Address by President Jacob Zuma in response to the debate on The Presidency Budget Vote, National Assembly, Cape Town
05 May 2016
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
We thank all Honourable Members for participation in the Budget Vote 1: The Presidency debate.
I wish to reiterate that the journey we have travelled as a nation is truly remarkable.
Yes there are challenges, but we know what to do to deal with them, and are forging ahead to build a better South Africa and a better life for all.
We have definitely moved far away from what former President Nelson Mandela called the skunk of the world, into becoming one of the major players on the global stage.
We have put more children in school than at any time in the history of our country. We have more students at universities and technical colleges than ever before.
We have more women who work in, and occupy positions of leadership and influence in professions that were once considered to be reserved for men.
Our achievements cut across every facet of social, economic and political life of South Africa.
Millions of families live in communities where they are secure, are provided with clean water, electricity and houses, and where their dignity has been restored through the provision of basic sanitation.
A black child in matric this year stands a better chance of going to a university or a technical college to pursue a dream career, than has ever been the case before.
The Honourable Chief Whip of the Majority Party mentioned a lot more achievements that this country has scored, and provided factual information in this regard.
We know that those with dominant control over the means of communication are running negative campaigns against our country.
However, our people know that their country is a success story, because they can see the changes that have come into being since 1994.
The long shadow of apartheid is gradually receding. Despair has been replaced by hope, deprivation by opportunity, and exclusion by inclusion.
This is the country that South Africa is today. It is full of possibilities for its citizens, and provides leadership in the world when required to do so, with confidence and humility.
Siyabonga, elungwini elihloniphekile umama uMnganga-Gcabashe ngokubalula inkinga ewumbulalazwe, izidakamizwa ezibhubhisa izingane KwaMashu.
Lenkinga igcwele izwe lonke, ibuhlungu kakhulu ngoba iyasiqeda isizwe sakithi.
Izingane zihlukumeza abazali, zintshontshe impahla emakhaya ngoba zidinga imali yezidakamizwa. Abantu abathengisa izidakamizwa bayisiqalekiso ezweni lethu. Babulala izwe ngoba befuna imali.
Umnyango wezenhlalakahle uphezu komkhankaso wokufundisa intsha ngalombulalazwe. Ngomhlaka 21 April bekunemashi enkulu yezingane zesikole ezevile ku-3000 kwaMashu eholwa umphathiswa wezenhlalakahle esifundazweni sakwaZulu-Natal, umama uWeziwe Thusi.
Sicela imiphakathi ibambisane nohulumeni ukuze sikwazi ukunqoba lenkinga.
Asibabike emaphoyiseni abathengisa izidakamizwa ukuze baboshwe.
Njengamanje, uhulumeni umatasatasa wakha izindawo ezintsha zokwelapha abaphethwe ilenkinga yezidakamizwa.
There are currently seven public or government treatment centres and several private centres.
Some provinces such as the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have two or more public treatment centres.
The Department of Social Development is in the process of establishing public treatment centres in provinces where there are no such facilities.
The Department has identified five provinces namely Northern Cape, North-West, Limpopo, Free State and the Eastern Cape for the establishment of the centres, and work has already begun.
Eventually all provinces will have at least one public treatment centre.
As Honourable Letsatsi-Duba correctly pointed out, we need to improve the capacity of our law enforcement agencies so that they can effectively wage the war against criminality, such as drug peddling.
Honourable Shenge and Honourable Shelembe, the Presidency is fully committed to the implementation of the additional cost containment measures that were announced in the 2016 State of the Nation Address and Budget Speech 2016.
The thirty five vacant posts that the Presidency had intended to fill during the current financial year, which you have referred to, were frozen as a result of the cost containment drive.
To make up for the frozen posts, existing staff will take up more responsibilities. You will also be pleased Honourable Shenge that the Presidency compensation budget has been drastically cut, from this financial year onwards.
Honourable Shenge, it is incorrect to say there are technical personnel from the South African Post Office who have been seconded to the Presidency. There are none at all.
Government is also already implementing other measures to cut wastage, as we announced in the State of the Nation Address.
The numbers of support staff accompanying Ministers and Deputy Ministers on foreign visits has been reduced. The stakeholder banquets following budget vote debates have also been done away with.
These are small but significant gestures which confirm that money must be spent on the core business of government, which is the provision of services that will ensure a better life for all our people.
However, the cost containment measures alone cannot solve the challenges that face our society. We need robust and inclusive economic growth.
And the twin goals of growth and inclusion cannot be separated.
One of the major challenges was correctly identified by Honourable Mantashe, who pointed at the slow growth in the global economy which has had a negative impact on our own economy.
The decline in commodity prices in particular has been especially devastating for our mining industry.
Our people need jobs and they need to earn an income, even during this difficult climate. In this regard, we need to support our youth in particular to earn a living during such a climate and in particular to promote entrepreneurship.
I am therefore pleased by the report given by Deputy Minister Manamela about the work that the National Youth Development Agency is doing towards meeting this goal.
Economic transformation also remains pivotal. There will be no sustainable economic development in this country until we succeed in de-racialising the commanding heights of the economy.
I wish to take this opportunity to condemn in strongest terms the burning of 17 schools and other public facilities in the Vhuwani area of Limpopo, reportedly over discontent regarding municipal demarcation.
The entire nation is in shock over this occurrence.
There is no grievance that can justify the destruction of property, especially schools which are meant to help the next generation of Vhuwani to defeat poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Nobody should be allowed to jeopardise and destroy the future of our children and our country.
We have directed law enforcement agencies to apprehend those responsible and bring them to justice.
It cannot continue that people engage in such criminal behaviour and we do nothing about it. Protests are permissible, but they should be undertaken peacefully.
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Minister of State Security who is also the acting Police Minister and the Deputy Minister of Police are in the area today to deal with the situation.
The Honourable Chief Whip of the Majority Party sounded a serious warning to those who toy around with causing instability in the Republic.
They will not be allowed to succeed. Let us not play around with the security of the state, our country and our people.
We know that it is not all the people of Vuwani who are lawless.
In this regard, a process to declare Vuwani as a Comprehensive Rural Development Programme site is at an advanced stage so that the peace-loving community members can obtain the development they need.
The recently-established Vuwani Task Team led by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has put together a Development Package for the Vhuwani area comprising projects which are being implemented by the Makhado Local Municipality and the Vhembe District Municipality as well as provincial and national departments.
The people of Vhuwani deserve a better life, free of anarchy and lawlessness.
The Deputy President reminded us of the country’s most important feature, our cultural diversity!
Indeed, all languages are important and all the cultures and traditions of our people are important and equal.
Iphini likaMongameli lisikhumbuzile ukuthi kubalulekile ukuthi sizazi futhi siziqhenye ngezilimi ezikhulunywa ezweni lakithi. Zibaluleke zonke izilimi akusona isiNgisi sodwa esibalulekile.
We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful country, which offers so many opportunities and possibilities for us to build a better life.
Let us be serious about building our country and fighting poverty and all the remnants of apartheid colonialism in our country.
The drama, theatre and antics that we see daily in this House will not move South Africa forward.
What is required is hard work, dedication and commitment to make South Africa a better place for all.
We stand ready as government to play our part, working with all our people, to move South Africa forward.
I thank you.