the amendments to the Black Economic Empowerment Act. We are on track to introduce the matter into Parliament in May. As you know Cabinet approved it for public comment which was in December and we opened it for 60 days comment. We have received about 40 major submissions on the Act, we are processing those submissions. It will be going back to Cabinet in the next 2-3 weeks thereafter it will be introduced to Parliament. So we are on track for May for the legislation to be amended.
Minister Blade Nzimande: Thanks Minister and colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. I must say on the Triple BEE Amendments I am very pleased about the elevation points for skills development. It is something that will take us a long way towards addressing these matters. Paula I am going to answer very nicely because I think your coverage yesterday of our press conference was very good. So you require to be rewarded by giving you. That is a lesson, for those who don’t cover us well they won’t get very detailed answers. Very briefly, where we are now and by the way the R300 million that the President announced in SONA for the two new universities. What we need to do is actually to complete implementation plans. Basically that would include I hope my colleague Minister Molewa is listening, environmental impact assessments which we hope will be speeded up. I think we are almost Minister if we not already submitted because we have also already visited potential sites in the two provinces. We also need to begin to set up, to begin to design the architecture of the initial buildings in the two provinces. As well as begin to set up what we may call the academic architecture which means your interim structures, governance structures and all that. Our own target is that either by the end of the year or at the very latest at the beginning of the year spades should be hitting the ground. Our target is that 2014 academic year must be the year that we actually start with these universities. That is how determined we are. You are asking a very important question on how we are going to attract academics. Obviously this will be part of the work that will be done by the team that is looking at the academic architecture as it were. But already we will have to actually to be using a number of sources. First of all you must remember there are national institutes of higher education in two provinces that are already in existence. For instance we have a TUT Campus we have the UNISA Campus and in fact not mistaken Vaal University of Technology, possibly I may be wrong, I need to check that. But there are some universities that have campuses in both provinces under the auspicious of the national institutes of higher education. Obviously those would be our first targets in terms of getting academics from. Inevitably we may have to attract some foreign academics because it is not that we have a surplus of academics in the country. But also as you know notice in terms of the increase in the amounts of money that we are giving for post graduate studies especially led by the Department of Science and technology. We will also be targeting those PHD’s and some other post fellows to attract them to these universities. There is also something else that we are exploring just by way of example it might not relate to these provinces specifically. For instance we are told that SAPREF, it is a combination of BP and Shell in Durban, they have a 100 PHD’s I am told just by way of example who are full time there. What we want to do is how do we also ensure that in places like De Beers in the Northern Cape who have PHD’s and doing research there how do we attract those even to do part time teaching. It is something in any case we want to do for the rest of the system. How do we make use of those resources to increase quality in our institutions? I hope that is as good as I can try and imitate your good coverage yesterday Paula. Thank you.
Minister Gugile Nkwinti: Let’s start with the new city. The New City Project is linked to the Minerals Unlocking Project that we started in Limpopo. So they are linked because we have to construct roads (speaking off the mic) and all related infrastructure, will then spring out of those projects. In other words there wouldn’t a city (speaking off the mic). The second point question was on the (speaking off the mic), where the come from, they come from rural places across the provinces. You see this is a very interesting question because the, let’s take a rural province like KwaZulu-Natal. KwaZulu-Natal has a project (speaking off the mic). Now that is a very important project in that province, introducing, I am talking about where they come from. Part of the challenge is that there is an existing programme and we are introducing our own programme. Because we are training them for a long time, 4 year period engagement with them. Stipend R60 per day, it is a stipend, KwaZulu-Natal ambassadors R90 a day. So introducing that has had to have a lot of discussions between us and them to say we can’t go that route to because we have to train them. We work together with Minister Nzimande’s FET Colleges. One they finish that one, like now they just finished now, the last group will finish end of March. When they finish that because they go into practical 30% of the trainees, they go for another 6 months training (speaking off the mic). So we will reach that point but in a different way in KwaZulu-Natal, so that is it impact on the intake in Kwazulu-Natal. Same challenge in Free State we have 362 from Free State. We are looking at KwaZulu-Natal sorry to finish that, the intake was 1000 last year to cover (speaking off the mic) which was there. Created by the inability between us, it is actually models and objectives as well. Free State we also had a lot of difficulty, we recruited through just open invitation but in the Free State we had more than 500 youngsters who wanted to come in we ended up with 362. Reason being that Governments in the Free State wants to be involved, we said fine does it just like KwaZulu-Natal. So where we have that kind of challenge the process of intake is very slow whereas where you have in other places in the Eastern Cape very poor response in the first round. So you find those discrepancies and then you make for that when you have another group coming up. Limpopo, Mpumalanga and so quite good provinces, very sluggish North West, Northern Cape, but all provinces are involved. I don’t know what is happening now with the 1500 in take that is going to (speaking off the mic); I hope that in Limpopo in the Northern Cape and North West we will find it easy.
The other thing has to do with the state of colleges. I think we must actually thank Minister Nzimande foe the Skills Development Fund. This programme has actually revealed an immense need for capitalising FET Colleges. Because there you can see the intake but the dedication of the youngsters who want to learn. We have more than 4000 of them now who are finishing off end of March the first 30% of the training. But the conditions there really need to be, I support them when they ask for money for improving or capitalising FET Colleges, I support that very strongly. So they come from all provinces, thanks for the question. I think very important for people out there because we get a lot of enquiries.
Then there is the farms, of the 595 that have been recapped we have about 1307 of those farms that we still have to (speaking off the mic). Remember since we started with recap anyone that is new immediately retain the status (speaking off the mic). So we still have a little bit of a way to go but we are getting closer.
The SIU Report to the President, why did you ask this question. The SIU investigations in our Department, we requested the President to approve this investigation. Because we had experiences negative experiences in the Land Reform Programme (speaking off the mic). We did a scoping exercise in which it became clear that there are problems and challenges and we needed to investigate. Surely you know we will have to get a full report and then present that to the President and then after that we will make it public. For now they are still working, the investigations are on-going, there is no report yet. What you have is what we said in the report it is a scoping exercise (speaking off the mic). We can’t make that public because that is the basis for us determining the kind of investigation that is needed.
The Land Reform Programme, you know I like to use the dark thing. It is like a duck in a pond it looks very settled but underneath it’s paddling a lot. We have 6 working groups I don’t know who are part of the working groups. Sometimes I speak to audiences and they say I am part of the working group. We have 6 working groups; just in case someone is here they will talk to it. One of them is dealing with the Land Management Commission, quite advance. So we are going to, I think that report I want to comment the DG soon that report will be on our website (speaking off the mic). The way we are approaching the Green Paper Policy Process is that we have 6 teams we are likely to have 6 policy perspectives with legislation (speaking off the mic). So the Land Management Commission advanced work done by that working group which is very representative. It has Agri South Africa, TAU, Agri Business Chamber, NAFU, AVASA, FAWU that is Food and Allied Workers Union. We have traditional leadership there, we have academics and so on, and it is quite a representative group (speaking off the mic). So what come out of that we have a high level team that looks that the alignment between what is coming out of the public process and look at that to aligning that with the framework of the Green Paper and the principles in the constitution. So we have those processes moving together at the same time.
The second one is Land Rights Management; Agri South Africa’s view is that this should be piloted even before we have a policy on it. It looks they think there is a huge potential there to solve problems between farmers and workers. The Land Rights Management Board which is an institution we think will go a long way helping the relations between farmer and farm worker in so far in dealing with the eviction issue. So that is the second one the third one is the value general which has made a lot of advance in terms of progress. Policy legislation strategy that too might be out soon. Because this is public processes that still needs to come back to Cabinet. That is the process we think will culminate in presenting policy proposal legislation. The Value General that institution we think will help us moderate the price of land because in South Africa you have just the free market mechanism. It simply into the willing buyer willing seller model. The State is not a willing buyer it is a compelled buyer because it has to fulfil a political and historical mandate to redistribute land amongst South Africans in terms of the prescripts of the Freedom Charter the land belongs to all who live in it black and white. So we have to achieve that objective, so we are not a willing buyer we are a compelled buyer as the State. That is the problem. So the Value General’s Office is going to deal with that a disjunction which is caused by the entry of the State in the market and then shooting up the prices, we want to keep the prices level. So that is moving well it will also come out soon. Then the (speaking off the mic), there is a lot of progress. We have agreed with traditional leaders in the form of CONDOLESA (sic) on the principles. We presented the model to them which we will have two systems running at the same time maybe more. But two strong ones tradition and democracy. We are building complementary between the two and that is how the system works. To recognise the tradition but also taking into account that (speaking off the mic) was nullified, (speaking off the mic). Then there is a fifth one that is legislation, constitution legislation. CPA’s that are not managed properly CPA’s which actually communities within communities (speaking off the mic). So there is a lot of work done on that. Those are the 6 works streams, so I am saying that is going to be very different to what we have now. If you look at the Land Rights Management Board there is no such institution, the Land Management Commission which is going to actually strengthen these three institutions in South Africa. So those three institutions will be new institutions all together, so very different to what we have. Legislation will come with all of that. So there will be new legislation because our view is that you cannot transform society without new institutions supporting that transformation process. That has been the weakness up to now, absence of institutions to support the effort of transformation and relations in the country.
Minister Blade Nzimande: Can I just add one important matter that I left out. On this question of where we are going to get academics because I think this is an important one. Higher Education South Africa which is an association of vice chancellors are reviewing the retirement age of academics because part of well some of the areas in which we are bringing academics to the new institutions would be from retired academics. In many parts of the world academics don’t have a retirement age, not a bad idea some professors at 80 years they are as sharp as anything. Especially also to use those to train younger academics so that is another source we are looking at because some universities in South Africa academics retire at 60 years so I just forgot to mention that. Some presidents can run for elections at 85 years so I can still get academics at that age. Thank you very much.
Journalist: The Minister of Finance said in his budget speech that 4000 outstanding land claims would be completed during the medium term financial expenditure. Do you think that is an achievable objective that has been set up given the fact that there have been delays in the land restitution program?
Journalist: My first question is to the DG it relates to the plans to move fisheries to Pretoria. We just received a statement from the Minister which seems quite political in nature so my first question was it a political decision to think about moving fisheries? And then secondly was a costing exercise done clearly you have to move officials and it is not a small number. My second question is to Minister Molewa I just want to know whether there is water for this Waterberg and Steelpoort Project are there plans to divert water there water that may actually be allocated or earmarked for households. And then to Minister Nkwinti I just want to know whether you consider the willing buyer/willing seller impediment or the greatest impediment to the land reform process.
Journalist: Follow on question. Recently speaking to the Deputy Minister he said that the department itself was a major stumbling block for land reform as well if you could just comment on that Minister Nkwinti. And then to the panel on pg 9 it says that a key challenge has been finding workplace experience for learner artisans. I just like to get your thoughts on the decision in the recent budget to delay the youth wage subsidy and whether there is going to be increasing pressure to actually implement that. Do you think that subsidy might actually remove this exact challenge, thank you?
Journalist: Minister Nkwinti given the hullabaloo over the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Pieter Mulder just recently in parliament and given the context of a very real constituency of dissatisfaction in the commercial agricultural community largely Afrikaans white farmers. Do you see the commercial farming as a political problem and what is being done about the clear problem of these farmers having vast holdings of land which are now rendered worthless rather than expensive because they feel threatened in their land holdings and they are not reinvesting in large areas of the country. Is the Deputy Minister of Agriculture’s perspectives being included?
Journalist: To the Minister of Higher Education just a follow up are there any specific countries you are targeting to include academics. Also Higher Education South Africa has indicated that university fees are going to keep rising in the coming years because government has cut subsidies to universities. Is there any work you are doing in that area towards development? Your DG yesterday told a portfolio committee that there are some 12 senior managers in your department who are aware of this and what action are you taking against them.
Journalist: My question relates to the statement that says of efforts to promote South African mining it says here Zimbabwe is in the process of forcing a number of South African miners Impala among them to sell 51% of their shares. Has this issue been discussed within the cluster? Have there been any talks between South Africa’s government and Zimbabwe’s government on this issue? Is it your view that this provision is complicit with the mutual investment promotion treaty that was signed in 2009 between South Africa and Zimbabwe?
Journalist: Minister of Land Reform what is the status of the land audits and when do you envisage completing that.
Minister Gugile Nkwinti: We’ve got 8770 how we came to that figure because when we appoint a deputy land claims commissioner in fact he said to me Minister I found here in Pretoria more than 3000 claims that were unprocessed that has been the story and perhaps it is linked because if you have that situation where you know one understanding is a reality. What we do now we took 850 youth we have a program and we train them and put them in the provinces. Of the 9 provinces we finished 7 and those that we finished now we’ve got 6000 because they were doing scanning and manual counting. Scanning every document and manual counting because we are moving towards certainty now and it was 6000 already we had 7 out of the 9 we are already approaching the 8000 mark. So you can have a sense in my mind right now I think we are much closer to the real figure when we talk about 8770. Once we finish that project we are targeting to finish the end of the month then I will know this figure comes from scanning and the manual counting. The Western Cape is part of the scanning so it is a complex thing but we are getting there. Over the MTF period it is possible actually because what the problem with this thing if you don’t know exactly what you are dealing with you will have a problem. The amount of money we are going to get this year is about R4bn for land restitution whereas it was about two years back I discussed with him and said look this is a matter we think should be expanded other than give us R4bn to do the land restitution because we can make choices there. Remember the rate at which we are settling now is very high check our stats we are busy signing off about 16 of these and it is generally except for three, land restoration this is another very important thing that you should take into account. So we can actually do this thing.
The other one is willing buyer/willing seller, it is not worst impediment, worst impediment when you sell the same land to the state the price kicks up so there is a problem. So if its willing buyer/willing seller fine but a willing seller compared to buyer is not fine. That is why we have to deal with it and level the playing fields so to speak.
The status of the land audit we have a team of 228 people working on the land audit we think by end of March we want the report because we have targeted the end of March but because a lot of work has been done we could give an extension to the end of June. I think they have done about five provinces the real debate is how much land is in the hands of the state in the form of land areas and therefore how much land still needs to be transferred. (Inaudible) When we say audit of land it is state land but that doesn’t tell you how much land transacts between persons and private markets so therefore you add that to the number of farms or land transferred from white commercial farmers to black farmers. The 30% we are talking about is 24.5 million hectares of land of those 82m hectares of land that is commercial and agricultural land that is what we are talking about. When the President says 8.2% that has been transferred he means of 8.2% of 82m hectares of land. Talking targets it does confuse actually because if tomorrow you are you going to report on this remember this it is 82m hectares of land that is agricultural land that is presumed to be in the hands of white commercial farmers, two 30% target by 2014, 30% is 24.5m hectares of that 82m hectares of land, three when the President talks about 8.2% transfer he talks about 8.2% of the 82m hectares of land. Now of that 30%, 6.7m hectares of land have been transferred that includes restitution and redistribution. So that is really the confusion around the debate about land. We therefore need to disaggregate the ownership of land if we are to answer the question raised by Mr Mulder and others. Of the land that is transacted in the country within and outside the state how many of them are black in order for us to get that information we have to work and collaborate with home affairs and that project has started. The second question is there is land that is held by the companies now in order for us to get that land we have to work with DTI the trust we have to work with the master of the high court so we are forced to do that so if we are to answer the question that is asked there about how much land is really transacted within and outside the state we have to do all of that exercise. Right now what we are doing is auditing the land in terms of state and public ownership because when we start moving into that disaggregation of race and companies going to DTI and trusts going to the master these are exercises that we want to do but they don’t answer the question that we are dealing with in terms of the audit now. Therefore I have laid the context of answering the question about Doctor Mulder the issue of his comment related to a misunderstanding of the history and the effect of the history. It also related to the abuse of a concept called bantu not the use the abuse of that therefore it is a political issue so it is not really something you can address through a green paper it is a political issue. Now the farmers who are not moving it has to do also with the model for restitution that we use in most cases it has to do with the price of land and so on. The restitution model when we gazette land during the restitution process the farmer stops investing because the model says to do that if you invest after that you are at risk. So there is no investment there, the contribution of agriculture to GDP drops, unemployment on the farms increase, problems on the townships increase in terms of crime because people don’t have jobs so it is a complication that goes beyond the farm context it becomes a societal issue. The question raised about the white farmer particularly Afrikaner and so on as raised by Doctor Mulder is a political matter as much as it is an economic one so it can’t be solved by a green paper. Agri SA, Agri Business Chamber is participating and we hope what will come out of the discussions is something that will present a balance in South Africa and it might settle the problems but it must settle the problem both ways, black and white there must be equity in the whole green paper process. Thanks
DG: Just on the question about Zimbabwe if I could deal with the issue as you know we do have a bilateral investment protection agreement with Zimbabwe. At the end of last year there was a visit by the DG of International Relations to Zimbabwe to meet with our counterparts in Zimbabwe and there is a process in place to look at the protection of our investments in Zimbabwe. Currently today there is an investment conference in Johannesburg where we have some of the leaders of Zimbabwe’s trade and industry and the South African government interacting on this issue. So as I said we are aware of the issue the matter is under discussion and there is a process underway to deal with the issue in Zimbabwe but I think our investments are secure and the problems will be sorted out in a sort of discipline process.
DG Agriculture: The issue about relocation of staff in the fisheries divisions of the department was that it is a discussion. The fundamental issue we are looking at is the cohesion of the department and the integration. People must remember that we brought together three components, agriculture, forestry and fisheries and that process of integration has not been even so it had some challenges with regards to the fisheries division. So what we are saying is to look at the location figures of responsibilities we have a legal department in Cape Town and Pretoria, a finance department in Cape Town and in Pretoria, we have a research house in Cape Town and a monitoring division in Pretoria. So how do we integrate them so that we have one cohesive department so that is the discussion it is not about the physical movement but the issue is the systems and integration of staff. Thank you.
Minister Edna Molewa: The question about the support to government plans in Steelpoort and Waterberg areas. I just want to start by indicating that in SONA the President spoke to some construction of dams particular I would like to refer to the Mokoli Phase 2 water extension of that project. It is intended to give additional supply of water to the Waterberg, Steelpoort and Limpopo areas but that is not the only project we are doing. The President referred to the work that’s been done by the PICC, I think those who understand the water issues you know there is sometimes transfer of water from catchment to catchment inter-transfer of water. So we look at the entire Limpopo water provision in totality and in that regard I would also like to add that over and above that Mokoli extension the other project he referred to is the De Hoop dam construction that is almost completed with a pipeline that is going to go up to the Olifants around Polekwane and the connecting point will come back to be the Waterberg area back to the same area under discussion. The intention and the objective are to work on a complete system that feeds into the Steelpoort areas those are the two dams that are under construction. Now the third one has already been completed it is that dam with the very controversial story about the pipeline that is the Nandoni Dam. We are completing the pipelines of the dam that is also additional water for the Limpopo this is actually an interconnected provision of water in the entirely Limpopo area. The fourth dam the new dam we just received a record of decision from Minister of Justice to construct the dam of Mabethwa the new one as well as expansion of Lethaba dam so in total that is the water catchment that we are creating in the whole of Limpopo to feed into this new developments that are coming so that is how we are supporting the entire process. Not only the western side which is the Waterberg and the Steelpoort but you would know on the northern side there are quite a number of minerals that has been found so we are planning together as a collective cluster to support the developments that are coming. Obviously it is not just about economic development it is about social development as well and we would like the collective of South Africa to understand that when we provide water for our social imperative it is also about development. It is the economy in another way because you are feeding into the system you are supporting people who have to stand up and work in those areas, who have to stand up and make the economy work in those areas. We no longer going to be looking at construction of Mokoli here supporting Medupi and that is it. You know recognise that there are communities around the areas where this pipeline passes from the dam so that we do a network of water provision. That is why we are saying our provision is source to tap and tap to source back that way, full cycle of water provision. I just wanted to add the last issue on the learnerships and placement of our people from our government Minister Blade Nzimande works with universities and our chair has also spoken about some of the items that we are doing to ensure that the young people who actually are trained or qualified at schools do get jobs. We are doing our part and would like to ask the media and everybody else to do our part as a society. As the Water Affairs Department at our Roodeplaat school last year at the end of the financial year we had 351 artisans and engineering who we are actually training on the job for them to go out and be redeployed already as w speak 30 of them have been deployed in our municipalities to support those municipalities with programs they are doing. In the environment as well various bodies like your South African Weather Services this weather bureau that receive every day we have quite a number of students that we have actually appointed and adopted after giving them bursaries to learn and now coming back to serve the nation and these ones manufacturing and make us understand how the weather is going to be whether a farmer can plant or not plant they are supporting the economy in that way. They come from our own internal source as trained by ourselves and placed by ourselves. So let’s make this a call that every other person who is an employer should actually do that, we are playing our part as government by placing these people as well. Thank you very much.
Minister Blade Nzimande: Just quickly on the questions. There is a debate on whether perhaps the propose to youth wage subsidy should be used or linked to training. I am not sure as to what extent is that issue on the table in NEDLAC for instance because there is an argument that unless you link that to training all you are going to do is going to do some cheap labour and that is not going to be employment beyond. So this issue of linking youth wage subsidy to training is an issue that has been raised and we are quite sympathetic to it because it could actually help us to address skills shortages. Our slogan in our department is everyone plays a training space something that is very important in future I might consider not talking to journalist unless they are accompanied by interns to their press briefings because every media room must be a training space. Oh there are interns here I am very pleased. From where? Independent Newspapers, not bad I am changing slightly my ideas about Independent Newspapers in particular. Young people must be employed but also they must acquire skills if there employment is to be sustained.
Thabo sources of academics, targeted countries, no there are no countries we have targeted as yet for new academics say for the new universities. We do have some bilateral agreements with countries such as Cuba, Russia particularly the BRICS countries but we have not decided really as to where because we will be guided by the skills. On the last issue of university fees you may be aware there is a ministerial task team that I appointed last year which we expect to report by June or July headed by Cyril Ramaphosa on reviewing the funding formula for universities in this country. One of the things that we have asked that committee is also to look at university fees because you can’t look at university fees in isolation you have to look at the totality of the issues because we are concerned that one of the things we might be cautious about as we increase student financial assistance we don’t chase a mirage. The more money we put into assisting students then the universities keep on raising fees such that doesn’t have the kind of grants we have. That is why we say when we review the funding formula the issue of fees is also very important. I have also asked that committee to look at whether we should have a system of capping fees where necessary and say if a university wants to charge beyond inflation he must tell us, it is a question that we have put before the review committee. It does not mean that we are blind to the financial pressure on the universities but we need to look at this in totality. Thank you.
Minister Gugile Nkwinti: I am reminded of a question that I didn’t answer it is probably psychological. I had a journalist friend who use to say to me if you want to stay calm in a media briefing avoid answering irritating questions. So I think I threw it at the back of my mind because if a manager doesn’t want to sign a performance agreement they shouldn’t be there it is as simple as that. They should be gone it is as simple as that if they don’t want to sign performance agreement they should be gone it is no joke. Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen.
END OF BRIEFING
In his State of the Nation Address last year, President Zuma announced 2011 as “the year of the job creation” through meaningful economic transformation and inclusive growth. As a structure designed to ensure policy coordination and alignment across the government on issues of economic development, employment and equity, the Economic Sectors and Employment Cluster is central to the implementation of this directive. Thus our work focused on critical regulatory and policy reforms that support overall growth and meaningful economic transformation, and the unlocking of growth and employment potential in the key jobs drivers as identified in the New Growth Path.
Key interventions to encourage accelerated employment creation were also prioritized. These interventions centre on measures to support employment creation in the main economic sectors while making the economy as a whole more productive and employment friendly. We were, however, cognisant of the fact that
The year 2011 saw recovery from the sharp downturn caused by the global Great Recession of 2008/9. According to Statistics South Africa, employment rose by over 350 000 in the year to the third quarter of 2011, which means that we are well on track to meet our overall target of five million new jobs by 2020.
That said we recognise that unemployment and inequality remain unacceptably high. In addition, the uncertain recovery internationally, and in particular the on-going economic difficulties in Europe, require clear and strong counter-cyclical policies in
The creation of decent work remains the principle intervention for addressing poverty and inequality. In addition, the New Growth Path proposed a number of complementary interventions to address structural challenges underpinning inequality.
· ensuring more equitable access to education and skills development;
· accelerating rural development;
· supporting land reform designed to support a more productive and inclusive agricultural economy;
· Optimising on the job creation potential of the green economy; and
· upgrading financial services for smaller enterprises and the social economy.
We are happy to present to you this morning progress that has been made on some of the things we committed to implement in 2011.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EMPLOYMENT CREATION
Since most employment creation occurs outside of the State, accelerating it requires the consistent use of core State functions to create an environment that encourages private enterprise and other non-state organisations to expand jobs. These include ensuring that:
· Regulations of all kinds achieve their aims as efficiently as possible;
· Infrastructure is of adequate quality and affordability;
· Strong efforts to ensure more equitable and quality education and to expand post-secondary education and training;
· Targeted and sustainable subsidies to kick-start new activities that can support large-scale employment creation;
· Local procurement by the state stimulate demand, especially in light of the instability in international markets; and
· Targeted public support research and development that unlock opportunities in the private sector.
To this effect, the New Growth Path and the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2 (IPAP) provide a framework for undertaking these tasks. They require co-ordination across all departments, many of which are not primarily concerned with the economy, as well as state-owned enterprises, municipalities and provinces.
The broad foundations of the New Growth Path are:
· support for diversification of the economy into more employment-friendly sectors;
· strong efforts to reduce unnecessary regulatory and infrastructure obstacles to investment and growth;
· macro-economic policies that encourage growth and employment creation;
· programmes that support more equitable ownership and inclusive market systems as well as improved access to quality education and skills development;
· stronger social dialogue; and
· taking advantage of new opportunities offered by a focus on the green economy and high-technology and dynamic sectors.
Industrialisation is central to long-term growth and development. A host of sectoral and cross-cutting initiatives are being implemented under IPAP2. IPAP 2011/12-2013/14 was introduced in February 2011 and is being systematically implemented. To support IPAP, the new Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP) is being introduced this year. The programme will provide R25 billion over the coming six years for a variety of programmes.
In addition, the Automotive Investment Scheme (AIS) has seen the approval of 92 projects (seven final car producers and 85 component manufactures). The projected investment resulting from these approvals is close to about R9 billion based on incentives of R2, 5 billion, creating over 7000 jobs directly and more indirectly.
ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE AND PUBLIC INVESTMENT
The Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission has identified a bouquet of projects that will promote growth and development; ensure appropriate investments, taking into account both the cost and quality of infrastructure required by different sectors of the economy as well as by households; and ensure adequate capacity to drive priority projects, especially at municipal and provincial level.
SHORT-TERM EMPLOYMENT SCHEMES
The public employment schemes are central to improving incomes and providing opportunities and work experience for the jobless, especially young people. These schemes are being driven by an inter-ministerial committee led by the Deputy President. The committee is tasked with expanding the Community Work Programme (CWP) and the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to reach over two million people by 2014/15.
STRONGER SOCIAL DIALOGUE
Open and constructive engagement is necessary to mobilise key economic stakeholders. In 2011, under the auspices of NEDLAC, we signed four accords on education; skills development; local procurement; and the green economy. In the coming year, we expect even more work in this regard, focusing on further areas covered by the New Growth Path.
The Industrial Development Corporation (
Financing for small, medium and micro enterprises is being bolstered by the merger of the three small business funding agencies - Khula, the South African Micro Finance Apex Fund and the IDC’s small business funding, as proposed in the 2011 State of the Nation Address. Cabinet approved the merger at the end of October 2011 and it will be established in April 2012.
Incubators for SMMEs form an important component of measures to support new enterprises. The DTI is in the process of establishing a total of 450 incubators, through partnerships with the private sector. In addition, the Economic Development Department is working with the
Procurement of locally produced goods, rather than imports, can provide a critical stimulus to the economy and is now being supported through a variety of measures. From December 2011, new regulations required local procurement of specified products by all state entities, including clothing, buses, rolling stock and canned foods. In this context, PRASA has committed to a minimum of 65% for its rolling stock. Eskom and Transnet are about to launch the second phase of their local-procurement plans, with targets for increasing the local content in their building programmes. In addition, an agreement on local procurement has also been reached with business, and ways to develop local suppliers more pro-actively are currently being explored.
THE COMPETITION COMMISSION
The Competition Commission has maintained its strategic approach to ensuring competitive market prices, focusing on intermediate inputs and wage goods that can affect costs and efficiency across the economy. They have successfully taken steps to reduce the cost of fertilisers, construction services, bread and poultry, amongst others.
THE BROAD-BASED BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT CODES
The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes will be aligned more closely with the New Growth Path, with stronger incentives for employment creation, enterprise development, collective ownership and broad-based employment equity and skills development. In addition, the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act is being amended to address fronting and generally strengthen implementation practices.
In support of the efforts to stimulate economic growth, fund industrial development and create job opportunities, the Department of Labour, through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), earlier this year invested an additional R2 billion with the Industrial Development Corporation, bringing the total investment to R4 billion. This investment has created 24 590 new jobs and contributed to saving 18 552 jobs.
The UIF/IDC bond provides capital for funding start-up industries and growing existing industries. The conditions for accessing the funds stipulate that a qualifying company must contribute to creating employment opportunities. The total number of jobs saved and created through the UIF/IDC bond stands at 43 142.
Tourism creates jobs by serving domestic, regional and foreign visitors, and earns substantial foreign exchange. SA Tourism implements an effective international tourism marketing strategy that has contributed to strong growth in the sector. In addition, domestic tourism promotion is being pursued more vigorously. Grading of establishments, which is important for long-term quality control and sustainability, will reach over 7000 accommodation establishments by the end of the 2012/13 financial year.
In the State of the Nation Address, the President highlighted critical infrastructure blockages that delay investment in the mining sector. These blockages include investment in rail, road and bulk water infrastructure that is necessary for unlocking the mineral potential of the Waterberg and Steelport regions. Unlocking this potential is critical in addressing another long-standing infrastructure bottleneck, that of energy security. As the Coal Resources and Reserves Study led by the Council for Geoscience reveals, these regions host a great share of South Africa’s remaining coal endowment.
The government-led increase in the provision of infrastructure to support the exploitation of mineral wealth is not an invitation to increase raw mineral exports at the expense of beneficiation. On the contrary, we see the potential to both increase our minerals exports receipts and local beneficiation of South Africa’s minerals. The Beneficiation Strategy as approved identifies five priority value chains, namely iron ore and steel, energy commodities, autocatalytic converters and diesel particulates, titanium and jewellery.
We will continue with our efforts to ensure the safety and health of mine workers. As part of this effort, the Mine Health and Safety Summit was held in November last year towards ensuring the commitment of stakeholders to the shared goal of a safer and more dignified environment for workers in the sector.
THE INTEGRATED RESOURCES PLAN (IRP2)
The Integrated Resources Plan (IRP2) as approved by Cabinet in March 2011 reserves up to 42% of all new and additional capacity to be from renewable sources, and 9% of installed capacity by 2030. Progress thus far constitutes 1 415 MW of phase 1 of a total of 3 725 MW to be procured by 2016. Environmental approvals for renewable energy projects have been fast tracked. The 28 preferred independent renewable power producers have been announced, 18 for solar photo voltaic projects, eight onshore wind projects and two concentrated solar power projects. All projects must be generating power by mid-2014. This plan makes a significant contribution to South Africa’s Transition to a lower carbon economy. The implementation of the recently approved National Climate Change Response policy will further contribute to the lower carbon transition.
AFRICAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
To advance the programme of integration and development in Africa, the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (T-FTA) made up of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) was launched in South Africa last year. This agreement combines market integration, infrastructure development and initiates a work programme to promote industrial development in Africa. The announcement by the President about the AU/NEPAD North – South road and rail corridor championed by South Africa on behalf of the AU, as well as other spatial development initiatives supported by South Africa will benefit this initiative.
EMPLOYMENT CREATION IN RURAL AREAS
Positive impact has been made in creating jobs and work opportunities through the implementation of different initiatives in rural areas. While the vulnerable groups, particularly women, have been linked to income generating activities, it is the youth that has benefited the most in terms of skills development programmes and jobs created.
A total of 7 398 youth were enrolled in the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) programme in 2010. The enrolment number will gradually increase by recruiting a further 5 000 youth during this financial year (2011/12) and a further 10 000 during the 2012/13 financial year.
Another programme that made an impact on employment is the EPWP that created 540 423 work opportunities and 137 525 permanent jobs. Of these, 66 355 were under the Community Works Programme. The agricultural sector, including the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (CASP), contributed 7 092 jobs of which 1 105 were permanent. The use of local labour in housing and infrastructure development contributed significantly to job creation and skills development.
By the end of December 2011, the Environment and Culture Sector of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) had created a cumulative 307 731 work opportunities and 74 114 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs since 2009 across the country.
Initiatives to improve employment opportunities and economic livelihoods include the implementation of the aquaculture programme and the Inland Fisheries programme that will be launched in 2012. The DTI is expanding efforts to support agro-processing in rural areas, e.g. local maize milling. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) is introducing a complementary agro-processing strategy. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) continues to support a range of demonstration agronomy and aquaculture projects that utilise new knowledge or technologies in supporting the development of sustainable livelihoods.
Assistance is being provided to small and micro enterprises and communities that require support for a simplified Environment Impact Analysis (EIA) process as part of IPAP2.
In order to expand the knowledge and innovation capacity of the economy, government will be establishing two new universities, in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape, with the first phase commencing within the 2012/13 financial year. The technical ground work for establishing the new universities will be completed by July 2012, including the identification of sites with campus and academic architectural plans. University educational infrastructure expansion and upgrading will also take place in order to improve teaching, research, accommodation and support services.
The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is working with the Deans of engineering, animal and human health, natural and physical science and teacher education faculties to increase the enrolment, success and throughput of identified higher level scarce skills. Substantial funds have been allocated to deal with resource constraints through an infrastructure and efficiency grant. An amount of R1, 3 billion for the 2012/13 – 2012/14 financial years has been set aside for these study fields across all institutions.
The production of honours, masters and doctoral graduates need to support innovation and knowledge production in our economy. In 2011, close to 9000 Further Education and Training (FET) and Universities of Technology graduates were placed in workplaces for experiential training. In addition, 4200 students were placed in workplaces whilst studying. The recently signed National Skills Accord includes commitments by business to increase the provision of such workplace experience opportunities.
A key challenge has been finding workplace experience opportunities for learner artisans to enable them to gain the experiential learning required to obtain a trade certificate. Over 17 000 unemployed learners and almost 12 000 workers have entered learnerships. In addition, 16 500 new learners have entered the artisan training system (indentured artisans), with 11 780 learners already passing and obtaining their trade certificates for the period April 2011 to January 2012.
Thirty FET Colleges participated in the training of the NARYSEC youth. In addition, a training programme in Community House Building (NQF 2) and Civil and Construction (NQF 3) has been initiated in partnership with the Development Bank (DBSA) and the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA).
A total of 1160 NARYSEC participants have been enrolled in programmes like Records Management, Disaster Management and Farm Rangers, etc. To date 1 473 rural beneficiaries have been trained in manufacturing arts and craft products in four provinces (LP, MP, and KZN & EC).
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SKILLS FOR A DIVERSIFIED ECONOMY
A Research Development Grant of R176 million and a Teaching Development Grant of R499 million has been earmarked in 2012/13 to enable the development of young lecturers towards becoming world class academics thus improving the success rate.
The DST has already announced that a total of 60 new Research Chairs will be awarded to various institutions of higher learning across South Africa, during the 2011/12 and 2013/14 Medium Term Expenditure Framework. This increases the number of Research Chairs in South Africa to 152.
The South African Research Chairs (SARChI) is a flagship initiative of Government designed to attract and retain excellence in research and innovation in the South African science system. The main goal is to strengthen the country’s universities to produce high quality postgraduate students, research and innovation outputs. Since SARCHI’s inception in 2005, Government has invested over R1.1 billion in the programme which is managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF).
In order to revitalise and resuscitate land reform farms in distress and defunct irrigation schemes in the former homelands, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform introduced the Recapitalisation and Development Programme. As at end September 2011, 595 farms under the Recapitalisation and Development Programme (RADP) were at various stages of development. Good progress recorded under Recapitalisation includes sugar cane in KwaZulu-Natal, red meat in Free State, North West and Northern Cape, poultry in North West, Gauteng and Mpumalanga and citrus in Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Western Cape.
A cumulative figure of 823 300 hectares were acquired and redistributed since 2009. Seven thousand of these hectares have been allocated to provide the core estate for the Cradock Bio-ethanol project in the Eastern Cape that will be implemented in partnership with the DTI, EDD, DRDLR, DAFF, the Department of Energy and the Provincial Department of Agriculture. A total of 1, 14 million hectares of State land has been surveyed (EC, MP, LP).
Smallholder support programmes are being reviewed and a smallholder plan developed in line with NGP targets. These plans are supported by a diverse array of agro-processing programmes under IPAP, including support for the soya bean processing, canning, bio fuels, furniture, and food processing industries, as well as small-scale maize milling in rural areas.
Policy-wise, notable developments include the launching of the Zero Hunger Programme and the Aquaculture Programme. Zero Hunger creates opportunities for the smallholder sector to grow by opening up institutional markets for their benefit, e.g. via the School Nutrition Programme, hospitals and clinics.
As part of the of the implementation of the National Climate Change Response Policy , long term adaptation scenarios will be developed to determine which sectors may be climate sensitive and propose options for response.
It is government’s view that the Willing Buyer-Willing Seller (WBWS) has frustrated efforts to fast-track land reform, distorted the market, made land price negotiations excruciatingly prolonged and increasingly making land reform financially untenable for the State. For example, R80 billion will be required to meet government land reform targets. Additional challenges that have undermined successful implementation include beneficiary selection as well as fragmented beneficiary support, land administration and governance [especially in communal areas], the problematic restitution model and its support systems.
The consultation process on the Green Paper on Land Reform has been completed. The department, in partnership with the key stakeholders, is analysing the public and written comments. It is expected that the draft policy will be presented by the end of March.
The year 2013 marks the centenary of the 1913 Land Act and the success of the Green Paper must be measured on the extent to which it mitigates and attempts to reverse the negative impact of this Act.
ACCESS TO WATER FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EFFICIENCY IN WATER USE
Significant progress has been made in ensuring efficiency in water use in the agriculture sector and ensuring access to water for socioeconomic development including targets set for Impala - one of the 14 big irrigation schemes. In addition, eight irrigation schemes are being revitalised across the country.
Farmers have benefitted through the Department of Water Affairs Resource Poor Farmer (RPF) Programme. This programme ensures access to functional water infrastructure for irrigation through rehabilitation and upgrading of existing infrastructure, operation and maintenance subsidies, rainwater tanks for food production, and bulk pipelines/infrastructure. In addition, rainwater harvesting tanks were distributed for food production and boreholes were drilled.
Access to water and water use licenses is crucial in the implementation of the land reform projects. Water Use Licences Authorisation were processed and finalized, reducing the water use authorization backlog from more than 4 000 applications to 679. Of these, 1 658 contribute to rural development including afforestation and agricultural development. In order to ensure that land restitution beneficiaries retain water rights after settlement, discussions commenced between the Departments of Water Affairs and Rural Development and Land Reform towards reviewing the National Water Act to
ensure alignment with land reform legislation.
Nine (9) regional bulk infrastructure projects were completed and 47municipalities were supported in implementing water conservation and demand management intervention measures to ensure water savings. As a result of the implementation of the Accelerated Community Infrastructure Programme, a total of 62,945,297 cubic meters of water was saved against the planned three million cubic meters.
The Blue Drop Certification programme was implemented in 162 muicipalities in order to ensure the quality of water and the management of supply systems. A total of 66 water supply systems have been awarded the blue drop certificate, an increase of 74% on those awarded in 2010.
Eight hundred and ten (810) municipal waste water treatment and 914 water treatment facilities were assessed during the 2010/2011 financial year, in order to ensure that they meet the required standards. Waste licenses were issued and a comprehensive General Waste Minimization Plan has also been approved contributing to the elimination of unlicensed sites in rural areas. The Green Drop assessment programme that measures the performance of waste-water treatment works was also implemented.
We have learnt some lessons particularly during the implementation of the outcomes that contribute to the work of this Cluster. Currently, we are reviewing these outcomes in order to ensure that interventions make high impact on inequality, poverty and unemployment.
We will intensify the focus on the job drivers as identified in the New Growth Path and on the implementation of the twelve action plans for immediate action by government that were adopted during the July 2011 Cabinet Lekgotla. These priorities reflect our assessment of where concrete, high-level interventions are needed to achieve governments’ aims. The decisive intervention in this regard is the infrastructure programme developed by the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission and elaborated on in the State of the Nation Address and the recent Budget. While the infrastructure programmes falls outside of the responsibilities of the Economic Sectors and Employment Cluster, they will have a major impact on all of our programmes.
The budget tabled by Minister Gordhan last week indicates a strong commitment to government’s priorities that we have outlined above and continues to support job creation with particular focus on the unemployed youth.
I thank you.
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