Presidency Budget Speech
02 Jun 2021
Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa on The Presidency Budget Vote 2021, National Assembly
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly,
Deputy President David Mabuza,
Fellow South Africans,
Twenty-five years ago the elected representatives of the South African people gathered in this assembly to adopt the first democratic Constitution in our country’s history.
In welcoming this historic moment, President Nelson Mandela said:
“The new constitution obliges us to strive to improve the quality of life of the people… [O]ur national consensus recognises that there is nothing else that can justify the existence of government but to redress the centuries of unspeakable privations, by striving to eliminate poverty, illiteracy, homelessness and disease.”
It is this obligation that guides, informs and inspires the work of the Presidency.
Our democratic Constitution vests the executive authority of the Republic in the President.
It requires that the President take responsibility, alongside Ministers, for implementing legislation, for developing policy, and for coordinating the functions of state departments and administrations in the interests of the people.
In short, the Constitution confers on the Presidency the responsibility of leading a capable developmental state.
It is exactly ten years since the National Planning Commission released a diagnostic report that led to the development of the National Development Plan.
The report flagged lack of coordination within government as one of the reasons for failure to implement our progressive policies.
A year later the National Development Plan introduced the concept of a capable state.
A capable is state is critical to development and service delivery, and to strengthening cooperative governance, a core principle of our Constitution.
Advancing an ethical, capable and developmental state is our priority.
This follows a prolonged period in which state capacity was severely weakened and several state institutions strayed from their mandates.
A capable state is well-run and well-managed, with clear lines of responsibility and accountability.
Actions are effectively aligned with intentions.
In a capable state, programmes at national, provincial and local government level are synchronised.
Resources are used to their best effect and not wasted.
In a capable state, policymaking is coherent and evidence-based.
This begins with translating the electoral mandate of the governing party into key outcomes.
To refine policymaking, a capable state draws on the respective strengths and capabilities in society to support the national development agenda.
This helps us to refine governance and develop innovative approaches to challenges.
In a capable state there is accountability and oversight across all three spheres of government, driven by the Presidency.
It is for this reason that I have signed individual performance agreements with Ministers that outline their responsibilities and their performance indicators in line with the Medium-Term Strategic Framework.
In support of our commitment to transparency and open government, these performance agreements are available to the public online.
In a capable state, public servants are ethical, experienced, skilled and selfless.
To attract and retain a corps of dedicated civil servants, we are committed to lifelong learning, regularly skilling staff and providing the necessary orientation to entrants to the public service.
That is why we are strengthening the work of the National School of Government and finalising a framework on the professionalisation of the public service.
In a capable state, resources are used for the benefit of the people and not for self-enrichment.
Since the start of this administration, we have worked to realign the Presidency so that it may more effectively drive the transformation of our society and economy.
We have sought to strengthen and better equip the Presidency to direct the programme of government and to coordinate its implementation.
It is our firm conviction and intention that the Presidency must become the heartbeat of a capable and developmental state.
This Budget Vote is about how the Presidency is working to achieve that goal.
The main focus of our work as the Presidency is to give meaning and substance to cooperative and integrated government and unleashing all the capabilities to be found both in the state and through building partnerships across society as we build a capable and developmental state.
By drawing on resources and capabilities in and beyond the state – whether in the civil service, civil society, academia, labour, business or development agencies – we have enriched the work of the Presidency.
Unleashing these capabilities inherent in the state and partnerships has helped us to refine governance, to advance evidence-driven policy making and to develop an innovative approach to challenges.
This approach is evident in several areas of our work, from our response to the coronavirus pandemic to the preparation of the infrastructure pipeline, from the development of our economic recovery plan to the implementation of our investment drive, from tackling gender-based violence and femicide to charting a just transition to a low-carbon economy.
In the State of the Nation Address in February, I said that one of our foremost priorities for 2021 is to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is essential for the restoration of the health and well-being of all South Africans, for the recovery of our economy, for the creation of employment and to address many of the ills that confront our communities.
From the outset, the National Coronavirus Command Council has coordinated our national response to the pandemic.
It has been guided by the advice of experts in various disciplines and has worked together with leaders in different spheres of government, labour, business, religious leaders, traditional leaders and others.
In conditions of great uncertainty, where knowledge about the nature and cause of the disease has been limited, we have worked together as a society to limit infections, to save lives and to protect livelihoods.
Through these efforts, we have largely managed to protect our health facilities from being overwhelmed and have implemented unprecedented economic and social support measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the most vulnerable in society.
Through the collective efforts of all social partners, we have embarked on a mass vaccination programme that aims to reach over 40 million people.
This extraordinary effort is being coordinated by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Vaccines chaired by the Deputy President.
It brings together all relevant departments to streamline decision-making and ensure effective coordination of a massive logistical undertaking.
Despite the several challenges that have delayed the vaccine roll-out, the public vaccination drive is now gathering pace.
Within the last 48 hours, we passed a significant milestone.
More than one million people in South Africa have now received a vaccine dose.
As we accelerate the roll-out of vaccines, we continue to engage various manufacturers to ensure a reliable and diverse supply of vaccines.
We therefore welcome the news that the World Health Organisation has validated the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
This is a crucial step that should allow our own health products regulatory authority, SAHPRA, to expeditiously consider the application from Sinovac.
No country in the world has been spared the effects of the coronavirus, demonstrating how inter-connected and inter-dependent we are.
It has also shown that no country can hope to overcome the pandemic alone.
As a country and as a government, we have therefore been involved in efforts across Africa and in the broader international community to forge a common response.
During our chairship of the African Union, we led the development and implementation of a continent-wide COVID-19 strategy.
We appointed special envoys to mobilise funding for the continental response, and actively lobbied the G20, the international financial institutions and other international bodies for comprehensive financial support and debt relief for African countries.
Through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform and the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, we led innovative efforts to secure essential medical supplies and vaccines for all African countries.
I wish to pay tribute to my fellow African leaders and to the scientists, health workers, business people, development agencies, financial institutions and civil society leaders who have worked together to protect African lives and livelihoods.
These efforts demonstrate what is possible when African countries work together, when we draw on our collective resources and capabilities, and when we speak with one voice on the global stage.
Following the completion of our term as AU Chair, we have been given the responsibility of African Union COVID-19 Champion to continue to coordinate the continent’s response and recovery.
We have appointed the Commission on African COVID-19 Response, made up of medical science experts from across the continent, to support our work as African Union COVID-19 Champion.
At a global level, South Africa is currently the co-chair, with the Prime Minister of Norway, of the facilitation council of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.
Through this we are working to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines largely for developing economy countries, but more especially on the African continent.
We are also leading the campaign, alongside India and other countries, for a temporary waiver of the agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) at the World Trade Organisation.
Such a waiver would enable countries to manufacture their own vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics at a time when global supply is severely constrained.
If it is successfully adopted it will pave the way for the development and growth of local pharmaceutical industries in South Africa, on the continent and in other developing countries.
This is critical to the continent’s health security.
Despite the high burden of disease in Africa, we have to import most of our vaccines, therapeutics and other medications.
Manufacturing our own vaccines will enable us to overcome the current pandemic and respond to future health emergencies.
We are leading a campaign that focuses on the creation of vaccine manufacturing capabilities on the African continent.
Our discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron during his state visit to South Africa last week, laid the basis for a three-track approach to supporting effective and equitable global vaccination.
First, France affirmed its commitment to work with South Africa, India and other countries calling for a limited, time-bound waiver for intellectual property rights.
Second, France and South Africa would work together to ensure that there are no trade restrictions, such as export bans, for raw materials and other exports required in the manufacturing of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.
Third, France, together with Germany and the European Union, would support the manufacturing of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics on the African continent through mobilising financing and technology transfer.
We will continue to work with our partners in the international community to secure the health and well-being of all in this country, on our continent and around the world.
We call on every South African, including the political parties represented in this House, to stand with us in this fight for justice, dignity and human lives.
While we have had to confront the impact of the coronavirus on human health, we have also had to respond to its impact on the country’s economy, on businesses, on jobs and on people’s livelihoods.
In the first quarter of 2020, we introduced a comprehensive package of economic and social support.
This included wage support, expanded protection, small business financing by government and a loan guarantee scheme to support banking sector lending.
The support package helped to shield our society from even greater economic damage and laid the basis for a more concerted plan to ensure a strong and sustained economic recovery.
Additional social grant payments alone reached more than 18 million South Africans, while wage support protected the jobs of almost 5 million workers.
Last October, we presented the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan to a Joint Sitting of Parliament.
Recognising the extraordinary challenge facing us, and the need for rigorous executive oversight of this plan – and drawing on the experience of the National Coronavirus Command Council – we created a National Economic Recovery Council.
This Council, which I chair, has given detailed attention to those aspects of the recovery plan that have the greatest potential impact.
It has enabled us to enhance coordination, identify challenges in implementation and move to address blockages.
Fundamental to our economic recovery – and indeed to the transformation of our society – is the creation of jobs, especially for young people.
The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey released yesterday for the first quarter of 2021 demonstrate the severe impact that the pandemic has had on employment across the economy.
The rising number of the unemployed, those who are actively searching for work but cannot find it, represent real people in every part of our country.
They include too many of the 18 million young men and women across the country, who make up nearly a third of our population.
In our villages, towns and cities, young people are a dynamic force propelling themselves and their communities forward, even in the midst of hardship and numerous obstacles.
To ensure that these young people are empowered and equipped with the tools to succeed, we have located the coordination of our efforts to address youth employment in the Presidency.
Eight months ago we launched the Presidential Employment Stimulus, the largest and fastest scale-up of public employment in our country’s history.
Since its inception, this programme has been making a difference in the lives of South Africans across the length and breadth of our country.
I speak of Samukelisiwe Linda from KwaZulu-Natal, who was retrenched when the pandemic struck last year, but is now employed by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure in the Welisizwe Rural Bridges Programme.
I speak of Noluthando Mpondo from the Free State, who was unemployed for four years before she joined a WhatsApp group with other young people who were looking for work and found out about the Presidential Employment Stimulus.
She found employment through the stimulus as a primary school teaching assistant and is using her income to support her mother, younger sister and cousins.
We speak here also of several owners of early childhood development centres across the country who are receiving support grants to keep their doors open and pay their staff.
We speak of the small-scale and subsistence farmers who have been issued with production input vouchers to keep their businesses afloat or to expand them.
These are South Africans, many of them young, who are now receiving an income, developing new skills and contributing to their community and the country’s economy.
Their unflagging optimism, their enduring belief in our country, and their will to succeed despite the odds, should give us all hope.
To date, the Presidential Employment Stimulus has supported nearly 700,000 opportunities.
Of these, 422,000 are jobs that have been created or retained, 110,000 are awards issued for livelihoods support, and a further 162,000 are opportunities where awards are currently in process.
We have developed an online dashboard where South Africans can track progress in the implementation of the stimulus, pioneering a new approach to transparency and accountability.
The stimulus has played a crucial role in supporting vulnerable households to keep working and earning an income, while at the same time benefitting the communities in which they work.
It has incubated new approaches to coordination and collaboration across government to achieve a single objective, demonstrating the powerful results of a whole-of-government approach.
A further R11 billion has been allocated for the continuation of the Presidential Employment Stimulus in the current financial year.
Critical to the success of the employment stimulus has been the work of the newly-established Project Management Office in the Presidency.
The PMO supports the delivery of key strategic priorities from the centre of government.
It works across government to ensure effective coordination where multiple departments and agencies are involved and provides implementation support where required.
In addition to the Presidential Employment Stimulus, the PMO has been integral to the development of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention.
This programme, which was developed before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, will enter full implementation this year.
The backbone of this intervention is a national Pathway Management Network, which brings together a wide range of partners from within and beyond government to provide young people with opportunities for learning and earning.
Young people can join the network through a dedicated mobi-site or by visiting a labour centre or offices of the National Youth Development Agency in all nine provinces.
Once they have joined the network, they will be able to view and access opportunities and receive active support to participate in the economy.
The mobi-site has been zero-rated by all mobile networks, and will be officially launched in two weeks’ time, on Youth Day.
Among other things, the intervention will support new models of skills training linked to employment in fast-growing sectors, to ensure that our skills development system is closely matched to demand in the economy.
Beyond the economic recovery, the Presidency has responsibility for driving economic growth and transformation.
To provide support for this work, I appointed a Presidential Economic Advisory Council, comprised of leading local and international economists, which has been hard at work since 2019.
The role of the Council is to identify, analyse and make recommendations to the President on key economic issues facing South Africa.
Through formal meetings, bilateral engagements with Ministers and their departments, and open workshops, the Advisory Council has brought insight and expertise to pressing economic policy challenges such as energy reform and fiscal consolidation.
The interactions have been informed by extensive research and have provided constructive criticism and encouragement for government’s economic policy positions.
The Presidential Economic Advisory Council has six workstreams to align with government’s economic priorities.
These are macro-economic dynamics and public investment; poverty, inequality and jobs; agriculture, trade and industrial policy; state capacity and political economy; energy transition and growth; and South Africa’ growth narrative.
A central pillar of our economic recovery is a massive infrastructure investment programme.
The Investment and Infrastructure Office in the Presidency is driving a coordinated government approach to both investment and infrastructure development.
The work of this office supported the operationalisation of the Infrastructure Fund in August last year.
It has also supported the establishment and work of Infrastructure SA, which will enable an integrated approach to the identification, preparation, financing and implementation of major infrastructure projects.
Following last year’s inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium, a pipeline of 88 projects to the value of more than R2.3 trillion were identified.
The interest raised by investors in specific projects led to the gazetting of 50 strategic integrated projects in human settlements, student accommodation, transport, water and sanitation, energy, agriculture and agro-processing, and digital.
They include the Redstone renewable energy project that, once operational, will supply stable electricity to more than 200,000 homes.
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has announced eleven preferred bidders for the emergency power procurement programme, totalling nearly 2,000 megawatts of contracted capacity.
We expect these projects to bring in around R45 billion of private sector investment and create approximately 3,800 jobs during the 18 month construction period.
The Investment and Infrastructure Office is also working with the private sector to develop the requisite skills in relation to financial and technical engineering.
This will enable us to prepare and package projects that can attract funding and financing.
Professionals and experts in project finance, financial structuring of complex infrastructure projects, programme management and infrastructure planning have been seconded to work with the Investment and Infrastructure Office.
This massive infrastructure development effort complements the ambitious investment drive that I launched in 2018, with a view to attract at least R1.2 trillion in new investment over five years.
In support of this drive, we have hosted three South Africa Investment Conferences, which together have raised over R750 billion in investment commitments.
This is a significant achievement, especially since the third Investment Conference was held in the midst of the pandemic and the global economic slowdown.
As the country emerges from the economic contraction of 2020, the Presidency is able to draw on the local and international expertise of the members of the Presidential Investment Advisory Council to shape our investment promotion and facilitation drive.
At its inaugural meeting in April this year, the Council provided frank feedback to government on how we could improve the investment climate in South Africa, and highlighted opportunities in areas such as in the bio-medical, green hydrogen and agro-processing sectors.
The Council supplements the activities of our six investment envoys.
The investment envoys act as a bridge between government and the investment community.
They not only provide guidance for investment mobilisation efforts; they also act as global champions for South Africa’s investment proposition.
To accelerate the policy reform trajectory that we embarked upon before the pandemic, the Presidency inaugurated Operation Vulindlela late last year to unlock key economic reforms.
A dedicated team has been set up in my office and in National Treasury to drive this initiative.
The Vulindlela team is working daily with implementing departments to drive the delivery of priority reforms and build momentum in the reform agenda.
Our focus is on a limited number of high-impact reforms in key economic sectors such as energy, water, telecommunications, ports and rail and immigration.
Operation Vulindlela represents a new determination to forge ahead with economic reforms to improve our global competitiveness, lower costs and barriers to entry, attract investment and create jobs.
It recognises that the only way to place South Africa on a fundamentally different growth trajectory is to implement structural reforms, many of which have been delayed for too long.
We are making progress on a number of fronts.
These include the decision to raise the licensing threshold for embedded generation projects, an accelerated timeframe for the completion of digital migration, the publication of a revised Critical Skills List, and the establishment of a National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency.
Intensive work is currently underway in a number of areas, including enabling third-party access to the freight rail network, improving the efficiency of our ports, reviewing the policy framework for skilled immigration, and re-engineering the process for water use license applications.
The work being done in the presidency is about action, not talk.
It is about rolling up our sleeves and getting things done, in order to accelerate the transformation of our economy.
The achievement of inclusive growth and social transformation requires state owned enterprises that effectively fulfil their social and economic mandates in a sustainable manner.
While there has been important progress in stabilising key SOEs, these efforts will not be sufficient, on their own, to enable these entities to make the vital contribution they can make to our economic and social progress.
That is why government envisages a fundamental overhaul of the SOE model to address not only the deficiencies of the immediate past, but also the requirements of national development into the future.
The Presidential Review Committee on SOEs laid the foundations for rethinking the role, governance and composition of this crucial portfolio of entities.
Through the Presidential SOE Council, we have created a dedicated structure, tapping on expertise from all of society, to guide this reform.
The SOE Council makes recommendations on overarching frameworks and guiding principles, while complementing the work of the boards of specific entities and responsible departments.
We envisage an ownership model that clearly separates the responsibilities of ownership, policy development and regulation.
Effective ownership will become more centralised to counter dispersal of SOEs across the state and to ensure more coherence.
Such a model will enable greater transparency, accountability and oversight, and subject all strategic SOEs to more rigorous requirements for financial and operational performance.
A clear distinction is to be made between commercial and non-commercial SOEs (and between commercial and non-commercial functions within entities), and the development of funding models that are appropriate to the function.
We have developed a new framework for private sector participation that mobilises additional funding for economically viable infrastructure, balances risk sharing and does not result in increases in the prices of goods and services.
Implementation of the approved standard guidelines on the appointment and remuneration of SOE boards and executives that prioritises the recruitment and retention of appropriate skills, experience and competencies.
This would include key delineation of authority and responsibility between elected public officials, non-executive directors and executive leadership.
The Presidency has prioritised accelerated land reform as part of economic and social transformation.
It is imperative that land reform should be aimed at redressing the injustices of the past.
It must also ensure that the country’s land is more productive and is more sustainably managed for the benefit of all South Africans.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform, which is chaired by the Deputy President, is driving the implementation of the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture.
We commend the hard work that has been underway in the National Assembly and through public hearings across the country on amendments to Section 25 of the Constitution to enable the expropriation of land without compensation.
As this work nears completion, it is critical that we all remain focused on the great desire for land, particularly among the poor and dispossessed, in our country – and that we do everything within our means to meet that need.
The achievement of a capable and developmental state requires that we decisively defeat corruption in all its forms.
If our economy is to thrive, if our people are to be empowered, if poverty is to be defeated, we need to tackle corruption, fraud and mismanagement in every area of public life.
Since the start of this administration, we have taken decisive measures to end state capture and fight corruption.
We are steadily and progressively turning the tide, strengthening our law enforcement agencies, identifying wrongdoing and ensuring that action is taken against those responsible.
We are cleaning up state-owned enterprises, many of which have taken steps to recover misappropriated funds and pursue individuals and companies involved in wrongdoing.
We acted swiftly to address allegations of corruption in COVID-related procurement.
This included a wide-ranging series of investigations by the Special Investigating Unit, which uncovered several instances of corruption and which has resulted in disciplinary and criminal action and steps to recover stolen funds.
In responding to these outrageous acts of criminality in the midst of a national crisis, government has made significant strides towards a more robust approach to the prevention, detection and prosecution of corruption.
The establishment of a Fusion Centre that brings together different law enforcement entities to share information and collaborate in the investigation of cases provides a valuable model for future anti-corruption efforts.
The online publication of all COVID-related contracts across all public entities has established a precedent for greater transparency in government procurement.
One of the consequences of the work we have done and continue to do is that South Africans are seeing action taken against people accused of wrongdoing and are seeing funds being recovered.
While it is disheartening to read on a daily basis about corruption allegations, it is significant that much of what is now in the public domain is the result of work being done by institutions like the SIU, the Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Auditor-General and others.
The institutions charged with uncovering and prosecuting corruption are doing what is expected of them.
It is important, as we rebuild these entities, that we demonstrate our confidence in their ability to investigate all allegations and to act without fear and favour.
We must affirm the rule of law and the importance of due process.
It is this principle that informs our approach to recent allegations around the Minister of Health and certain contracts awarded by his department.
These are serious and disturbing allegations and it is therefore essential that they be thoroughly investigated by the SIU and any other appropriate authority, that these investigations be finalised without delay and that the due legal process is followed.
An essential part of our national determination to end state capture is the work being done by the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture.
We are confident that the Commission will not only establish the extent and nature of state capture and enable us to hold those responsible to account.
It will also provide valuable recommendations that will assist us in ensuring that corruption of this sort is never allowed to happen again.
The Presidency is centrally involved in areas of work that are critical for a sustainable future for the country.
The newly-established Presidential Climate Change Commission is responsible for guiding South Africa’s approach to climate change and setting out the path for a just transition to a low-carbon economy.
The Commission brings together a wide range of expertise from government, academia, industry and civil society. It includes climate change NGOs, campaigners and activists.
It provides a platform to collectively shape policies and programmes that support our international climate change obligations, including those contained in the Paris Agreement.
The Commission has held several meetings and workshops this year to define its areas of work and to contribute to key policy outcomes such as the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions to the reduction of emissions.
Through its transparent and evidence-based work, we foresee that the Commission will provide a balanced and coherent approach to tackling climate change.
Our country has, over the years, engaged robustly in climate change negotiations.
As we head towards COP26, we will continue to support a just transition for those countries – such as those on the African continent – that contributed the least towards climate change but bear disproportionate costs from adverse climate events.
We will continue to draw attention to the need to support climate adaptation efforts in addition to climate mitigation.
The envisaged financial support for developing economies to transition to low-carbon economies has not materialised.
We will continue to advocate for this support, and will also mobilise appropriate climate finance for our national needs.
As we work to counter the damaging effects of previous industrial revolutions on the environment, we are also preparing to seize the opportunities of the new, fourth industrial revolution for rapid, sustainable development.
In 2019 we established the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution to develop a country strategy that will make effective use of all the opportunities presented by rapid technological change.
A project management office has been established in the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies to work with all critical stakeholders to oversee the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations.
This will see South Africa taking bold steps in areas like skills development, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, e-government and the development and deployment of 4IR infrastructure.
The Presidency is tasked with mobilising government and all sectors of society to address critical social issues.
Violence against women and children continues to be a dark stain on our country.
Despite significant efforts at raising public awareness, and substantial state resources being dedicated to fighting it, it continues unabated.
It is approaching two years since we met in a special Joint Sitting of Parliament to debate an Emergency Response Action Plan to respond to gender-based violence and femicide.
The rollout of the emergency plan, as well as the implementation of the National Strategic Plan to Combat Gender-Based Violence has been overseen by the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities and the IMC on Gender-based Violence and Femicide.
The draft Bill to establish a National Council on Gender-based Violence and Femicide is currently with the State Law Adviser.
Thereafter, it will go through Cabinet and be released for public consultation.
The Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities will provide detail on the progress that has been made, the challenges that have been faced, and the priorities for the year ahead.
It is a matter of great significance that National Assembly will tomorrow engage in a Second Reading debate on three very important Bills related to gender-based violence – the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill, the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill, and the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill.
I wish to commend Parliament for prioritising these Bills.
The passage of these amendments will be a major victory that will strengthen the fight against gender-based violence.
The Presidency will continue its advocacy for the empowerment of women and the eradication of gender-based violence through our membership of the UN’s Generation Equality initiative.
The Presidency is an important part of our national aspiration to build a better Africa and world.
Our participation in global affairs is valued and respected both on the African continent and on the broader international stage.
Our engagement in international forums is guided both by our national interests and the interests of our continent.
Our sister countries in Southern Africa have asked us as South Africa to chair the SADC Organ Troika, which actively participates in efforts to address regional conflicts and promote stability in the SADC region.
At the global level, South Africa continues to support a rules-based multilateral order and advocates for reform to ensure fair representation for the global South.
At the G7 where South Africa has once again been invited as a guest country, and at the G20 where the country is a member, we continue to advocate for global solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
This includes support for low- and middle-income countries to access vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, using all available instruments and channels, and to finance a robust economic recovery.
The AU special envoys have played a crucial role in making the case for debt service suspension and the mobilisation of new financing to support recovery efforts on the African continent.
The issuance of Special Drawing Rights by the IMF is an important intervention in this regard.
We will argue that the African continent, in addition to its quota-based allocation, should benefit from a reallocation of SDRs destined for rich economies.
This acknowledges that these countries, having enjoyed extensive stimulus programmes incurred at very low interest rates or with unconventional monetary policy, are unlikely to draw on these special drawing rights.
The Presidency, through the G20 and G7 Sherpa, and in partnership with DIRCO, rallies various government departments to make contributions at various working groups and to support the President’s engagement in these fora.
This is the time of year when we pay tribute to the many young men and women whose courageous activism won us our freedom.
We salute the young people of today, who are confronting the legacy of our past, who are rising to the challenges of the present, and who are forging a new society.
The true test of a capable state is the extent to which it expands the frontiers of hope for every citizen, but most especially its young citizens.
Our country is an infinitely better place than it was in 1976, for young and old.
At the same time we know that the difficulties young people face today can be a source of despondency, disillusionment and even anger.
We owe it to this generation and to future generations to fulfil the mission of our Constitution – to build a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights.
As the Presidency, as the beating heart of government, we will not relent until this promise is fulfilled.
We will keep trying and we will work harder.
We will acknowledge our weaknesses and act to correct them.
We will continue to build on successes and intensify our efforts.
I call on every member of this House, and every South African listening today, to be part of this effort.
Our unity has forever been, and will forever remain, our greatest strength.
I hereby commend this Budget Vote of the Presidency to the National Assembly and look forward to what I trust will be a constructive debate.
I thank you.
Address by Deputy President David Mabuza during The Presidency Budget Vote Speech, National Assembly, Parliament
2 June 2021 - 12:00am
His Excellency, President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Chairpersons of Portfolio Committees,
Honourable Members of the National Assembly,
Exactly 25 years ago in this very house, the Constitution as the supreme law of our land was adopted, marking the beginning of constitutionalism that is rooted in the ideals of democratic governance.
The adoption of the Constitution in 1996, meant that those of us who are entrusted to hold public positions must at all times in the exercise of power, be transparent, accountable, and responsive to the needs of the people.
By so doing, we would ensure that public participation in governance structures and processes is promoted and entrenched. Thus we stand today in presenting this budget vote, cognisant of the responsibility to ensure that the ideals of freedom, democracy and accountability that are enshrined in the Constitution are safeguarded and protected.
2. Promoting Accountability
Therefore, our contribution as Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly, seeks to promote people’s participation in the affairs of the state by ensuring that their voice is heard, that their plight is addressed and the right to development is nurtured.
For those of us in leadership and public service, are accountable to the people who give us the mandate at every cycle of elections. As society we must fight the scourge of corruption that undermines our development and provision of government services to the people. Together let us draw a line in the sand against corruption and maladministration.
This deepening of democratic cultures and practices, goes beyond the parliamentary floor. Instead, it extends to building partnerships between government and all segments of civil society, in particular women, youth and the private sector in order to strengthen solidarity, moral regeneration and cohesion among the people.
3. Youth Empowerment and Skills Development
At the heart of our mandate, is service to the people. During this Youth Month, we recognise the past, present and future role of young people in shaping and influencing the political, economic and technological landscape of our country.
During all periods of social change and reform in our country, the masses have always cherished and trusted young people as custodians and carriers of hope in the development of our nation.
As a people, our expectations on the youth is a firm belief that the sustainability of our democratic order and state, would best be achieved when they are active in public affairs.
We are mindful that the youth of our country is burdened unfairly so, with challenges of structural unemployment, lack of adequate skills for demands of this century, and general exclusion from meaningful activities that can bring material meaning to their young lives.
According to the StatsSA Quarterly Labour Force Survey released yesterday, the youth aged 15-24 and 25-34 years recorded the highest unemployment rate of 63,3 and 41,3 percent respectively. This is a cause for genuine alarm.
As the National Youth Policy 2020-2030 reminds us: “These are not just statistics, these are people with hopes, dreams and capacities”.
Our priority as this Administration, is to reskill, retrain and support these approximately 3.5-million young people not in employment, education or training to address the emergent skills mismatch. It is within our power to translate South Africa’s demographic dividend into practical benefits, by aligning skills to industry needs.
This reality has further been made more urgent by the Covid-19 pandemic wherein certain industries have been completely redefined. That is why at the level of the Human Resources Development Council, we are recalibrating the focus of our Human Resource Development Strategy towards developing skills and training that is innovation-led, entrepreneurial-focused, and technologically advanced. Such focus would complement the implementation of a mixture of interventions under the Presidential Employment Stimulus package.
4. Rural and Township Economy
As government we acknowledge that our role is to develop significant numbers of entrepreneurs that are critical to job creation, especially in rural and township areas. In this regard, there is work to be done in providing support to this sector, including creating linkages to global value chains and deconcentrating ownership patterns by a select few big companies. For this to be successful, we are working on consolidating empowerment models like the Government Nutrition Programme to support agriculture and Social Enterprise Model in the manufacturing of construction materials.
Linked to this area of work, is ensuring that participants in the informal sector comply with the municipal by-laws. Among other issues is to address tensions that exist within township and rural economy between locals and foreign nationals.
Therefore we must ensure that:
- licences of operation are reviewed periodically,
- those with licences open bank accounts in South Africa where income is declared for tax purposes, and
- businesses are audited, income and expenditure declared to prevent money laundering.
5. Women Empowerment
This budget vote is presented in a year dedicated to honour the living memory of Mama Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke, widely known as “the Mother of Black Freedom in South Africa”.
As we remember her fearless spirit and fight against unjust pass laws early in the 20th century, we also acknowledge the campaigns and courageous mobilisation of women working as farmworkers and domestic workers, to fight for better working and living conditions.
The journey of her life continues to symbolise the fight against patriarchy, racism, and the exclusion of women, people with disabilities and key populations from accessing equal development opportunities across all facets of life.
This week as we observe the Child Protection Week, it is befitting that we remember her astute leadership, as she gave a voice to those who were voiceless and vulnerable, it remains our collective responsibility as the different arms of state to do the same.
We call upon all of us to never remain silent when women and girl-children do not feel safe at home, on the streets, in schools, in workplaces, and on social media for fear of being victimised. This is the reason as government, we remain steadfast in working to remove barriers to justice for survivors and victims of gender-based violence and femicide.
Doing so, will be a befitting memory to the selfless contribution of Charlotte Maxeke, to the freedom and democracy we enjoy today.
There is no doubt that any freedom and democracy without the total emancipation of women, remains an incomplete revolutionary journey. Such emancipation must advance meaningful economic participation and inclusion of women in all key productive sectors of the economy. Women must take up leadership positions in agriculture, mining, financial services, construction, manufacturing and many other sectors of the economy.
As government, we will ensure our land reform programme prioritises women and youth as beneficiaries of land. Access to land, is key to ensuring that women are able to utilise this asset for productive economic activities that contribute to sustainable livelihoods and job creation.
6. Land Reform
As this Administration, we have on several occasions indicated that land reform is taking place within a constitutionally-defined path, hence the unfolding parliamentary process of addressing the historical injustice of land inequality, displacement and dispossession.
Notable progress is being made in the implementation of recommendations made by the Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, towards addressing land justice.
The land reform programme further seeks to achieve national reconciliation and economic inclusion. Such inclusion shall be attained by the redistribution of land for human settlement and industrial development to achieve spatial justice, as well as to unlock the potential of the people to realise their right to development.
As government, we will not act outside the boundaries and prescripts of the law but rather we would seek legitimately so, respond to the imperatives of restorative justice, economic inclusion and social cohesion in a responsible manner that guarantees policy certainty, is not chaotic and does not compromise food security.
To this end, we have processed a series of legislative and policy interventions, which includes but not limited to:
- The finalisation of the Expropriation Bill of 2020 which is currently going through due parliamentary processes.
- The Land Court Bill that has been introduced in Parliament and will provide for the establishment of the court that will focus solely on land matters.
- The adoption of Beneficiary Selection and Land Allocation Policy that guides the allocation of land to different categories of beneficiaries.
Moreover, to ensure that land is productively utilised by beneficiaries, government across all spheres, is paying attention to the provision of effective post-settlement support and packages such as provision of requisite infrastructure and access to finance as demonstrated recently at the handover of title deeds and property rights at Covie here in the Western Cape, and at Tafelkop in Limpopo.
As the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and Agriculture continues with its work on accelerating restitution and redistribution, many more such initiatives will be unveiled in the coming months. It is through non-partisan partnerships that inclusive land reform can be achieved, thereby bringing dignity to the people.
We are now at the point of no return. Land access is an indispensable bedrock of our social compact, unity and cohesion. It is a collective task of healing this nation to forge a common path of peace, social progress and inclusive prosperity.
7. Rapid Response Interventions on Service Delivery
Our efforts on land reform to drive development and economic inclusion, cannot be fully achieved, and its fruits be enjoyed in the context of collapsed capacity of the state to provide basic services at municipal level.
As this Administration, we have identified a capable and developmental state as the apex of our priorities. This also entails building and nurturing a functional local government as the coalface in the provision of reliable and quality services to the people.
The objective of doing this, is to respond to interrelated structural challenges of:
- collapse in core municipal infrastructure services in some communities,
- governance failures, financial mismanagement and administration shortcomings, and
- slow reactions to environmental challenges like drought and floods.
From studies conducted by organisations like Municipal IQ, service delivery protests and social distance between public institutions and communities emerge largely from lack of early warning systems to detect and prevent governance and service delivery failures, land invasions and evictions of people from areas deemed unsuitable for human habitation.
The widespread incidents of service delivery protests, accompanied by intolerable damage to public property, is a call for action to us as public representatives to listen regularly to citizens and attend to their daily needs on a continuous basis.
Therefore, making timely interventions to ailing municipalities is one such support led by The Presidency. Valuable lessons have been learnt from our interactions in both Maluti-a-Phofung and Emfuleni local municipalities in responding timeously to issues raised by communities, especially the provision of water, electricity and sanitation.
Government has adopted the District Delivery Model to create a collaborative institutional platform that allows for better, and effective coordination of government programmes at local level. Joined-up government efforts at national, provincial and local spheres become central to implementing high impact interventions that respond to community developmental and service delivery needs.
Through rapid service delivery response interventions, we are putting in place regularised monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to identity, fix and prevent bottlenecks including installing appropriately qualified and skilled personnel in all such municipalities. It emphasises consequence management, prioritising accountability and emphasising meritocratic governance so that we deliver a citizen-centric government across all three spheres.
This all-of-government and all-of-society approach is one lesson learnt, from our intervention where inter-governmental collaborative approach is necessary in resolving water and sanitation challenges as well as preventing environmental degradation. This is the case in the Vaal River system that cuts across and services four of our provinces.
8. Energy Security and Sustainability of Eskom
As we intervene in these municipalities to improve their capacity to provide services to the people, we are conscious of the symbiotic relationship between energy security, sustainable livelihoods and economic growth. That is why, stabilising load shedding by providing consistent and reliable electricity supply, is a priority for the Eskom Political Task Team. We consider this as a national prerogative in order to ensure the recovery and reconstruction of the economy for the benefit of all.
This is a matter that the Eskom Political Task Team is seized with on a daily basis to ensure that the utility delivers on its mandate. The Political Task Team has adopted interventions to improve revenue collection and management in municipalities. This encompasses expediting the reduction and payment of outstanding debts owed to Eskom, and ensuring that all national and provincial organs of state, settle all outstanding debts to municipalities and water entities and boards.
We are encouraged that our efforts and interventions to resolve debt owed to the utility, are starting to bear fruit. For instance, the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality and Eskom are working on a joint Service Level Agreement that would improve revenue collection, maintenance of infrastructure, and ultimately curb the rise of municipal debt to Eskom. This would ensure that sustainable provision of electricity is achieved thus preventing incidences like interruptions in water supply to communities.
Lessons learnt from this intervention will be applied to other financially-distressed municipalities across the country, starting with the Free State province. This will ensure that communities will not be disadvantaged in the provision of electricity due to their municipality’s inability to pay Eskom.
We call upon citizens to pay for municipal services and not vandalise infrastructure. This informs the ‘Responsible Citizenry Campaign’ rolled out in all municipalities across the country to combat illegal connections, ghost vending, and meter tampering related to electricity and water. Democracy is dependent on citizens and communities being responsible in how they consume public services like water and electricity.
Moreover, we remain committed to ensure that energy security is sourced from a wide range of energy sources and technologies available in our country. This is in line with the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019. Therefore, the recently published Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme will therefore ensure that the projects around additional capacity remain sustainable.
9. HIV/AIDS Response and Covid-19 Vaccines Roll-out
As government, we continue to ensure that the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out plan reaches all population groups, providing equal access to those in urban and rural areas of the country. Equally, at the level of the South African National AIDS Council, we continue to ensure that our response to the Covid-19 pandemic does not reverse the achievements we have made thus far in responding to the HIV/AIDS and TB epidemics.
In our response to the dual epidemics of HIV and TB, South Africa is making significant progress in mitigating the impact of these epidemics on the health and social well-being of South Africans. As a nation, we have responded through various interventions and programmatic platforms to address the systemic drivers of these epidemics within society.
Earlier this year, the SANAC Plenary convened to assess the impact of our collaborative partnerships with a broad spectrum of civil society role-players in terms of directing the country’s response towards ensuring that our services are integrated for the benefit of communities. This is both at the level of targeting our healthcare delivery as well as addressing issues of access, particularly in light of the unprecedented impact of the global pandemic.
As a multi-sectoral structure, SANAC has developed and is implementing strategies and programmes to turn the tide against HIV, TB and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, SANAC has prioritised the fast-tracking of the development and implementation of the TB/HIV catch-up plans in each of the provinces.
At the centre of our collective efforts is the emphasis on the promotion of human rights and the elimination of all forms of stigma given government’s custodian role of protecting society against any form of discrimination.
South Africa’s role of championing the protection of vulnerable sectors of our society and the adoption of a human rights-based approach to addressing societal issues, will also be underscored when we join the global community at next week’s United Nations High-Level Meeting on AIDS.
We will table our country position on the alignment with the new Global AIDS strategy to 2026. Our country position which was endorsed by the Special Extended SANAC Plenary meeting, held on 29 May 2021 will emphasise the prioritisation of the following key commitments:
- The adoption of a human rights-based approach and involvement of People Living with HIV; - Prevention of new HIV infections and focus on key and vulnerable populations;
- Fully-funded HIV/TB response and health systems; and
- Local production of commodities.
We therefore continue our work in enhancing HIV and TB services against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic and its demands of the healthcare system. We have also established the SANAC Private Sector Forum to ensure that the private sector plays a more prominent role, including the mobilisation of resources, in the fight against HIV, TB and other non-communicable diseases.
Our progress as a nation, is equally dependent on how we maintain and achieve population health. To this end, progress is being made to ensure the effective co-ordination and implementation of the Covid-19 vaccines roll-out. We are on track to vaccinate 40 million people to achieve population immunity.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Covid-19 Vaccines, continues to pursue ways in which South Africa can manufacture vaccines, be self-reliant and provide support to our neighbouring countries.
As we take lessons from phase 1 and the current phase 2 of the implementation of South Africa’s Covid-19 Response Plan, we are ensuring that we have in place all critical components of ensuring that there are no hindrances in South Africa delivering a successful vaccination plan. This includes proactively identifying risk areas and implementing mitigating steps.
We are encouraged by recent announcements of an anticipated waiver on intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines. The proposal establishes a global solution to enhance manufacturing and boost supply capacity, and enables co-ordination and access to information currently under patent protection.
For countries that do not currently have manufacturing capability on certain medical technologies, the waiver could open up more supply options and avoid countries being reliant on only one or two suppliers. Where supply capacity currently exists, it can be repurposed to Covid-19 vaccine production, and in this way improve the supply available to all nations.
South Africa and Africa as a whole stand to benefit from this. Our country is well-positioned to take advantage of certain opportunities, provided that support such as risk appropriate financing, funding and regulatory enablers is made available by government.
10. A better Africa and a better World
In pursuit of the African agenda of building a stable, secure and peaceful Africa, South Africa will continue to support South Sudan on post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts, especially in establishing strong and resilient institutions to anchor democratic governance, peace, security and stability.
We are aware that the leaders in South Sudan have much work to do in the coming months of the transitional period as they draft the permanent constitution and prepare for democratic elections.
At the centre of the mandate of this unity government, is to ensure that the process of national reconciliation and healing is realised through restoration of permanent and sustainable peace, security and stability in South Sudan.
We must never forget that the people are the authors of their own history and they determine their destiny. The struggle was for the people and by the people. We should never forget the role played by military veterans in the attainment and preservation of our democracy. As a country, we should afford them the dignity that is equal to their service.
Even though time has its own limits, there is no limit to serving our people. Let us take our responsibility with precision and with great resolve that the road ahead might be winding and long but we will reach the desired destination of building a South Africa of our dreams.
Acting alone as individuals, our powers are limited but as long as we are united as one, there is no mountain our nation cannot climb or river difficult to cross or overcome. The allocated budget will assist the Presidency in fulfilling the mandate of coordinating the government effort towards accelerating socio-economic transformation in our society.
I take this opportunity to thank the President, my colleagues in Cabinet and all representatives of the people in this 6th Parliament.
Address by the Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, MP, Acting Minister in the The Presidency during The Presidency budget debate vote
2 June 2021 - 12:00am
Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise,
His Excellency, President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa
Deputy President David Mabuza,
45 years ago, in this month of June, young people across the country fought against bantu education in what became known as the 1976 student uprisings, which triggered another wave of mass rebellions led by the students and youth of our country against the Apartheid system. Their struggle for a free South Africa is echoed by the voices of present day South African youth and students when they demand access to better and affordable education through the “Fees Must Fall” and “Decolonisation of Higher Education” movements and equal access to economic opportunities with their clarion call for “Economic Freedom in our Lifetime”. In addition, the governing party of South Africa, the African National Congress, has mandated us to deliver on the aspirations of the founding fathers of a democratic South Africa of building a non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and equal society.
The work to build a prosperous and equal society requires a capable and development state. The President, His Excellency Mr. Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa has clearly articulated that this Presidency is seeking to restore the capability of the state and engender a developmental approach to the work of the state and that this is our topmost priority.
Our ability to deliver on the aspirations of our founding fathers for a prosperous and equal society will be determined by our success in building a capable, ethical and developmental state. Drawing from the categorization We have organized our work of restoring state capacity on five (5) focus areas:
- A better coordinated and focused government
- An integrated government
- A competent government,
- An ethical government, and
- A developmental state
A better coordinated and focused government
At a horizontal level, Presidency coordinates government through a Cluster approach that is managed through the Director-General in the Presidency who is also Secretary to Cabinet. The government clusters have been repurposed to focus on the seven (7) priorities.
To strengthen the ability of the Director-General in the Presidency to coordinate and direct the work of the clusters in line with government priorities, we have commenced the transitioning of the position to that of the Head of the Public Administration in order to strengthen coordination of strategic leadership at national level in support of the President.
In addition, November 2020, Cabinet approved that the Minister of Public Service and Administration should conduct public consultations on the amendment of Public Service Act of 1994 and the Public Administration and Management Act of 2014 with the view to take forward the strategic intent of establishing a single public administration. Once the amendments to these pieces of legislation have been effected, our ability to integrating and consolidating resource utilisation and technical capacity across the three spheres of government will be enhanced.
At a vertical level and to strengthen the implementation of the intergovernmental coordination framework, the 6th administration has introduced and is currently embedding the District–based Development Model to foster a unitary approach in the implementation of national priorities. In another words, the implementation of the national priorities must be the lived experiences of our people in their local communities. Development does not exist in a vaccum but must be felt in the communities and localities where we all live.
The Sixth Administration adopted the DDM as an approach to break silos among state institutions and foster collective investment in district spaces through partnerships with all stakeholders including private sector in a particular district. The DDM which was initially piloted in the Ethekwini Metro, Waterberg District Municipality and O.R. Tambo District Municipality has since been rolled out to all districts in South Africa. The President designated all Ministers and Deputy Ministers as district champions who work closely with the leadership at provincial and local government levels. We are starting to register progress in developing One Plan with One Budget for each district informed by the national priorities of government and the material socio-economic conditions of the particular district.
We are implementing the DDM to mobilise all stakeholders in society towards investing in our communities. The DDM “one plans” will contain commitments by all citizens in a particular district towards better delivery of services and realisation of our development aspirations in aspects such as health, housing, water, sanitation, environment, local economic development, tourism, and so forth. Through this model, the Presidency and mobilise national and provincial governments, as well as business and civil society, to support municipalities to perform their mandates. The Presidency is working closely with the Department of Cooperative Governance and other transversal departments like the National Treasury, to ensure better implementation of the DDM. Improved DDM institutional arrangements will also help ensure that when the new leadership of municipalities comes into office after the 2021 local government elections can build better and capable municipalities that serve our people.
In addition, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) is finalising the drafting of the Intergovernmental Monitoring, Support and Intervention Bill. This legislative instrument will strengthen the alignment of provincial and local government support mechanisms, as well as better implementation of government interventions in line with sections 100 and 139 of the Constitution. Of recent, we have witnessed significant improvements in the implementation of section 100 interventions in the North West province, and the details of this will be shared by the Minister of COGTA with the National Council of Provinces.
At the apex of vertical coordination and bolstered by the need for effective coordination of government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the role of the Presidential Coordinating Council has been invigorated. The PCC which is chaired by the President and constituted by Minsters, Premiers, and Executive Mayors and now expanded to include representatives of traditional leaders continues to play a significant role in facilitating a united South African approached to governance matters that affect all spheres of government and community leadership.
- An integrated government
In integration of government commences at a planning level. Since 1994, we have made significant strides in strengthening the government planning system as part of developing integrated development plans that improves service delivery thus improving the quality of life of our people. As we are all aware, our national developmental agenda is guided by our Vision 2030 as outlined in the National Development Plan. The
National Planning Commission completed the review of the NDP which was submitted to Cabinet and published for all South Africans. The review provided a comprehensive assessment of progress in implementing the NDP and recommendations for course correction to enhance performance towards 2030.To recalibrate our way back towards attaining the goals of the NDP, the National Planning Commission is finalizing a framework for the implementation of the NDP. This framework will inform the reorganization and realignment of the Medium-Term-Strategic-Framework (MTSF) which was developed as a five-year plan towards the achievement of the NDP Vision 2030 goals. It is the MTSF which details the implementation plans and targets of the government’s 7 priorities which guides the government’s Programme of Action which the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) conducts government performance assessment. The MTSF also informs the Performance Agreements of the Ministers, and the President. The DPME has just completed the 2020/21 financial year Programme of Action Assessment Report and it is being considered by Cabinet and will be released to the public. Of course, the budget cuts that were necessitated by the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, has not only necessitated budget reprioritization but the downward revision of the MTSF targets.
The DPME has also concluded an assessment of the alignment of the Provincial Growth and Development Strategies (PGDS) of provinces to the MTSF priorities and targets. Provinces have been given an opportunity to correct the misalignments and exclusions within their PGDS. In addition, the DPME will assist COGTA to ensure full alignment of the DDMs’ One Plans to the MTSF.
© A competent government
The NDP requires us to “reinvigorate the state’s role in producing the specialist technical skills to fulfil its core functions.” On 18 November 2020, Cabinet released the Framework for the Professionalisation of the Public Service, which was gazetted by Minister Mchunu on December 2020 for public consultation. Our framing of the professionalisation public service is based on the need to change attitudes, behaviour and performance of public servants towards serving the citizens. We insist that public servants must have requisite technical skills and competencies to execute their responsibilities with regard to implementing government policies and plans. Information regarding performance of Directors-General (DGs) indicates that they need support systems to enhance their performance in terms of ensuring that the state delivers on its developmental agenda. As indicated by the President, the National School of Government and universities will play a critical role in continuous professional development of the DGs and other public servants.
Similarly, the delivery of basic services and the roll-out of our ambitious infrastructure plan as announced by the President both by municipalities, state-owned enterprises and both provincial and national government requires technical skills like engineers and artisans. Student enrolments at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges reached 673 490 in 2019, reflecting a 2.5% or 16 357 increase when compared with 2018 (657 133). The collaborative work of the Departments of Employment and Labour, Higher Education and Training, Communications and Digital Technologies and Small Business Development is underway to ensure a significant increase in not only the enrolments for technical skills training at TVET colleges and SETAs but also a platform for access both job and business opportunities in the roll-out of South Africa’s Infrastructure Plan.
Furthermore, we are working to improve the performance monitoring and assessment system within the public service commencing with that of the Directors-General. The Presidency working with the DPSA are working to align the performance agreements of DGs to those of Ministers and country outcomes. In addition, work is underway within the DPME to ensure that performance assessments within the public service are not a tickbox exercise. From now onward, the POA assessments will be linked with country outcomes such that government clusters and provincial governments cannot be deemed to be performing well, whereas the country indicators are regression. The good performance of government must translate to positive and meaningful improvement to the lives of South Africans. Government’s work must be about the impact it makes to the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. We commit to the Xitsonga dictum that says “Mhitiro ya bulabula”.
- An ethical government
In the year that we mark 25 years since the adoption of the Constitution, a capable public administration must lead in upholding the values of the Constitution. Chapter 10 of the Constitution enjoins the public administration to be governed by the democratic values and principles. The Constitution demands the following, amongst others, from the public administration:
- A promotion and maintenance of the high standards of professional ethics
- Service, must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias
- Public administration must be accountable
On the path to an accountable public administration, it is pleasing to remind South Africans that we are starting to note that the latest report of the Auditor-General of South Africa points to an improvement in the audit-outcomes of national and provincial government departments, and public entities. Irregular expenditure also improved from R66,9 billion in 2018/19 to R54,3 billion in 2019/20. National Treasury is implementing measures to assist departments, municipalities and entities to improve their financial management capabilities.
In addition, there is an improvement on compliance with disclosures of financial interests by senior managers and work is underway to compliance amongst other levels of the public service. The lifestyle audit system is being implemented in departments.
We are fully aware that the audit outcomes of municipalities have regressed but the National Treasury, COGTA and SALGA are hard at work to ensure improvement in the compliance to regulations and applicable legislation. In preparation of the new term of office of municipal councils with the upcoming local government elections, the COGTA, DPME and National Treasury are finalising the review of 21 years of local government which is build on the 20 year Review conducted by SALGA. This review will include measures to strengthen the instruments of monitoring and supporting municipalities.
Amil Cabral taught us to “hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, and failures. Claim no easy victories…”.
If the DA had dared to listen to the teachings of Cabral, they would not be suffering electoral losses in all the bi-elections held to date. The so-called better run municipalities by the DA do so because they continue to exclude black townships in their so called better service delivery. We don’t have to go far for evidence of this, we just need to roam the streets of the townships of the Cape Flats.
The President has instructed us to ensure that the practice where South Africans deem it normal to pay bribes public servants and politicians to receive services that they are entitled to, should come to an end. I do not want to debate the broken window theory but the DPME working with DPSA will soon release a report on number of public servants dismissed on charges of bribes from the public services. We are committed to ensure that the fight against corruption and malfeasance remains blind and reiterate that the President has issued proclamations to the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption and malfeasance irrespective of whomever is alleged to be involved. The Presidency continues to work with the Minister of Justice, Constitutional Development and Correctional Services to insulate our law enforcement agencies against undue influences and interference as part of rebuilding an independent and robust justice system. As government, we understand the impatience of our people with the pace at which investigations and prosecutions take place but we must never forget that “the wheels of justice turn slowly but grind exceedingly fine”.
We have committed to building an ethical state, which has zero tolerance to corruption. In November 2020 Cabinet adopted the National Anti-Corruption Strategy which seeks to ensure that all sectors of society work together in the fight against corruption. In this regard, I am working closely with the Minister of Justice, Constitutional Development and Correctional Services, Mr Lamola, to implement institutional arrangements as proposed by this strategy as announced by the President in the 2021 SONA.
The National anti-Corruption Strategy has six pillars, namely (1) Promote and encourage active citizenry, whistleblowing, integrity and transparency in all spheres of society; (2) Advance the professionalisation of employees to optimise their contribution to create corruption-free workplaces; (3) Enhance governance, oversight and consequence management in organisations; (4) Improve the integrity and credibility of the public procurement system; (5) Strengthen the resourcing, coordination, transnational cooperation, performance, accountability and independence of dedicated anti-corruption agencies; and (6) Protect vulnerable sectors that are most prone to corruption and unethical practices with effective risk management.
Within government, we have started to implement aspects on the NACS by introducing measures to prevent corruption in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines. This effort is coordinated under the Inter-Ministerial Committee, which is led and chaired by His Excellency Deputy President DD Mabuza.
In order to protect the integrity of national Covid-19 vaccine roll out, we have taken the lead in developing a proactive multi-stakeholder response to identify and mitigate against corruption risks. We have done this by bringing together a wide range of organisations and capacities to identify and mitigate against corruption risks across the vaccine roll out value chain – from procurement, distribution and storage to vaccine administration.
This response draws on a dynamic platform made up of a diversity of skills, capacities and perspectives to identify risks and proactively strengthen mitigations to corruption-related risks, as part of the broader risk management response.
This Corruption Risk Mitigation Plan is supported and implemented by a large number of organisations both inside and outside government. These include the Special Investigating Unit, Department of Heath’s anti-corruption unit, the National Treasury’s Chief Procurement Officer, the South African Police Service, the South African Revenue Service, the Public Service Commission’s National Anti-Corruption Hotline, the Presidential Hotline and the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa.
In addition, the process draws on the work of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, the Auditor General of SA, the Chief State Law Advisor.
To date this process has resulted in the strengthening of a range of mitigations to risks identified in the vaccine roll out. We are confident that we will protect this vital national effort from the threat of corruption.
The fact that the SIU is investigating the allegations of corruption related to the PPE procurement and Digital Vibes contracts point to our commitment to fight against corruption. We recognises that the prevention, detection and prosecution of corruption goes beyond law enforcement, requiring the activation of capacities and systems across government and the broader society.
To you Mr. President, do not lose heart because of the unfair criticisms on your work, your ancestors Masingo have taught you, “mutshimbidza vhusiku ndi mu tenda lotsha”, in any case mutonda Venda, muvhuya ndi o faho.
The indicative funding between 2021 and 2025 amounts to R2 428 364 (Two billion, four hundred and twenty eight million, three hundred and sixty four thousand rands). The allocation per anum for four years has been outlined below per Economic Classification:
|Compensation of Employees||372 109||374 902||375 377||375 377||1 499 757|
|Goods and Services||213 703||217 803||218 632||218 632||868 770|
|Capital Assets||14 007||14 778||15 428||15 428||59 641|
|Total||599 863||607 531||610 485||610 485||2 428 364|
I thank you
Ndi khou livhuha