State of the Nation Address By His Excellency
Jacob G Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa on the occasion of the
Joint Sitting Of Parliament
14 February 2013
Speaker of the National Assembly,
the National Council of Provinces;
of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP;
Deputy President of the Republic, Honourable Kgalema Motlanthe;
Thabo Mbeki and Mrs Mbeki,
De Klerk and Mrs De Klerk,
Presidents Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Baleka Mbete,
Justice of the Republic, and all esteemed members of the Judiciary;
Honourable Peeroo, Chairperson of the SADC Parliamentary Forum,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Premiers and Speakers of our Provinces;
Chairperson of SALGA, and all local government leadership;
Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders;
The Heads of
Chapter 9 Institutions;
The Governor of the Reserve Bank; Ms Gill Marcus,
Chairperson of the National Planning Commission and Deputy President of the
ANC, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and all ANC Officials,
business, sports, traditional, religious and all sectors,
Members of the
diplomatic corps, Special and distinguished guests,
Good evening to you all, sanibonani
nonke, molweni, dumelang.
Let me thank the Presiding Officers for
affording me this opportunity to share our 2013 programme of action with the
joint sitting of Parliament.
We greet all who are watching this
broadcast from their homes and at GCIS viewing centres around the country,
including those in Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Gugulethu here in Cape Town.
Let me also extend my gratitude to all who contributed to the
preparation of this address. I received
several messages via email, twitter and Facebook.
I also spent some time with Grade 12 learners who shared their own
views on what should be contained in the speech. I found the inputs very
informative and enriching.
Compatriots and friends,
On the 15th of August last year, the
National Planning Commission handed over the National Development Plan, the
vision of the country for the next 20 years, to the President in this august
The NDP contains proposals for tackling the
problems of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
It is a roadmap to a South Africa where all will
have water, electricity, sanitation, jobs, housing, public transport, adequate
nutrition, education, social protection, quality healthcare, recreation and a
The achievement of these goals has proven to
be difficult in the recent past, due the global economic recession.
The crisis in the Eurozone affects our
economy as the Eurozone is our major trading partner, accounting for around 21
per cent of our exports.
Our GDP growth is expected to average at 2.5%
cent, down from 3.1% in the previous year.
We need growth rates in excess of five per cent to create more jobs.
Development Plan outlines interventions that can put the economy on a better
footing. The target for job creation is set at 11 million by 2030 and the
needs to grow threefold to create the desired jobs.
In my last meeting with the business community, the
sector indicated that for the economy to grow three-fold, we must remove
We will engage business, labour and other social
partners in pursuit of solutions. No single force acting individually can
the objectives we have set for ourselves.
I would now like to report on progress made since
the last State of the Nation Address and also to discuss our programme of
action for 2013.
I will look at the five priorities – education,
health, the fight against crime, creating decent work as well as rural
development and land reform.
Last year, I addressed the nation on government’s
By the end of March this year, starting from 2009,
government will have spent about 860 billion rand on infrastructure. Various
are being implemented around the country. I will discuss just a few.
The construction of the first phase of the Mokolo and Crocodile River
Water Augmentation has commenced and it will provide part of the water required
for the Matimba and the Medupi power stations.
The construction of the bulk water distribution system for the De Hoop
Dam began in October 2012, to supply water to the Greater Sekhukhune, Waterberg
and Capricorn district municipalities.
We have to shift the transportation of coal from
road to rail in Mpumalanga, in order to protect the provincial roads. Thus the
construction of the Majuba Rail coal line will begin soon.
We have also committed to improve the movement of
goods and economic integration through a Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistics
and industrial corridor.
In this regard, substantial work is now underway to
develop the City Deep inland terminal in Gauteng.
Initial work has commenced in the expansion of the
Pier 2 in the Durban Port.
And thirdly, land has been purchased for the
development of a new dug-out port at the Old Durban airport.
In the Eastern Cape, I officially opened the port
of Ngqura and construction is now underway to develop a major new transhipment
The Umzimvubu Dam is critical
for rural livelihoods. Preparatory work has commenced for the construction to
begin next year.
The upgrading of Mthatha
airport runway and terminal and the construction of the Nkosi Dalibhunga
Mandela Legacy Road and Bridge are currently underway.
I have asked for work in the North West to be
fast-tracked further in light of the huge backlogs in that province, especially
electricity, schools, clinics, roads and water in the next two years.
To improve the transportation of iron-ore and open
up the west coast of the country, we have expanded the rail capacity through
the delivery of 11 locomotives.
The first phase of the expansion – to increase iron
ore port capacity at Saldanha to 60 million tons per annum – was officially
completed in September last year.
Construction work is taking place in five cities –
Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay, Rustenburg, eThekwini, Tshwane to integrate the
different modes of transport – bus, taxi and train.
In the energy sector, we have now laid 675 kilometres
of electricity transmission lines to connect fast-growing economic centres and
also to bring power to rural areas.
In addition, government signed contracts to the
value of R47 billion in the renewable energy programme.
This involves 28 projects in wind, solar and small
hydro technologies, to be developed in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern
Cape and in the Free State.
We established an 800 million rand
national green fund last year. To date,
over 400 million rand investments in green economy projects has already been
approved for municipalities, other organs of state, community organisations and
the private sector across all provinces.
We have also rolled out 315 000 solar water
geysers as of January this year, most of which were given to poor households,
many of whom had never had running hot water before.
We have scored successes in extending basic
services through the infrastructure programme. Close to 200 000 households have
been connected to the national electricity grid in 2012.
You will also recall that Census 2011 outlined the
successes in extending basic services. The report said the number of households
with access to electricity is now at 12.1 million, which translates to 85%.
Nine out of 10 households have access to water.
To prepare for the advanced economy we need to
develop, we will expand the broadband network.
Last year, the private and public sector laid about
7000 new fibre optic cables. The plan is to achieve 100% broadband internet
penetration by 2020.
With regard to social infrastructure, a total of 98
new schools will have been built by the end of March, of which more than 40 are
in the Eastern Cape that are replacing mud schools.
Construction is expected to begin in September at
the sites of two new universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.
Last week, we published an Infrastructure
Development Bill for public comment.
We are cracking down on corruption, tender fraud
and price fixing in the infrastructure programme.
The state has collected a substantial dossier of
information on improper conduct by large construction companies.
This is now the subject of formal processes of the
competition commission and other law enforcement authorities.
The infrastructure development programme has been a
valuable source of learning for government.
In the year ahead, we will fast-track many of the projects that the PICC
The lessons are that we must coordinate, integrate
and focus on implementation.
The past two years have demonstrated that where the state
intervenes strongly and consistently, it can turn around key industries that
face external or internal threats as has happened in our manufacturing sector.
We have seen the revitalization of train and bus production in
South Africa, largely because of the drive for local procurement.
PRASA and Transnet have committed hundreds of billions of rands to
improving our commuter and freight train network.
The clothing, textiles and footwear industry has stabilised after
15 years of steadily falling employment. A clothing support scheme provides
broad financial support, saving a number of factories and jobs.
On broader economic
transformation, revised Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act and codes
are being finalised. The development of
black owned enterprises and black industrialists will be prioritised.
Government has several programmes of
supporting small business. A key project
for the Presidency currently is to get government departments to pay SMMEs
within 30 days.
Departments are required to submit
monthly reports so that we can monitor progress in this regard.
We have taken a decision that
accounting officers who fail to execute this directive, should face
In the 2010 State of the Nation Address, I
announced the Job fund, and three billion rand has been approved for projects
that will create jobs.
Just over a third of the population is under
the age of 15. Our country, like many others, has a crisis of youth
Last May I asked
constituencies at NEDLAC to discuss youth employment incentives. I am pleased
that discussions have been concluded and that agreement has been reached on key
principles. The parties will sign the Accord later this month.
will add to what Government is already doing to empower the youth.
companies provide apprenticeships and learnerships and we urge that these be
increased. We appeal to the private
sector to absorb 11 000 FET graduates who are awaiting placements.
The Department of Rural Development and
Land Reform runs the National Rural
Youth Services Corps, which has enrolled 11 740 young people in
various training programmes.
The Department is also planning nine Rural Youth Hubs per province,
including in the 23 poorest districts in the country.
We will also use the Expanded Public
Works Programme and the Community Work programme to absorb young people.
we will find a solution to youth unemployment.
We identified tourism as one of our job drivers.
Tourist arrivals grew at an impressive 10.7 percent between
January and September 2012, which is higher than the global average of 4% for
Ironically, the very success of South Africa’s
national conservation effort resulting in over 73% of the worlds’ rhino
population being conserved here, has resulted in our country being targeted by
international poaching syndicates.
We are working with recipient and transit countries
such as Vietnam, Thailand and China and are intensifying our efforts to combat
which is historically the backbone of the economy, has faced difficulties in
year the sector was hit by wild cat strikes and the tragedy in Marikana where
more than 44 people were killed.
established an Inter-Ministerial Committee made up of senior cabinet Ministers
to assist families during that difficult period. The Judicial Commission of
Inquiry led by Judge Ian Farlam continues its work.
working together we were able to restore social stability in the area.
labour in the form of COSATU, NACTU and FEDUSA, Business Unity SA, Black
Business Council and the community sector met in October and reached an
agreement which laid the basis for a return to work across the mining industry.
particular, we agreed to work together to strengthen collective bargaining; to
address the housing problems in the mining towns; to support the National
infrastructure Programme; to address youth unemployment; and to identify
measures to reduce inequalities.
underway and the team will report in due course with specific plans for
Lephalale, Emalahleni, West Rand, Welkom, Klerksdorp, Burgersfort/Steelport,
Two weeks ago, I
had a meeting in Pretoria with Sir John Parker, the chairman of Anglo-American
Plc to discuss the reported plans to restructure and retrench 14 000
workers at Anglo American Platinum.
We believe that at a policy level we have managed to bring about
certainty in the mining sector. The nationalisation debate was laid to rest in
December at the ruling party’s national conference.
Ensuring that the public
services we provide our people today can continue to be provided to our people
tomorrow, requires that we have suitable tax policies to generate sufficient
revenue to pay for these services.
From time to time, we have
commissioned studies into our tax policies, to evaluate the extent to which
they meet the requirements of the fiscus.
Later this year, the
Minister of Finance will be commissioning a study of our current tax policies,
to make sure that we have an appropriate revenue base to support public
Part of this study, will
evaluate the current mining royalties regime, with regard to its ability to
suitably serve our people.
In last year’s address we raised the
issue of the gap market, the people who earn too much to qualify for an RDP
house and too little for a bank mortgage bond.
From April 2012 to December 2012,
Provincial Departments committed a budget of 126 million rand of the Human
Settlements Development Grant for this programme, known as the Finance Linked
Individual Subsidy programme.
The money is being used through the
National Housing Finance Corporation, which has been appointed to deliver
houses to people within the Gap market in twelve registered projects.
A total of 70 million rand of this
amount has been used to date.
Projects include Walmer Link in the
Eastern Cape, Lady Selbourne, Nelmapius, Bohlabela Borwa, Cosmo City and
Fleurhof in Gauteng, Intabazwe Corridor Housing in the Free State and Seraleng
in North West.
The implementation of these eight GAP
housing projects is currently underway.
Compatriots and friends,
On education, we
are pleased that the Grade 12 pass rate is finally on an upward trend. We
congratulate the Class of 2012, their teachers, parents and communities for the
We congratulate the top province for 2012, Gauteng and top grade 12
learner, Miss Madikgetho Komane, from Sekhukhune district, Limpopo, who is our
The Annual National Assessments in our schools, have become a powerful tool
of assessing the health of our education system.
We welcome the improvement each year in the ANA results, but more must be
done to improve maths, science and technology.
The Department of Basic Education will
establish a national task team to strengthen the implementation of the
Science and Technology Strategy.
We urge the private sector to partner
government through establishing, adopting or sponsoring maths and science
academies or Saturday schools.
We are pleased
with the growth of our early childhood education programmes, including Grade R.
We are also
pleased with our adult education programme, Khari Gude, which has reached more
than 2,2 million people between 2008 and 2011.
We also continue to encourage people
from all walks never to stop learning. Many
were inspired when accomplished musician and my special guest, Mr Sipho Hotstix
Mabuse obtained his matric last year, at the age of 60.
education as an apex priority in 2009. We want to see everyone in the country
realising that education is an essential service for our nation.
education is an essential service we are not taking away the Constitutional
rights of teachers as workers such as the right to strike.
It means we want
the education sector and society as a whole to take education more seriously
than is happening currently.
societies have one thing in common – they invested in education. Decent
salaries and conditions of service will play an important role in
attracting, motivating and retaining skilled teachers.
In this regard, we will establish a Presidential Remuneration Commission
which will investigate the appropriateness of the remuneration and conditions
of service provided by the State to all its employees.
I have directed that the first priority should be teachers.
The Commission will also assess the return on investment.
In elevating education to its rightful place, we
want to see an improvement in the quality of learning and teaching and the
management of schools. We want to see an improvement in attitudes, posture and
Working with educators, parents, the community and
various stakeholders, we will be able to turn our schools into centres of
Five years ago, South Africa had such a low life
expectancy that experts suggested that by 2015, our life expectancy would have
been exactly where it was in 1955.
It was with good reason that we were delighted when
late last year, studies from the Medical Research Council, the Lancet medical
journal and others began reporting a dramatic increase in life expectancy from
an average baseline of 56 years in 2009 to 60 years in 2011. These reports also
noted significant decreases in infant and under five mortality.
Increased life expectancy is a key to the country’s
development. People are returning to work, they are being productive,
economically and socially. The family
structure is increasingly stable and parents live longer and are able to take
care of their children.
We should not become complacent, in light of these
Given the high co-infection rate between HIV and TB,
we have integrated these services.
Work is also continuing on the research
side. South Africa has discovered a candidate drug to treat Malaria.
In addition, researchers at the Centre
for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa consortium, also discovered
broad neutralising antibodies against HIV.
Deputy President Motlanthe has
appointed new members of the South African National Aids Council Trust. We
congratulate the team, which is led by retired Judge Zac Yacoob, as
Diseases of lifestyle are on an alarming
increase. We have to combat and lower
the levels of smoking, harmful effects of alcohol, poor diets and obesity.
In 2014 we will create the National Health
Insurance Fund. The Department of Health will accelerate and intensify progress
in the pilot districts.
In that regard, as from April this year, the first
group of approximately 600 private medical practitioners will be contracted to
provide medical services at 533 clinics within villages and townships in 10 of
the pilot districts.
Compatriots and friends,
In June we will mark the centenary of
the 1913 Land Act which turned black people into wanderers, labourers and
pariahs in their own land.
Former ANC President Sefako Makgatho
outlined as such in his 1919 ANC conference presidential address.
“The Native Land Act still operates as mercilessly in different parts of
the Union, and as a result many native families are still working for white
farmers only for their food’’.
We are also honoured, in
this year of the anniversary of the 1913 Land Act, to have present among us,
Mrs Nomhlangano Beauty Mkhize, one of the veterans who together with her
husband, Saul Mkhize, led the struggle against forced removals in Driefontein
and Daggaskraal, in the present Mpumalanga Province.
The land question is a
highly emotive matter.
We need to resolve it
amicably within the framework of the Constitution and the law.
I received a message on
Facebook from Thulani Zondi who raised his concern about the slow
pace of land redistribution. He said: “Mr President, as we are
commemorating 100 years since the Land act of 1913 was introduced to dispossess
the African majority.
“I urge you to accelerate redistribution of the land to the landless
“When we do the redistribution we need to be mindful of food security.
Training and mentorship of emerging black commercial farmers must take place”.
From 1994, we
have been addressing the land reform problem through restitution,
redistribution and tenure reform.
before, we will not be able to meet our redistribution targets.
Government’s mid-term review last year revealed a
number of shortcomings in our land reform implementation programme. We will use
those lessons to improve implementation.
Firstly, we must shorten the time it takes to
finalise a claim. In this regard, Government will now pursue the ‘just
and equitable’ principle for compensation, as set out in the
Constitution instead of the “willing buyer, willing seller” principle,
which forces the state to pay more for
land than the actual value.
there are proposed amendments to the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 1994 in
to provide for the re-opening of the lodgement of restitution claims, by people
who missed the deadline of 31 December 1998.
Also to be
explored, are exceptions to the June 1913 cut-off date to accommodate claims by
the descendants of the Khoi and San as well as heritage sites and historical
Another key lesson is to provide adequate
post-settlement support to new landowners so that land continues to be
We also need to
provide better incentives for commercial farmers that are willing and capable
of mentoring smallholder farmers.
challenge we have faced is the preference for money instead of land by some
claimants, which also does not help us to change land ownership patterns.
As part of the
Presidency stakeholder engagement programme ahead of the State of the Nation
Address, Deputy President Motlanthe held a meeting with both farmers and farm
workers in Paarl on Tuesday.
that there should be peace and stability in the agriculture sector and that the
living and working conditions of farm workers should be improved urgently.
It is also
encouraging that even the farmers called for the fast tracking of land reform
and support to emerging farmers.
We will continue
the engagement with both farmers and farm workers.
Compatriots and friends,
We should also remain mindful of rapid urbanisation
that is taking place. The Census Statistics reveal that 63% of the population
are living in urban areas. This is likely to increase to over 70% by 2030.
Apartheid spatial patterns still persist in our
towns and cities. Municipalities alone cannot deal with the challenges. We need
a national approach.
While rural development remains a priority of
government, it is crucial that we also develop a national integrated urban
development framework to assist municipalities to effectively manage rapid
As part of implementing the National Development
Plan, all three spheres of government need to manage the new wave of
urbanisation in ways that also contribute to rural development.
Improving the status of women remains a critical
priority for this government.
The Bill on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment
has been approved by Cabinet for public comment. The Bill criminalizes
practices that have adverse effects on women and girls.
It also legislates the 50/50 policy position with
regard to the representation of women in decision making structures.
The brutal gang rape and murder of Anene Booysen
and other women and girls in recent times has brought into sharp focus the need
for unity in action to eradicate this scourge.
The brutality and cruelty meted out to defenceless
women is unacceptable and has no place in our country. Last year the National
Council on Gender Based Violence was established.
It comprises government, non-governmental
Organizations, Community-Based Organizations, Faith-Based organizations,
academia, research institutions, government, men’s groupings, and
representation from women, children and persons with disabilities.
We urge this coordinating structure to make the
campaign of fighting violence against women an everyday campaign.
We applaud all sectors for the campaigns that have
taken place already, highlighting that such acts will not be tolerated.
directed law enforcement agencies to treat these cases with the utmost urgency
and importance. The Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences
Units, which were re-established in 2010, have increased
During the last financial year, the
Units secured over 363 life sentences, with a conviction rate of 73% for crimes
against women above 18 years old and 70% for crimes against children under 18
years of age.
sisebenze sonke, silwe nalenkinga esibhekene nayo yabantu abadlwengula omame
nezingane, ngisho nezalukazi imbala. Ihlazo nobunswelaboya obesabekayo lokhu
abakwenzayo. Izigilamkhuba kufanele zibikwe emaphoyiseni ziboshwe.
adding other mechanisms to protect women, such as the Protection from
Harassment Bill. While the Domestic Violence Act also
provides protection, it only applies to persons who are in a domestic
The Protection from Harassment Bill also deals with
harassment by persons who stalk their victims by means of electronic
In addition, the
Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill was passed by the National Assembly
year and is now at the National Council of Provinces.
Once implemented, the law will assist women and children, who are often
victims of this heinous crime.
Compatriots and friends,
There is increased visibility of the police which contributes to the
reduction in the levels of serious crime.
The operations focusing on illegal
firearms, stolen and robbed vehicles, liquor and drugs which are regarded as
main generators of crime have assisted in crime reduction.
Compatriots and friends,
Government continues to wage a war against
The capacity of the Special Investigating Unit has
grown from an initial 70 staff members to more than 600 at present.
I have since 2009, signed 34 proclamations
directing the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption, fraud or
maladministration in various government departments and state entities.
Criminal Investigations were initiated against 203
accused persons in 67 priority cases under investigation by the end September
In total, pre-trial proceedings have been initiated
against 191 persons. A total of 66 persons under investigation are alleged to
have received R5 million or more benefits through corruption. Freezing Orders
were obtained against 46 persons.
In other successes, in
the past financial year, 107 officials working within the
criminal justice system were convicted.
The Asset Forfeiture Unit seized assets valued at more
than R541 million. A total of R61 million of these assets have already been
forfeited to the State. The assets are channelled back to fighting crime and
corruption through the Criminal Asset Recovery Account.
Last year, additional funding of R150 million from
the Criminal Assets Recovery Account was approved for the work of the
Anti-Corruption Task Team which comprises the Hawks, the Special Investigating
Unit and the National Prosecuting Authority.
These resources are aimed at strengthening the
capacity of these law enforcement agencies in our resolve to fight corruption.
We urge the private sector to also take this fight against corruption
seriously so that we tackle it from all angles.
To further boost the fight against corruption, we will fill all vacant
posts at the upper echelons of the criminal justice system.
Compatriots and friends,
There are some lessons from Marikana and other incidents that we cannot
allow to recur in our country.
Our Constitution is truly one of our greatest national achievements.
that we do as a government is guided by our Constitution and its vision of the
society we are building.
We call on all citizens to celebrate, promote and defend our
Our Bill of Rights guarantees that “everyone
has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket
We therefore call on our people to exercise their rights to protest in a
peaceful and orderly manner.
It is unacceptable when people’s rights are violated by perpetrators of
violent actions, such as actions that lead to injury and death of persons,
damage to property and the destruction of valuable public infrastructure.
We are duty bound to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the
supreme law of the Republic. We will spare no effort in doing so.
For this reason, I have instructed the Justice, Crime Prevention and
Security Cluster to put measures in place, with immediate effect, to ensure
that any incidents of violent protest are acted upon, investigated and
Courts will be allocated to deal with such cases on a prioritised roll.
The law must be enforced and it must be seen to be enforced - fairly,
effectively and expeditiously.
The citizens of our country have a right to expect that their democratic
state will exercise its authority in defence of the Constitution that so many
struggled so long and hard for. We cannot disappoint this expectation.
The JCPS Cluster has therefore put measures in place at national,
provincial and local level to deal with such
Let me hasten to add that government departments
at all levels must work closely with communities and ensure that all concerns
are attended to before they escalate. That
responsibility remains. We are a caring government.
This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of the
Organization of African Unity which has been succeeded by the African Union.
We pay tribute to the OAU for its relentless struggle for the
decolonization of our continent, including contributing to our own freedom.
We will continue to work for a stronger and more effective
organization of our Union.
The NEPAD programme as well as the African Peer Review Mechanism have
just celebrated their tenth year of existence.
As the convener of the NEPAD Presidential Infrastructure
Championing Initiative, South Africa continues to work with other champions to
implement high impact infrastructure projects in the continent.
On peace and security, we stand by the people of Mali in their
effort to claim and assert the territorial integrity of their country.
We urge the leadership in the Central African Republic, Guinea
Bissau and Somalia to continue their march towards lasting peace for the sake
of their people. We remain firmly opposed to unconstitutional change of
We are encouraged by the developments between Sudan and South
Sudan. We commend our former President Thabo Mbeki and other members of the AU
High Level Panel for the dedicated manner in which they have been working with
the two sides.
We are in solidarity with the DRC as the country battles the
menace to its security.
South Africa will continue supporting Africa's peace efforts
including through mediation, troop contribution for peace keeping, and by
providing material and financial assistance.
In this regard, we look forward to the conclusion of political dialogues
in Zimbabwe and Madagascar.
Our vision of a better Africa in a better world will receive great
impetus when we host the 5th BRICS Summit next month in Durban.
We are inspired by the exponential growth of bilateral relations,
diplomatically and economically, between South Africa and other BRICS
North-South relations remains central to our foreign policy agenda.
We reaffirm our
partnership with countries of the North, especially the USA, Europe and Japan.
The UN’s 70th anniversary provides an opportunity to take forward
the transformation of the UN Security Council.
continue to use the G20 to represent the aspirations of the people of Africa
and push for the transformation of Bretton Woods institutions.
internationalism has a strong element of solidarity to it. We stand with the
people of Palestine as they
strive to turn a new leaf in their struggle for their right to
self-determination; hence we supported their bid for statehood.
The expansion of
Israeli settlements into Palestinian territories is a serious stumbling block
to the resolution of the conflict.
The right of
self determination for the people of Western Sahara has to be realised.
We remain firm
in our call for the lifting of the economic embargo against Cuba.
we can do more to create a better Africa and a better world.
In the year 2012,
we focused on preserving and promoting our country’s cultural heritage with
particular emphasis on our liberation heritage.
We also hosted a
historic National Summit on Social Cohesion, focusing on building a socially
inclusive, caring and proud nation.
In the implementation of our programme we will work
with our Social Cohesion Advocates; eminent South Africans drawn from a variety
of sectors within our society.
We are proud to
have in our midst this evening, two of our eminent social cohesion advocates,
Judge Yvonne Mokgoro and Advocate George Bizos.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Raid on
Liliesleaf Farm, the Escape from Marshall Square as well as the Start of the
A series of events are being planned
throughout the year to mark the three events, culminating in a national
commemoration on the 11th of July.
We have just concluded a highly successful Africa
Cup of Nations tournament. We extend hearty congratulations to the African
champions, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and also to all participating teams
for their contribution to showcasing the standard of African football.
We thank all our people for being excellent hosts
I had the opportunity to personally thank CAF
President Honourable Issa Hayatou for affording us the honour of hosting the
Compatriots and friends,
As I said earlier, this programme of action will be implemented
differently as the activities of departments must be aligned with the National
concluding, let me take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt condolences to
the family of struggle stalwart and prominent human rights lawyer, Comrade
Phyllis Naidoo who passed on today.
we lost Comrade Amina Cachalia.
We are truly
saddened by the loss.
Africans, we should continue to have one primary goal - to make our country a
truly great and prosperous nation.
Valentine’s Day to you all!
I thank you.
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