Update on the National Planning Commission

BannerIn 2009, President Jacob Zuma introduced the functions of planning, monitoring and evaluation in the government, and in particular established the National Planning Commission, (NPC).

The NPC is chaired by the Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr Jeff Radebe. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was the Deputy Chairperson of the NPC before his election and appointment as the Deputy President of the Republic.

The term of office of the current NPC will come to the end in May this year. Minister Radebe will soon call for nominations for the new NPC, whose members are appointed by the President.

In 2009, the NPC, then chaired by the former Minister, Mr Trevor Manuel, was asked by the President to take a broad, cross-cutting, independent and critical view of South Africa, to help define the development status we seek to achieve as a nation in 20 years’ time and to map out a path to achieve those objectives.

The hard working Commission developed the landmark National Development Plan after extensive consultation with South Africans from all walks of life.

“The plan is our inspiration. It constantly reminds us of what type of society we can be by 2030, which is why we have begun working systematically to achieve that goal within government”, said President Zuma.

Through providing a set of guiding principles, the NPC has helped government put together the first five year plan to implement the NDP, the Medium Term Strategic Framework for 2014- 2019 which is the programme of action of government for the next five years.

“All the work that government is doing between now and 2019 is practically the implementation of the NDP. We urge business and other sectors to also institutionalise the NDP in their planning processes and programmes so that we can move the country forward together,” said the President.

One of the most innovative NDP implementation programmes in government is the Operation Phakisa delivery model which is being implemented to unlock the ocean economy and improve the functioning of clinics.

In SONA2015, the President announced that Operation Phakisa will also be utilised to unlock the potential of the country’s mining sectors, especially with regards to beneficiation.

National Planning Commission members will need to have skills including the following: infrastructure development, urban and regional planning, energy, agriculture and food security, education and training, health, public policy and governance, community engagement, economics, finance, budgeting and banking, ICT, telecommunications and broadcasting, business and industry, water and sanitation, science and technology, social cohesion and nation building, futures research and scenario planning, climate change and youth development.

Enquiries: Mac Maharaj on 079 879 3203 or macmaharaj@icloud.com

Issued by: The Presidency


Website: www.thepresidency.gov.za

Operation Phakisa: www.operationphakisa.gov.za

Address by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Youth Engagement Harare Library, Khayelitsha

11 February 2015

Photo of: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Programme Director,
Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa,
Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Siyabonga Cwele,
Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Buti Manamela,
Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Rejoice Thizwilondi Mabudafhasi,
Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a rare privilege and a great delight to be invited to speak on an issue that is close to my heart – the value and joy of reading.
For an individual, reading opens up new worlds, reveals new ideas and suggests new opportunities.
For a nation, reading is a gateway to a different, better future.
A winning nation actively promotes reading.
South Africa boasts internationally acclaimed authors.
Just this week, we bid a sad farewell to André Brink, one of our most distinguished and treasured authors.
Over many decades, he told the many stories of our people in a way that captivated, challenged, disturbed and delighted.
He portrayed our despair and our delight, our defeats and our triumphs, our deepest fears and our enduring courage.
It is perhaps appropriate on an occasion like this to recall the words of the central character in Andre Brink’s novel, The Rights of Desire, where he says:
“My library was – all libraries are – a place of ultimate refuge, a wild and sacred space where meanings are manageable precisely because they aren’t binding; and where illusion is comfortingly real. To read, to think, to trace words back to their origins real or presumed; to invent; to dare to imagine.”
And yet, though we have many fine libraries, and though we have been blessed with many great writers, we are a nation that does not read.
We are told that only 14% of the South Africans are active book readers. 

A mere 5% of parents read to their children.
We must change that.
There should be no substitute for books in the lives of young people.
Our youth must be addicted to reading; not drugs, alcohol or izikhothane culture.
We recognise the ground-breaking initiatives led by the Department of Arts and Culture to develop an appetite for books especially among our youth.
We must thank our social partners in government, business, civil society and the education sphere who are working to encourage reading.
Our engagement today must be seen as another effort in support of these initiatives.
Our engagement should lead to something tangible; something that will give greater impetus to our efforts.
We would like to see a consultative process that could lead to the
establishment of a national youth book club.
We would like to see a dialogue among social partners on what objectives it could pursue and what form it could take.
We would like to see a discussion on how we can use information technology and social media to grow readership in urban and rural settings.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Reading books is not just an enjoyable past time. It is an integral part of our struggle to be a free and prosperous nation.
Sixty years ago, representatives from across the country gathered on a dusty piece of veld in Kliptown to adopt the Freedom Charter. In that document, they declared for all our country and the world to know that:
“The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened!”
They said:
“All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands;”
“The aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace;”
The National Development Plan envisages a society where each community has:
· a school,
· teachers who love teaching and learning,
· a local library filled with a wealth of knowledge, and
· a librarian.
Books are essential for freedom.
They allow a person to break free from the chains of ignorance and intolerance.
They allow a society to free its people to develop, prosper and advance.
Literature is a powerful tool for social dialogue, cohesion and nation building.
It is a means to better understand the human condition.
Our capacity to create and to write shows that we can be greater than our pain and suffering.
Books turn wounds into wisdom. They turn despair into hope.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It was exactly on this day 25 years ago that our founding President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, walked out of prison.
On that day, as he emerged from Victor Verster with his fist raised in salute, we knew for sure that we would be free.
We knew that it would not be easy. We knew that it would require great strength and courage and determination. We knew that it may take many years. But we knew that we would be free.
When I look at all of you young people today, I know that freedom – real freedom – is within our reach.
Our country is alive with untold possibilities.
Through books we can discover them.
Our children have good peer role models who are reading, creating, and innovating.
We are grateful to all the authors in our midst, the staff of the Department of Arts and Culture, the City of Cape Town and the Presidency.
Thank you also to those sponsors who have come forward to support this initiative through the donation of IT equipment and services.
I would like to conclude by quoting from the preamble to the National Development Plan, where it describes the South Africa we see in 2030.
It says:
We love reading.
All our citizens read, write, converse, and value ideas and thought.
We are fascinated by scientific invention and its use in the enhancement of our lives.
We live the joy of speaking many of our languages.
We know our history and that of other peoples.
We have clear values.
Your presence here today confirms that, yes, we do indeed love reading.
Enkosi. Baie dankie. Thank you very much.
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Speech by Minister Jeff Radebe on the occasion for the HIV Counselling and Testing Campaign (Eskom’s Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, Ladysmith)

23 September 2014

Photo of: Minister Jeff Radebe

Premier of KZN, Mr. Senzo Mchunu
Premier of Free State, Mr. Ace Magashule
Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla
MEC for Health in KZN, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo
MEC for Health in Free State, Dr Benny Malakoane
Executive Mayor of uThukela District, Cllr Mazibuko
Inkosi Khumalo
Chairman of Eskom, Mr. Zola Tsotsi
Chief Executive of Eskom, Mr Tshediso Matona
Deputy Chair of SANAC, Ms Mapaseka Letsike
A very good morning to everyone!
It is an honor to be among you all today on a very special and unique occasion, the launch of the HIV Counselling and Testing Campaign here in Ingula, an initiative led by Eskom in collaboration with the Provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Free State.
Compatriots, the event taking place here today gives full expression to the National Development Plan (NDP) in numerous ways. At the core of the plan is a focus on capabilities – the capabilities of our people and of our country and of creating opportunities for both. The capabilities that each person needs to live the life they desire differ, but must include education, skills, decent accommodation, nutrition, safe communities, social security, transport and job opportunities. The capabilities that the country needs to enable citizens to thrive include a capable state, leadership from all sectors of society, a pact for mutual respect and trust.
This event is unique in that this is an initiative of Eskom, a key strategic player in our quest to “power” South Africa and empower its citizens. The NDP states that South Africa will strive towards an energy sector which promotes economic growth and development through appropriate investments and with due regard to environmental sustainability.
We have made it our resolution that the State must assume a developmental posture across the broad spectrum of socioeconomic challenges facing our people. We have since noted that one of the problem facing our people with regards the trio challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment is due to the structural defects in our economy occasioned by the legacy of the past. That is why we applaud the Eskom Executive for heading the call for Public Private Partnerships on the socioeconomic challenges that I have just alluded to.
We have said that the stumbling block to the full socioeconomic emancipation of our people are the structural limitations occasioned by monopoly capital in our economy. Our people are cast into the fringes of the mainstream economy and many people expect government working alone to redeem these masses of our people from poverty. Indeed government has provided millions with shelter for homes, bursaries for education, free primary health care and various regimes of social grants. But everywhere in the world government can only do this much.
We take this occasion to challenge other State Owned Enterprises to walk the talk with regards their commitment to the Developmental State posture that has become government policy. Likewise we challenge other private business entities to come up with innovative ways in which we could ensure successful Public Private Partnership on the various challenges facing our people including HIV, TB and other related health issues.
We also take this opportunity to challenge all leaders in society to lead not only in service delivery protests, but also in service delivery initiatives, working hand in glove with local municipalities to bring about working solutions to the various socioeconomic challenges highlighted by persistent poverty, inequality and unemployment. We can only emulate the greatness of past heroes such as Madiba’s long walk to freedom by walking the talk! Today we lay it bare for all to know that the initiative of each and everyone of us as citizens is what we cumulatively make ours a great nation!
Today, Eskom is focusing on its most important and crucial resource – its employees, paying particular attention to the health of the people. This is an aspect that is highlighted in our National Development Plan – the inextricable link between health and development.
Today, a special focus is on HIV Counselling and Testing as well as screening for other non-communicable diseases. This is an area of special emphasis in the NDP given the huge burden of disease due to HIV and TB.
This launch of the HIV counselling and Testing Campaign is the first since the new administration took office.
This launch is also the first to include 2 provinces – KwaZulu-Natal and Free State – thus highlighting the challenges exposed by migration and the movement of people and provision of quality health services under these conditions.
Today indeed marks a unique milestone not only in our response to HIV and TB, but in our collective ability to collaborate across diverse areas to maximise our gains as we work together to move our country forward.
I would like to commend Eskom on this particular initiative and the work they have continued to do since they launched first in Medupi and then Kusile. What this demonstrates is a commitment to be in this for the long haul – because this is what it is going to take to achieve what we have set out to do. The extent of the challenges we are working together to address in the specific context of HIV and TB require such a commitment.
It is also important to reflect on this initiative in the context of what is happening globally in the HIV field. Given that the timeframe for the Millennium Development Goals is fast approaching, it has become evident that although so much progress has been made in reducing the rate of new HIV infections globally, much more remains to be done. For this reason there is neither room nor time for complacency.
At the last International AIDS Conference held in Melbourne, Australia in July of this year, the global health community acknowledged the significant progress that has been made. The world was urged to note however that the epidemic is not over, that indeed HIV must remain central to the post-2015 sustainable agenda, and that resources must continue to be allocated to programmes across the world especially for those communities that are hard to reach and those who are marginalised. The Melbourne Conference affirmed a view expressed by the United Nations Joint Programme on AIDS that to end AIDS the global community must ensure that:
• 90% of all people should know their HIV status;
• 90% of those who need ARVs must have access;
• 90% of those on treatment must have viral suppression – this means that people must take their treatment regularly, thus ensuring that the virus is not transmitted to others.
Our presence here today is testimony to the fact that we have not become complacent. Our National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs highlights the importance of testing as a key strategic goal. Urging all South Africans to take an HIV test at least once a year, our plan also elaborates more interventions that will help move us closer to the global goals adopted at the Melbourne Conference.
The National Development Plan also affirms our commitment to strive for a generation of under-20s that is largely HIV free by 2030, an increased life expectancy for men and women and universal coverage of quality health services. All these goals are achievable if we remain committed to working together in ways that complement each other’s efforts. At the same time, whilst there is no reason for complacency, there is some good news too. Our people are living longer – as much as three years longer on average today compared to 2009. In addition, fewer children are getting infected with HIV and more of our children are reaching their 5th birthday.
We must celebrate these achievements, which experts tell us is largely the result of our collective efforts to test for HIV and put more people on treatment. At present more than 2.7 million South Africans are on treatment – which is largely funded by our government. This is both the biggest HIV treatment programme in the world and one that is mostly taxpayer funded. As we continue to file our taxes let us rest assured that our tax money is working for the nation.
The efforts and contribution by our partners and agencies are also making a significant impact in the lives of our communities. As part of the build-up campaign for today’s initiative, the national Department of Health in partnership with the provincial governments of KwaZulu-Natal and Free State, Eskom and development partners have been doing social mobilisation where comprehensive health services have been provided to the public. Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) referrals have also been done, whereby men seeking MMC services have been referred to the appropriate facilities for the procedures. Most notably, provision of services will continue after today’s event throughout the Districts of uThukela and Thabo Mofutsanyana.
This investment will prove beneficial to a wide spectrum of communities by improving their quality of life. One such investment is the Eskom-sponsored paediatric mobile clinic, which will service primary school children in the surrounding communities in KwaZulu-Natal and Free State.
However, I said that we cannot be complacent. We are enjoined by the National Development Plan as well as the guidance from the United Nations, UNAIDS, World Health Organization and others to work hard to get to zero new infections so that we can achieve a generation free of HIV/AIDS. In order to achieve these goals we must have a whole of society response. Every sector of society, indeed every citizen, has a role to play to ensure that we reach this goal.
We cannot wait for a cure for AIDS.
Today, I want us – both collectively and individually – to commit to re-igniting this HIV counselling and testing and medical male circumcision campaign. This can mean many actions and interventions, but at minimum we must commit to the following:
1. Each one of us must test for HIV and screen for TB, diabetes and hypertension at least once a year
2. Each one of us must ensure that every member of our family does the same
3. Each one of us must speak to our family members and friends about the importance of testing and screening
4. Each one of us must promote medical male circumcision
5. Each one of us must speak against stigma related to HIV and TB
6. Each one of us must speak out against violence against women and children
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me close by commending Eskom once again for continuing to champion our efforts to keep counselling and testing and screening at the centre of our HIV response. It is only through knowing one’s status that one can access the relevant health services for care, treatment and support as well as the other components of a comprehensive package that government and its partners provide.
On behalf of government, let me thank all the partners who have heeded the call to work together to address the challenges facing our country. Special thanks goes to the foot soldiers – our health providers, community care givers, the practitioners and other service providers who work tirelessly in challenging conditions sometimes to ensure that our people receive the support they need.
Finally, I want to honour the men and women who work here as well as members of the surrounding community who are here today. I applaud you for taking steps to ensure you maintain your health by using the services provided here today. Many of you work hard and long hours; you also continue to deal with various challenges that confront you on a daily basis in the workplace and in the communities where you live. Some of you are separated from your families for long periods of time or, if not, you possibly have to travel long distances to get to work. This is why bringing this important service to your door step is a huge achievement for all those who are part of this effort.
But as we have said, service cannot only be brought to us, but we too must partake in ensuring that we contribute our efforts, innovations and time to make this the great country that many past heroes and heroines sought it to be! It may be a little step stepping into the moon, but as Armstrong noted, it is a giant step for mankind! Today we are here to amply the spirit of working together instead of being bystanders hoping that government working alone would fail! Your presence here today gives inspiration that we are on the right track towards moving South Africa forward!
Phambili with working together phambili!
I thank you!
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Workshop on the New Climate Economy Report: Better Growth, Better Climate Opening Remarks by Minister in the Presidency, Mr JT Radebe, Wits Club, Johannesburg

18 September 2014

Photo of: Minister Jeff Radebe

British High Commissioner to South Africa, Mrs Judith Macgregor, Ambassadors of different countries,
Members of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, Members of the National Planning Commission of South Africa,
Senior Officials of our Government and other governments represented in our country,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good morning.
I have the pleasure to welcome you all to this very important workshop jointly organized and hosted by the National Planning Commission, the British High Commission and the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Later today we will take part in the South African launch of the New Climate Economy Report.
I would like to acknowledge and thank the British High Commission for co-hosting this workshop and to express appreciation to all members of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate for seeing it fit to have the report launched in South Africa. I want to specifically acknowledge my predecessor and colleague for the past 20 years in
Government, and my comrade for many years, Mr Trevor Manuel. We are proud that you are one of the 24 distinguished Commissioners of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate drawn from 19 different countries.
I thank you all for making the time to be here on such an important occasion. There is a very close alignment between the main subject of the New Climate Economy Report and the National Development Plan, our roadmap and blueprint for the next 16 years. It is a subject that should occupy centre stage and be a priority for all leaders in government, business and civil society.
I believe we have drawn together an experienced group of experts, academics and professionals to assist us with examining this report and developing a better and deeper understanding of what it means for all of us. The deliberations that will follow shortly will certainly help us chart a way through the challenges we face in South Africa and the continent, in respect of climate change.
Climate change is a reality. Due to hard work by scientists and activists on the climate, it has become common knowledge that it is a consequence of the emission of greenhouse gases due to human activity, mainly in the last century. Not only has science informed us that land and sea temperatures are rising and so is the level of the sea, but we have observed various weather calamities attributable to these very same changes. The last three decades have been the hottest in history, particularly in the northern hemisphere.
With the evidence so clear, scientists and activists on the climate have presented this as compelling reason that we must act with speed and decisively. As governments it is our duty to deal with all these inter- related issues in a collaborative manner with partnerships at country, sub-regional and continental level as these cannot be left to climate change scientists and activists alone.
The problem, I think, is that there is a widespread perception that the cost of changing our behaviour is too high and that it is, in fact, a choice between either economic growth or mitigating climate risk. That it is ultimately this trade-off has delayed many countries’ decisive roles in combating the factors leading to climate change.
This is amongst the important issues that we are asked to consider here today, and indeed, that the world is grappling with. Can we grow our economies and reduce climate risk simultaneously, or must we choose between the two issues Answering this question, I understand, was precisely the mandate for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.
As noted in the release of the report in different cities on Tuesday, they have reached a clear conclusion:
“Yes, indeed, it is possible to have both a better economic growth and a better climate”. To choose between the two is like choosing between two faces of a coin when you need the whole coin! Both are imperatives of our modern development socially, economically, politically and environmentally.
The report is very comprehensive in its coverage of issues, and draws evidence from different parts of the world to support its conclusions. The challenge that confronts us is how we use it in relation to our developmental objectives.
The New Climate Economy report recommends that we must focus on three key interrelated systems: energy, cities, and land use. As I have already mentioned, each of these systems are addressed extensively in the National Development Plan, which is part of the reason for our interest in this report. The National Development Plan which is our blue print until at least 2030 considers climate change as composite to the transformation programmes that we must implement.
The report estimates that these three sectors will require investments of around $90 trillion dollars during the next 15 years. It warns that how we choose to invest these resources will determine if we get “locked-in” into a carbon intense future or if we are able to follow a low-carbon path.
First, in terms of energy, the report estimates that from now until 2030 energy demands will grow by up to a third. This growing demand will result from much needed improvements to living conditions and economic development on a global scale. We need to get the maximum development and growth from every unit of energy that we consume and we must seek to decouple our energy supply from carbon emissions. To do this, we must change the way we produce energy and the way we consume it.
Second, in terms of our cities, the report estimates that by 2030 one billion additional people will live in urban areas. Housing them is roughly the equivalent of building one city the size of Washington D.C., Berlin, or Singapore, every month, for the next 15 years. This is a daunting task indeed and many of our cities are already feeling the pressure.
The current model of sprawling cities with low density, more oriented to individual vehicles, is no longer viable. The Province of Gauteng here in South Africa is clear evidence of precisely this problem.
Finally, in terms of land use, by 2030 we will need to feed over 8 billion people. Increased income, urbanization and rapid population growth are putting enormous pressure on agricultural and forest systems.
We have to make better use of our land by improving agricultural productivity, while protecting and restoring natural environments. We need to create and finance a new green revolution that allows us to satisfy the growing demand for food, while avoiding the destruction of natural habitats, especially our rain-forests. We are now dealing with the consequences of the population explosion that put the environment under duress hence the importance of climate change mitigating initiatives as integral to global development.
It will become quite obvious to anyone who reads the report that acting now makes more sense than waiting. We now have evidence of a series of remarkable examples of policies that are succeeding around the world. We can build on these and adapt policies to specific conditions of each country. I believe that the willingness to act has increased, key actors are beginning to take inspiring steps in the right direction and for these reasons, I am convinced that the time is now.
However, bold action means that there are clear commitments by all actors involved. We need government, businesses and society to choose low-carbon paths and to make those choices now. Only once these individual choices are made will it translate into the collective action that we need. We must all make the right choices.
World leaders have been provided with irrefutable evidence in this report. For our part we, as the National Planning Commission, and the country as whole now have a set of tools that we can use to foster the economic growth that we all need, while reducing the climate risk that we all face.
With these few remarks, I would like to welcome you and wish you very successful deliberations.
I thank you!

Media statement by Minister Radebe on the release of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework 2014 – 2019

07 August 2014

Photo of: Minister Jeff Radebe

Ministers and Deputy Ministers present, National Planning Commissioners, Members of the Media,
Thank you for joining us this morning.
This year the country celebrates 20 years of democracy, and despite our continued challenges, there is little doubt that South Africa is a better place to live in than it was before 1994. The 20-year review provides a significant reflection on the undeniable achievements of this young, democratic government, as well as the key lessons we must build upon.
In 2012, Cabinet adopted the National Development Plan (NDP), to serve as a blueprint for the work that is still required in order to achieve the desired results in terms of socio-economic development and the growth of this country by 2030. With the adoption of the long-term vision and plan for the country, the NDP, a path was charted according to which the country would be able to address the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the National Planning Commission, including former Minister Manuel for their sterling work in producing the plan.
In the words of President Jacob Zuma: “The plan has been adopted as a national plan for the whole country. It is our roadmap for the next 20 years. All the work we do in government is now part of the comprehensive National Development Plan, including all operational plans, be they social, economic or political.”
Implementation already under way
Since 2012, the focus has been on implementing the parts of the NDP that did not require long lead times and additional funding. For example, the NDP proposal to establish an Office of the Chief Procurement Officer in National Treasury, in order to ensure value for money and reduce corruption, has been implemented. Legislation to prevent public servants from doing business with the state was introduced in Parliament last year, as proposed in the NDP. And, the Employment Tax Incentive Act aimed at helping young people enter the labour market was passed by Parliament in 2013 and implementation began this year. Many of the proposals in the NDP related to developing infrastructure are also already in various stages of implementation.
A number of pilot projects are also already underway to test new policies proposed in the NDP. These include programmes such as:
• the Mpumalanga land reform project to test the “new land reform model” proposed in chapter 6 of the NDP
• a partnership between the Department of Education and various stakeholders focusing on improving learning outcomes under the auspices of National Education Collaboration Trust of which the Deputy President is a Patron
• the Partnership for Urban Innovation between the Presidency and Gauteng Government
• the social-dialogue initiative by the National Planning Commission towards determining a decent standard of living, and how it will be achieved by all citizens, as proposed in the NDP.
The proposals in the NDP regarding improving planning and the management of implementation are also already being taken forward. The President recently launched Operation Phakisa, which is an innovative approach to achieving outcomes, involving detailed collaborative planning between stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society. The Operation Phakisa project to grow the Oceans Economy from an estimated GDP contribution of R54 billion in 2010 to R129-177 billion by 2033, and to increase the number of people employed from approximately 300 000 people 2010 to 800 000 – 1 million by 2033. A similar initiative will be undertaken in the health sector shortly.
The message is very clear: the NDP train left the station in 2012 and is now moving at a very high speed. Tribute must be paid to those who were first to board the train by taking the first steps to implement the NDP as indicated earlier. An invitation is extended to those who are still standing on the sidelines to board this train and join us on this wonderful journey to 2030. They are invited to contribute towards remaking their country into one that is many times better than the present.
The Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014 – 2019
We are here to release government’s comprehensive plan for implementing the National Development Plan and the commitments in the manifesto of the ANC as the governing party over this five year term. This plan is the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for 2014 to 2019, which has now been approved by Cabinet.
Building on the experience of previous administrations, the MTSF will continue with the outcomes approach adopted by the 2009–2014 administration. It builds on innovations such as the Presidential Siyahlola Monitoring Programme, the coordination of the infrastructure build programme, through the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC), and the different interventions to unblock challenges in different sectors. The MTSF does not constitute the sum total of what Government does, but it serves as a prioritisation framework; aimed at focusing all government efforts on a set of manageable programmes.
The MTSF defines the strategic objectives and targets of government during the next five years. It is the frame of reference outlining the government’s main priorities underpinning the strategic direction of government over the next five years. The MTSF therefore serves as the principal guide to the planning and the allocation of resource across all spheres of government. The MTSF priorities will inform the budget submissions that national departments make to the government’s budgeting process, as encapsulated in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, which details a 3-year rolling expenditure and revenue plan for national and provincial departments.
The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and National Treasury have worked together to ensure that the commitments made in the MTSF can be funded within the resource constraints we face. Given continuity in the policy agenda since the last administration, most of the programmes contained in the MTSF have already been financed by spending plans already announced in the budget. For instance, the Budget Review document links our spending programmes to the critical actions identified in the NDP.
The MTSF is intended to enable Cabinet to monitor progress on the implementation of the NDP. The Presidency is the custodian of the MTSF, although implementation is undertaken by different Government departments and agencies. The Presidency will therefore provide overall leadership, coordination and monitoring and evaluation over its implementation.
The MTSF is structured around 14 priority outcomes which cover the focus areas identified in the NDP. These are: quality basic education, improving health outcomes, reducing crime, creating jobs, developing the skills and infrastructure required by the economy, rural development, sustainable human settlements, effective and efficient local government and public service, the environment, international relations, social development, and social cohesion and nation building.
The MTSF consists of an executive summary which has been circulated. The main document which contains detailed plans per outcome is now available on the DPME website. In each of the 14 outcomes, the MTSF outlines goals, indicators, targets, actions, and responsibilities. A sample of these actions and targets is provided in the annexure to the media statement.
Why have we put so much effort on planning?
A 1977 message written by our former President Nelson Mandela to Adelaide Tambo reads thus: “Significant progress is always possible if we ourselves plan every detail and allow intervention of fate only on our own terms. Preparing a master plan and applying it are two different things.” In 2012 our master plan, the NDP, was approved by Cabinet, and this MTSF is a major step forward in applying it.
To quote from Vision Statement of the NDP, “we have received the mixed legacy of inequalities in opportunity and in where we have lived, but we have agreed to change our narrative of conquest, oppression, and resistance.” The broad acceptance of the NDP by South Africans is itself an indication of this agreement to change our narrative.
Contents of the MTSF
The actions and targets for the various outcomes covered by the MTSF are designed to change the life chances of young Thandi that the National Planning Commission’s Diagnostic report introduced us to in 2011. They include improving education and skills development and creating more employment opportunities for young people.
Government’s programme of radical economic transformation is about placing the economy on a qualitatively different path that ensures more rapid, sustainable growth, higher investment, increased employment, reduced inequality and deracialisation of the economy. The NDP sets a growth target of at least 5% a year, and emphasises measures to ensure that the benefits of growth are equitably shared.
Many of our young people do not currently share in the benefits of economic growth and development. There is an urgent need to expand the range of opportunities available to the youth. Drawing inspiration from the spirit of the youth of 1976 and the young lions of the 1980’s, our youth must be encouraged and assisted to channel their energy towards solving challenges they face, especially in the labour market. The NDP and MTSF include a range of actions aimed at creating more opportunities for young people.
It is in this context that we will ensure the rapid implementation of an Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS) as a broad vehicle or tool towards the mainstreaming of youth development. The priority areas of youth development are employment creation, entrepreneurship support and education (skills development). By rapidly absorbing youth into the mainstream development of our country, we will have responded effectively to the fact that of the approximately 25% unemployed in South Africa, the vast majority are young people between the ages 15 to 35 years.
Achievement of economic transformation and inclusive growth will not result from a single intervention, but from a range of mutually supporting initiatives. In many cases, this does not require new strategies, but better implementation of existing ones.
The MTSF contains actions to grow and diversify the economy and reduce economic concentration. It details plans for developing infrastructure, skills and appropriate regulatory frameworks as key enablers of economic growth. It focuses on ensuring growth in the core productive sectors of manufacturing, mining and agriculture and opening new areas of economic growth such as the oceans economy, the green economy and shale gas. There are actions to ensure that small business makes a much larger contribution to growth and employment creation.
More rapid private sector investment is critical for higher growth, as the private sector accounts for 70% of production and employment. The NDP indicates that South Africa needs to increase its level of investment to at least 25% of GDP. To achieve this level of investment, the level of savings must also increase coupled with creating conditions favourable to foreign direct investment (FDI). The MTSF includes actions aimed achieving an economic environment that encourages business investment and rewards competitiveness, especially in sectors that can catalyse longer term growth and job creation. Government will increase its engagement with business to unlock private sector initiative, build investor confidence, promote trust and seek long-term commitments to implementation of the NDP. These engagements will be led by the Presidential Business Working Group.
Some of the targets in the MTSF for growing the economy and creating jobs are:
• Increasing the investment rate to 25% of GDP
• Increasing public sector investment to 10% of GDP
• Adding 10 000 megawatts of electricity
• Increasing employment and reducing unemployment to 14%
• Increasing the share in household income of the poorest 60% of households to 10%.
• Increasing research and development investment to 1.5% of GDP – a 300% increase in the rand value of investment compared to 2013.
To quote our former President Mandela again, “There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a programme that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate and ridden with terminal disease.” The MTSF provides such programmes, with regard to basic education, skills and improving the health of the population. For example, it contains a target of 60% of learners in Grades 3, 6 and 9 achieving at the required level in literacy, numeracy, home language and mathematics. It describes various actions aimed at achieving this target, including training more teachers, providing more in-service training and ensuring teachers are placed appropriately. With regard to health, the MTSF includes a target for raising average life expectancy from approximately 60 years currently to at least 63 years by 2019. This is towards the 2030 vision of an average life expectancy of 70 years. Amongst other actions, the MTSF commits to doubling the number of people on anti-retrovirals from the present 2.4 million to a projected 5.1 million.
Despite progress in reducing rural poverty and increasing access to basic services in rural areas over the past 20 years, rural areas are still characterised by great poverty and inequality. As stated in the NDP, by 2030, South Africa’s rural communities must have better opportunities to participate fully in the economic, social and political life of the country. Rural development remains a focus of Government during this MTSF period and the MTSF contains actions and targets in this regard, such as providing more technical, financial and infrastructure support to smallholder farmers.
Cognisant of the challenge South Africa faces with regards to the accommodation needs of the mass of its population, the MTSF focuses on ensuring that poor households have adequate housing in better living environments; the development of a functional and equitable residential property market; and improving institutional capacity and coordination for better spatial targeting. The impact of the earthquake in Orkney underlines the need to improve the quality of housing.
The NDP highlights the need to address the crime that is damaging our communities and the MTSF contains a range of actions and targets in this regard, such as increasing our focus on contact crimes which includes murders, attempted murders, sexual offences, assault with grievous bodily harm, common assaults, and robbery. Recent incidents involving three-year old Luke Tibbetts who was shot in the head on Saturday evening in Westbury and four-year old Taegrin Morris who died after he was dragged behind a hijacked car for three kilometres the week beforehand are a sad reminder of the enormous challenge we face. On behalf of the Government, I would like to extend my condolences to the families of Luke and Taegrin, and all other South Africans who have been affected by violent crime.
Recently, the Auditor General released his 2014 general report on audit outcomes for local government, which indicated that we are still far from achieving the NDP vision of efficient and effective local government. The MTSF includes a range of actions to address this, including improving municipal management, such as providing basic water, sanitation, refuse removal, and road services, as well as fixing potholes, non-functioning traffic lights, service interruptions, and billing problems.
South Africa faces an enormous challenge in future in terms of managing and mitigating the impacts of climate change. The NDP recognises the finite nature of many of our natural resources, and stresses the need for economic development to be environmentally sustainable. In the environment sector, our efforts will focus on ensuring that ecosystems are sustained and natural resource are used efficiently; an effective climate change mitigation and adaptation response is adopted; and an environmentally sustainable, low-carbon economy results from a well-managed transition.
Recognising that “in a society with deep social and economic divisions, neither social nor economic transformation is possible without a capable and developmental state” as highlighted in the NDP, the MTSF describes a range of action actions aimed at addressing the challenge.  The MTSF contains actions related to improving both the quality and extent of service delivery, as well as improving the performance of the public service and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of local government. It also includes measures to improve recruitment and skills development, strengthen supply chain management and reduce the risk of corruption in government.
It is opportune that we are releasing the MTSF in Women’s Month, when we are celebrating women’s achievements in addressing vestiges of patriarchy. For example, we have increased the proportion of women in the legislatures and in the executive and are now ranked amongst the top ten in the world in this regard. In August 1956, women from all walks of life marched on the Union Buildings to protest against the pass laws. Those brave women refused to accept their situation as it was and took deliberate action to change it. Similarly, the MTSF contains deliberate actions and targets across many of the outcomes aimed at increasing gender equality. In addition to improving gender equity, the MTSF focuses on other actions aimed at achieving the NDP goals of nation building and social cohesion.
The NDP Vision Statement reminds us that: “We are Africans. We are an African country. We are part of our multi-national region. We are an essential part of our continent. Being Africans, we are acutely aware of the wider world, deeply implicated in our past and present. That wider world carries some of our inheritance.” 
To achieve the NDP vision for our international relations, the MTSF includes actions to support regional and continental processes to respond to and resolve crises and to promote peace and security. It also contains actions related to strengthening regional integration, significantly increasing intra-African trade and championing sustainable development in Africa, and advancing South Africa’s national priorities through bilateral engagements. There is a target for securing foreign direct investment of R230 billion worth of investments by 2019.
We have been working towards achieving the international relations objectives in the NDP, as evidenced by the recent agreement on the establishment of the BRICS Bank and indeed the current US Africa Summit on AGOA.
Ensuring government-wide implementation
By law, all national and provincial departments and municipalities have to produce five year strategic and annual performance plans and report against these plans. The MTSF is the mechanism through which all 5 year strategic plans and annual plans of the three spheres of government are being aligned to the NDP and made to pull in the same direction. The aim of the MTSF is to ensure policy coherence, alignment and coordination across government plans as well as alignment with budgeting processes. The Treasury Regulations have been changed so that all departments have to submit their draft plans to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency to enable a review of whether the plans incorporate all the targets from the MTSF.
The MTSF will form the basis of performance agreements between the President and Ministers. Ministers will also ensure that the relevant actions and targets in the MTSF are reflected in the performance agreements of their Directors General and cascaded down to the performance agreements of other managers in the administration.
Cabinet will use the MTSF as the basis for monitoring the implementation of the NDP across government over the next five years. Cabinet will consider progress reports for each of the outcomes at least three times a year and these progress reports will be made public through the Programme of Action website managed by DPME. We will use our monitoring and evaluation work to inform improvements to our plans and programmes as we implement the MTSF. Statistics South Africa will play a key role in providing data on a range of development indicators, which will assist us to assess whether or not the actions in the MTSF are achieving their desired impacts on society.
To quote again from the Vision Statement of the NDP again, “our new story is open-ended with temporary destinations, only for new paths to open up once more.”
The NDP is not just a plan for government, but for the whole country. Its implementation requires the involvement of all sectors of society and an active citizenry. In addition to implementing the MTSF within government, we will therefore also be paying attention to building partnerships across society to achieve the goals of the NDP, and we call on all stakeholders to work together with us in this regard.
We will be organising further on-going engagements with both the media and other interest groups regarding the MTSF and the implementation of the NDP. These will include symposia with universities and other research organisations and engagements with stakeholders such as civil society and community organisations, the youth, business and professional bodies, and organised labour.
– END –
Annexure: Additional examples of targets and actions per outcome in the MTSF
A selection of additional targets and measures from the MTSF is provided below. For each of the 14 outcomes, many more targets, actions and measures are outlined in the MTSF.
1. Quality basic education and skills
Some of the targets for education and skills are:
• Achieving 100% Grade R coverage
• More than 50% of Grade 12 learners achieve 50% or more in Mathematics and Physical Science
• Increase headcount enrolments in Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges to 1.24 million
• Increase the percentage of university academic staff with PHDs from 38% in 2012 to 46%.
The actions we will take to achieve these education and skills targets include, amongst others:
• Establishing a teacher knowledge testing system for feedback into training and support
• Developing effective tools for monitoring class size, teacher posting and absences
• Developing protocols on the secondment of sector specialists to work in Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges
• Ensuring that Technical and Vocational Education and Training College lecturers are exposed to the work place.
2. Improving the health of the population
The MTSF contains a range of targets for improving the health of the population, including, for example:
• Raising life expectancy to at least 63 years
• Ensuring that the generation of under-20s is largely free of HIV
• Significantly reducing the burden of disease
• Achieving an infant mortality rate of less than 18 deaths per 1 000 live births, and an under-5 mortality rate of less than 23 per 1 000.
• Lowering the maternal mortality rate from 269 to below 100 per 100 000 live births.
The MTSF describes the actions which will be taken to achieve these targets, including, for example:
• Doubling of the annual training of doctors locally and abroad
• Phasing in of National Health Insurance
• Establishing the Office of Health Standards Compliance to address breaches of health care quality and patient safety in all public sector health establishments
• Expanding the coverage of ward-based primary health care outreach teams
• Implementing a mass mobilization strategy focusing on healthy options in order reduce risk factors for Non-Communicable Diseases including the reduction of obesity
• Establishing a National Health Pricing Commission to regulate health care in the private sector.
3. Rural development and land reform
Our broad strategy for rural areas includes:
• Improving land administration and spatial planning for integrated development
• Improving food security
• Increasing access to quality basic infrastructure and services, particularly in education, healthcare and public transport
• Growing sustainable rural enterprises and industries characterised by strong rural-urban linkages, increasing investment in agro-processing, trade development and access to markets and financial services – resulting in rural job creation.
Specific actions to achieve these goals include:
• Developing and implementing spatial development plans to guide how land is used while prioritising  the 27 resource-poor district municipalities
• Acquiring and allocating 2 million hectares of strategically located land for land reform
• Developing under-utilised land and bringing into production 1 million hectares of land in communal areas and land reform projects
• Expanding land under irrigation by an additional 1 250 hectares
• Eradicating infrastructure backlog in rural schools, rural health facilities and provide rural communities with ICT infrastructure.
4. Sustainable human settlements
Actions to achieve this priority include:
• Reviewing and improving existing housing instruments and subsidies to better direct housing and human settlement investments
• Increasing the supply of housing opportunities using different tenure types to ensure the diversity necessary to address social, economic and cultural needs
• Fast-tracking release of well-located land for housing and human settlements targeting poor and lower middle income households
5. Reducing crime and corruption
The MTSF describes how we will:
• Put in place more visible policing, improve public order policing and community policing, improve rural safety, increase intelligence-led policing, and improve crime detection
• Fight drug and substance abuse by increasing access to treatment services  nationally and intensifying mobilization of communities through local drug action committees
• Focus on combating violence against women and children
• Provide more training to police officers in areas of forensics, crime investigations, crimes against women and children, and in public order policing
• Improve investigation and prosecution of criminal and violent conduct in public protests
• Reduce levels of corruption in public and private sector, thus improving investor perception, trust in, and willingness to invest in South Africa
• Conduct safety audits and citizen satisfaction surveys.
6. Improving local government performance
The MTSF actions are aimed at:
• Addressing maintenance, upgrading, refurbishment and new infrastructure requirements in each municipality
• Addressing water and sanitation challenges among Water Services Authorities
• Improving the financial management and governance of municipalities
• Tackling corruption within local government more effectively and consistently by identifying key risks and the development of appropriate responses
• Creating an enabling environment for economic development to stimulate competitive, inclusive and sustainable local economies
• Expanding Community Work Programme sites in 234 municipalities in order to reach 1 million participants.
7. Building a capable and developmental state
Actions in the MTSF related to building a capable and developmental state include:
• Creating a stable political-administrative interface
• Making the public service a career of choice
• Ensuring sufficient technical and specialist professional skills in the public service
• Ensuring efficient and effective management and operations systems
• Putting in place procurement systems that deliver value for money
• Increasing the responsiveness of public servants and accountability to citizens
• Improving inter-departmental coordination and institutionalisation of long-term planning
• Improving mechanisms to promote ethical behaviour in the public service.
8. Improving social protection
In order to implement the commitment in the NDP to improve social protection, the MTSF contains actions intended to:
• Improve efficiency in the delivery of social protection services.
• Address exclusions by identifying and reaching those who are entitled to the existing benefits of social protection
• Reduce the administrative bottlenecks that prevent people from accessing benefits.
• Develop an enabling environment and create conditions for social partners such as the NGO sector to contribute to social protection.
9. Nation building and social cohesion
Key actions include:
• Promoting the Bill of Responsibility, Constitutional values and national symbols amongst children in schools
• Establishing Constitutional Monday and popularise the Moral Regeneration Movement’s charter of good values
• Developing and implementing Constitutional rights awareness campaigns/programmes targeting the public with a focus on vulnerable and marginalised group
• Improving enforcement of the Employment Equity Act by ensuring that at least 40% of middle and senior management are African by 2019
• Building non-racialism through community dialogues and combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
10. International relations
The MTSF contains targets for:
• Increasing the number of foreign visitor arrivals to more than 44 million annually by 2017
• Increasing the contribution of tourism revenue to the economy to more than R370 billion by 2017.

Speech by Minister Jeff Radebe on the occasion of the opening of the Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) Symposium

29 July 2014

Photo of: Minister Jeff Radebe

The Chairperson of Statistics Council, Mr Ben Mphahlele;
Members of the Council;
The Statistician-General, Mr Pali Lehohla;
Distinguished African Union Delegates;
Friends from the African Union Commission;
The Economic Commission for Africa Representatives;
Esteemed guests from the African Development Bank;
Dr Mark Orkin, former head of Statistics South Africa;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentleman.
Allow me to express my gratitude for allowing us to engage with you on this very important occasion that promises to be a watershed event in our country. This watershed session is a culmination of a chain of important ground breaking and systematically gigantic efforts in the quest to deliver a better life for all in South Africa. Spanning just about two decades, these efforts are as old as our democracy. Today marks a moment of great promise as we host and welcome you our international guest speakers to our shores. The great promise is anchored on our sacred and valued covenant that commits us as South Africans to a better South Africa, in a better Africa and in a better world.
In certain cases, when people of your calibre are gathered, the hope for an Africa rising is rekindled. I am aware that those who are concerned with the pursuit of evidence-based knowledge such as statisticians and mathematicians are often ridiculed as a class of “Brainiacs” “Clever Joes” or “Slim Jan’s” and so forth. In many anti-intellectual references, these monikers are not very kind because they present a different class of people far removed from the mainstream. It is only when we seriously engage with Statistics that we in Government are decrying the opportunity costs of our late serious entry into this field and also the dearth of the profession.
I am therefore encouraged that Session 7 of Day 3 of this Symposium will deal with the issue of Capacity Building with a view of luring young African Statisticians to this field. I am also aware that our statistics authority is working with the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal to have curriculum developed for school teachers. The Census@Schools has been yet another pioneering programme where school children are introduced to the profound utility of measurement at an early age.
In so far as how Statistical information has forcefully entered Government space, Commissioner Joel Netshitenzhe will elaborate the extent to which statistics has assisted in the production of the National Development Plan. The National Development Plan is our comprehensive development trajectory inspired amongst others by the injunction posed by our former President, the late Nelson Mandela on a note to Adelaide Tambo, urging us to plan thoroughly and that we can only be thorough when we use scientific evidence and I quote “Significant progress is always possible if we ourselves plan every detail and allow intervention of fate only on our own terms. Preparing a master plan and applying it are two different things.”
Director-General Dr Sean Phillips will elaborate on the relevance of Statistics to Monitoring and Evaluation. Driven by the need to safeguard this resource as a planning tool for government I will also be keenly awaiting the contributions by Dr Graciela Bevacquas on the threats to the fundamental principles of official statistics. Now that we have tasted the fruit of statistical assistance in our planning, eliminating threats is a collective responsibility. In the main, the Final Report of this Symposium will provide further insight into this wonderful world of numbers.
While intimidating in its voluminous and copious detail, our people should be alerted to the importance of statistics as part and parcel of their daily lives. Popular acceptance of the relevance of statistics can be enhanced when we also point out to ordinary people that what they eat, drink and breathe; where they live work, worship and study: and what their hopes and dreams are for their futures has to be corroborated by one form of statistic or another.
As government we have come to appreciate what most of you gathered here know too well: in that statistics are about people, places and possibilities. As we in government begin to utilise statistics as our basic scientific tools, indeed it is now possible to see change and perceive of possibilities unfolding to realities for our people in their places and spaces of residence, work and play. We too in government have joined you in appreciating that statistics are about evidence and use of evidence for transforming lives for the better hence our full support for this Symposium.
This symposium is important because more often than not, the quotation of data is dominated by sectarian spheres of economic analysis, and can thus be easily viewed as a pursuit of the elite and rich. Underplayed by the prevailing power relations in our country, the role of Statistics in society in all of its more than 171 releases and reports, needs to be given its proper space. Cognizant of these volumes after my briefing by the South African Statistician-General, we would need to engage further with the reconfiguration of our new Department through the Department of Public Service and Administration to find out as to whether capacity should not be created to assist in making these reports and analysis part of our regular operations.
In our quest for this noble end is our story of a plan, a raft of information and a monitoring and evaluation regime to achieve a better South Africa in a better Africa and a better world. Receiving our 1996 Census in 1998 our iconic former President, the late Nelson Mandela termed this monumental achievement a portrait of our nation. It was the first census in a democratic South Africa. He said and I quote:
“But we do at last have results with which we can work, the numbers that count for the nation.  It will take time to absorb the full detail of this intricate picture of our complex society but the broad outlines should act as the clarion call to re-dedicate ourselves in every sector of the society, to the historic mission of a generation charged with transforming South African’s society in order to eradicate the poverty and imbalances that derive from our past.”
Following on this milestone census of 1996, we could, with a degree of scientific evidence, implement the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) for our people. In the fullness of time, as confirmed by Censuses 2001, the Community Survey of 2007, Census 2011 and a raft of economic and financial statistics we were comforted by the facts and these said South Africans see their country of birth as a better place to live in than it was before 1994. Therefore our democracy was not in vain.
South Africa today is home to a better serviced people, with electricity accessible to more than 90% of the population, potable water accessed by more than 85% and primary education being universal. Our strategies to eradicate poverty have seen more than 16 million people accessing social assistance aimed at mitigating the consequences of our sad apartheid legacy. We could confirm that the debt-to-GDP-ratio dropped from a high of 49% in 1996 to 35% in 2011. Inflation has become benign and interest rates are lower, and much fewer go to bed hungry. These are measuring tools that help shape our policies and have real bearing on the livelihood of many of our people. This in itself highlights the significance of statistics in our overall work as government, private sector and civil society at large.
The thirst expressed by President Zuma of knowing where South Africans live, work and play has been quenched by our indefatigable Statistics South Africa through its dedicated staff and our duty bound Statistics Council. This quenching has not only by satisfied our President His Excellency Jacob Zuma, but has also been extended to South Africans from all walks of life. After having achieved our political freedom, South Africans are in unison about the need for the next step of economic emancipation. In order to have a heightened understanding of our targets and achievements in this regard, we shall rely on the quality statistics that comes out of our statistics authority.
Our commitment to evidence-based decision-making is confirmed by our revised statistical legislation Act 6 of 1999 unifying South Africa. Following on this, in 2001 the Cabinet adopted a framework for the implementation of national statistics system (NSS). Sadly, despite legislation and frameworks, the implementation of this NSS has been painfully slow and today we have called on this summit to seek advice on how we can implement our scientific evidential base for better and faster results. We will be ready to proceed with adequate speed as soon as the outcome of this symposium has been made available to us.
Realizing the professionalism of the statistics authority, government has allocated a new role of compiling crime statistics and taking responsibility for their compilation and release. This is our growing confidence on the relevance of scientific statistics that can be achieved through independent statistics compilation. We are also keenly awaiting developments on the small area statistics which will assist our municipalities to plan even better.
Best practice and operational efficiency and effectiveness commands that the statistician-general should take responsibility for compilation and release of all three sides of the national accounts, namely production, income and expenditure. Work is progressing well with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) for this eventuality. These examples illustrate the dire need for coordination and demand for tighter enforcement of practice through relevant legislation.
Another environment challenge emanates from production of data by a multiplicity of institutions. The quality of the products by these information pedlars is unknown, and accountability as well as ethics and compliance are generally not observed yet they flagrantly display their wares in the public space with no regard of the consequences and impact of their own data and opinions in the public space. This is particularly so in the area of labour market statistics. This poses a serious danger to society and the community of practice has to express itself on this particular issue.
As our population figures rise, and the democratic expression finds root, the feeling and the view of individuals or a group of individuals has to be taken into account. While in the past a powerful individual’s view was easily translated into the view of the many, the current world would scorn at this distortion of statistics.
There is greater need now more than ever, for Government and civil society to be alive to the evidence of the Statistical world as a basis for the formulation of their actions and projects. The powerlessness of the Statistical authority to change policy and propose solutions is understood from the perspective that it is limited to bringing out the information required.
I have listened with interest to some of the questions that journalists pose particularly to our Statistician-General as to what should Government do about the Statistics that the authority has produced. In his deft avoidance of responding to these questions, there is an attendant need for Government to act with speed in using outputs from our statistical authority to effect the necessary policy interventions in order to better the lives of our people.
We seek our voice to be heard in global organizations in so far as it relates to how they relate to statistics produced in the continent. We therefore welcome the adoption of the United Nations Fundamental Principles for Official Statistics. What the community of practice should express themselves on is how these principles get enforced in their national states.
We meet on the back of a number of international involvement in the area of Statistics. Working with our continental experts were developed the African Census Analysis Project in 1998 and the After Robben Island the Demography of South Africa was a product of this engagement. In 2003 we were honoured to host the International Summit on Census Costs. We were further honoured to host the African Symposium for Statistical Development in 2006. In 2009 our 57th Session of the International Statistics Institute led to the birth of the Isibalo programme which will hold a back-to-back seminar in the next three days.
Our international engagement is not only a celebration of the past achievements but also a vision for the future. I am impressed with the far sightedness which has been expressed in the Strategies for the Harmonisation of Statistics Vision 2063. Long-term planning, as we have found out in the National Development Plan I have mentioned earlier, is not fashionable but absolutely necessary.
As we note with greater urgency the need to implement the integration agenda of the African Union and our vision 2063, here in South Africa, Statistics South Africa led and concluded with the African Union, the African Development Bank and the Economic Commission for Africa the Strategies for the Harmonisation of Statistics in Africa (SHaSA). This is a flagship document by statisticians, interpreting the measurement tenets of the integration agenda and identified fourteen priority areas. It is a strategy document that declares an Africa common position on matters official statistics and training.
The document has become a mouth piece and central coordination instrument for partners on this journey. SHaSA is Khoi name that stands for deep precious water. It was befitting to coin this acronym on that hot December day in Pretoria as the Statistician-General Pali Lehohla and African colleagues sought to quench the African policy makers’ thirst for evidence. SHaSA marks a major step in our journey and we shall hear from Cape Verde and Kenya as they extend priority 14 of SHaSA on measurement of Governance, Peace and Security, (GPS) which is an outgrowth of the African Union’s African Peer Review Mechanism, (APRM).
We would like to thank our continental brothers for affording us the opportunity to host these engagements and we hope we did not disappoint in terms of the outcomes of these engagements.
As a continent we are growing bolder  about our ability to grown our own statistical date and we are proud that of the 54 African states, 48 of them, including those that have emerged from conflicts have and are counting to conduct their population  and housing censuses. We are pleased that Angola which as not undertaken a population in four decades has done so in May. Madagascar, coming out of a political stalemate, will be running its own census in 2016.The Democratic Republic of Congo is in line for its own in 2015. There is no doubt that all African Governments have acknowledged the crucial role that is played by Statistics in government.
This National Symposium on the Strengthening of the South African National Statistics System should serve as the beginning of a consultative process towards revamping legislation to consolidate best practice which my predecessor began. You as national, continental and international stakeholders in the production and use of official statistics in both the private and public sectors, including research institutions, should contribute ideas and share best practices regarding the design and the building of this our National Statistics System.
To conclude let me reassure you of the importance of official statistics and the importance of their independence. We need independently produced quality statistics that are policy relevant, for quality decisions to improve the quality of our democracy and improve the lives of our citizens.
The much celebrated Amilcar Cabral asserted on a prophetic post-2015 agenda in 1965 when he said, “Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in any one’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.”
As government we keenly await your further refined insights into how statistics can become the basic reference point from which we premise all our policy interventions to better the lives of all our people.
It is now my pleasure to declare this the Symposium on the National Statistics System for South Africa officially opened.
I Thank You.

Budget Vote media statement by Minister In The Presidency For Planning, Monitoring And Evaluation, Jeff Radebe

21 July 2014

Photo of: Minister Jeff Radebe

Members of the media, ladies and gentlemen good morning.
It gives me great pleasure to share with you the synopsis of the newly proclaimed Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation budget vote speech prior to the delivery of the main speech this afternoon.
As you are already aware, the President announced the reconfiguration and reorganisation of a few departments and it included this particular one I am leading. These changes include the merging of the National Planning Commission Secretariat in the Presidency with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation to form a new Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.  A process facilitated by the Department of Public Service and Administration to give administrative effect to this change, is currently underway.  This process will deal with transferring budgets, staff and assets from Vote 1 to Vote 6. We envisage that this process will be completed by the end of October.
These changes are meant to integrate planning into a core function of government. In its election manifesto, the governing party committed the 5th administration to ensuring that planning is institutionalised in the state. This is but one way in which we are giving effect to this commitment. We will also use the opportunity provided by these changes to create capacity for more effective planning, monitoring and evaluation.
The National Development Plan is our roadmap towards 2030. It is our plan to address poverty and unemployment, thereby removing the suffering experienced by our people; it is also our plan for reducing inequality. We know that our post-apartheid achievements are not enough as long as some of our fellow citizens go to bed hungry, receive inferior education and are subject to poor quality health care. We also know that we will always fall short of our aspirations if we do not address the constraints to economic growth such as energy, and do not radically transform our economy.
This budget vote gives effect to the commitments made by the President in the State of the Nation Address that this administration will be characterised by implementation, implementation and more implementation. It gives details of how we will implement the NDP through the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014 – 2019. We have said repeatedly that many priorities in the NDP are not about new policies and programmes but rather about giving effect to existing laws and policies and improving their implementation. We will be giving highlights in the speech of areas where implementation is taking place to illustrate the point that the NDP train has left the station and is moving at high speed.
This MTSF serves as a 5-year building block towards the achievement of the vision in the country’s long-term plan. It incorporates the outcomes-based planning methodology developed during the previous administration and provides more details that will assist departments to develop their own strategic plans that are aligned to the MTSF.
Measures have been put in place to ensure that the 5 year strategic plans and annual plans of all national and provincial departments are aligned to the MTSF, and therefore to the NDP. The Treasury Regulations have been amended so that all departments submit their draft plans to DPME, in order to enable DPME to review whether the plans are in line with both the spirit and letter of the MTSF before they are submitted to Parliament.
There are a number of initiatives between government and other sectors of society that are already underway that are inspired by the Plan and I would like to mention a few to highlight our strength in working together.
The National Education Collaboration Trust
The Mpumalanga Land Reform Project
Harambee Project adopted by Business Leadership South Africa 
Strategies to Overcome Poverty and Inequality 
Operation Phakisa, which was launched by the President over the weekend.
The detail of all the programmes will be unpacked in the Budget Vote Speech this afternoon.
In pursuit of the overall goal of government of providing a better life for all, through alleviating poverty and reducing inequality, Stats SA has worked tirelessly to provide statistical information in response to the Medium Term Strategic Framework, the millennium development outcomes, and the National Development Plan.
I would also like to add that I will be responsible for Statistics South Africa, under the leadership of the Statistician-General Pali Lehohla, and thus, today’s budget vote speech includes their budget as well.
Some of the priorities for Statistics South Africa include:
• Coordination of statistical production
• Improve the use of statistics in planning monitoring and evaluation
• Promoting international collaboration and participation
• Review of legislation to improve production of statistics across government
• Creating a new home for Statistics South Africa.
The budget allocation of the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation for the 2014-2015 financial year is R208.2 million. The budget is divided into three programmes:
• Administration: R63.8 million
• Outcomes monitoring and evaluation: R78.2 million
• Institutional performance monitoring and evaluation: R66.2 million
The budget for the NPC for the 2014/15 financial year is R113.4 million.  This amount will remain on Budget Vote 1 until the NPC budget is formally transferred to Budget Vote 6.
The budget allocated to the Stats SA for the 2014/15 financial year as stated in the ENE is 2.24 billion rands, which is divided to the programmes as follows:
• Administration R 934.7 million, two thirds of which is for the new building and leases
for the existing buildings
• Economic Statistics R 210.5 million
• Population and Social Statistics R 117.9 million
• Methodology, Standards and Research R 65.5 million
• Statistical Support and Informatics R 245.1 million
• Statistical Collection and Outreach R 524.5 million
• Survey Operations R 144.3 million.
For the outputs of Stats SA to have relevance for development and to strengthen accountability and democracy, the use of statistics for evidence-based policy-making, planning, monitoring and evaluation must be advanced. The responsibility of Stats SA is to ensure that the necessary statistics are available, verifiable, meet internationally set standards, as well as being responsive to the needs of the state, business and the public at large. Looking forward in strengthening the state’s capacity to deliver, government needs a system of evidence that is transparent, accountable, results-based and transformational.
The Deputy Minister, Mr Buti Manamela’s part of the budget vote speech will touch upon the existing programmes of the department that is; Presidential Hotline, Management Performance Assessments, Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring, Local Government Monitoring, Citizen Based Monitoring and Presidential Siyahlola Monitoring Visits.  This phase of these monitoring programmes will be characterised by robust implementation of government policies and programmes geared towards the achievement of our long goal of the National Development Plan-Vison 2030.
Ladies and gentleman, as you can imagine, we have a mammoth task ahead as a department to ensure that government delivers on its mandate to its people. We depend on you to get the word across and I am looking forward to a fruitful and an engaging relationship with you, as you hold us accountable in moving South Africa forward.
I thank you.

Address by Mr Jeff Radebe (MP): Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation on the occasion of the presentation of Budget Votes 6 and 13

21 July 2014

Photo of: Minister Jeff Radebe

Chairpersons of the Portfolio Committees on Public Service and Administration as well as on Finance
Honourable Members
Deputy Minister in the Presidency: Honourable Buti Manamela
Members of the Audit Committee
Distinguished guests
Members of the Departments management and staff present
Members of the media present
Comrades and friends
Ladies and gentlemen.
It is both a privilege and honour for me to present to this august house the Budget Votes of the newly proclaimed Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Statistics South Africa. The two budget votes are a story of the National Development plan and its implementation through monitoring and evaluation, supported by a raft of national statistics. The NDP, M&E and statistics will result in an improvement in the capacity of the state to deliver better results, faster, to claim victory over the triumvirate of poverty, inequality and unemployment. In order to achieve faster and better results President Jacob Zuma reminded us in the July Cabinet Lekgotla of 2013 of a 1977 message written by our former President Nelson Mandela to Adelaide Tambo. It reads thus:  “Significant progress is always possible if we ourselves plan every detail and allow intervention of fate only on our own terms. Preparing a master plan and applying it are two different things.”
At the national conference of the ANC held in Mangaung in December 2012, the ANC embraced the centrality of the National Development Plan (NDP), Vision 2030 as a platform of action by all South Africans to address the persistence of the legacy of apartheid colonialism. To echo the words of the President in his SONA address on 17 June 2014 and in response to the Debate on the State of the Nation Address 20 June 2014: “We have put in place a programme of action based on the ANC Manifesto and the National Development Plan … The National Development Plan outlines the future we want, a society free of poverty, inequality and unemployment”.
Honourable members, subsequent to the national general elections held on 7 May 2014, the President announced the appointment of new Ministers and Deputy Ministers, as well as some reconfiguration and reorganisation of departments. These changes include the merging of the National Planning Commission Secretariat with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation to form a new Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. A process facilitated by the Department of Public Service and Administration is currently underway to give administrative effect to this change, in terms of transferring budgets, staff and assets from Vote 1 to Vote 6. We are hoping that this process will be completed by the end of October, and we are intending to apply to National Treasury for the budget for the NPC to be transferred from Vote 1 to Vote 6 in the October Adjustments Estimates, if possible.
Honourable members, the aim of this reorganisation is to give effect to the commitment in the election manifesto of the African National Congress to institutionalise long-term planning within the state. The intention is to put in place the necessary capacity both to plan on an on-going basis, and to ensure that the plans are implemented.
National Planning Commission (NPC)
The National Planning Commission has made an enormous contribution to our country through overseeing the development of the National Development Plan. In 2009, we introduced long-term planning as an important element of our national planning system when we established the National Planning Commission. In 2012, the Commission handed the National Development Plan to the President and it was subsequently adopted by Cabinet as well as the structures of the governing party. It has also been embraced by the majority in our country across sector and party lines. It is this Plan to 2030 that provides hope and a prospect of a better future for all South Africans. Some of the commissioners are present here today and we would like to express our gratitude to them on behalf of the country.
Implementation of the NDP
Honourable members, the most important priority for the Department for the next five years will be coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the NDP.  The key instrument that we will use to do implement the NDP is the 2014-2019 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The MTSF identifies the important actions required to implement the aspects of the NDP for which government is responsible over the next five years.
The MTSF builds on our experience and learning between 2009 and 2014 with the delivery agreements for the 12 outcomes. Similarly to the delivery agreements, the MTSF clearly identifies roles and responsibilities for implementing the key actions and contains measurable indicators with targets and timeframes, to enable systematic and evidence-based monitoring of the implementation of the NDP. The number of outcomes has been increased to 14, with the addition of two new outcomes, one on social protection and another on social cohesion and nation building. These 14 outcomes cover all the chapters of the NDP.
The MTSF reflects the commitments made in the governing party’s election manifesto, including the emphasis on radical economic transformation during the second phase of the democratic transition. The MTSF also emphasises improving service delivery and the performance of the public service and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of local government.
Honourable Members, in order to address some of the problems with implementation that we have experienced in the past, this MTSF differs from those of previous administrations in a number of ways. Firstly, for the first time, the MTSF serves as a 5-year building block towards the achievement of the vision in the country’s long-term plan. Secondly, it is much more detailed than previous MTSF’s and incorporates the outcomes-based planning methodology developed during the previous administration. Thirdly, measures have been put in place to ensure that the 5 year strategic plans and annual plans of all national and provincial departments are aligned to the MTSF, and therefore to the NDP. The Treasury Regulations have been amended so that all departments submit their draft plans to DPME, in order to enable DPME to review whether the plans incorporate all the targets from the MTSF before the plans are submitted to Parliament.
Parliament also has a critical oversight role to ensure that departments’ plans are aligned to the MTSF and the NDP. I would like to take this opportunity to commit the Department to collaborating with Parliament and all the Parliamentary Committees by sharing our planning, monitoring and evaluation information, with the aim of supporting Parliament to carry out its oversight function.
Once the MTSF has been approved by Cabinet, the President will enter into performance agreements with all Ministers, based on the roles and responsibilities and targets in the MTSF. Ministers will also ensure that the relevant actions and targets in the MTSF are reflected in the performance agreements of their Directors General and cascaded down to the lower levels.
The President will also appoint coordinating Ministers for each of the 14 outcomes in the MTSF, who will be required to coordinate the implementation of the MTSF outcomes, and present evidence-based progress reports to Cabinet at least three times a year. These progress reports will be made public through the Programme of Action website managed by the department.
Honourable Members, the injunction by Madiba that preparing a master plan and applying it are two different things rings loud and in that regard all of these measures that I have described are aimed at ensuring that the aspects of the NDP for which the government is responsible are indeed systematically implemented. I would like to emphasise this point for the benefit of those who doubt our commitment and capacity to implement the NDP and to those who have raised questions as to how we are going to ensure that the NDP is implemented.
I would like to use this occasion to challenge leaders in other sectors of society to similarly move with speed to implement the parts of the Plan for which they are responsible. There are a number of initiatives between government and other sectors of society that are already underway that are inspired by the Plan and I would like to mention a few to highlight our strength in working together.
The National Education Collaboration Trust
The NDP proposes a national initiative involving different stakeholders to improve learning outcomes in schools, starting with the worst performing schools. In response to this call, the Minister of Basic Education, Honourable Angie Motshekga, convened different stakeholders from government, the private sector, unions and civil society to establish a National Education Collaboration Trust intended to drive the education improvement agenda as set out in the NDP. Work is underway to select districts in which to pilot this initiative that will see government, labour and the private sector partner to improve education outcomes.
The Mpumalanga Land Reform Project
We are also engaged in a pilot project called the Mpumalanga Land Reform Project, the aim of which is to develop an accelerated redistribution model for land reform based on Chapter 6 of the NDP, which proposes a workable and pragmatic land reform scheme. A technical committee to configure the land financing model has been established and has also begun to design the implementation plans to guide the roll-out.
Harambee Project adopted by Business Leadership South Africa 
There have been numerous engagements with the private sector to discuss how they can contribute to the implementation of the NDP. In this regard, Business Leadership South Africa has decided to adopt a project called Harambee as one of its contributions to the NDP. The unique feature of this initiative is that it targets young people who have no links to the labour market and where no one in the family is employed.
Strategies to Overcome Poverty and Inequality 
The academic community is also playing a critical role in the implementation of the NDP. For example, in 2012 the University of Cape Town convened a conference to explore different strategies to overcome poverty and inequality.
Within government, the Commission and its secretariat has supported a number of policy and planning processes. They include the soon-to-be-completed Integrated Urban Development Framework which will help us respond more effectively to challenges of urbanisation and ensure that our cities and urban spaces provide opportunities to all their citizens. The Commission has also supported the formulation of the Early Childhood Development policy; it has been working with the Provincial Government of Gauteng to establish a Centre for Urban Innovation; and has been working with the Department of Social Development on the review of the White Paper on Social Welfare.
The Commission has continued to engage South Africans to raise awareness about the Plan and to mobilise support for it. As part of this engagement, a number of social dialogue sessions are planned to discuss what the elements of a decent standard of living as articulated in the NDP are and how to ensure that they can be achieved.
South Africans at all levels are excited about the NDP and have displayed an eagerness to contribute to making it work. We want to reiterate the message that the NDP is a plan for the whole country, not only government. During the current financial year, the National Planning Commission will continue with these various initiatives to further the implementation of the NDP.
Improving planning and implementation of policies and programmes
Honourable Members, there remain a number of challenges relating to the implementation of government policies and programmes, including weaknesses with meeting targets as well as weaknesses with the speed and quality of service delivery.  Many priorities in the NDP are not about new policies and programmes but rather about giving effect to existing laws and policies and improving their implementation.
The evaluations of government programmes that have been initiated by the department over the past few years have indicated that many programmes are not achieving as much as they were intended to achieve, partly due to weak programme planning, and need substantial redesign. To address this, the department is developing guidelines on improved programme planning and putting in place support programmes to assist departments to develop improved programme plans. DPME is also providing support to national and provincial departments to produce better quality strategic and annual performance plans and reports against the plans.
Honourable Members, as part of improving the planning and implementation of policies and programmes, we have decided to pilot a methodology used by the Government of Malaysia, called Big Fast Results. The methodology involves intensive detailed collaborative planning by all the stakeholders who need to work together to achieve an outcome, public commitment to the agreed actions and timeframes, and intensive monitoring of implementation. Using this implementation methodology, the Government of Malaysia was able to register impressive results within a short period.  In South Africa we have decided to call this methodology Operation Phakisa and the President launched the first pilot Operation Phakisa project on the oceans economy in Durban last weekend. If successful, DPME will work with other departments to facilitate similar projects in other priority areas, such as health, basic education and municipal service delivery.
Evaluation of government programmes
Honourable members, if we are to improve government performance, we have to reflect on whether our programmes are achieving what they were intended to achieve, whether we are doing the right things, whether we are being effective, efficient and providing value for money, and how we can do things better. To this effect we are implementing a three year rolling National Evaluation Plan, which identifies a minimum set of key government programmes to be evaluated over the period. The results of these evaluations are presented to Cabinet and to Parliament. Departments are required to put in place improvement plans to address the issues raised in the evaluations, and the improvement plans are monitored by DPME.
Departments are encouraged and supported to also carry out evaluations of their programmes on their own. The Department has been working with the Offices of the Premier in the provinces to support them to put in place provincial evaluation plans. To date, two provinces have provincial evaluation plans in place, and we aim for a further three provinces to have plans in place by the end of the 2014/15 financial year. We will aim for all provinces to have provincial evaluation plans by the end of 2015/16. To date, three national departments have put in place their own departmental evaluation plans, and we will start a major drive for departmental evaluation plans in 2015/16.
To date, 38 evaluations in the rolling National Evaluation Plan are now completed, underway or starting. We have completed 11 evaluations, of which one has been presented to Parliament. We are aiming for the results of a further 10 evaluations to be presented to the relevant Parliamentary Committees during the 2014/15 financial year. We call on Parliamentary Committees to engage with departments regarding both the results of the evaluations and the implementation of the improvement plans.
Building capacity for monitoring and evaluation across government
The NDP notes that weaknesses in how government institutions function constrain the state’s ability to pursue its developmental objectives. It identifies the primary problem as weaknesses in capacity, which lead to weaknesses in performance. It then makes a range of proposals for addressing this problem, including the development of managerial skills.
Research by DPME indicates that one of the areas in which skills are generally lacking is monitoring and evaluation. There is a widely-held perception amongst managers that monitoring is an activity carried out by monitors who monitor the work of others, and limited appreciation of the importance of managers themselves monitoring and evaluating their own work. Many departments do not yet have appropriate information management processes and systems in place to generate reliable data.  To address this, the department will continue with a range of initiatives to build the capacity of managers in government to use monitoring and evaluation as a tool to improve the performance of their departments.
Honourable Members, the department is also involved in a number of monitoring initiatives across the three spheres of government, including monitoring of the experience of citizens when obtaining services from government and monitoring the quality of management practices. Deputy Minister Manamela will describe these initiatives in his speech to the House.
Monitoring the revitalisation of distressed mining towns
During State of the Nation Address, the President announced that government will implement the undertaking to build houses and other services to revitalize mining towns, as part of the October 2012 agreement between business, government and labour. An Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Communities has been established under my leadership. As I mentioned in the SONA debate, working together with mining companies and organised labour, we will be seeking to urgently address the intolerable situation where our mines which produce so much wealth are surrounded by human settlements characterised by such squalor and poverty. The department will continue to play a coordinating and monitoring role in this work.
Honourable members, on administration, in the 2012-13 financial year, the department obtained a clean audit opinion. The audits for the 2013-2014 financial year are underway and we are again looking forward to a positive audit opinion once the audits are concluded.
The budget allocated to the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation for the 2014-2015 financial year is R208.2 million. The budget is divided into three programmes:
• Administration: R63.8 million
• Outcomes monitoring and evaluation: R78.2 million
• Institutional performance monitoring and evaluation: R66.2 million
The budget for the NPC for the 2014/15 financial year is R113.4 million.  This amount will remain on Budget Vote 1 until the NPC budget is formally transferred to Budget Vote 6.
Vote 13: Statistic South Africa (Stats SA)
Turning to Vote 13 for Statistics South Africa, let me start by indicating that statistics in general and official statistics in particular, are about people, places and possibilities. Statistics benefits society because it enables us to predict the future based on data we gather. Being able to predict the future helps us to be more efficient and effective in the actions we take and in the decisions we make. Statistics inform us about where and how South Africans live, work and play.
The role of evidence in decision-making as a society becomes more complex becomes increasingly important. In addition, more difficult questions that get asked require a raft of continuous evidence. These include questions such as: Do we know and understand the quality of health services and the difficulties that confront people when they go to public health facilities? Do we know and understand what is happening in our schools, not only the suburban schools, but do we know what the conditions are in our township schools? These questions need to be answered by information derived from accurate and reliable statistical data.
The integrity of any national statistics agency is therefore so important in that those in the production of statistics cannot dabble into the policy terrain to make methods and numbers succumb to any pressure. Instead, those in the practice of official statistics should maintain their independence in providing data that support or challenge policy options.
However, the environment within which official statistics plays its role in the national policy discourse needs to be strengthened. In this regard, the Statistician-General and the Statistics Council have decided to convene and engage the Minister next week in a meeting with key national and international players to discuss developments with regard to statistical practice and legislation.
Strategic intent for the future
In pursuit of the overall goal of government of providing a better life for all, through alleviating poverty and reducing inequality, Stats SA has worked tirelessly to provide statistical information to support the development of the NDP. The statistics produced by Stats SA will now play a key role in the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the NDP. Looking forward in strengthening the state’s capacity to deliver, government needs a system of evidence that is transparent, accountable, results-based and transformational.
Key priorities for 2014/15
Stats SA will be focusing on the following key strategic priorities in 2014-15 to drive strategic change:
• Expanding the statistical information base
Stats SA has stabilised its statistical production base as evident through the suite of economic, social and population statistics. The organisation produces more than 171 statistical releases and reports on various aspects of the economy and society annually.  In 2014/15, the organisation will sustain this raft of statistical products, whilst exploring new and innovative methods and systems to expand the information base and implementing international statistical standards and frameworks. The most important information gap is the provision of statistical information at a lower geographic level to support the integrated development plans (IDPs) and local economic development (LEDs).  Conducting a large scale population survey in 2016, piloting a new continuous population survey and implementing a geographically weighted projection model to generate small area statistical estimates are key strategic initiatives in the short to medium term.
• Leading and coordinating the statistical production
In response to the high demand for statistical production at national, sub-national, sectoral and international levels, the Statistics Act mandates Stats SA to coordinate statistical production across organs of state. In 2014/15, Stats SA will be focusing on creating an enabling regulatory environment for the production of statistics by organs of state. Statistical coordination is an enormous task to be achieved and the implementation will be guided by the policy framework on statistical production systems in South Africa. In response to the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Finance, amendments to the Statistics Act will be presented once the policy framework has been consulted upon through relevant structures.
• Increasing public confidence and trust of users
Following Census 2011, we now have a complete list of dwellings in South Africa and this frame will be continuously updated. To remain relevant, the strategic intent is to roll out a collaborative mapping approach through cooperation with municipalities. Furthermore continued efforts into improving the business frame are based on collaboration with SARS and the CPIC.
An important future outcome is the certification of statistics produced by other organs of state as official which will provide users and the public with the assurance and confidence in the quality of statistics. In 2014/15, the organisation will invest in building assessment capabilities to roll out the South African Statistics Quality Assessment Framework (SASQAF).
• Investing in learning and growth of skills, resources and infrastructure
A key strategic enabler for a sound statistical production system is statistical competence and capability. Stats SA will continue to invest in learning and growth of statistical skills and programme now forms part of the recruitment drive to build a statistics system and a statically literate society that enables active citizenry. Stats SA jointly with the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal has piloted a legacy schools programme, maths4stats, to promote statistical literacy at schools level by training teachers in statistics modules.
At tertiary level, Stats SA created a Centre for Regional and Urban Innovation and Statistical Exploration (CRUISE) at the University of Stellenbosch and provides a Masters Degree Programme that convers statistics and geography – a new powerful approach to understand, interpret and use geospatial information in planning, reporting and monitoring and thereby building statistical thinking, capability, technical and leadership capability in statistics.
Statistical capability, especially at municipal level, needs urgent attention. Government must capitalise on building these skills to inform planning, monitoring and evaluation at local level. The organisation therefore will continue to invest in this programme and extend it to reach a wider policy audience.
Honourable members, Stats SA has secured the necessary support and resources for a new home as its head office. Construction has commenced in April 2014 and we will be moving to the new premises in the next 24 months.
• Promoting international collaboration and participation
Stats SA is currently playing a leading role in international statistical development for a better Africa and the world. Stats SA chairs the Africa Symposium on Statistical Development (ASSD) as well as housing the secretariat thereof. As African leaders, we have to know how many people we lead and what the circumstances of their lives are. The ASSD has ensured that African countries participate in the UN-led 2010 Round of Population and Housing Censuses (RPHC). Plans are afoot to participate in the 2020 RPHC, which will start in 2015.
Furthermore, the first and second meetings of Africa Ministers responsible for Civil Registration has mandated the heads of National Statistics Agencies to provide the evidence that would sharpen policy intervention in a manner that would give human life a meaningful worth. It is for this reason that the current focus of the ASSD on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS). The next ASSD will be held in Uganda later this year. For Africa to leapfrog as an equal player into the future, all these initiatives require capacity. Stats SA hosts a conference for young African statisticians every two years where young and upcoming statisticians are mentored on writing papers and responding to policy challenges. Stats SA will host 4th session of this conference this month.
The budget allocated to the Stats SA for the 2014-2015 financial year as stated in the ENE is R2,24 billion which is divided to the programmes as follows:
• Administration R 934.7 million
• Economic Statistics R 210.5 million
• Population and Social Statistics R 117.9 million
• Methodology, Standards and Research R 65.5 million
• Statistical Support and Informatics R 245.1 million
• Statistical Collection and Outreach R 524.5 million
• Survey Operations R 144.3 million
In conclusion Honourable members, we accept the injunction by our former President Mandela that: “Significant progress is always possible if we ourselves plan every detail and allow intervention of fate only on our own terms. Preparing a master plan and applying it are two different things.” We consequently chose evidence based decision making and this consists of a plan, a national statistics system and a framework for monitoring and evaluation.
Through this effort, together as a nation at work we can do more in moving South Africa forward faster and achieve a better life for all.  Our people have the right to expect quality services from their government and to hold leaders to account for their actions. We are of the view that if all of us, Parliament, Government, and civil society work together in unison, we will be on course to create the future we need and deserve for our country as envisioned in the National Development Plan.
Finally I wish to thank the President, the Deputy President, the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Chairs and Members of the Portfolio Committees, the Chairperson of the Statistics Council and Commissioners of the NPC, the Director General of DPME and the Statistician General as well as other officials for being present today, and for providing us with support.
I thank you

Address by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 5th Annual Ahmed Kathrada Lecture, 28 November 2014, Johannesburg

28 November 2014

Photo of: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Nation Building: Beyond the Flag and National Anthem
Programme Director,
Isithwalandwe Seaparankoe Ahmed Kathrada,
Barbara Hogan,
Minister Derek Hanekom,
Stalwart Sophie Williams de Bruyn,
Stalwart Laloo Isu Chiba,
MEC Ismail Vadi,
Chief Whip for City of Johannesburg Prema Naidoo,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honour and privilege to present the 5th Annual Ahmed Kathrada Lecture.
The subject of this lecture – nation building, redress and reconciliation – lies at the heart of our historical national imperative.
To build a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society requires that we attend in a meaningful and concerted way to each of these interrelated tasks.
The subject of this lecture neatly encapsulates a central theme of the life and work of Ahmed Kathrada.
As one of the greatest sons of our soil, and also one of the most unassuming, Cde Kathy has dedicated his life to the achievement of a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it, black and white.
This lecture not only pays tribute to his contribution to our struggle. But in its own way, it also advances that struggle.
For it draws our attention to what is essential for our progress as a nation.
It challenges us to reflect on how far we have come and what we are required still to do.
Next year we will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter.
This occasion has far more than mere historical value.
For the Freedom Charter remains to this day the most impressive articulation of the means by which we will advance nation building, redress and reconciliation.
Just as it has defined our struggle over the last 60 years, so too must it define our future.
When the delegates to the Congress of the People said:
“We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white…”
…they were making a powerful call for a united nation, for a non-racial nation and for a nation that is reconciled and at peace.
The delegates at the Congress of the People also made a fundamental statement about the nature of reconciliation in South Africa.
They said that reconciliation necessarily depends on the redress of past injustices and the eradication of inequality.
They said ‘The people shall share in the country’s wealth’ and that ‘The land shall be shared among those who work it’.
They said ‘The doors of learning and culture shall be opened’ and that ‘There shall be houses, security and comfort’.
The understanding of those who drafted the Freedom Charter was that a nation is not defined by a flag or a national anthem.
It is defined by the extent to which each citizen enjoys equal rights, opportunities and material security.
It is defined by a sense of a common purpose and a shared future.
Twenty years into our democracy, we are called upon to reflect on the progress we have made in realising the vision of the Freedom Charter.
We are called upon to reflect on the progress we have made in building a non-racial society and promoting reconciliation.
There is much that we have achieved.
We have adopted a democratic Constitution that contains within it many of the freedoms articulated in the Freedom Charter.
The Constitution is a bold declaration by all South Africans that the injustices of the past should not be allowed to continue into the present.
It places the achievement of equality among the values on which our new democratic state is founded. It promotes healing and reconciliation.
Another significant act in the process of reconciliation was the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The Commission arose from a recognition that reconciliation would not be possible unless we confronted the atrocities of the past directly and honestly.
We sought to make a decisive break with the human rights violations of our past, offering amnesty to those who committed such crimes and providing a platform for those who were the victims of such crimes.
The TRC process, though deeply painful, was valuable and necessary.
It was a remarkable act of courage for a country that had been in a state of civil war barely a few years before.
It affirmed the values and the conduct that should define relations among our people. It promoted reconciliation.
The sense of a common nationhood is made manifest in ways that are both symbolic and practical.
South Africans take great pride in their flag, in their national anthem, and, at least most of the time, in their national sports teams.
A year ago, they came together as one to mourn the passing of our beloved founding President, and each year, on his birthday, they undertake acts of generosity and social solidarity in his name.
There is a very real sense, through these symbols and on these occasions, that all our people live in brotherhood and sisterhood.
We are one nation, united in diversity.
And yet, though we may be one nation, we are in many ways still a divided country.
We should be concerned, for example, by recent reports that the level of trust between blacks and whites in South Africa is deteriorating.
A survey by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory found that the proportion of Africans saying they would never trust whites increased from 68 percent in 2009 to 73 percent in 2013.
The proportion of whites who expressed a similar sentiment increased from 40 percent to 44 percent over the same period.
The fault lines in our society are not only racial.
In 2011, National Planning Commission produced a Diagnostic Report, which said:
“Opportunity is not only defined by race; it also differs for men and women, and for rural and urban dwellers. Language and ethnic background continue to divide South Africa, as does economic participation, because those who have work have access to income and opportunities that the unemployed do not have.”
The report underlines the fact that the human cost – and the social cost – of apartheid is still firmly with us.
We are reminded daily by the lived experiences of our people of the devastation of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
The material conditions under which our people live represent the greatest challenge to nation building and social cohesion.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have made significant progress since the dawn of democracy to respond to the injunction that “there shall be houses, security and comfort”.
The 2011 Census shows, for example, that between 1996 and 2011 the proportion of South Africans living in formal dwellings increased from 58 percent to 77 percent.
The proportion of households with water and electricity increased by similar amounts.
This represents a marked improvement in the living conditions of millions of South Africans.
Yet there is so much more that we need to do.
To quote again from the Diagnostic Report of the National Planning Commission:
“Our successes so far are significant given both our history and international comparisons. These successes should in no way be underestimated or glossed over.
“Despite these successes, our conclusion is that on a business-as-usual basis, we are likely to fall short in meeting our objectives of a prosperous, united, non-racial and democratic South Africa with opportunity for everyone, irrespective of race or gender.
“Our task is to identify the weaknesses and challenges that we confront and to explain the underlying causes of these challenges.
“For those South Africans who are excluded from the formal economy, live in informal settlements, depend on social services which are either absent or of very poor quality; the political transition is yet to translate into a better life.”
For while we can declare that indeed the people do govern, we cannot claim that the people share in the country’s wealth.
For as long as the people do not share in the country’s wealth, our effort to build a new nation will be incomplete.
Meaningful reconciliation will remain elusive.
At the centre of the challenge we face in ensuring that the people share in the country’s wealth is the simple reality that too many of our people are unemployed.
There was a deliberate effort to keep black South Africans out of the mainstream of the economy, deny them the opportunity to run businesses, and prevent them from gaining the skills, assets and experience that would enable them to advance beyond a certain level of manual labour.
While the economy has changed to some extent over the last 20 years, it still bears many of the features of its apartheid past.
Ownership remains largely in white hands. Without an established capital base, few black South Africans have been able to become owners.
The higher echelons of management, particularly in the private sector, remain dominated by white men.
There are still massive differences in income and skills levels between white and black South Africans.
This situation does not lend itself to simple solutions. It needs to be tackled on several fronts at once.
We need to accelerate the rate of economic growth. The moderate growth rates that we are currently achieving are simply not sufficient to meaningfully reduce levels of unemployment.
To promote faster economic growth, we need to leverage our massive investment in infrastructure not only to create jobs, but also to expand the capacity of our economy.
This includes investment in logistics, telecommunications, power generation and distribution, and social infrastructure.
We need to reduce the costs of doing business in South Africa, and make it easier for people to start and sustain new businesses.
We need to pay particular attention to the regulatory environment, streamlining processes and achieving greater efficiencies.
We need to remove the obstacles to small business development, and help emerging entrepreneurs to access finance, support and, importantly, markets for their products.
These are the nuts and bolts of nation building.
These are some of the practical steps we need to take to narrow the economic divide between black and white and between men and women.
Unless our economy expands, unless it creates jobs, unless it creates opportunities for those who have been marginalised, our efforts to redress the injustices of the past will be forever constrained.
At the core of our efforts to tackle unemployment must be an unwavering focus on developing the skills of our people.
Of all the iniquities of apartheid, the neglect of education has perhaps been the most devastating – and most enduring.
We have done much to improve access to education for all, including the poorest.
However, the progress we have seen in access has not been matched by similar progress in educational outcomes.
Our schools are performing far below their peers in countries at a similar level of development, and are certainly not meeting the requirements for a growing and thriving economy.
There are still massive inequalities within our education system.
There is still a significant gap between those who learn in the suburbs and those who learn in townships, in villages and on farms.
Yet our schools, colleges and universities can become critical sites for nation building and reconciliation.
They can become places where black and white interact as equals, where they learn and develop together, and where they imbibe the values of respect, generosity and industry.
The fate of any nation turns on the extent to which its education dispensation responds to the challenges of development.
Investment in education produces the greatest yield. It builds a new generation of citizens equal, not only in rights, but also in access to opportunities.
We need to build a capable generation that is armed with the knowledge, skills, cognitive ability and drive to elevate our productivity and improve our competitiveness.
We need to build a generation that can transcend the animosity and mistrust of the past, that appreciates the equal value of every individual, and that celebrates both the diversity and cohesion of our people.
As we undertake this task, we are inspired by the generation represented here today by Ahmed Kathrada.
It was that generation that saw – in the midst of one of the most oppressive, repressive and exploitative systems – the possibility of a united, free and democratic South Africa.
They imagined a country at peace with itself and the world.
Like them, let us too pledge ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until all our people are free, equal and secure.
Let us strive together to build a nation that belongs to all who live in it.
Allow me to conclude, as I so often do, where the National Development Plan begins.
In its vision statement, the NDP imagines our country in 20 years time. It says:
We, the people of South Africa, have journeyed
far since the long lines of our first democratic
election on 27 April 1994, when
we elected a government for us all.
Now in 2030 we live in a country
which we have remade…
Once, we uttered the dream of a rainbow.
Now we see it, living it. It does not curve over the sky.
It is refracted in each one of us at home, in
the community, in the city, and across the
land, in an abundance of colour.
When we see it in the faces of our children,
we know: there will always be, for us, a worthy
I thank you.
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OR Tambo Memorial Lecture by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, University of Fort Hare

24 October 2014

Photo of: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Vice Chancellor of the University of Fort Hare, Dr Mvoyo Tom,
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Horst Freitag,
Master of Ceremonies,
Members of the Tambo family,
Members of the Fort Hare community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When we speak of the life, work and thought of Oliver Tambo, we cannot but speak of the unwavering desire of the South African people to be free.
We cannot but speak of the determined struggle to end oppression and exploitation in all its manifestations.
For there are few individuals in our history who embody this desire, who embody this struggle, more than Isithwalandwe Oliver Reginald Tambo.
There are few individuals whose singular contribution to the cause of freedom will be felt for generations to come.
Oliver Tambo was not only the President of the African National Congress during the worst excesses and most extreme repression of the apartheid regime. He was also the leader of a global movement to eradicate a system that was rightly determined to be a crime against humanity.
Oliver Tambo was an internationalist.
He understood that the freedom of his people could not be divorced from the freedom of all people everywhere. He sought to build strong bonds of solidarity with other nations, not only so that South Africa may be free, but so that together we could build a better world.
We have just returned from Lesotho, a neighbour that stood by us during the darkest moments of our history – a neighbour that paid a heavy price for its support for the struggles of the South African people.
We recall with great sadness the Maseru massacre of 1982, in which 30 South Africans and 12 Basotho were killed at the hands of the apartheid state.
We recall the words of Oliver Tambo at the funeral of those who died, when he said:
“These events have united us because, your Majesty, your people responded to this massacre with the courage that is part of their tradition and part of their history.”
That relationship has survived to this day. It motivates the efforts of SADC to bring stability to the Kingdom of Lesotho.
The courage of the Basotho that Oliver Tambo spoke about in 1982 remains in evidence today, as all parties in the country work towards a common resolution of the challenges they currently face.
In the spirit of Oliver Tambo, we will continue to stand with the people of Lesotho as they forge a better future.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Oliver Tambo has left us a rich legacy.
Not only did he struggle against the injustices of his time, but he established the foundation for a democratic future.
Though he would be the last to admit it, in many senses he is the architect of our freedom.
He led us to the threshold of our democracy.
It remains a source of great sadness that he did not live to finally cast his vote for a government based on the will of all the people.
We nevertheless draw comfort from the fact that the vision to which he dedicated his life – of a free and democratic society – remains at the centre of everything we do.
The values that he espoused and the qualities he possessed continue to inspire and motivate us.
Oliver Tambo was among the first leaders of the ANC to champion the empowerment of women. He understood that South Africa could not be free until its women were free.
His firm, principled stance sometimes placed him at odds with prevailing attitudes and cultural norms. Yet he never relented.
Like him, we should never relent.
For though we have made great strides in improving the representation of women in almost all spheres of society, there is still much that we need to do to combat gender discrimination, oppression and exploitation.
We cannot claim that South Africa is free for as long as its women are subject to crimes of violence and abuse.
We cannot claim that South Africa is free for as long as girl children are forced to drop out of school, or for as long as women do not enjoy the same opportunities for development and advancement as men.
We owe it to Oliver Tambo to continue this struggle.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Oliver Tambo was a unifier.
He understood that nothing of value could be achieved unless we were united in our efforts.
Even during periods of great danger and great difficulty, when it seemed that the centre would not hold, he worked tirelessly to ensure that the movement and the people remained united and focused.
He managed to do so without suppressing divergent views.
Rather he created space for people to express, engage and persuade. And in so doing, arrive at common positions that all could embrace and defend.
As we grapple with the challenges of the present, we would be well advised to draw on the example of OR Tambo.
Speaking at the ANC’s first legal National Consultative Conference inside the country, in December 1990, Tambo said:
“One can never overemphasise the importance of unity. Our very survival as a cohesive movement depends on our unity in action. The struggle is far from over. If anything, it has become more complex, and, therefore, more difficult.”

The passage of time has not altered the significance of that statement. More than two decades after he spoke, Tambo’s words remain relevant.
The struggle we continue to fight – against poverty and inequality – is more complex and more difficult. It requires unity of purpose and action.
Yet we find great rifts in our society. We remain divided along lines of race, gender and class. We find divisions between the urban and the rural, between the employed and the unemployed, between the left and the right (and those who present themselves as the even more left).
We find divisions within our movement, where the politics of power, patronage and personal advancement have steadily eroded our organisational fabric.
These divisions militate against the attainment of the truly free, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society for which Oliver Tambo fought.
They undermine the impressive gains we have made.
Now more than ever, we are called upon to heal these rifts, to confront these divisions.
We need to unite all South Africans around a common programme of change that addresses the significant social and economic challenges that still hinder our progress towards a society in which all may experience a better quality of life.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Oliver Tambo was an incisive thinker.
He had a remarkable ability to understand the environment, to analyse the balance of forces, and to formulate an appropriate course of action.
He possessed an intellectual honesty.
He would tell no lies and he would claim no easy victories.
And as we mark the 20th anniversary of the attainment of democracy, we can indeed point to significant strides made in establishing stable and resilient democratic institutions, in turning around our economy and placing it on a path of growth, and in addressing many of the basic needs of the poor.
But, outstanding though our achievements may be, we are acutely aware that we still have massive challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
If we fail to meaningfully address these challenges, not only will we be unable to right the economic and social wrongs of apartheid, but we may find that the very achievements of the last two decades are gradually eroded.
We know that the challenges we face have deep roots.
The country we inhabit today is the product of three centuries of dispossession and exploitation.
Most of our people were deprived of productive assets, were denied the opportunity to run their own businesses, and were refused the education that is the right and desire of every person.
We have the means to overcome these challenges. We have the means to build a new country.
Our history tells us what is possible when vision is matched by application, and when commitment is matched by capability.
Even when faced with the most intractable of problems, South Africans are capable of the greatest feats of collective action.
From the formation of the African National Congress in 1912 to the Defiance of Unjust Laws campaign of 1952 to the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961, our people have demonstrated a remarkable ability to cast aside the jealousies that Pixley ka Seme spoke of to forge a common course of action.
Master of Ceremonies,
Oliver Tambo was a builder. He built alliances. He forged partnerships.
For three decades he travelled the globe meeting heads of state, union leaders, activists, business people, cultural workers, celebrities, community leaders, revolutionaries.
He ignited in all of them a shared determination to fight for the rights and freedoms of all people. He rallied them behind a shared vision of a different society and a different world.
That vision still remains.
If we are to pursue that vision – if we are to achieve a better life for all – we need to tackle poverty, unemployment and inequality. We need to radically transform our economy.
The National Development Plan seeks an economy that serves the interests of all South Africans, one that is able to absorb people seeking work, one that is competitive, with a rising share of income going towards investment.
It envisages an economy that is more diverse, both in terms of what we produce and in terms of who owns, manages and works in that economy. We seek firms that are profitable and that play a constructive role in supporting development and social cohesion. We seek an effective state able to support business expansion, protect the rights of workers and drive the transformation of the economy.
Through more effective provision of a broader social wage, we should enable even the poorest of people to have a decent standard of living, to build the capabilities to get better jobs, higher incomes and a broader range of benefits.
Given our history of exclusion and the skewed distribution of wealth and income, it is only natural for economic policy to be among the most contested terrains of discourse.
While there are areas of disagreement, there is much more in the plan that enjoys widespread support.
Nevertheless, we need to remain engaged on the areas where we differ, for it is only through honest, open dialogue that we will be able to forge broad consensus on the path we need to follow.
We need to be united on these matters because achieving the targets set out in the plan will require an extraordinary effort.
It is evident that no social force on its own can fulfil either its own interests or achieve the shared objective of growth and development.
The private sector, for example, cannot flourish without a capable and effective state. The state cannot achieve its developmental objectives without a strong a vibrant private sector. Workers cannot improve their long term earnings without a growing private sector and employers cannot expect to grow their businesses without the support, input and collaboration of workers.
And none of those social partners can grasp the nature of the challenges faced or appreciate the solutions required without an engaged and vibrant intelligensia.
Without evidence, without analysis, without critical review, we will never succeed in our efforts. We need our universities, our institutes and our research bodies to guide and advise.
Most importantly, we need the people of South Africa to be directly involved in undertaking these tasks.
The achievement of democracy was the culmination of years of tireless struggle. Through our efforts, working together, we overcame decades of conflict and animosity and mistrust. We found a solution where many said a solution could not be found.
We owe much of this to Oliver Tambo.
He was a visionary, who realised, when few others did, that negotiations with the apartheid regime were inevitable.
Bravely, and at great expense to his health, he mobilised the ANC, the country andour allies on the continent in preparation for negotiations as a new terrain of struggle.
We succeeded thanks to him.
We succeeded because our vision was far greater and more compelling than any of the myriad obstacles we encountered.
Even in the darkest moments, even as we suffered setbacks, our resolve never slackened and our determination never wavered.
We are a democratic nation today because we refused to accept as inevitable the circumstances in which we found ourselves.
We imagined a different South Africa. We imagined a new nation.
We worked together to achieve it. And we prevailed.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Even when faced with the most intractable of problems, South Africans are capable of the greatest feats of collective action.
From where we stand today, there seem to be few problems more intractable than an unemployment rate upwards of 25%, of a generation of young people without the skills and experience to find meaningful work in the formal economy.
There are few problems that seem more intractable than the poverty and inequality in South Africa today.
And yet, like Oliver Tambo taught us, we remain hopeful.
We do so not because we are unable to comprehend the enormity of the challenges we face. We do so not because we are naïve.
We remain hopeful because our lived experience confirms what each of us innately believes – that there is no obstacle that we cannot overcome.  There is no problem that does not contain the possibility of a solution.
Let me conclude where the National Development Plan begins.
In its vision statement, it imagines our country in 20 years time. It says:
We, the people of South Africa, have journeyed
far since the long lines of our first democratic
election on 27 April 1994, when
we elected a government for us all.
Now in 2030 we live in a country
which we have remade…
Once, we uttered the dream of a rainbow.
Now we see it, living it. It does not curve over
the sky.
It is refracted in each one of us at home, in
the community, in the city, and across the
land, in an abundance of colour.
When we see it in the faces of our children,
we know: there will always be, for us, a worthy
It was to that worthy future that Oliver Tambo dedicated his life.
And it is to that worthy future that we, now, must dedicate ours.
I thank you.