2011 promise: •Close to 15 million South Africans obtain social grants from the State. The extension of the Child Support Grant to cover eligible children under the age of 18 years will reach fruition this year. President Zuma emphasized that government was ‘a developmental and not a welfare state’. In November 2011, President Zuma said that government could not afford to indefinitely pay social grants to people who were not elderly and who had no physical defects. “We cannot be a welfare state…we cannot sustain a situation where social grants are growing all the time and think it can be a permanent feature…taxpayers should develop the country rather than feed the poor”.,” Zuma affirmed. By September 2011, there were 15 million social grant beneficiaries. According to the National Treasury’s budget review for 2011, grants rose to R88.268bn. The figure is expected to rise to R106.25bn in 2011/12. Government spends 10.9% of its total budget on social grants. The Treasury estimates that spending on social protection will rise from R160 billion in 2012 to R182 billion by 2014.
•Budget deficit is set to decline from the current 6.7% to between 3 and 4% by 2013
•Concerns about the exchange rate have been taken to heart. Exchange control reforms that were announced in the Medium Term Budget Policy statement last year are being implemented. Further information will be provided by the Minister of Finance in the Budget Speech.
•Zuma announced that South Africa was now a proud member of the Bric(s) group of nations and that its inaugural meeting will take place in April in China. Zuma also praised the nation for its non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, which he said the country would use to ‘promote the African agenda as well as peace and security in Africa and the world’. The inaugural meeting of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China), with South Africa as member, took place on April 14 – 15 in China.
•Jobs…2011 declared a ‘year of job creation through meaningful economic transformation and inclusive growth’…’decent work’ at the centre of economic policies…message as very strong on job creation initiatives including a R9 billion jobs fund over the next three years.
•All government departments, including national, provincial and local government departments and state-owned enterprises to drive process of job creation.
•Research indicates jobs to be created in six priority areas… infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green economy and tourism.
•Zuma said that government cannot create these jobs alone…’we have to work with business, labour and the community constituencies’.
•The Industrial Development Corporation has set aside R10 billion over the next five years for investment in such economic activities with a high jobs potential.
•Government is also considering merging the three agencies Khula, the SA Micro-Finance Apex Fund and the IDC’s small business funding into a single unit.
•Eskom and energy security…urged South Africans to save energy to avoid future load-shedding…Eskom invested more than R75 billion, mainly on the new stations Medupi, Kusile and Ingula, as well as the return to service and transmission of other projects. This year we will start procuring power from Renewable Energy Power Producers, which will demonstrate our commitment to renewable energy.

•Government, with its social partners, is reviewing legislation on labour brokers and the policy framework for the provision of public employment services. This will enable government to maintain a database of job seekers and job opportunities. •Government must fill all funded vacant posts. The performance monitoring and evaluation department will provide a report within six months. •A Special Anti-Corruption Unit has been established in the Department of Public Service and Administration to handle corruption-related disciplinary cases involving public servants. Progress is being made in many ongoing investigations. About R44 million has been recovered from public servants who are illegally benefiting from housing subsidies, while the cleaning of the social grants system of fraud is also continuing. We have directed the Special Investigating Unit to probe alleged maladministration or corruption in various government departments, municipalities and institutions.
•We plan to revitalise 105 nursing colleges countrywide, to train more nurses. The testing has been popularly taken up around the country. Just over 5 million HIV tests have been done since the launch of the testing campaign in April last year. Over the past year, work has continued to develop the National Health Insurance policy and implementation plan. Government will soon be releasing the policy document for public engagement. •Building a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system…the country will hold the fourth local government elections before the end of May. •The African agenda remains our key policy focus. South Africa is serving a two year term on the African Union Peace and Security Council. The country will chair the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security from August. In this role, we will continue to engage the parties in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe and the development of a roadman to elections. We will also promote the resolution of the Malagasy conflict. We will monitor and assist where possible to ensure that the political and security situation in the DRC is conducive to elections. We are also honoured to participate in finding solutions to the situation in Cote d’Ivoire, as a member of the African Union High Level Panel chosen to help resolve the challenges in that country. We applaud the work of the South African National Defence Force, which has on average deployed over 2 000 military personnel in peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sudan and the Central African Republic. South Africa has taken note of the unfolding developments in Egypt as well as the earlier events in Tunisia. We continue to monitor the situation closely, including its implications for the Middle East and North Africa.

2010 promises: President Jacob Zuma delivered his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) in parliament on February 11, 2010, a date that also marked the 20th anniversary of the release of former President Nelson Mandela from prison. History was also made on the day as the annual SONA was moved to 19h00 instead of its traditional morning slot. According to government communications, this was done to afford all South Africans, especially workers, students and school children an opportunity to watch the proceedings in their homes.
President Zuma had set a number of targets in which his government would work towards in providing a better life for all. Zuma target for 2010 included:
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT •The year 2009 saw the first recession in 17 years, which cost our economy about 900 000 jobs.
•Government has put measures in place to reduce the scale and impact of the crisis as agreed in 2009 between government, business, labour and community representatives.
•Government has further implemented its anti-recession spending, especially on infrastructure. These include:
oR6 billion set aside by the Industrial Development Corporation to help companies in distress
oa training lay-off scheme to allow workers the option of a period of training instead of retrenchment.
•Economic activity is rising in South Africa and growth is expected to go forward. However, government will not withdraw its support measures.
•The Industrial Policy Action Plan and the new focus on green jobs will build stronger and more labour- absorbing industries.
•There will be a further reduction in broadband, cellphone, landline and public phone rates.
•Increased broadband speed will ensure a high standard of Internet services in line with international norms.
•Government will spend R846 billion on public infrastructure over the next three years.
•The aim is also to maintain and expand our road network and to ensure a reliable, competitive and better rail network integrated with our sea ports. Energy supply
oGovernment has established the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Energy to develop a 20-year integrated resource plan to ensure reliable power supply.
o Government will look at the participation of independent power producers and protecting the poor from rising electricity prices.
oEskom will continue to build additional generation capacity and improve the maintenance of its power stations.
Extended Public Works Programme/labour issues
oMore than 480 000 public works’ job opportunities were created by the end of December 2009 in areas such as construction, home- and community- based care and environmental projects.
oGovernment will ensure more labour-intensive projects.
oA further expansion of public employment programmes, which include local infrastructure and literacy projects, home-based care, school maintenance and early childhood development initiatives, is also underway.
2010 FIFA World Cup
oThe infrastructure, security and logistics arrangements are in place to ensure a successful tournament.
Education and skills development are at the centre of these government policies
•We will improve the ability of our children to read, write and count in the foundation years.
•Learners and teachers must be in school, in class, on time, learning and teaching for seven hours a day.
•Government will assist teachers by providing detailed daily lesson plans and easy-to-use workbooks in all 11 languages to students.
•From 2010, all grade three, six and nine students will write literacy and numeracy tests that are independently moderated.
•Government aims to increase the pass rate for these tests from the current average of between 35% and 40% to at least 60% by 2014.
•Each of the 27 000 schools will be assessed by officials from the Department of Basic Education.
Improving our matriculation Mathematics and Science output and tertiary institutions
•Government aims to increase the number of matric students who are eligible for university admission to 175 000 a year by 2014.
•Government plans to increase the training of 16 – 25 year-olds in further education and training facilities.
•Skills-development targets have been set to produce additional engineers and technicians, and to increase the number of qualified Mathematics and Science teachers.
Youth, women and persons with disabilities
•The National Youth Development Agency has been directed to work faster to establish structures throughout the country, in order to accelerate the mainstreaming of youth-development programmes within government.
•We need to integrate gender-equity measures into the Government’s Programme of Action to ensure that women, children and persons with disabilities can access developmental opportunities.
•A subsidy to incentivise firms which take unemployed young people and inexperienced staff will soon be tabled.
•We will increase the number of youth who enter learnerships in the private and public sectors.
Ensuring a long and healthy life for all South Africans
•Government will: continue to improve the healthcare system by building and upgrading hospitals and clinics and further improving the working conditions of healthcare workers
•collaborate with the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation in a public-private partnership programme to improve hospitals and provide finance for projects
• intervene to lower maternal mortality rates, reduce new HIV infections and effectively treat HIV and tuberculosis
•continue to reduce the infant mortality rates through a massive immunisation programme
•reinstate health programmes in schools
• continue preparations for the establishment of a national health insurance system.
Human settlements
Plans are underway to:
oupgrade well-located settlements and provide proper service and land tenure to at least 500 000 households by 2014
o set aside over 6 000 hectares of public land for low- income and affordable housing
oset up a guarantee of R1 billion to incentivise private banking and housing sectors to develop new products to meet the housing demands.

Rural development
•Government has built 231 houses since the launch of • the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme in Giyani, Limpopo, in August 2009. Progress has also been made in providing infrastructure to support agricultural development and training for community members. Government is implementing similar programmes in • seven sites across the country, benefiting 21 wards. By 2014, we aim to have sites in 160 wards. The target is to have 60% of households in these sites to meet their food requirements from own production by 2014. We aim to integrate land reform and the agricultural • support programme to increase the number of small- scale farmers who become economically viable.
Government commits to:
•improve planning as well as performance monitoring and evaluation to build a performance-oriented state
•improve the provision of housing, water, sanitation, electricity, waste management and roads by municipalities.
Work is already underway on the development and implementation of a public service development programme to set norms and standard for public servants in all spheres.
Government will continue with efforts to eradicate corruption and fraud, in among other areas, procurement and tender processes, applications for drivers’ licences, social grants and identity documents.
Plans are underway to:
•ensure that everyone in South Africa feels safe and is safe
•work further to reduce serious and violent crimes
• ensure an efficiently working justice system increase the number of police officers by 10% over the next three years
•fight against hijacking, and business and house robberies, as well as contact crimes such as murder, rape and assault, which have been identified as top priorities.
The nation is further urged to participate in community safety forums, stop buying stolen goods and be ready to provide the police with information about criminal activity.
Government will:
•work with international counterparts towards a legally binding climate change treaty, and at the same time continue working on our long-term Climate Change Mitigation Strategy
•support efforts to speed up the political and economicintegration of the Southern African Development Community region and promote intraregional trade and investment
•continue to play a leading role in continental efforts o strengthen the African Union and its organs and to work for unity
•focus energy on revitalising the New Partnership for • Africa’s Development, as a strategy for economic development on the continent. Working

2009 promises: In 2009, Jacob Zuma delivered his first State of the Nation address as President of South Africa. Conveying the address on June 3, the newly elected President set out goals that his government would work hard on during his first year as head of state.
As the government set its path, President Zuma highlighted that poverty is a key priority and he would ensure that the government would in full strength to alleviate poverty. Zuma’s sentiments on the eagerness to fight poverty were put before parliament when he said:
“For as long as there are South Africans who die from preventable disease; For as long as there are workers who struggle to feed their families and who battle to find work; For as long as there are communities without clean water, decent shelter or proper sanitation; For as long as there are rural dwellers unable to make a decent living from the land on which they live; For as long as there are women who are subjected to discrimination, exploitation or abuse; For as long as there are children who do not have the means nor the opportunity to receive a decent education; We shall not rest, and we dare not falter, in our drive to eradicate poverty.”
During his speech, the President had main focal points that were part of this theme for government. This theme was the underlying factors that the government would work towards and would prioritise during Zuma’s first year in office. Government’s precedence included:
Jobs – Act to reduce job losses
– Support work of the CCMA.
– Development a programme to fund companies in distress.
– Buy more goods and services locally
– Scaled up Industrial Policy Action Plan developed – Expanded Public Works Programme
Promote a more inclusive economy
– Assist small medium enterprises, promote the implementation of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.
– Correct the imbalances of the past. The transformation will be undertaken in support of women, youth and people with disabilities.
– Reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses.
– Move towards a single integrated business registration system.
– Create about 500 000 job opportunities in 2009.
Programme to build economic and social infrastructure
-R787 billion infrastructure expenditure as provided for in the budget is properly planned for and executed.
-BRT: Minister of Transport resume discussions with the taxi industry
-Roll-out digital broadcasting infrastructure and signal distribution transmitters
-Provide suitably located and affordable housing and decent human settlements
-Speed up the processing of the Land Use Management Bill.

Rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security.
Greater Giyani Local Municipality in Limpopo pilot projects for campaign.
Renewal of rural towns.
Education – a key priority for the next five years
Early Childhood Development programme will be stepped up.
Improve school management.
Increase enrolment rates in secondary schools.
Guidelines on Sexual Harassment and Violence in Public Schools are widely disseminated.Adult Basic Education and Training programme intensified.
Further Education and Training primary site for skills development training.

Health care
Improve the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan for the Treatment, Management and Care of HIV and AIDS to reduce infections.Reach 80% of those in need of ARV treatment.Introduce a National Health Insurance scheme in a phased manner. Issues of remuneration of health professionals to remove uncertainty in our health services.
Crime Establish a transformed, integrated, modernised, properly-resourced and well-managed criminal justice system.Improve the efficiency of the courts Ensure an increase in prosecutors and Legal Aid Board personnel and police detectives.Ministry from Safety and Security changed to Police to reduce serious and violent crimesSerious attention given to combating organised crime. Improve the regulation private security industry.Start the process to set up Border Management Agency.Intensify efforts against cyber crime and identity theft. Improve systems in jails to reduce repeat offending. Transformation of the Judiciary system. Combat corruption and fraud Need to : -Participate in Community Policing Forums -Stop buying stolen goods -Report crime and assist the police with information Youth
National Youth Development AgencyEnvironment Mitigate adverse environmental changes,Implement the Water for Growth and Development strategy.
Sports Speed up the revival of school sport.Ensure that the provision of sport facilities in poorer communities
Foreign relations Ensure foreign relations contribute sustainable economic growth and development.Continue to prioritise the African continent, focus implementation of New Partnership for Africa’s Development. Strengthening of regional integration.Establish a South African Development Partnership.Continue to assist in the reconstruction and development of the African continent.Support the peace efforts of the African Union and the United Nations on the African continent. Participate in promoting inclusive government.Support efforts of the SADC region.Strengthening of South-South relation. Enhance relations with the North including the G8.Ensure the conclusion of the WTO Doha Development round of negotiations.
Improvement of public services and strengthening of democratic institutions.Cabinet Ministers accountable through performance instruments.State-Owned Enterprises and Development Finance Institutions involved.Speed up the establishment of a single Public Service.Ensure courteous and efficient service in all government departments.Establishment of Presidency hotline. Patriotism
Die tyd het gekom om harder te werk. Ons regering gaan vorentoe kyk, nie agtertoe nie!
Become active citizens in the renewal of our country.Build a common national identity and patriotism.Develop a common attachment to our country, our Constitution and the national symbols.Promote the National Anthem and our country’s flag and all other national symbols.We will ensure a common national approach to the changing of geographic and place names. Sport is a powerful nation-building tool. We must support all our national teams. “Since 1994 we have sought to create a united cohesive society out of our fragmented past. We are called upon to continue this mission of promoting unity in diversity and to develop a shared value system, based on the spirit of community solidarity and a caring society.” Our shared value system should encourage us to become active citizens in the renewal of our country. We must build a common national identity and patriotism.
Mandela Day will be celebrated on the 18th of July each year.
Government identified 10 priority areas, which formed part of the Medium Term Strategic Framework for 2009 to 2014. At the time the programme was being introduced under difficult economic conditions. The creation of decent work was to be at the centre of economic policies and will influence our investment attraction and job-creation initiatives.
Medium term strategic framework priorities •Speed up economic growth and transform the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods.
•Introduce a massive programme to build economic and social infrastructure. •Develop and implement a comprehensive rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security. •Strengthen the skills and human resource base. •Improve the health profile of all South Africans. •Intensify the fight against crime and corruption. •Develop cohesive and sustainable communities • Working with Africa and the rest of the world, we will pursue African advancement and enhanced international co-operation. •We will ensure sustainable resource management and use. •Build a developmental state, improve public services and strengthen democratic institutions.

– By Ronesh Dhawraj and Luvuyo Mndeni