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Uninterrupted Jacob Zuma's full State of the Nation address

Feb 12 '16 | By La Afrique Media | Views: 154 | Comments: 0

President Jacob Zuma delivers the State of the Nation Address. (Ashraf Hendricks)

President Jacob Zuma delivers the State of the Nation Address. (Ashraf Hendricks)The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces;

President Jacob Zuma delivers the State of the Nation Address. (Ashraf Hendricks)Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa,

Former President Thabo Mbeki,

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and all esteemed members of the judiciary,

The President of the Pan African Parliament, Mr Roger Nkodo Dang,

Ministers and Deputy Ministers,

Premiers and Speakers of Provincial Legislatures, Chairperson of SALGA and all Executive Mayors present, The Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions, Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders,

Leaders of faith based organisations,

The former Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Frene Ginwala,

Invited guests,

Veterans of the struggle for liberation,

Members of the diplomatic corps,

Fellow South Africans,

Good evening, sanibonani, molweni, dumelang, goeie naand, lotshani, riperile, ndimadekwana,

Thank you for the opportunity to address Parliament and the nation.

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the release of President Nelson Mandela from prison, which was one of the most remarkable episodes in the history of our country.

It is also the 50th anniversary of the declaration by the National Party regime that District Six would be a whites only area, leading to the forced removals of more than 60 000 residents.

The year 2016 also marks the 20th anniversary of the signing into law by Madiba, of the Constitution of the Republic. The signing took place in Sharpeville on 10 December 1996.

We are proud of our democracy and what we have achieved in a short space of time. Our democracy is functional, solid and stable.

Compatriots,

The Constitution, which has its foundation in the Freedom Charter, proclaims that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. A lot has been done to promote inclusion and a non-racial society.

However, the journey to a non-racial society has not yet been completed.

The nation was shaken last month when racism reared its ugly head on social and electronic media, causing untold pain and anger.

There is a need to confront the demon of racism. Human Rights Day, March 21, will be commemorated as the national day against racism this year. It will be used to lay the foundation for a long-term programme of building a non-racial society.

Compatriots, I would like to remind you of a few other important anniversaries.

The year 2016 marks 60 years since the women’s march to the Union Buildings to demand an end to the pass laws. We are happy to have in our midst Ms Sophie de Bruyn, who was among the heroic leaders of that historic march.

We also acknowledge the former President of the Black Sash, Ms Mary Burton. We acknowledge the organisation’s track record in fighting for human rights, justice and equality.

This year also marks 40 years since the landmark June 16 student uprising in Soweto.

We welcome the photographer who shot the famous photograph of Hector Peterson carried by Mbuyisa Makhubu with his sister Antoinette, Mr Sam Nzima.

We also salute the class of 1976 for their bravery in standing up against the brutal apartheid regime. We acknowledge one of the activists of that era, the Deputy Secretary of Parliament, Ms Baby Tyawa, who is in our midst.

This year we also mark 30 years since the ambush and brutal killing of the Gugulethu Seven by the apartheid police in March 1986.  

The University of Fort Hare celebrates its centenary, which is a critical milestone in the liberation history of not only our country but the continent. The national celebrations will take place on the 20th of May.

Let me recognise uMntwana wakwaPhindangene, the leader of the IFP who is a former student of the university.

The year 2016 also marks the centenary of the battle of Deville Woods in France, which took place during the First World War.

Scores of Black soldiers fought in the war but were treated badly due to the colour of their skin.

A memorial that will restore their dignity and humanity is scheduled to be unveiled in July this year in France.

Compatriots, allow me as well to recognise three special guests who are also with us today,

  • the chairperson of the National Church Leaders Forum and Archbishop of Cape Town, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.   
  • Archbishop Daniel Matebesi, the President of the National Interfaith Council of South Africa 
  • and  Bishop Zipho Siwa, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and the President of the South African Council of Churches.  

Madam Speaker and Madam Chairperson,

A resilient and fast growing economy is at the heart of our radical economic transformation agenda and our National Development Plan.

When the economy grows fast it delivers jobs. Workers earn wages and businesses make profits.

The tax base expands and allows government to increase the social wage and provide education, health, social grants, housing and free basic services - faster and in a more sustainable manner.

Our economy has been facing difficulties since the financial crisis in 2008. We embarked on an aggressive infrastructure development programme to stimulate growth.

Our reality right now is that global growth still remains muted. Financial markets have become volatile. Currencies of emerging markets have become weak and they fluctuate widely.

The prices of gold, platinum, coal and other minerals that we sell to the rest of the world have dropped significantly and continue to be low.

The economies of two of our partners in BRICS: Brazil and Russia - are expected to contract this year. The third, China, will not register the kind of robust growth that it is known for.

Because our economy is relatively small and open, it is affected by all of these developments.

Our economy is also affected by domestic factors such as the electricity constraints and industrial relations which are sometimes unstable.

The IMF and the World Bank predict that the South African economy will grow by less than one per cent this year. The lower economic growth outcomes and outlook suggest that revenue collection will be lower than previously expected.

Importantly, our country seems to be at risk of losing its investment grade status from ratings agencies. If that happens, it will become more expensive for us to borrow money from abroad to finance our programmes of building a better life for all especially the poor.

The situation requires an effective turnaround plan from us.

It is about doing things differently and also acting on what may not have been acted upon quickly before.

I will share a few points that we believe would make a difference.

First, our country remains an attractive investment destination. It may face challenges, but its positive attributes far outweigh those challenges.

We must continue to market the country as a preferred destination for investments. This requires a common narrative from all of us as business, labour and government.

If there are any disagreements or problems between us, we should solve them before they escalate. This is necessary for the common good of our country.

We have had fruitful meetings with business, including the high level meeting with CEOs on Tuesday this week.   

We have heard the suggestions from business community on how we can turn the situation around and put the economy back on a growth path.   

We have heard the points about the need to create the correct investment support infrastructure.   Government is developing a One Stop Shop/Invest SA initiative to signal that South Africa is truly open for business. We will fast-track the implementation of this service, in partnership with the private sector.   

Such an initiative requires that government removes the red tape and reviews any legislative and regulatory blockages.

We have established an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Investment Promotion which will ensure the success of investment promotion initiatives.

Compatriots, we have heard the concerns raised about the performance of state owned enterprises and companies.   

Many of our SOCs are performing well.

Sanral has built some of the best roads in Gauteng and in many parts of the country. These make us the envy of many parts around the globe.

The Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority has constructed dams of varied capacities, thus making it possible for our people to have access to safe drinking water.

Transnet has built rail infrastructure which has enabled our country’s mines to move massive bulk of commodities through our ports to markets around the globe.

Eskom, in spite of the challenges, still manages to keep the economy going, against all odds.


continue at Mail Guardian


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